Are you on the lookout for best Mono Synth for Bass? Lately, it has been a fantastic year for the portable little single-voice synthesizers, and these are quite at an affordable price.
These mono synthesizers enable you to play one note at a time as compared to polyphonic synthesizers that enable you to play several notes, chords, and pads sounds.
Even though mono synthesizers come with limited options, they have been the most popularly bought items and widely used by music producers.
Look and feel of mono synthesizers is what makes it the most likable. In this article, we list the top 10 or more precisely the 10 best mono synths, their features, and what makes them stand out from the rest. So let’s get started!
Top 10 Best Synth For Bass In The Market 2020
01. Korg VOLCABASS Analog Bass Machine
- Three analogue oscillators that enable to self-tune for constant, stable pitch
- Create classic acid-style basslines
- Sync In/Out to play in time with other volca machines
- Control via onboard ribbon as well as MIDI input
The Volca Bass is one of the analog synthesizers in the Volca series. It is fun and easy to use the powerful analog device that offers a wide range of sounds. These sounds can be created only using the Volca bass machine.
Record on the go
Each Volca comes equipped with functions like recording, sequencing, etc. to help you create the best of your performance. In fact, you can even use multiple Volcas at a time as they come with sync in/out functions. This means that you have it also connected to your favorite software and MIDI keyboards.
What’s amazing is that the Vulca devices come with battery operated built-in speakers, which means that you create and play music wherever you are. You can simply create the music or the bass sounds you like and then sample them for sequencing elsewhere.
Easy to Integrate
Whether you are producing EDM, hip-hop, or any other music, this is the best and the easiest to integrate Korg Volca Bass with your gear.
- Sounds as good as any analog synth
- Quite compact and easily portable
- Can be battery powered
- Cannot automate filter
02. Moog Minitaur Bass Synthesizer- Classic Moog Bass Desktop Unit
- MIDI on both – five-pin DIN and USB sockets
- Creates paraphonic synth sounds
- Enables voltage control in DAW for analog controls via CV to MIDI conversions
- Seamless editor, DAW integration with complete Windows support.
The Moog Minitaur Bass Synth has made it to our list of best mono synth for bass for many reasons. The bass synth comes with two VCO switches that help determine which of the waveforms are being played.
It enables you to mix the VCOs to output square and sawtooth waveforms. This adds in classic tones, bass tones and gives you the effects you need.
Adjust the music
The VCO2 lets you adjust the frequency of the sound and lets you move it up or down an octave, whereas the VCO1 acts as the unison setting, thereby letting you add in subtle harmonics. In fact, the Moog Minitaur also comes with fine-tuning and helps cover up any accidents during a live show.
Manage it with MIDI
Another great feature of this bass synth is that the front panel can be simply managed via MIDI. In fact, with MIDI, you can perform clock messages and use that to tie it to a drum track.
Numerous CV Inputs
What’s more is that you will easily find the four CV inputs on the backside like Pitch, Filter, Gate, and Volume. It also offers you a standard DIN MIDI over Type B USB connector.
Even though it is quite small and compatible, the Moog Minitaur hits hard on its sound, and the quality of the sound is unassailable and is, therefore, most popularly used.
- It is small, robust, light, and very neat.
- Produces many classic Moog bass sounds and more
- Offers more features in MIDI and analog control
- Limited only to bass sounds
- To make use of all features, need to use MIDI CCs and other editors
03. Arturia MicroBrute Analogue Synthesizer- Powerful Sounding Bass Synth
- Voltage-controlled oscillator with new overtone sub-OSC and oscillator mixer
- Ultrasaw generating sawtooth waveforms
- Seamless integration into your software and computer system.
The Arturia MicroBrute comes with independent Multi detuned oscillators that enable you to mix the same pitched sawtooth, square, and triangle waveforms in the modulation simultaneously.
Add your own wave track
It lets you add your own wave tracks and has the capability to change in the outcomes of the pulse-width of the square wave. It also comes equipped with an ultra saw, which adds on multiple phase-shifted waves to the original signals. The Micro Brute offers a range of analog technology from drums to synths.
Play without USB
What’s more, is that these two can be combined into a very powerful system without even using a MIDI or USB. The Micro Brute offers eight different patterned slots and slot stores a sequence of 64 steps.
Complete control over speed.
You also have access to rate control that determines the playback speed and automatic switch into a clock divider if an external MIDI is connected.
