I think this is the best place for this.

I am thinking about getting a small synth unit for our pianists at Church. I do not want them to have to learn how to use a midi controller and a DAW. Just something I can make a few patches on (like a pad, EP, synth lead, etc.). I did have access to an Alesis Micron which kind of did what I want to but I am not sure if there is something better with an even easier-to-use interface.

Any suggestions? Budget is sub $200. I know that is kind of low but I am not willing to spend more because of how light of a unit I am asking for. As well as I could just get another Micron around that price so.
Last edited by Will Lane at Feb 20, 2016,
Have you considered, rather than a synth, using samples triggered by a pad? You can't get much simpler than that. Granted you need to record the samples first (these can be single notes, phrases or complete sections). I favour single notes as more seems like cheating.

I bought an Akia MPX8. They are cheap as chips and incredibly flexible. I use mine as drum pads mainly. The only frustration with it is it does take a time to load a new sample set. Perhaps a minute, which seems like a long time while you wait.

It is also a midi controller so, if I get bored of using it for drums, I can use it to control my rack.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.