10 Gift Ideas for Your Synth-Obsessed Friends

With so many great gift options for your musician friends and family right at your fingertips, it’s easy to catch a case of choice paralysis. Here’s where we can help.

We’ve already given our gift picks for your guitar-obsessed friends, so it’s time to turn in the other direction. Here, we’re shopping for the synth lovers. The synth community tends to be a varied bunch, with many different kinds of players favoring different kinds of instruments.

Below, we’ve brought you a diverse list of options that touches on a variety of product types at a variety of prices. Be sure to check it out, and let us know in the comments what you’re planning to pick up for your synth head.

Teenage Engineering PO-14 Pocket Operator Sub
$49 - $65

One of the raddest aspects of synthesizers is the fact that you can often find a variety of exciting instruments and sounds packed into tiny packages. This is certainly the case with Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operator series, which you can grab on the site for as little as $45 used. Great for the synth head in your life who’s just getting started.

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Teenage Engineering

Bastl Instruments Klik Sync Device

The Klik Sync is a super useful little tool that function as a synchronization device. With the Klik, you can make analog sync signals from your computer and hardware synths. You can even use the device to repurpose an unused headphone jack on your laptop.

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The Sound Parcel

Waldorf Blofeld Desktop Digital Synth
$353 - $514

Don’t let the size of this little guy fool you—it boasts a laundry list of features and is capable of emulating some mighty fine analog sounds. Packed into this desktop-friendly package, you’ll find more than 1,000 sounds, three oscillators per voice, four envelope filters per voice, and a 16-step fully programmable arpeggiator.

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ROLI Lightpad Block
$140 - $179

ROLI has made some big moves this year, from the release of the first ever budget MPE controller (another exciting gift if your wallet is a bit thicker) to the recent announcement that Pharrell is joining the UK-based company. The Lightpad Block is the entryway to ROLI’s Block line of connectable, dynamic, touch-sensitive playing surfaces. All you need to control them is the companion app (widely available on iOS and available to selective Android users at the time of publish).

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3DWAVES Synth Accessories
$5 - $75

3DWAVES is a company based in Texas that specializes in 3D-printing synth accessories. You can find all kinds of stands, from general “desktop synth” stands to others built specifically for certain synths, like the dual-tier stands for the Korg Monotron.

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Keyboard Digital Starter Kit

Here’s our software pick for the synth head in your life. This digital starter kit is a collection of some of the greatest synths and keyboards of all time—bundling the Arturia V Collection 5, iZotope Iris 2 Sample Synth, and Reverb’s Synth Collection all in one place. You also get a copy of Ableton Live 9 Intro with the promise of a free upgrade to Live 10 in 2018.

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Korg Monotron Duo Ribbon Synthesizer

If your synth lover is a fan of that ‘70s modular sound, look no further. This five-knob ribbon keyboard boasts two analog oscillators and X-Mod circuitry based on Korg’s vintage ancestor instruments. It also features built-in speakers for warm, analog sounds wherever you are.

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Zivix PUC MIDI Interface for iOS

The PUC by Zivix is a great gift for synth heads with Apple devices. Designed specifically for iOS, the PUC is a wireless MIDI interface that lets you connect your MIDI device (keyboard, controller, drum pad, etc.) to your iPad, iPhone, or Mac computer.

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Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano
$175 - $275

This Pocket Piano from Critter & Guitari features 18 real maple keys that control seven different synth modes, like FM Arpeggiator, Octave Cascade, and Harmonic Sweeper. Use the mode button to toggle between them and to dial in tuning range, waveform, and your two parameters for each mode. This tiny package even includes a hold button that’ll keep notes ringing from its three-watt speaker after they’re played.

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Empire Guitars

Moog Werkstatt-01

The Werkstatt-01 is great, whether you’re familiar with Moog or are just getting started. It’s a really affordable, compact, educational, and fun little synth that allows you to build out patchable circuits without having to solder.

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