Lookin for new desktop synth

Now that I have the digitakt with so much Midi out - I’d love to add another synth to the group. I have the Mopho keyboard and Circuit, which gives me 3 synth voice, and wanted to add another small synth.

I like smaller foot print, like the Doepfer dark energy, or the Waldorf Bloefed, but I see there is a lot of small synth coming on the market like the volca, or the modal electronic craft. I wonder what the community here has to suggest, analog or digital is fine, I really don’t like to have to use a computer to program my synth though as I like to keep my workflow without a computer.

Get the Modal Argon 8 as desktop, plenty knobs, wavetables and a joystick

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Nord lead rack


I had Nord Rack 2X some time ago and worked well to feed the DT. Nice pads and lead and not too much complexity.
But now, I just got a Vermona Perfourmer MKII. It’s another story. It’s the best sounding synth I ever heard, very easy to manipulate. No menu, no preset. Just turn knobs.
4 voices analog that can interconnect eachother.
It’s not a small footprint but if you have a little more space and money, check this out it’s amazing.
Maybe you can test the mono version (for lead and bass): Vermona Mono Lancet.


tbh I would look at what synths sounds best to you. after that I would check which UI suits you best.

Asking which synth people would recommend is as useful and diverse as tapping “synth” on google. And that’s basically something good, music / taste is subjective.

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I’m using a Virus TI Desktop as my primary polysynth and loving it. It’s sonically versatile, has great onboard effects and lots of poly voices.


IMO the Ambika is still one of the best bang for your buck polysynths out there. 6 voices of digital weirdness into juicy analog roland filters. Check on ebay, there are always some builders offering them cheap.


Has audio input too, no?

Not small but is actually a great recommendation.
So many synth modules with multi-timbral capabilities drop the ball at the goal line, to use a sports cliche. Blofeld, Tetra, etc.

Nord nails it with the non destructive slot system. Akin to Analog Four’s kit system. Patches are copied from ROM into RAM for use in a multi.

Otherwise I would recommend A4, but if you’re mostly wanting to work from one sequencer (Digitakt), Nord Lead Rack is the way to go.

Plus the 2X’s percussion mode is bonkers. It’s a Nord Drum inside of there, perfect for Digitakt sequencing.

Digitone is also worth considering. From watching @Eaves’s videos, it looks like he sequences (or at least sends MIDI track mute commands) his from Digitakt from time to time, making the two work in tandem quite well.


Roland Boutiques have a small foot print. An SH01A could be a great choice. Can do 4 voice poly but I think it really shines as a mono synth. Nice, round Roland sound. I picked mine up for $200, quite the steal.


Ive actually gotten alot of joy out of my jx-03. Boutiques aren’t all that bad. Picked it up for $130 which was a real steal


I second the TI as well. Also to mention it is 16 part multitimbral, 3 LFOs per voice and a mod matrix. You can get very deep extremely quick.

Awesome thanks

I had that synth for a while and although it is really powerfull, I found it lack luster, or lacking a ‘personality’… anyway - quite a personal choice over production value. I think it’s a workhorse, but I never fell in love with it.

Ambika seems pretty sweet too and yes Rolland seems to have a lot of cute small synth!

What do you guys mean by ‘boutique’ synth?

Boutique is Roland’s line of small-format synths & drum machines.

Depending on your aims, SH-01A is a good one. A monosynth design but with 4-voice poly and unison modes added. JU-06A also worth a look.


just sold mine… Still hurts so bad. Its def one of the best, if you are not dogmatic about the circuits in the thing being animated and not real analog or smthn .
One should also mention that its hard to find any synth on the market that has not only 16(!) track multi timbral abilities - all on board delay and reverb effects are per track and not master effects!

Depends what you want from a synth. Mono or poly? How many voices if Poly? I had the Roland SH-01A which was awesome (sold during a period of poverty), and recently picked up the JU-06A which is really amazing but limited to the same four voices in poly mode. If you’re after a small but super phat mono, check out the Moog Minitaur (or Sirin for extra notes on the top end for leads). What’s your budget? Also, as @AdamJay said, Digitone is definitely a great combo with Digitakt. I used to rock that pair until I upgraded DT to Octatrack :slightly_smiling_face:


interesting, i would say the opposite.

Yeah I like the Minitaur, that seems to be in the range of what I am looking for. At this point, I use 1 of the synth of the Circuit for drone / ambient soundscape and the second synth as a lead/melodic synth, while the Mopho is used for bass line, which I find somehow limiting. I think I’d like to keep the Mopho for playing live on top of the sequenced sounds, so yeah the Minitaur, or a bass synth would probably be what I would go toward.

Price wise, right now I am trying to sell my Arturia 25Keylab with the software as well as my Kaossilator Pro and we’ll see how much $ I get from this to pay for the next synth… I follow a strict GAS diet, reselling old synth/gear to buy new one :slight_smile:


Nice. So a bass synth. That will help us narrow it down a lot. So, yep, Minitaur (although some parameters are only accessible under the hood by using a computer, so watch out for that and watch some videos to see what you’d be missing if you skip the computer entirely), Roland SH-01A (very particular kinds of bass sounds, but unison mode on that is a nice extra from the old analog synth it’s emulating), or even the Roland SE-02 (the only analog boutique in the range with a very Moog like quality to it, though slightly pricier afaik). Check out some videos of them. All very small desktop boxes with plenty of low end :slightly_smiling_face:


Erica Synths just released the DB-01. That thing shredssss but unclear about how diverse it is. It’s more like a thick sound with DFAM like qualities if you want to get weird.

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