WHAT A 4-voice, polyphonic analog synth with 37-note keyboard. Features include two oscillators per voice, an LFO, a lowpass filter (2-pole/4-pole), ring modulation, FM, an arpeggiator, a step sequencer, a delay with a highpass filter, two ADSRs, USB and MIDI, sync I/O, and presets. WHY A remarkably powerful, yet portable polysynth for the price.
$499 street | korg.com
PITTSBURGH MODULAR LIFEFORMS SYSTEM 201
WHAT Dual-oscillator, semi-modular synth with pressure-sensitive capacitive keyboard controller. Includes a sub oscillator, resonant state-variable filter, sample-and-hold, VCA and 4-stage EG, two mixers, an arpeggiator, a sequencer, stereo line outs, headphone jack, and MIDI-to-CV converter with Monophonic and Duophonic modes. WHY Great as a starter synth for new modular users or as a portable gig rig.
$1,599 | pittsburghmodular.com
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS UNA CORDA
WHAT A virtual upright piano that utilizes a single string for each note. Effects include a variety of fabric mutes; adjustable noise from the pedal, mechanical elements and preparations; reverse envelope; and EQ and compression. For Kontakt 5/Kontakt 5 Player. WHY A unique piano library that can sound as gentle or aggressive as needed.
$149 | native-instruments.com
SPITFIRE AUDIO HANS ZIMMER PIANO
WHAT An acoustic grand-piano library recorded at 24-bit/96kHz resolution using 60 microphones, Neve preamps, and Prism Sound converters. The 452.7GB collection of WAV files offers round-robin notes, staccato and legato attacks, and a variety of playing techniques. Includes Kontakt Player. WHY A high-end virtual concert grand for studio work or performance.
$450 | spitfireaudio.com