Let’s face it – in today’s day and age you are absolutely bombarded by possibilities when it comes to synthesizer buying options. There are just so many to choose from that the whole process becomes quite overwhelming. Do you go for the one with the most sound options or do you opt for the one with lesser features, but better overall sound quality? How important are certain features going to be in your specific case, and should you make decisions based off of reviews? These are some of the many questions you’ll likely have to ask yourself if you want to make the best possible decision when it comes to choosing the perfect synthesizer for you.
How to break it down…
This is one of the most important things to take into consideration, if not the most important. It’s no secret that some synthesizers sound better than others, and it should come as no surprise that sound quality rates in as one of the most important aspects of any instrument. You have certain synths like the JUNO DS88 by Roland which sounds absolutely fantastic (making it one of the top synths of the year) but you also have workstations like the MiniNova whose sounds are underwhelming. In 2018, It’s hard to say that there are many synthesizers with sound quality less than great, but it still happens. In most entry level synths and above (88-key and 61-key), you won’t have many issues in the department of sound quality. The only synths that sometimes have suspect sound quality are synthesizer for beginners, but even that is becoming more and more rare every year. Fortunately we have platforms like YouTube which enable us to see and hear what synthesizers sound like without having one right in front of us – check out the DS88 synth go to work!
I don’t know if the amount of features and what specifically they are is more important than the sound quality, but it’s up there. Again, it is rather rare to find keyboards with subpar sound quality and features but it still something to pay close attention to when purchasing an item of this price. How is the sequencing? What kind of piano and organ sounds can it produce? Is there a big emphasis on mixing? Synthesizers like the Yamaha Montage 8 have things like this down pat and features are not something to worry about at all. There are many features to take note of and after sound quality, this might be the most essential part of what makes a synthesizer great (or not so great).
The build quality and durability of a synthesizer is very important. It may not seem as so at first but this is the truth; synthesizers are expensive and you need them to last if you want them to be worth purchasing, right? Some are great for the first few months but break down in ridiculous fashion soon after – loose knobs, scratches and dents, even software issues can come into play. You want to make sure that your potential synthesizer is fantastic quality and won’t break down on you anytime soon. These are things you can learn from reviews.
Slightly less important but still impactful are the style, design, and overall aesthetic of synthesizers. Sure you might not care if the sound quality and features are superb, but these things still matter. Take a look at the TYROS 5 made by Yamaha. It has a very distinct look to it and while I personally like it quite a bit, I understand that it is not for everybody. Some may not like the tablet screen which protrudes out and others may not prefer their synthesizer to be of gray color. Aesthetics matter as they should! Not every design and style is for each person and everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to things such as this. Some like their synths flat and slim, others like them angled and thick. Some like them glossy black like a piano and others like them matte gray or silver like a sports car. It all comes down to what you like best and ultimately the decision is yours.
One of the most tedious tasks of entering the synthesizer world is choosing your instrument. The process may be long and rigorous but likely well worth it in the end. Not only are there many reasons why you should buy a synthesizer keyboard, but there are many reasons as to why you should be very careful in doing so. Along with the ones mentioned on this article, there are way too many different things to take note of just to have them listed here, so make sure to do your homework and find out as much as you can about your prospective synthesizer keyboards.