How many synths are too many synths?


So while I’m on call and I’m effectively sat waiting for the phone to ring I got thinking about how much gear is too much. Then I started to write down a list of my gear, broken down into types ie. analogue poly, digital poly, monosynths, string machines, drum machines, samplers etc etc.

Excluding FX units and a couple of Electone organs I’ve got 62 synths and adding in the other stuff like drum machines and pre midi keyboards it’s up to 77… The majority are working and ready to go too!d.

Any other inveterate ‘collectors’ out there?:roll_eyes:


Clearly you have too many. Equally obvious is the fact that I have too few. I think you know where I’m going with this…


7 Keyboards
6 desktop units
~50ru Rack space

More then that, well, where are you going to put it all? That populates 2x 3 tier keyboard stands, master keyboard, a nice desk with multiple racking spaces; an external rack, and utilises desk real estate with the desktop units.


My personal philosophy is that if I run out of either of these items, it’s too much…

  1. Space
  2. Electrical outlets
  3. Channels on my Mixer

Of course there’s ways around these limitations.



Real estate is obviously a big issue; I have a small set up at the moment based around AR2, OT2 and DN and I just get out what I want to use, either sequenced or sampled. It’s how I’ve worked all the time I was ITB, using Reniose and a huge sequenced sampler.

I’d love the space to set everything up… one day hopefully.


Infinite +1


I’ve never seen such a specific answer in one of these threads. We finally cracked it people


For me I really don’t like having too many synths. I prefer having 2-3 versatile and multitimbral synths that I can learn in and out. Too many synths and I get overwhelmed.


I’m sure I could do some elaborate calculation in which my Eurorack provides me with hundreds of ‘synths’.

Anyway, the only real answer, is when you feel it’s too many.

Posting numbers seems pointless.


Just a bit of fun, thinking aloud.

I repair, restore collect and play hence the collection. None of them are calculated, all physical instruments of one shape or another.


You should hook all your synths up at the same time and play them layered all together by one master midi keyboard. :smile:


Ala Marty McFly in the Doc’s lab!




The amount that makes one ask this question, factoring in this inevitability in hindsight and reversing it by a few years.

Current amount - [ (amount of synths collected over the past 5 years) / (rate of synth growth the first 3 years upon entering the synth world) ] - 1 synth if you get featured on the show Hoarders + 2 synths if Hoarders makes your music famous

= Proper amount of synths


You should hook all your synths up at the same time and play them layered all together by one master midi keyboard.


I hoard synths. But I also cycle them through and play them. Some maybe less than others, but I will keep telling myself that.

That is all.


It’s human nature to collect things - cf everyone with the means to does it, be it sport, art, politics, cars, $ etc.

Most music has been made with zero synths, so strictly speaking you don’t need any to make music.

If you are trying to write music, picking one and running with it is probably the best approach in the interest of productivity.

I’m saying theres no such thing as too many synths.


I watched way more of that than I should have


I disagree that it’s ‘human nature’ to collect things. Some people do. Other people don’t.

But it does seem very human to try to find ways to justify ones’ possessions/purchases.

How many synths are too many? It’s really none of my business. Besides, I don’t want to be an enabler or complicit in someone else’s obsessions. Buy the things. Sell the things. Whatever. It’s not what you own, it’s what you make with what you have.


I agree with you, but the assumption there is that the intent is to make music.

It’s not always about the base utility the object provides. I do not always buy the cheapest clothes or food, and I have several pairs of pants despite only being able to wear one pair at a time.

Nobody thinks its weird if someone owns a car and yet isnt a professional racing car driver. People get strangely weird about people who own music gear.

Synths are cool and people should have as many as they want. There’s a lot of reasons why someone might want them beyond making music. Is this somehow morally or ethically shameful?

You don’t need any, so personally I don’t see a big diff between someone owning one or one hundred.


What are the lot of reasons? Genuinely curious.