Korg Minilogue Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer: First affordable polyphonic analog?
Korg Minilogue Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer has the potential to create waves in the synthesiser world.
Polyphonic analogue synths at an accessible price have proved few and far between in recent years.
While inexpensive analogues such as the Arturia Microbrute and affordable polysynths such as the Roland JD-xi have dominated the market, an accessibly priced polyphonic analogue has proved elusive, with Dave Smith Instruments often featuring a hefty price tag.
It is refreshing to see then, a new polyphonic analogue synthesiser on the market that is priced at a level that will truly make it accessible to legions of synth fans and newcomers alike.
Let’s take a look at the facts. The Korg Minilogue is a 27 slim-key, fully programmable four-voice polyphonic synthesiser.
It comes complete with a 16-step polyphonic note and motion sequencer, arpeggiator and delay.
Korg has packed a lot into this mini-unit, but considering its affordable cost, does it deliver the goods? Let’s take a closer look.
One of the main draws of this model has to be its powerful, authentic sound that is only truly possible with real analogue.
It is true that the Minilogue does not compete with the power of more high-calibre analogue synths, indeed its size can attest to that. Instead, this model delivers a traditional analogue sound with great performance and authenticity, coupled with the ease and flexibility of modern control, all at a fantastic price.
While it may not be the most powerful of models, the Minilogue excels in showcasing neat little feature that enhances the experience of using this model.
Firstly, we love how the OLED display morphs into an oscilloscope which demonstrates to you the shape of the sound that you are playing. This feature will attract newcomers especially, as it allows you to really become engaged with the instrument and the sounds that you are creating.
This feature is then coupled with a shape knob on the oscillators that let you finely tweak the shape of your sounds.
Alongside this, the unit also features a powerful collection of modulations, such as a cross modulation, oscillator sync, ring modulator and a delay with a high-pass filter.
Design and Interface
The Minilogue is crafted from heavy plastic, much like other synths in its price range. It does, however, feature a more resilient construction in the faceplate and rear in order to withstand the pressures repeated use.
The faceplate is constructed from thick, sturdy aluminium while the rear is crafted from solid Japanese wood. The knobs are rubber coated and the controls are chassis-mounted.
All of these features combine together to create a substantial and study model, that definitely makes this model stand out from other synths in its price range.
The model is highly tweakable with a knob and switch for all your needs, which is impressive considering its mini size. This is not to say that the model is cramped in any way, like some mini synths have a tendency to be. The front panel is quite tall, which reduces the controls being cramped together.
The layout and screen on the model are effortlessly intuitive, a feature that we really like.
This instinctive design and smart use of the display makes this a great design for users who are brand new to synthesis, as it allows them to really immerse themselves in learning the craft.
Overall it is evident that Korg has set a new standard for polyphonic analogue synthesisers.
It is resiliently constructed, looks smart and delivers raw polyphonic analogue sound- all at a fantastic price.
If you’re looking for complex effects, maybe looks elsewhere. But for newcomers to the synth world, this mini design is a great introduction.