WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

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eXode
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WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by eXode » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:43 am

2016 NAMM Show: Korg today officially announced the minilogue – a new four-voice polyphonic analog synth.

Official info on Korg website

The Korg minilogue is a fully programmable four-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer; complete with a 16-step polyphonic note and motion sequencer, arpeggiator, and delay.

It features an easy-to-understand signal flow, featuring two oscillators, noise, a filter with two options for filter slope, dual ADSR envelopes, a LFO and amplifier.

A new Voice Mode lets users choose how the four available voices are configured; from Polyphonic to Duophonic, and Unison to one note Chords, plus more.

In addition to offering up information on presets and editable parameters, the OLED display also features a real-time oscilloscope, providing visual feedback as you tweak sounds.

The minilogue also is built to be rugged and attractive, with a curved sand-blasted aluminum face panel, a Pyinkado wood back panel, solid, chassis-mounted potentiometers and rubber-coated knobs.

“We are beyond proud of the work our designers, engineers and voicers have put into this instrument,” says James Sajeva, Brand Manager for Korg Technology products. “minilogue also brings a new level of affordability to the world of programmable polyphonic analog synthesizers.

At $499.99 it is priced like a digital synth, but is armed with superb true analog sound, convenience of programmability, a striking design and quality build.”

The Korg minilogue will make its official debut at next week’s 2016 Winter NAMM Show. The minilogue will be available in stores on January 21st.

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Last edited by eXode on Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by eXode » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:45 am


Spitfire
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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by Spitfire » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:01 am

just like moog includes stickers with their synths, I hope Korg includes a magnifying glass for the oscilloscope OLED. I used to be a huge Korg fan, once owning a Triton (my first synth back in 1999) and a KP3, but their obsession with miniaturizing everything... the arp synth they made and its tiny keys, and this one with its "slim key" design... oh boy. (Insert face palm here)

Along with a magnifying glass, maybe they can include a special "dialing wand" like the one the telephone company once offered Homer Simpson because his fingers were "too fat." I don't know... I'd have to see one in person before writing it off with a dis, but here's the all-too-common logic seen in forums when such features appear on synths: I would pay another $100 for keys of an adequate size. The OLED Jr. on it though... ok enough hating.

Korg seems to have an internal schism between its marketing and design/engineering teams, I presume. They seem to cut corners in order to hit key (ah, another pun) price points. "What can we do to keep it sub $500? What can we do to keep the Arp sub $1000" Lovely.

Other than that it sounds (pun intended) like an interesting piece because of the built-in sequencer. If it can be used for modulation like the one on the DSI Prophet 8, then that would be pretty cool. For now, I'll pass.

Caveat: this is just my opinion, and I'm not claiming to know better than anyone. I just know what I like & don't like. :mrgreen:
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eXode
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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by eXode » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:17 am

Spitfire wrote:Other than that it sounds (pun intended) like an interesting piece because of the built-in sequencer. If it can be used for modulation like the one on the DSI Prophet 8, then that would be pretty cool.
You can record up to four different parameters through it's motion sequencer, you can also choose to interpolate that automation for it to be smoother iirc. I think the sequencer is polyphonic as well.

Here's a grabbed image on the voice structure btw:

Image

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latigid on
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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by latigid on » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:22 am

Smart move. They know it's better to sell 10000 $500 synths than 1000 $5000 synths. Seems simple to use/perform with, kind of like an extension to the SH101 and also reminds me of the Teisco (110f that is) I used to own. You might think the display is small, but they're extremely crisp and with good resolution (128*64 pixels in 0.96").
Last edited by latigid on on Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by jsharpphoto » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:14 pm

There are things I like about it, and things I don't.

However, at the $500 price point, I think we are all overlooking a HUGE positive side effect. Maybe people will FINALLY stop buying microkorgs.
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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by wordsdrawnigh » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:25 pm

I also am not too impressed, though I'm sure it's great for the price. It just seems like an "analog microKorg," with its cheap keyboard and flimsy "mod paddle." The oscillators sound buzzy to me (though I like the waveshaping features), and I find the filter quite bland. I would rather just play my Moog mono than a compromised, "lowest common denominator" 4-voice poly.

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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by Flareless » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:15 pm

By "slim keys" do they mean "mini-keyboard"? What is up with all these companies (Yamaha I'm looking at you) releasing keyboards with keys that only children and slim women (or guys) can play?

I'm not a big guy (5'10", 165) but I have what'd you might call fat / stubby fingers. I think it's not too much to ask for a full size, grown-up keyboard.

Like Spitfire I too think the Scope is WAY too small. It was the first thing that crossed my mind as I looked for it on the still photo and finally saw it in operation on the video. I'm 51 and wear bifocals. What the heck good is that thing to me?!?!

But.... enough hating. I too like Korg and would have to see this puppy in action. The jury is still out on the sound for me right now as I won't judge a synth's sound playing through my Mac even though I've got it connected to a great set of monitor speakers. In person is the only way to judge for me.

