When the use of synthesizers was introduced, it is basically one and the same for everyone, the monophonic synthesizer. Everything was still analogue back then. When digital technology became available, the polyphonic synth became possible. It offers a wide variety of features with different voices playing at the same time. However, for most leads, whether it is basslines, FX, or percussion, no matter how much flexibility poly synth offers, the mono synth is always the preferred way to go. If you are more emphasis on bass, then mono synth is the one you should opt for.
When only one note can be played in a given time, there is more emphasis on it. This is why a monophonic synth is a must-have, particularly for those who want it more straightforward and simple, resulting in something that is more powerful, distinctive, and unique.
Moog Minitaur Bass Synthesizer
A powerful analog synth made in a compact 9 x 6 x 8 inches tabletop portable version is what the Moog Minitaur Bass Synthesizer is all about. It’s all plug and play as there is no confusing sophisticated menu to explore. There is one knob for each function that makes mixing music easy to do. It also works exceptionally well with any digital audio workstation with the free Minitaur Editor software that comes with it. It also has a store and recalls function for 128 built-in presets with a MIDI controller from the front panel of the synth or through the Minitaur editor.
It is smaller when compared to other devices enclosed in a solid steel casing, but ‘smaller’ does not mean ‘smaller’ in capabilities. It has several incredible features, including but not limited to 6 modulation sources, ADSR Envelopes, Hard Sync, Oscillator Waveform Cycles, and CV to MIDI conversion functions.
This recent addition to the Taurus series of Analog Bass Synthesizers is a cut above the rest with its wall splitting analog bass and is the most portable version from the whole Moog family. The synth maker made sure that this small yet powerful mono synth will be integrated into any computer effortlessly. It is capable of real-time editing, which is ideal not only for recording studios but also for live performances.
Novation Bass Station II Analog Mono-Synth
This is the new version of the classic analog synth from Nova Bass Station released two decades ago. Aside from being a 25-key monophonic analog synth equipped for creating impressive bass sounds, it has a noise generator and a dual fully independent oscillator with a sub-oscillator that can be hard-synced resulting to steadier, ground-shaking sonics. The sub-oscillator can be modified to two octaves below the first oscillator and can provide the “fat” bass sound. It also has dedicated knobs, mod wheels, and pitchbend faders for smooth manipulation. Keyboard aftertouch is also available to achieve different tone levels and sound effects. It is best for leads, particularly if you need soothing arpeggiations.
Exploring the numerous features of the Novation Bass Station II Analog Mono-Synth will give an impressive result with its step sequencer and 32 built-in rhythmic patterns. The LFO waveforms could be distorted with the synth’s LFO Slew function that creates more modulation possibilities.
It is small, lightweight, and portable, but the battery option is not an available feature. It can be powered by AC or supplied adaptor and is USB-compliant. There is a dedicated Save button that makes it easier for creating or programming original sounds. It has 64 factory presets and 64 user slots. The Novation operates with two filters, having added a second filter – the acid filter to the original classic one. It solely functions in low-pass mode resulting in a different resonance as compared to the first filter.
This monophonic synthesizer has a shorter keyboard, which can be challenging for some. Still, its aftertouch response is with a level of appropriate sensitivity that can be advantageous when doing a sequence. There is also no need for special drivers when it comes to the MIDI device, as it can easily be integrated to any MIDI hardware or computer.
Novation Circuit Mono Station
This unique mono synth is a hybrid of Novation’s elite music devices, the Novation Bass Station II, and the Novation Circuit. Having the best features of these two would only result in one of the best mono synthesizers. It combined the impressive analog synth technology of the Bass Station II and the Circuit’s innovative sequencer.
Novation created this synth in such a way that the upper section is solely for the synth controls, and the lower section is dedicated to the pad sequencer controls. The casing is similar to the Circuit but a little taller and a little bit thicker. However, do not expect any connectivity using USB or batteries as the device requires more power to use, meaning a permanent AC adapter is in place.
The Novation Circuit Mono Station makes the old reliable features more adaptable to the new technologies that most synthesizer users prefer to have in their devices. The cloud services backup option and complete MIDI implementation make it one of the most powerful mono synth out there.
Korg Synthesizer, 25 Key (MONOLOGUEBK)
The old and new analog synthesizer users would have a grand time using the Korg Synthesizer, 25 Key (MONOLOGUEBK), with its fully programmable flexibility. It is a combination of the powerful engine of the minilogue and upgraded version of the voicing feature along with the 2-pole VCF optimally crafted for the lead tones and monophonic bass.
This single-voice variation of the Minilogue is a simpler version with no delay and a limited two-octave keyboard. However, it offers dual VCOs and an impressive 16-step sequencer that is ideal for acid-style basslines. It also comes with a few tweaks that the Minilogue user would love to have, such as pressing a button and turning a knob would enable parameter lock style motion sequencing. The ability to save 100 memories or programs is a wonderful feature, especially if it has both patch and sequencer data. It also has a micro tuning capability where there’s freedom in creating distinctive scales instead of just equal-temperament scales often found in most mono synthesizers.
With its powerful features inside a 5.5 pounds compact casing, it offers a classic look down to its wooden rear, along with the tiny display screen where all the data can be viewed. It has an optional socket for power supply along with a USB port for easy integration with any external devices. There are also MIDI I/O ports, audio in, audio out, headphone sockets, and it can be operated using batteries.
Korg VOLCABASS Analog Bass Machine
The Korga VOLCABASS Analog Bass Machine uses three oscillators that can effortlessly create huge bass sounds that a true analog bass machine should. Add the 16-step sequencer to that along with the MIDI and Sync I/O for easy connectivity to other devices, and you are ready to make incredible music.
One of the best features of this groove machine is the Electribe-style 16-step sequencer, with a real-time editing capability and a user-friendly interface. Removing or adding parts with ease is a welcome advantage along with the ability to visually monitor the timing when entering notes. It also comes with eight program patches.
This portable 303-style analog base synthesizer is quite light and weighs around a pound with an 8 x 5 x 2 inches dimension. The Korga VOLCABASS Analog Bass Machine is a great travel companion as it comes with a built-in speaker and is battery operated. Playing it anywhere without any hassle is indeed a great advantage.