11 Small Portable Synthesizer for Your Pocket

portable synthesizer for pocketWelcome to a carefully crafted list of small portable synthesizer for your pocket.

Synthesizer have a magical attraction to the heart of a music producer but they can often be very pricy and bulky. That doesn’t really go well with the minimal lifestyle of many bedroom producers. Therefore a new category of synthesizer emerged: The pocket synthesizer. Affordable, small yet still a big sound. What more can you wish for.

This list displays a variety of portable synthesizer of different kinds. Ask yourself, “what are you looking for?”. Do you priorities iconic retro sounds? Do you want to have a great variety of effects? Are you craving for a pure analog auditive experience? Keep those questions in mind while you browse the list.

  • Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth

  • Stylophone Gen X-1

  • Korg Monotron

  • Korg 27-Key Sound Module

  • IK Multimedia UNO Synth

  • littleBits Electronics Synth Kit

  • Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators

  • Moog Werkstatt-Ø1

  • Gakken SX-150 MARK II

  • Critter & Guitari: Organelle

  • Maywa Denki Otamatone

Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth

The Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth is a miniature version of the stylus operated synthesizer of 1967 which was used by icons like David Bowie, Kraftwerk and Erasure. The stylophone comes with three different retro organ sound plus a switch for optional vibrato. It is played with a metal pen reaching roughly 1,5 octaves in total.

Features

Battery 3 AA
Speaker yes
Range 1.5 octaves
Inputs headphone jack
Sale
Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth
390 Reviews
Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth
  • Miniature stylus operated synthesizer is a recreation of the 1967 classic
  • Choose from three different retro organ sounds, Optional vibrato effect
  • Tuning knob on bottom allows you tune the Stylophone or do pitch-bend effects
  • Built in speaker with volume control, Optional headphone jack

Stylophone Gen X-1

The Stylophone Gen X-1 is the extended version of the Stylophone Retro pocket synthesizer. In this version you have control over the envelope, LFO, delay and filters allowing for more variety to the iconic synth sound. In addition to the metal keyboard played with a pen the Gen X-1 offers a slider to create seamless slides or sound effects.

Features

Battery 3 AA
Speaker yes
Range 1.5 octaves
Inputs headphone jack
Stylophone Gen X-1
33 Reviews
Stylophone Gen X-1
  • PLAYABILITY: Two ways to make sounds with the stylus. The keyboard to make distinct notes and the sound strip above the keyboard to slide between notes on a scale.
  • PORTABILITY: Take this synth anywhere. Battery operated with built in speaker. Audio line out for headphones and/or external speaker. Audio in to use as an effects unit.
  • ENRICH THAT SOUND: New features include, LFO (with square and triangle waves), Low pass filter (cutoff/resonance), Envelope (attack/decay).
  • ANALOG DELAY FEATURE: Add space to your sound with delay time, feedback and level.

Korg Monotron

The Korg Monotron is a simple yet epic little analog synthesizer for your pocket. Choose between a saw or square wave as a source and mess up the sound with an inbuilt LFO, VCF or delay effect. It’s astounding what a massive sound comes out of this tiny device. The Korg Monotron is definitely a must have if you are a pocket synthesizer lover!

Features

Battery 3 AA
Speaker yes
Range 1.5 octaves
Inputs headphone jack
Korg Monotron
243 Reviews
Korg Monotron
  • VCO (Sawtooth) with Pitch control; VCF with Cutoff and Peak controls
  • Space Delay with Time and Feedback controls; LFO with Waveshape, Rate, and Intensity controls
  • Ribbon Keyboard with extra-wide four-octave range; keyboard glows under blacklight
  • Original MS-20 Filter with aux input allows the filter & delay to be applied to any source

Korg 27-Key Sound Module

The Korg VOLCAKEYS is a three note true analogue portable synthesizer for the pocket. The voicing function makes it easy to specify how the three oscillators will be combined. Simply turn the knob to choose one of six combinations: Poly, Unison, Octave, Fifth, Unison Ring, or Poly Ring. The motion sequence function enables you to record knob movements over time. The three-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer comes with a structure of 3VCO, 1VCF, 1VCA, 1LFO, and 1EG and the 27 notes with and inbuilt 16 step sequencer puts your sound to work. A great choice!

