Categories of synthesisers

One of the most diverse musical instruments that is often seen as an electronic instrument is called “Synthesiser” and it is used for producing music of any kinds of genres.

The difference between an electronic keyboard and a synthesiser

Synthesisers resemble of a keyboard with massive functionality at your disposal. With a synthesiser, you are able to experiment with sound synthesis and design your own sounds. What differs a synthesiser from a general digital keyboard is the ability to manipulate the sound of your imagination which is not present in typical keyboards. Inside a digital keyboard, you are just bound within a certain range of presets and sometimes a very little sound synthesis. Still, it does not make it a synthesiser.

The early beginnings of synthesisers

Synthesisers are a kind of musical instruments that produces their sound by means of electronic circuits and via electronic signals. The time when electricity was becoming the dominant part of the infrastructure, people used it experimentation in different fields of technology including sound synthesis.

There had already been electronic musical instruments out there such as the historical Telharmonium, Trautonium, Ondes Martenot and the ones like of Theramin. The kind of synthesisers that were out for more of a commercial and home use, came out about in the 1960s, when various engineers were already experimenting with advance synthesis, like Dr.Robert Moog from Moog Synthesisers. Another popular one was Mellotron.

Types of digital synthesisers

From the birth of synthesisers until now, synthesisers have remained to be one of the most mystical and must-have instrument in any kind of music production. There have been various kinds of breeds of synthesisers on the market.

Most typically, the giants are under the category of analogue synthesisers, digital synthesisers, modular synthesisers and hybrid synthesisers. Analogue synthesisers typically use what is called the subtractive synthesis. Here all the sounds are produced or generated by means of various electronic circuits and components.

Digital synthesisers use DSP (Digital Signal Processing) to generate sound. Hybrid synthesisers are the ones that incorporate the mechanism of both analogue and digital synthesis.

Modular synthesisers on the market

The first ever modular synthesiser came in around 1964. The Moog modular synthesiser and Buchla modular synthesisers are from the same period. Now, most often modular synthesisers come in as a desktop version or keyboard version. A desktop version is something which gives you a huge rack frame. Inside the frame, you stack various sound modules of your choice on top or the sides of each other and make the whole empty frame all so wholesome and electric!

These synthesisers cost somewhere from $2,000 to $5,000 to as high as $40,000. There are ALM Busy Circuits, Erica Synths modular synthesisers, Make Noise and tons of Eurorack manufacturers out there.