The world is going through some strange times right now, with lots of us shut up at home and – in the case of many musicians, DJs and those working in the live music sector – facing financial struggles. When facing uncertainty, it can be helpful to take some comfort from things that relax us, like making music.
We’d be lying if we said we had the incredible foresight to plan this issue’s cover feature to time with the arrival of a new global pandemic, but this month’s guide to the best cheap and compact hardware synths is particularly well suited to gearing yourself up for a little social distancing.
Maybe now is the perfect time to pick up a new, wallet-friendly noise maker (ideally from an independent retailer in need of a little support), and dedicate some quality time to creating new sounds?
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Wrangler – The synth supergroup invite us into their extraordinarily well-appointed studio to divulge more about new LP, A Situation
Junkie XL – The electronic producer turned Hollywood big-hitter invites us into his ridiculously well-equipped lair to talk soundtracks, synths and more
Tim Green – The London-based producer on moving beyond the dancefloor
The Track: Fickle Friends – Jack Wilson, songwriter/keyboardist from Brighton four-piece Fickle Friends, on the making of latest single Pretty Great
Classic Album – Disco-influenced house heroes Crazy P on making 2011’s When We On
Mini Synth Shoot-Out – Has it ever been a better time for affordable synths? But with so many, where do you start…? We put the best to the test
Producer’s Guide – Bring your tracks to life with a little Dramatic Impact
Retrospective – The ins-and-out of ambient
Novation Launchpad Pro Mk3
SSL 2 Series interfaces
Arturia FX Collection
Korg Triton plugin
Soundbrenner Core smartwatch
Percussive Leads – Pitched and tonal percussive parts, used to create grooving loops and dancefloor-ready riffs in an assortment of keys and tempos
Ambient Piano – Reverb and delay-drenched piano loops, lines and chords. From classic upright piano sounds to EPs, prepared piano and more
Access the FM sample archive: Download the ‘Archive’ packs and get over 12GB of loops, hits and instruments from our back catalogue of high-quality and royalty-free samples. From vintage synths and drum machines to esoteric instruments and FX – think of it as our best of. All the samples you need to create great music!