Looking for analog mono synth

Hi guys

Im looking to buy a analog mono synth.
One with character, aggression. I want it to go into space as well.
Not looking for proper polished tones.
Something that will go into unpredictable directions.
It needs a keyboard and dedicated controls.

I’ve watched countless youtube movies, and these three are currently on the table:
Minibrute (cons: no patch save, looks like a cheap keyboard)
Monologue (cons: it does sound like your regular computer synth, too perfect)
Sub phatty (seems ok, but will it go into space? :wink:

any (other) ideas?
I only want 1 mono synth. No more! :wink:

If budget is not a question and there shall be only one mono synth then go

  • MatrixBrute if you like the MiniBrute. This and the A4 should be the most versatile mono on the market

Check out the Dreadbox(es), if you want off-road character, but those do have no memories like the MiniBrute

AFAIK many mono synths are either specialized and give us a typcal sound character (like the Moogs, ARPs, Oberheims, D.Smiths) or they are complex like Moog Voyager or MatrixBrute. That’s the reason many of us have at least some monos and one decent poly in the studio, because there has never been “an analoge synth to rule them all” :wink:

Thanks a lot!
However, I need keys.
And the matrixbrute is way over my budget. My budget is 1000 max.

Used Dominion 1, or Sub37 :slight_smile:


Okay … keys …

aggressive … the Arturia Brutes, ARP Odyssey, Dreadbox synths (no keys, of course)

TBH I would never use any of the Moogs for “aggressive” sounds. They have such a huge melodic sweet spot that even patches sound melodic, which would cry-out on other synts.

If aggressive and non-analogue is possible, check out Roland System-1. Quite low budget, but can sound analoge warm and agressive too. Well, a poor keybed though.

I haven’t payed much attention to the Korg Monologue. It could be, what you need.

If you look at the second hand market, you might find a Roland SH-101, a Korg Mono/Poly or an equivalent.

+1 for second hand Dominion 1, high quality, very versatile, memories, a little off-road UI, but can be learned :wink:

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DSI Mono Evolver Keyboard is just the ticket and ticks all your boxes.
To the far reaches of space, take you it will.

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BassStation 2
SH 101

Add a midi keyboard with some knob and you have an endless list of desktop synth as well.


Mm yes the ms20. They go for 1500+ these days. Which is too expensive.
DSI Stuff: Ive had a desktop evolver ones, and didnt like it that much soundwise. Too clean :slight_smile: not that much character. Maybe I was just not very good with it.
From the synths Inowned in the past, I liked the JX8P the most.(maybe because it was my first synth) I really hated the Virus for example.
I should give an example of the power im after! Check Third from Portishead.
Now Utley has a room filled with power synths, though. :-/
You can see him exploring a minibrute on the youtube. He’s using an amp and an expensive reverb with it. Sounds lovely

O coast and a controller :grin:

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“One with character, aggression. I want it to go into space as well.”

“You can see him exploring a minibrute on the youtube. He’s using an amp and an expensive reverb with it. Sounds lovely.”

You’ve answered your own query. All sorts of monos can do aggressive, including the Moog Sub Phatty with it’s drive. But for the space “a la Portishead” - you need decent effects, e,g, Eventide Space, better still H9

Arturia Keystep combined with either the 0-coast or a Dreadbox (Nyx, Erebus, Abyss or Hades)


Karp Odyssey is awsome with a moog copy filter thats better imo.
Ms 20 mini can get super spacey like no other with its patching and filters.

A vintage Roland SH-09 (or SH-2 if you can find one). I recently bought a SH-09 in fantastic condition and for a single osc synth it sounds incredible. It instantly became my favourite mono I’ve ever owned. Precursor to the SH-101 but without the price tag those have these days.

(Edit: or maybe the new Roland SE-2?)

Haha you weren’t kidding this guy really takes it places

I also think the Dreadbox Nyx with a keystep is the quickest trip to space with an analog mono.


I have a pulse 2 I’m considering trading for a monologue. But I’m on the fence about giving up the pulse 2 now that it’s going to turn into a new synth being used with the DT. I haven’t spent any time with the Waldorf because I’ve been immersed in A4 with OT and DT. But I really love the instant acid the monologue brings with it. The 500 Sounds in the pulse 2 is what I’ve been holding on to it for but I just haven’t gotten the time to dig into it. But to the OP, pulse 2 is supposed to be a good one as well. No keybed, but nothing a keystep or other midikeys can’t resolve for a low cost remedy.

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The MS-20 mini is a thing of beauty IMO. I don’t know what the originals sound like and I don’t care. It really invites you to input other sound sources into it as well. Its pretty much the only synthiszer I’ve ever owned that I’m head over heals for just the oscillator/filter tonality.

There is a fair amount to explore with the patchbay and possabilities could possibly be expanded with a CV sequencer : )

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+1 for karp Odyssey

Wow that was good