‘Synth map of the world’ reveals that Roland and Behringer dominate other brands when it comes to Google searches

Synth map of the world
(Image credit: Wood And Fire Studio)

We all know the names of the biggest synth brands, but which are the most popular, in terms of internet searches, country by country? While not definitive, a new study by Wood And Fire Studio sought to find out, and the results indicate that the two companies leading the way right now are Roland and Behringer.

The results are based on analysis of Google searches for what the researchers deemed to be the six most popular synth brands right now - Arturia, Behringer, Korg, Moog and Roland - and show that, perhaps unsurprisingly, people have a tendency to favour instruments that come from their own country.

This is evidenced by the fact that Roland is dominant in Japan (and Asia in general, in fact) and Behringer leads the way in Germany. What’s perhaps more surprising is Behringer’s dominance in Spanish-speaking countries - not only is it number one in Spain, but it also locks out almost the whole of South America. It turns out that it’s huge in Southern and Eastern Europe, too.

While Roland has a long history in the synth market, Behringer only made its move into the sector relatively recently. While some of its products are original designs, its success has been built on creating new versions of classic synths (including some from Roland) and selling them at rock-bottom prices.

Elsewhere on the map, Moog is the most-searched-for brand in its home country of the USA, and also Lithuania. This might seem like a statistical outlier, but it’s probably explained by the fact that Clara Rockmore, the world’s most famous theremin player, was Lithuanian - Moog is the most notable manufacturer of that instrument.

Arturia takes top spot in its native France and, more surprisingly, the research suggests that it's also the most popular synth brand in the UK.

When it comes to share of the total Google search volume, the research shows that Roland leads the way with 30%, Behringer has 23%, and Arturia is in third with 17%. Both Moog and Korg have around 15%.

Of course, what these numbers don’t tell us is which synths people are actually buying. Reverb’s end-of-year sales charts consistently show that companies such as Teenage Engineering and Elektron also shift plenty of units, so analysing searches doesn’t tell us the whole story.

Find out more about the research on the Wood And Fire Studio website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine