Software synths are convenient, relatively cheap (free, in some cases) and many of them sound terrific, so why would you buy a hardware model? Live performance is one obvious reason but, for many, a ‘real’ instrument is something that simply has more soul.
Recently - and for the first time since 2012 - we asked you to pick a favourite from a user-generated shortlist of the best hardware synths currently in production. Based on your votes, we’ve compiled the following rundown.
Obviously, each of these instruments is distinctly different and our runners and riders cost from just a couple of hundred to several thousand pounds. However, while not all of these synths are comparable, our list should give you a good idea of what’s currently on the market and help you to understand what you can get for your money.