M-Audio Venom 49 Synthesizer
This 49-key synthesizer offers a combination of the traditional analog sounds with the newer digital processing to produce sounds previously not heard from a synthesizer. You can use it to reproduce the preset sounds from 512 Single patches and 256 layered patches, or you can create your own sounds through the top-panel interface or the included software editor. You can also use other music recording software such as Pro Tools to record right into the synthesizer.
The full-sized keyboard covers a range of four octaves, allowing for better control over bass notes and more high notes for soloing and string sounds. With the 53 preset drum sounds, composing and performing studio quality music is a cinch while it plays all of the different instrument sounds simultaneously.
The software editor provides the capability to store sounds in banks, rename premade patches, save backups to a computer, and share sounds with other people. You can also use the software to combine patches for even more unique sounds. It features all of the decorative effects you would expect from a high-end synth: chorus effect, compression, delay, distortion, EQ, flanger, phase shifter, reverb, tremolo and more, and you can invent new sounds by directing audio signals through the synthesizer's many filters and envelopes.
It has microphone, line-in, and stereo line-in inputs so you can lay down guitar tracks, bass, vocals, and any other sounds you want to record directly into the synthesizer. You can record MIDI tracks into the software, as well, and then play them back in real time. In this price range, you would have a hard time finding a synth with more features.
We found the Venom 49 Synthesizer at Amazon for $413.95