Details have emerged for the Korg minilogue - the company's next-generation polyphonic analog synthesizer, which will be unveiled at NAMM Show 2016.
Korg has a very respectable range of synthesizers, but the new Korg minilogue manages to be a very unique offering from the brand. According to Korg, by using contemporary circuit design, like in the Volca series, the minilogue incorporates more features and avoids tuning instability that plagues vintage analogue synths, but still delivering a fully, true analogue experience.
Some of the design aspects, such as the switches, are reminiscent of the now-discontinued Monotribe. So, in a way, the minilogue represents an evolution of these previous concepts, but the most exciting thing about the minilogue is that it's an entirely new synth design, ie. not a reissue, and it's also the most affordable analogue, polyphonic synthesizer by any major brand.
Despite sharing some similar heritage to the Volca series, the minilogue is much more than just a bigger, repackaged Volca, and has the potential to appeal a wide range of musicians, of all skill levels - from the pro who simply wants a compact, analogue polysynth, to bedroom musicians on a budget. That the minilogue will become another Korg best-seller, we have no doubt... but it has the potential to go even further and actually become their most popular model!
Features include a polyphonic step and motion sequencer, on board tape-style delay, multiple sound shaping and filter options, and an oscilloscope display. All of these seamlessly integrated features make minilogue as fun and easy to use as it is powerful. The minilogue will surprise, at all levels! The synth circuits for minilogue are all new ground up designs, delivering a synthesizer experience like no other.
Unprecedented in this class, it’s a four-voice polyphonic true-analog synth with an interface that's designed for accessibility. Whether you're performing live or producing in the studio, the minilogue is the fastest way for the user to explore and implement real analog synthesis in any situation.
- Flexible, powerful four-voice analog synthesizer
- Fully programmable, with 200 program memories (100 sounds included)
- Voice Mode lets you flexibly configure the four voices
- Automatable 16-step polyphonic note and motion sequencer
- Oscilloscope function shows the waveform visually
- Rugged and stylish with aluminum top panel, chassis-mounted pots, rubber-coated knobs, and real wood back panel
- MIDI, USB MIDI, and Audio Sync for all types of in-studio and live connectivity, including direct sync with SQ1, volca, electribe, and more!
Watch our Korg minilogue demo!
This is one of the first ever, and most comprehensive, demos of the minilogue! And if you need more info...
KORG MINILOGUE F.A.Q: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW
Is the Korg minilogue true analogue?
Yes! Despite the affordable price tag for a analogue polysynth, the minilogue is indeed analogue! Its newly developed analog synthesizer circuit delivers polyphony and full programmability at a great price - exactly what today's musician needs. There's nothing like it at the price range - it's a very smart move from korg! Powerful sound creation and rich variety are the true hallmarks of an analog synthesizer, and that's what you get with the minilogue.
Does the minilogue have... mini keys? Does it have Velocity?
Like last year's ARP Odyssey's keybed, the minilogue has what Korg describes as "slim keys", ie. not full size, but unlike the ARP, the minilogue keys are velocity sensitive! This is a big plus for this synth, which will certainly please many potential buyers.
Is the minilogue just like 4 monotribes?
No! It's much more than that! The monotribe structure wass 1VCO, 1VCF, 1VCA, 1LFO. The minilogue structure consists of 2VCO (saw/ triangle/ square), 1VCF (2/4 pole), 2EG, 1VCA, and 1LFO. The minilogue's unique wave shape capability lets you fine tune the oscillators’ harmonics, creating the most divine sounds and compositions. The minilogue is also equipped with a variety of powerful types of modulation including cross modulation, oscillator sync, and ring modulator, as well as a delay with a high-pass filter.
Don't get us wrong - the monotribe was pretty cool, but the minilogue is WAY more than just four of those!
4-Voice Polysynth with 8 Voice modes: How Does That Work?
We understand some people might get this confused! The minilogue is indeed a 4-voice polysynth, but thanks to its 8 different modes, you can get a LOT of versatility out of it! Selectable voice modes let you freely configure the four voices for performance. The voices can be set to four note polyphony for chords, or layered for thick basses and leads. Other modes cover a range of sounds from octave shifted bass explosions to delicately staggered layered triggering. The minilogue's eight voice modes are:
- POLY: operates as a four-voice polyphonic synthesizer
- DUO: operates as a unison two-voice polyphonic synthesizer
- UNISON: operates as an all-unison mono synthesizer
- MONO: operates as a mono synth with sub-oscillator
- CHORD: produces chords
- DELAY: voices 2, 3 and 4 sound consecutively at a delay, following voice 1.
- ARP: an arpeggiator operates with up to four voices
- SIDE CHAIN: when a note sounds, the volume of the preceding voice is lowered
What are the minilogue dimensions?
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 500 x 300 x 85 mm / 19.69" x 11.81" x 3.35"
- Weight: 2.8kg / 6.17 lbs
What is the oscilloscope for?
The minilogue's Oscilloscope allows you to visualize the sound waves. The OLED display will show the waveform as you sculpt your sound. While this is not necessarily useful during a live performance, it's worth bearing in mind that Korg is not manufacturing their products just for pros! This oscilloscope is a pretty nice feature for those who wish to learn more about synthesis, allowing them to see how different wave shapes sound like... soon enough, a less experienced user will become more acquainted with the different sound characteristics associated with the different shapes, so that's actually quite a great feature then! Visual feedback is both educational and entertaining, and represents a first on a hardware synthesizer.
Why 200 preset locations?
The minilogue makes analogue synthesis easier than ever! Of course, part of the fun is discovering new settings by yourself, but these presets can be very useful when performing live, as well as to get beginners started... because there's no need to have deep synthesis knowledge; just choose a sound and tweak - a workflow that is very familiar with musicians today. For those who want to dive deeper into the heart and soul of minilogue’s engine, the minilogue hold 200 programs; with 100 editable factory programs included, and 100 locations serving as blank canvases on which to create your next analog masterpiece. Each preset can also hold a step sequence and delay settings along with the sounds you create. Voice modes.
Get creative with the intuitive 16-step sequencer with motion sequence recording capabilities, and make your sound truly come to life.
The minilogue provides real-time recording with overdubbing, and step recording that lets you record simply by consecutively specifying notes, giving you a great way to create phrases and performances.
What's the minilogue build quality like?
The uniquely curved, sand-blasted 2mm aluminum front panel, metal shaft potentiometers, solid, chassismounted metal shaft potentiometers and rubber-coated knobs give the roadworthy minilogue a standout look and feel to complement its powerful and dynamic sound creation capabilities. The back is real wood.
Can it sync with other groove machines?
Yeah! In addition to the standard MIDI connectors, the minilogue provides a sync connector that can be easily connected to Korg's groove machines. Connect this to a volca series unit, an electribe, or the SQ-1, and experience a session with synchronized sequencer playback. It can obviously be connected to synths from other brands, too. It also has an AUDIO INPUT so you can manipulate the sound from any other sources.