There are many great synthesizers that have been produced over the years, and it is difficult to definitively rank the top ten of all time.

Here are ten synthesizers that have made a significant impact on music and have stood the test of time:

1. Moog Minimoog

The Moog Minimoog is a classic analogue synthesizer that was released in 1970. It was one of the first portable synthesizers and became popular for its rich, warm sound and intuitive control layout. The Minimoog has three oscillators, a noise generator, and a range of filters and envelopes, allowing for a wide range of timbres and sound-shaping capabilities. It was used by a wide range of musicians, including Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, and Keith Emerson, and has had a lasting influence on popular music. The Minimoog has been rereleased in various forms over the years and is still highly sought after by synthesizer enthusiasts today.

2. Roland TB-303

The Roland TB-303 (short for “Transistor Bass”) is a monophonic analogue synthesizer with a built-in sequencer that was released in 1981. It was originally intended to be used as an accompaniment device for guitarists, but it found widespread use in the burgeoning electronic dance music scene of the 1980s. The TB-303’s distinctive, acid-like sound and its ability to create complex, evolving patterns made it a popular choice for techno, house, and trance music. Despite its small size and limited range of sounds, the TB-303 has had a significant impact on electronic music and continues to be used and sought after by producers and DJs today.

3. Korg MS-20

The Korg MS-20 is a monophonic analogue synthesizer that was first produced by Korg in 1978. It is known for its distinctive appearance and its powerful, raw sound. The MS-20 has two voltage-controlled oscillators, a noise generator, and a range of filters and envelopes, allowing for a wide range of timbres. It also features patch cables, which allow users to create custom signal flow paths and create complex sounds. The MS-20 has been used by a wide range of musicians and has been re-released in various forms over the years. It is highly regarded by synthesizer enthusiasts for its versatility and characterful sound.

4. ARP Odyssey

The ARP Odyssey is an analogue synthesizer that was produced by ARP Instruments in the 1970s. It was used by a wide range of musicians, including Jean Michel Jarre, Gary Numan, and Kraftwerk, and has been featured on numerous classic recordings. The Odyssey has two voltage-controlled oscillators, a noise generator, and a range of filters and envelopes, allowing for a wide range of timbres. It also has an innovative “duophonic” keyboard, which allows for the simultaneous play of two notes, giving it a unique playing feel. The ARP Odyssey has been rereleased in various forms over the years and is highly sought after by synthesizer enthusiasts for its rich, warm sound and unique feature set.

5. Sequential Circuits Prophet-5

The Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 is a classic polyphonic synthesizer that was released in 1978. It was one of the first synthesizers to offer true polyphonic capabilities (the ability to play more than one note at a time), and it quickly became popular for its rich, full sound and powerful programming capabilities. The Prophet-5 has five analogue oscillators, a noise generator, and a range of filters and envelopes, allowing for a wide range of timbres. It also has a built-in memory system, which allows users to save and recall patches (presets). The Prophet-5 has been used by a wide range of musicians and has been re-released in various forms over the years. It is highly regarded by synthesizer enthusiasts for its versatility and warm, organic sound.

6. Roland Jupiter-8

The Roland Jupiter-8 is a polyphonic analogue synthesizer that was produced by Roland in the early 1980s. It was used by a wide range of musicians, including Prince, Duran Duran, and The Human League, and has been featured on numerous classic recordings. The Jupiter-8 has eight analogue oscillators, a noise generator, and a range of filters and envelopes, allowing for a wide range of timbres. It also has a flexible control panel, which allows users to program and shape sounds in great detail. The Jupiter-8 is known for its rich, full sound and its ability to create complex, layered patches. It is highly sought after by synthesizer enthusiasts and is often considered a classic of the analogue era.

7. Yamaha DX7

The Yamaha DX7 is a digital synthesizer that was released in 1983. It was one of the first synthesizers to use FM (frequency modulation) synthesis, which allows for the creation of complex, metallic timbres. The DX7 became extremely popular in the 1980s and was used by a wide range of musicians, including Michael Jackson, Vince Clarke, and Brian Eno. It was known for its clean, clear sound and its ability to create realistic simulations of acoustic instruments. The DX7 has a simple control panel, making it easy to use for musicians who were not necessarily synthesizer experts. It was also one of the first synthesizers to be mass-produced and sold at a relatively affordable price, making it accessible to a wide range of musicians.

8. Oberheim OB-X

The Oberheim OB-X is a polyphonic analogue synthesizer that was produced by Oberheim Electronics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was known for its powerful, rich sound and its flexible patching capabilities. The OB-X has four or eight analogue oscillators, a noise generator, and a range of filters and envelopes, allowing for a wide range of timbres. It also has a flexible control panel, which allows users to program and shape sounds in great detail. The OB-X was used by a wide range of musicians, including Prince, Gary Numan, and Tangerine Dream, and has been featured on numerous classic recordings. It is highly sought after by synthesizer enthusiasts for its characterful sound and powerful programming capabilities.

9. Roland D-50

The Roland D-50 is a digital synthesizer that was released in 1987. It was known for its innovative use of sample-based synthesis, which allowed it to create realistic simulations of acoustic instruments and other sounds. The D-50 has a simple control panel, making it easy to use for musicians who were not necessarily synthesizer experts. It was also one of the first synthesizers to include built-in effects, such as reverb and delay, which added to its popularity. The D-50 was used by a wide range of musicians, including Jean Michel Jarre, Chick Corea, and Enya, and has been featured on numerous classic recordings. It is highly regarded by synthesizer enthusiasts for its wide range of sounds and its ability to create complex, layered patches.

10. Nord Lead

The Nord Lead is a digital synthesizer that was first produced by Clavia in 1994. It is known for its virtual analogue sound, which emulates the warm, rich sound of classic analogue synthesizers. The Nord Lead has four oscillators, a noise generator, and a range of filters and envelopes, allowing for a wide range of timbres. It also has a flexible control panel, which allows users to program and shape sounds in great detail. The Nord Lead has been used by a wide range of musicians and has been released in several versions over the years. It is highly regarded by synthesizer enthusiasts for its characterful sound and powerful programming capabilities.


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