The connections option adds many options and understands exactly how and when new patterns are triggered. This helps in creating your music, your way. In fact, you can even program triplet-based patterns with not a lot of effort. What’s more, is that you can even import and export files to and from your computer.
- Small and compact for an analog synth with many features
- Addition of patchbay – allows usage of modular and semi-modular systems
- Has a remarkable value
- The keyboard might not prove useful at a certain point
- Effects like maximum attack, decay and release times can be run only for short periods
- Some basic sounds are not available
04. Novation Bass Station II Analog Mono-Synth- Fantastic Sounding Mono Synth
- Comes with 64 factory patches and 64 user slots
- Fully analog distortion and filter-modulation effects
- Pattern-based step sequencer
- Come with two oscillators and additional sub-oscillator
The Novation Bass Station II is small, light, and very portable. It is fully equipped with a deeper panel of easy to navigate knobs, switches, and sliders. The synth is powered either via USB or the supplied adaptor.
Generate an aftertouch effect easily
Even though the keyboard is a mere two octaves, the keys are full-length, transmit a high amount of velocity, and it takes a very light touch to generate aftertouch.
3 Character Display
It comes with a three-character display that makes it the best option to display numeric values from a tweak screen. What’s more, is that when you are programming your music, you can save your original sounds since the device comes with a dedicated save button.
Various key functions
The device offers an amazing set of on-key functions like MIDI channel, exporting patches in system exclusive format, turning the synth, routing of wheels, and so much more. The Novations’ oscillators are DCOs as compared to the widely used VCOs, which is why the fine-tuning controls have higher resolution.
- An analog with patch memories
- The sequencer instantly transfers the output via MIDI
- Keyboard generates great velocity and aftertouch
- The length of the keyboard is quite restrictive
- Lack of the pot pickup feature
- Even though multifunctionality, lacks WTSIWYG
05. Korg Synthesizer, 25 Key (MONOLOGUE)- Amazing Drum Machine
- Twin VCOs with ring modulation, waveshaping and oscillator sync
- Powerful filter and drive circuits
- Includes sequencers in every patch
The Korg Monologue is somewhat a resemblance to the Minilogue like both the VCOs have a shape control – VCO1 has a square wave width which can be altered and modulated whereas the VCO2 has a sawtooth and triangle waves that shape control and result in increased harmonics.
Engage oscillator sync
In fact, the VCO2 has the ability to engage oscillator sync and ring modulation. This, in turn, contains the original carrier frequency and gives you the possibility of creating more metallic tones. The monologue also includes a sequencing technology that allows notes and measures to be recorded and played back instantly.
Equipped with a 16-step sequencer
The 16-step sequencer is quite similar to that of the Volca series. The front panel displays the menu item selection and step on and off status.
What makes this in our list of the best mono synths for bass is the Drive circuitry that saturates the output.
Easily play distorted sound.
This is especially ideal for delivering distorted sounds or even when you want to add extra depth and alongside other percussive sounds. The synth also has the ability to store presets and automation of other internal digital control elements. The Monologue carves its own path and stands apart from the analog market.
- Quite compact and easily portable
- Supports battery power
- Offers micro tuning
- Limited generator section
- The envelope is not that powerful
- Could do better with additional patch memories
06. Korg MS20 Mini- Powerful and Cool Mono synth
- Easily sequence from modern systems and play from full-sized keyboards
- Miniature keys that make the analog be used as a MIDI
The Korg MS20 mini is a replica of the original synth with a single provision. This model is 14% smaller than the original, and so are its keys.
Ring modulation and independent tuning.
The VCO or the Voltage Control Oscillator is the source of sound for this synthesizer, and what’s more, is that there are 2 of them. It provides a square pulse, independent tuning with ring modulation.
Low and a high pass filter
Another feature that sets this synthesizer apart from the original MS20 is the inclusion of a low and a high pass filter. These filters, along with extensive modulation options, give you the power to create the effect that you so desire.
Standard audio connection
Since the MS20 Mini is 14% smaller than it’s original, a 3.5mm jack acts as the standard audio connection. In fact, Korg even offers you ten such cables so you can explore and experiment the endless possibilities.
In addition to this, the model also includes UBS and I/O slots. You can work with a range of sounds like percussive gongs, evolving string lines, fat bass tones, and so much more.