The price point is certainly right though, I have to admit that. For that price I can buy one for my band-mate's 8 year old next Christmas. His hands should be perfect for the keys (until he turns 10). Oops.... I had said enough hating :oops:
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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by torinkrell » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:30 pm

I just played the Minilogue for an hour and I am rather impressed with the sound, features, and layout at its price point. It is not a "players synth" but is going to be really useful for some analog sound sculpting in home studios, for portable live use, and for analog synthesis instruction - aided by the (yes tiny) waveform display. The build quality is ok, with its knobs feeling especially solid and smooth besting those on a $2700 Prophet 6. The diagonal pitch bend "slider" is different and may take some getting used to. It offers the ability to produce vibrato by moving pitch only above a note like a guitar, only below it, or both. The various play modes are well thought out and really useful musically. Being able to spread out the oscillator tuning in the unison and two note stacked modes really fattens up the sound. The filters, oscillators, various modulation modes, and "analog emulation" delay sounded great for a budget synth on the fair quality headphones I was using, and most of the parameters are easy to adjust in real time.
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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by MaxFerency » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:03 am

latigid on wrote:Smart move. They know it's better to sell 10000 $500 synths than 1000 $5000 synths.
That depends on if your goal is to create a quality product or just make some money. Plus part of the point of selling a flagship a $5000 synth is so that people will want it and then buy the high-quality $1500 model from the same company that they can afford. Car companies do it all of the time.
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latigid on
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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by latigid on » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:46 am

MaxFerency wrote:
latigid on wrote:Smart move. They know it's better to sell 10000 $500 synths than 1000 $5000 synths.
That depends on if your goal is to create a quality product or just make some money. Plus part of the point of selling a flagship a $5000 synth is so that people will want it and then buy the high-quality $1500 model from the same company that they can afford. Car companies do it all of the time.
I don't think that's a good analogy because the car market is orders of magnitude larger than the analogue synth world. It's also interesting that you judge a product's quality based on price alone? (But then there are different definitions of quality, like "why didn't they make a quality 3 osc 8 voice with S&H modulation and multi-stage looping envelopes?")

Rephrased, in my opinion the goal is to make a product affordable so people will buy it. That way the risk is leveraged across a higher (projected) sales volume. There's also less to go wrong the simpler something is. Imagine an expensive, complicated synth, like any that killed off (or forced a major change in the direction of) most synth companies in the '80s. Granted that we have better computing power, PCB fabs and component tolerances now, but the R&D investment remains huge and the time pressures are ever more demanding. Why did the Andromeda halt production? Before its time?

Who's to say this is the end of the line for Korg? If the appetite for analogue continues then perhaps this is just a stepping stone onto something greater. That's certainly how the trend from Monotron to Monotribe to Volca to MS-20 remake to Odyssey remake to Minilogue looks. And good on them if so!

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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by music.maker » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:21 am

In the beginning it's all exiting, but it looks a bit the hype for the minilogue is cooling down. Some problems reported with "click sounds", display too small, slim keys (as wide as mini keys just longer) and not a really unique sound. Of-course it's a nice analog entry level product for sub $700. But... IMHO... you may quickly find it's limitations. For poly, would rather save for a Prophet 8 module than two of these. (Duo-timbral, much more LFO's, routings, probably a better investment on the long term). The trend past year seem to be to breakdown products and re-package, re-cycle and re-release in more affordable entry level products for the masses but with limited functionality. It's easier to sell more of less expensive but how long will it for consumers to notice that. A studio setup can only handle and pack so much "mini"-toys. NAMM 2016 seems to be about analog poly's and packaging modular modules into stand alone products (System 500 & Waldorf modular),but these are mono and deliver less than integrated products, hence manufacturers have found another source for profits. I am in no way an expert in music stuff but this is just my simple analysis.

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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by Blackout » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:42 am

where is Moog with their new Poly synth? releases like this are really beating them to the punch....

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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by eXode » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:16 pm

music.maker wrote:Some problems reported with "click sounds", display too small, slim keys (as wide as mini keys just longer) and not a really unique sound. Of-course it's a nice analog entry level product for sub $700. But... IMHO... you may quickly find it's limitations.
It's more about a tough crowd to please if you ask me. My Doepfer A-140 analog EG's clicked when I used the fastest setting, some people just don't realize that it might just as well be a feature. I can't really comment on the sound other than the demo's I've heard, but it sounds pretty darn good to me.

Which kind of brings me to an oh so important point. With exception for the slim keys (I don't mind them, but I understand that it's a preference thing), people just seem to complain for the sake of complaining. OTOH Korg is giving us a pretty well specced synthesizer, with real actual VCO's, two of them per voice even, cross modulation, ring modulat etc and some other very neat features (did I mention that the high pass filter in the delay is actually analog? It's only the delay itself that is digital, feedback path is not). Another thing that haven't been brought up much is that of build quality. The reports that I've heard so far says that the build quality on the Monolgoue is excellent, with pots bolted to the panel, aluminium panel etc.

Some people complain about the simple LFO/MOD section. Heck look at the Sub Phatty and tell me about it. You can't even affect OSC2 pitch from the EG while using the LFO for other duties on the Sub and comparably the Sub Phatty is almost twice the price...

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Re: WNAMM2016: Korg Minilogue

Post by mmarsh100 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:02 pm

I have about a day with mine and it is very good. A nice compliment to the Sub37 and Moog sound in general. No clicks yet, great construction, the OLED display is very readable and intuitively informative. Lacks some mod capabilities, but makes up for it with the AWESOME waveshapers (and FM, and Sync AND Ring Mod!). Filter is tuned nicely for the oscillators, not adding too much extra flavor. Sequencer and voice modes are bitchin' and the high pass filter is useful, and so is the delay. This is a keeper. Did I mention polyphonic?

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