Features

Battery 6 AA
Speaker no
Range 27 notes
Inputs MIDI, in-out sync mini jack, heaphone mini jack
Korg VOLCAKEYS
273 Reviews
Korg VOLCAKEYS
  • Three note true analogue synthesis with one knob per function for easy hands-on tweaking
  • 16-step sequencer with Flux mode for non-quantized free flowing loops
  • Sync In and Out allows clock sync of multiple instruments from the volca Series
  • MIDI In for note entry, plus external sync and control from your DAW

IK Multimedia UNO Synth

If you are looking for a all-rounder with a modern sound the IK Multimedia UNO Synth
 portable monophonic analog synthesizer is your best pick! It comes with 100 presets for the lazy. For the rest of us it offers a classic setup with 2 VCOs and noise generator, multimode filters, amps, 2 envelopes and LFO and an effect section with delay, dive, scoop, vibrato, wah and tremolo. Additionally you can play with an arpeggiator and a step sequencer to round things up.

Features

Battery USB powered
Speaker no
Range 2+ octaves
Inputs mini jack MIDI, in-out mini jack, USB port
IK Multimedia UNO Synth
10 Reviews
IK Multimedia UNO Synth
  • Great-sounding all-analog audio path with 2 oscillators and multimode filter
  • Easily programmable with 100 included presets
  • Built-in 2-octave multi-touch keyboard with arpeggiator and step sequencer
  • Works stand-alone, or with MIDI keyboards and computers

littleBits Electronics Synth Kit

littleBits Electronics Synth Kit is an analog modular synthesizer made up of 12 BitsTM modules that snap together with magnets to create circuits. It’s perfect way to playfully learn the basics of building synthesizer while creating some interesting sounds. littleBits is easily connectable to speakers, interfaces and computers wich allows for a seamless integration into your music production studio.

Features

Battery 9V
Speaker yes
Range- 1 octave
Inputs jack
littleBits Electronics Synth Kit
89 Reviews
littleBits Electronics Synth Kit
  • Modular analog synthesizer made up of 12 BitsTM modules that snap together with magnets to create circuits in seconds
  • Create amazing sounds right out of the box while learning the basics of analog synthesis
  • Project booklet with step-by-step instructions for creating a wide array of sound circuits and projects
  • Box transforms into a ready-to-use performance station that can connect to recording or live sound equipment

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators

Teenage Engineering Series is a monster when it comes to portable synthesizers for your pocket. The first thing that comes to mind when playing with one of the modules is, “what a sound for such a small device”. Besides a funny little display image each module comes with a unique make-up of functions like sampling, step sequencing, effects, microphones or drum machines. Connecting multiple TE0 opens up a world of possible sounds and live or studio applications.

Features

Battery 2 AAA
Speaker no
Range 2 octaves
in-outs mini jack
Teenage Engineering Factory Lead
1 Reviews
Teenage Engineering Factory Lead
  • A stripped-down synthesizer module that's perfect for modern tabletop synth rigs
  • Loaded with 15 fun and exciting synth sounds plus a micro drum machine
  • 16 punch-in play styles let you easily program arpeggios and chords
  • Enhance your synth sounds with 16 effects such as bit crush, stutter, and delay
Sale
Teenage Engineering Sub Bass
31 Reviews
Teenage Engineering Sub Bass
  • A minimalist bass synthesizer module that's perfect for modern tabletop synth rigs
  • Loaded with 15 fun and exciting bass sounds plus a micro drum machine
  • 16 punch-in play styles let you quickly program sophisticated-sounding bass lines
  • Enhance your bass sounds with 16 effects such as bit crush, stutter, and delay
Sale
Teenage Engineering Arcade
14 Reviews
Teenage Engineering Arcade
  • MINIMALIST DESIGN BUT BIG ON SOUNDS - The PO-20 Arcade is small enough to fit in your pocket and powered by a pair of AAA batteries. You can create up to 16 synthesized arcade, drum, and chip-tune sounds with this unit
  • 16 EFFECTS ENHANCEMENTS - Add cool effects to your song by punching in any of the 16 effects. This synthesizer offers a variety of solo chords, solo drums, lowpass, hipass, fill-ins, glitches, and arpeggios.
  • 128-CHORD CHAINING - The 16-step sequencer can hold up to 16 patterns in memory. It can also be chained into a song with up to 128 patterns!
  • MULTIPLE SYNC FUNCTION - All models of Pocket Operators have a jam-sync function, wherein you can link them together with the 3.5mm audio in and out connections.