- Smaller, compact and light
- Is inclusive of MIDI, USB, and mini-jack patchbay
- Sideward play on small dials
- The 3.5mm sockets are not as reliable
- Requires an external power supply
07. Roland JD-XI 37-Key Interactive Analogue Digital Crossover Synthesizer
- Compact and high-quality synth
- A great list for polyphony
- Three classic recording methods on the sequencer
The Roland JD-XI is quite classy and comes in the classic black and red colors with glossy front panels.
The front panel includes 15 knobs that send and receive MIDI along with a translucent rubber backlit selector button that makes it ready to read and displays the list of onboard parameters. Even though there is no aftertouch included, the JD-XI feels incoming aftertouch.
It comes with a large category dial that enables you to select sound types and also includes an XLR gooseneck mic socket for vocal tuning. The back of the device has a USB for a DAW connection, and the JD-XI acts as a 16-bit or 44kHZ two In and Out USB audio as well as MIDI interface.
In reality, you can also plug in an MP3 player to activate a vocoder and the auto-pitch feature with any other audio source. It is also possible to switch between the HI-Z / line rates with a headphone.
Equipped with the supernatural synth engine
The JD-XI is equipped with a complete supernatural synth engine along with an editing depth. Every digital path that this device offers is very powerful and enables you to tone with three partials. The versatile drums also include kits with two sounds per key and so you can work with different filters, envelope, volume, effect, pan, pitch levels, etc. per key. The Roland JD-XI comes with everything you need for an inspiring performance and composition.
- Deep and very versatile supernatural engine
- Comes with a four-part onboard sequencer
- A perfect blend of vocoder and audio interface
- Inability to route digital parts through the analogue filter
- Not battery supported
- The user interface is more compatible with a software editor
8. Roland TB-03 Bass Line Boutique Synthesizer
- Modern connectivity with external gear
- Classic pitch, time, and Step write modes
- Highly portable
The Roland TB-03 offers a single oscillator, which is easy to switch between sawtooth and square waves. It also has a 24dB four-stage octave diode ladder filter. The filter has capabilities to control the cutoff and resonance with a predefined peak.
Automated note sequence
It also houses pattern-based sequencers that control the pitch of the synth, and the automated note sequences enable you to specify accents and pitch slides. In addition to this, it also offers a step recording mode that lets you enter notes, rests, accents, slides, etc.
Get reverb effect
You can monitor it directly from your DAW, or you can record the other arrangements when you do not want to work with an internal sequencer. Moreover, the inclusion of the baseline function produces fantastic overdriving and reverb effects, but the effect of distortion cuts off the sun.
Automation is what makes it a part
Another great benefit of external DAW is parameter automation. With quirky systems, filters, and powerful oscillators, that is everything that studio-bound musicians are looking for.
- Easily re-creates sonics
- Parameter editing features
- No real-time recording
- No individual outputs
09. Novation Circuit Mono Station Paraphonic Analogue Synthesizer
- Deep sequencing features
- Internal patch memory and project with cloud backup
- Complete MIDI implementation
The Circuit Mono Station comes with an interface that is roughly divided into half. while the upper section houses the synth controls, the lower half controls the sequencer. The device has a pair of analog oscillators with digital power. The osc1 pitch and noise generator are followed by a sub-speed oscillator. In addition, these also can be dialed from the mixer with a control for an external audio input along with a rotating part for ring modulation dialing.
Easy flow of signal into the filter
The Mono Station also comes with an overdrive, resonance and cutoff rotaries that enable the signal to be pushed into the filter.
Select your tone easily
That simply means that you are able to work with some rough, static sounds. There are many tonal variations. It has seven inner destinations, such as oscillator pitch and pulse width, amp, distortion, filter cut-off, and CV output.
It has a Setting Tab
An additional feature added to the Mono Station as compared to its previous models is the new pattern settings tab. This allows you to adjust the division of the notes of every 16 measures. The path can also be quickly changed. In short, the system can be flipped between table tennis, front, back, and random. Like any other synthesis on the market, the deep multi-channel sequencer, versatility of the architecture, and automation blend a tremendous ingenuity.
- Flexible modulation matrix
- Deep sequencer with paraphonic and polyrhythmic sequencing
- Good range of analog and digital Ins and Outs
- Require a screen for editing
- Lack of versatility for sequencing
10. Behringer Synthesizer- Perfect Monosynth With Great Sound
- Comes with 3340 VCO
- Offers patchbay flexibility
- Great for novices and explorers
There is no denying that Behringer has produced some of the best mono synths like Odyssey, Pro1, K2, Crave, MS101/MS1, and so many others. However, it is the MS 101/MS1 that is the showstopper! The MS101/MS1 functions and visually appears a decent keyboard but with powerful performance.
