Looking for a great synth for leads

Hey Guys,
I still feel like I need something with more of a punchy, in your face sound for leads and maybe basses. I was looking at a pro 1 or juno 106, but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions? I have an Obxa, motif rack, korg m1, and a digitone, all of which I love so much! But like I said, it kind of feels like I’m missing something (maybe a mono synth). Also, I’d rather it be something I can enjoy designing sounds on, unlike the workstations. I appreciate any help you can give! thanks

Ive been really impressed with several monosynths, but chiefly the Korg Monologue and Moog Sub Phatty. Both pretty affordable as far as synths go!

2 Likes

Keyboard or not?
New or secondhand?
Budget?

1 Like

Nord “Lead” (seriously, though :)) - Have an NL4 and love it

5 Likes

Nord is punchy af

3 Likes

Have a look at the DSI/Pioneer Toraiz AS-1.
Basically it is (sans keyboard) to the Prophet-6 what the Pro-One was to the Prophet-5.
I have the P6 and AS-1, they sound identical EXCEPT for the FX. And the sequencer on the AS-1 is crap, but if you use external sequencing it’s fine.

2 Likes

Sub37 is the most beatiful mono I’ve ever owned. A bit hard to tame in the mixes, though that was slightly adressed in the upgrade that came about a year ago (or two?).

Working with it is a pleasure and it’s a beauty to behold and listen to.

4 Likes

Virus TI2 or prophet

3 Likes

Might help if you could point in a certain direction soundwise, stuff you like etc.
Also do you need patch memory? Midi implementation? Keys or desktop?

4 Likes

Korg Arp, you’ll be loving it.

1 Like

Virus TI, I just picked up a used desktop one for leads n pads and it is awesome.

3 Likes

MS20 is the best lead Synth for me since forever. The mini is pretty cheap if you buy second hand aswell…
Damn i should buy one!

Edit: it has two Filters with reso

3 Likes

or juno 106, but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions

If your wondering if the juno is the way to go, I would recommend trying out the tal-u-no-lx plugin. Comes really really close to the sound of a juno 60.

2 Likes

Depends on what we experience as “punchy” … :wink:

For me this is would be a sound, which:

  • has also a strong bottom end, down to meaty low frequencies
  • comes with a strong attack on volume and cut-off at the beginning

For such sounds I almost always use synths with an analogue sound engine (bottom end) AND snappy exponential shapes for the envelopes.

Many digital generated envelopes have linear shapes only. This can’t generate the punch of an exponential shape. In my ears the exponential shapes just sound right, the linear are missing too much.

If we use pure analogue synths like Minimoog Model-D, Oberheim SEM-based synts, ARP Odyssey, MS 20 and others of course, we get exponential shapes, because that’s a typical behaviour of analogue envelope generators. But there are differences between the machines! Some are more punchier than others … :wink:

If we use hybrid synths with analogue sound path but digital control, we need exponential behaviour too, to get that fat punchy sounds. Example would be the Moog Sub 37. It provides linear envelopes by default, but comes with a switch to change it to exponential. The difference in “punchy-ness” is big.

I would say a most affordable “punchy” bass can be generated either by Behringers Model-D, or a Moog Minitaur. Both are also excellent as instruments for lead sounds, although the Minitaur has a limited range of pitches.

2 Likes

Behringer Neutron, Crave, Pro One, Model D, MS101…
Moog SubPhatty, Grandmother
Arturia Microbrute, Minibrute, Minibrute 2/S
Korg MS20, Arp Odyssey, Monologue
Dreadbox Erebus
Make Noise 0-coast
Roland System 1/m, SH01a
Novation Bass Station 2, Mono Station, Peak

4 Likes

+1 for MS-20 and the Pro-One. Roland SE-02 as well in the Minimoog vein.

3 Likes

Juno seems like an odd choice for punchy leads imho. An Ax60 with unison and sick filter mod might be more in line (from an owner of both).

DSI Evolver is also nuts for leads. Digitone or Analog Keys too.

1 Like

I’d have to second Toraiz AS-1 as it may be my favorite monosynth ever in terms of sound, but all the options that the Minilogue XD gives you might make it an even better choice.

1 Like

DSI Mopho and Mopho 4X/SE are not too shabby either.
Some ppl swear on the Korg MicroKorg for lead Sounds.
I liked the Doepfer Dark Energy too for leads.
Also Malekko Manther maybe?

1 Like

I have the similar-sounding AX73 and yes, you can get some crazy leads out of that thing.

1 Like