Moog Werkstatt-Ø1

The Moog Werkstatt-Ø1 is a serious one oscillator analog synthesizer that is still small enough to be considered portable. The product comes as a synthesizer kit which means that you have to build it it yourself before you can use it. The included effects are VCF in, VCO on, LFO CV in
VCF Audio in, 2x KB CV out, 2x Trig out, 2x Gate out, 2x EG out, 2x LFO out, 2x VCF out, 2x VCO out. What more could you dream of considering the size and price of the Werkstatt-Ø1. If you are serious about synthesizer and want to own your first true analog synth, the Werkstatt-Ø1 is your choice!

Features

Battery power supply
Speaker no
Range 1 octaves
in-outs jack
Moog Werkstatt-01
30 Reviews
Moog Werkstatt-01
  • OSCILLATOR SECTION
  • Single VCO w/ frequency control (8Hz to 16KHz)
  • Saw and square waveshapes w/ control for square pulse width
  • Envelope or LFO selectable Mod Source that can be assigned to PWM or Pitch w/ Amount control

Gakken SX-150 MARK II Analog Synthesizer

The Gakken SX-150 MARK II Analog Synthesizer is a small portable analog synthesizer with a big sound. Choose between a saw or square wave oscillator and destroy the sound with LFO, VCF, pitch envelope and a built in filter. The ribbon control strip enables a seamless pitch portamento but makes it difficult to play actual melodies.

Features

Battery 2 AAA
Speaker no
Range 2 octaves
in-outs mini jack
Gakken SX-150 MARK II Analog Synthesizer
121 Reviews
Gakken SX-150 MARK II Analog Synthesizer
  • All the effects of a professional synthesizer all rolled into one small analog synthesizer!
  • This very real mini synthesizer is built for awesome gigantic sound!
  • This little device is packed with functions!
  • There's not much music you can't make with this machine!

Critter & Guitari: Organelle

The Critter & Guitari: Organelle is a quite portable music computer with huge range of application. The design is kept minimal and stylish with a small display, six control knobs, a switch and a two octaves keyboard but inside sleeps a giant of sound creation and manipulation. The organelle can be used as a sampler, synthesizer, drum machine, effect rack or sequencer. A MIDI Port allows for additional use of MIDI controllers as seen in the video. On top of that you can create patches in pure data to be used with the Organelle for limitless possibilities. What a beast!

Features

Battery no
Speaker no
Range 2 octaves
in-outs 2x jack output, 1x jack input, 1x minijack output
Critter & Guitari: Organelle
8 Reviews
Critter & Guitari: Organelle
  • unique synth w/ powerful and flexible sound engine
  • onboard hardware for sound input and output
  • playful and intuitive controls
  • MIDI over USB + HDMI out

Maywa Denki Otamatone Techno Touch

Let’s finish this list with a fun little toy synthesizer – the Maywa Denki Otamatone Techno. It’s a simple culty snyth instrument that is very popular in asia. The Techno Touch doesn’t offer too many functions but in contrast to the original version this newer model is now connectable to a smartphone to allow for a greater variety of sounds.

Features

Battery 3 AAA
Speaker yes
Range ~1+ octaves
in-outs mini jack

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By |2018-11-13T13:20:46+00:00November 12th, 2018|Categories: Gearology, instruments, music production|0 Comments

About the Author:

Who is writing? Dario, a german-born internet citizen, professional music producer, composer, teacher, blogger and internet entrepreneur who likes to help you become a well rounded music producer!

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