Various range of power control
It offers a range of power controls. In fact, it even comes with a mod-grip that lets you pull around a guitar strap, thereby making it easy for you to carry on a stage, especially during a performance.
MIDI and USB slots are available
It also comes with a triangle waveform as well as the FM modification along with MIDI and USB slots.
The MS101/MS1 has very easy navigation. This means that you can figure out everything easily on your own as all the controls are laid out on the faders. It is a great synthesizer that understands you and performs exactly how you need it to.
- Responds quite well to MIDI modulation
- Compatible with Eurorack
- Can be chained to multiple units for polyphony
- Notes are triggered unsystematically
- Cannot be used with sequencers successfully
- MIDI is quite basic
- The panels are quite compact and uneasy
How To Pick The Best Synth For Bass: Buying Guides
Whether you plan to buy your first synth or simply wish to get a new model, it is always safe to see if the one you are looking for checks out everything on your list.
Some synths might have more features than what you need, while some might lack the ones you need, especially when connected with apps or software. Here are a few important considerations you must keep in mind before you plan to buy one.
Look for a synth with a sequencer.
It’s quite likely that your keyboard usefulness is minimal to totally zero when you buy the first synthesizer. In this scenario, you need to make confident that you have an optimized sequencer in the synth you want to buy.
It will basically allow you to write on the on-board memory a melody or bassline per note. So you’re practically free to try tuning and resonance or to add some other effects when playing the template in the background.
Look for something small and compact.
There is no denying that huge synths seem cool! However, if you cannot access your synths easily, you might not be able to work around it. Especially, if you are just starting out or have a limited studio space, opting for a compact and small-sized synth is a perfect decision.
You can easily give it a dedicated spot that you can access anytime rather than having to spend some time setting it up every time you need to use it. Additionally, if you usually like to carry your own synth to jam sessions, it would make more sense to throw a smaller synth into your bag and get going.
Synths with powerful built-in speakers
If you are simply curious or a first-time synth buyer, there is a possibility that you don’t have a mixer, soundcard, or monitors. These external devices help route your synth’s audio through. In the event that you do not have access to such external elements, then it would be useful for you to consider buying a synth with its own speaker.
Opting for an analog or a digital synth
If this your first synth purchasing spree, then you might already be confused and facing the eternal analog vs. digital argument. Everyone has their own opinion on this subject. While some believe that analog synths sound warmer and authentic, some say that there isn’t any such specific difference in the sounds of the two.
However, what it comes down to is your preference and utility. If you are just starting out, then an analog synth would be great and more intuitive to learn on.
Remember to always buy from a reputable source.
Synthesizers are quite an investment. If you are looking for second hand or cheaper synths, you may be tempted to give away your cash. However, being too hasty in such a situation may prove to be harmful to you. This is because whenever you purchase such items, you need to be sure of the quality and the terms.
So avoid buying second-hand synth machines. When you buy brand new ones, you don’t even have to worry about the quality nor the return policy. So take your time, check out as many websites as you want, and always buy from a reputable source.
Only the technical aspects are not enough.
A synthesizer is essentially an instrument. So no matter how many functions, features, and sound quality it offers, you will not be comfortable using it unless you like the design and of the quirks it offers. There is also quite a possibility that you might not like a synth after you have actually started using it.
It, therefore, is always safe to try and get a hands-on time before you make the actual purchase. If that is not possible, then read through the feedback and talk to previous owners. You can also find various videos over the internet that show the working and the feedback on the pros and cons.
Make sure that you can learn and master it.
Many modern synthesizers are a lot less complicated. However, some are quite harder to master than others. If you are new at this and want to buy your very first synth, then you must look for those models that are easy to learn and play without any stress and frustrating utilities.
On the other hand, if you are quite experienced or have hands-on experience with a couple of synths, then you should rather opt for those that give you the freedom to be creative and create your own compositions without any limitations. It is, therefore, quite vital that you purchase a synth that has an interface that is comfortable to use and learn.
Choosing between monophonic vs. polyphonic sounds
Monophonic synths enable you to only play one note at a time. However, they are very ideal when it comes to the bass line as well as sequenced lines. Such synths are perfect for adding an effect to your stage rig and can be added easily too.
And if you are using it in your studio, it will help you create a pure synthesis on the other hand polyphonic synth range between four voices to 128 voices in larger workstation units.
With Poly synths, you can work with rich pads and can also play two-handed for chordal accompaniment and complex harmony. It is a bit larger than monophonic synths but there are also some very compact models.
MIDI implementation and Memory utility
If you are buying a synthesizer for the first time then you need to ask yourself questions like whether you wish to use the synth with your computer, whether you wish to take notes so that you can record in real-time, whether you would like to store your composed and mixed synth sounds, etc.
If these functionalities are very important to you and you feel that they would play a vital role in your compositions, then you must ensure that the synth you are looking for has these functionalities.
What is an envelope follower?
This feature senses the input signal wavelength frequency range and dynamically adjusts tone.
Can I use a monophonic synthesizer like a polyphonic?
Modular analog synthesizers are monophonic, which is why only one note can be played at a current time. If you press more than one key, it will result in only one of the notes being played.
It is not possible to make a monophonic synthesizer play like a polyphonic. The sound of a modular synthesizer is larger in its monophonic form is therefore used best that way.
How many inputs does a vocoder need?
A vocoder usually takes two audio inputs. Input A for voice input and input B is usually a synth input from any external synth source.
Does a vocoder generate its own sound?
No, a vocoder does not generate its own sound internally. The input A analysis through a band of fixed filters that detect the energy levels in the input A at each of the filter frequency bands. And then, the level envelopes are detected from these band-pass signals, which are then used to control input B.
Are there any limitations to the ACO chip?
The ACO chip follows an audio pitch between 25Hz to 6.4HZ and is quite larger than the frequency range of many instruments.
How are the chords played detected?
When you play a chord, it is automatically detected, and the name of the chord played is displayed on the front panel. You can also choose from a list of chord detection in the setting panel like fingered 1, fingered 2, fingered 3 or Bass based on the utility of your synth.
Can I create a song over an empty song by overdubbing my performance?
No, ideally, you cannot. The sequencer can only be used to edit track in real-time and to playback songs.
Can I change the volume of a part of a recorded song?
You can change the content and elements of the songs after you start recording. So all you have to do is select the part that you wish to change and start overdubbing. When you make the changes you desired, these are saved in real-time and are applied to the song.
Is it possible to change the name of a user song?
Many synths do not give you the option to change the name of a user song, while some do. So it depends on the utility and features provided to you.
When can the metronome go out of tune?
There is a possibility that the metronome might be out of tune or out of sync, especially when you fast-forward songs, rewind it, play demo songs, etc.
How can I record songs?
Mostly recording options are disabled unless a USB flash drive is inserted or it is connected to an external source. However, there are also some synths that give you the flexibility to record when in sequencer mode.
What kind of controls is possible on a device connected to the MIDI Out connector?
Generally, you can send note messages are other similar functionality but cannot control the tempo, synchronization, etc.
What exactly should the GATE Out polarity be set to? Positive or negative?
This highly depends on the model of analog synthesizer that is connected. Some synths support only negative polarity while some offer both a negative TRIG IN jack and a positive TRIG IN jack.
What is MIDI?
A MIDI is a data or you can say it is the standard for transmitting musical performance data. MIDI data basically contains instructions and information to enable sound to be produced by MIDI-compatible devices.
What is a hardware synthesizer?
Sound generation, using MIDI data to trigger Musical Notes are the most important hardware synthesizers. Although some synths come in a keyboard shape, some are simply sound components on the monitor and don’t have a clavier. You should, therefore, send data from your DAW or an external MIDI controller into the sound module.
What are MIDI messages or message notes?
You can categorize MIDI messages into channel and system messages. The channeled message is a set of instructions such as note(s) for beginning and endnote, note speed, sound sort for playing the note, etc. device messages provide song-related information such as syncing, saving parameters, etc.
These have been our selection of the best mono synth for bass. So if you are looking for a new model, you know what to do! Go ahead, do your research, find out what you need and what is suitable for your system.
Buying or even choosing a synthesizer is quite a task as there are so many options available, and you are bombarded with way too many buying options. There is no denying that you might have found yourself stuck between the debates of sound options vs. feature options.
This article has almost covered everything you would need in its entirety. However, your reasons to buy a synthesizer are yours alone, and so are your preferences. Therefore, use this article as a guide and try to find out as much as you can about the ones you really like. Go ahead, start hunting!