Korgs „ältere“ neue Synths bekommen Update V2 – Minilogue und Monologue und ein Editor oben drauf.

Korg Minilogue Monologue Update 2Korg Minilogue Monologue Update 2

Seitdem der XD kam, ist schon viel Zeit vergangen und manche fragten sich „kann er denn auch Microtuning?“ – Und das lässt sich mit dem Update 2.0 für den Minilogue und Monologue mit ja beantworten.

Die Versionsnummer 2 bringt für die beiden Synthesizer von Korg ein Verwaltungsprogramm für Sounds. Das ist ist auch insofern hochspannend, wie lang dies gepflegt wird, denn Apple und Microsoft erfordern heute von Entwicklern eine nahezu jährliche Anpassung zu machen. Aber Korg hat es getan und der Editor hat die Optik wie der Radias Editor oder der zum „alten“ Microkorg.

Beim Monologue gab es das Microtuning bereits und wird daher „nur“ um die Möglichkeiten des XD erweitert. Der Minilogue erhält diese Möglichkeit komplett neu. Hinzu kommen MIDI-Filter die feiner einstellbar sind und den Oszilloskop-Modus kann man nun abschalten. Der Monologue bekommt Active-Steps für den Sequencer und andere Optionen für den „Slider„, also das wo andere sonst Modulationsrad und Pitchbender haben. Außerdem wird der aktuelle Wert der gerade eingestellt wird jetzt angezeigt. Außerdem wurden Fehler korrigiert und fehlerhafte Swing-Einstellungen. Beim Miniloge ist das ähnlich, er bekommt noch weitere Triggermodes vom Monologue hinzu und das Key-Trigger-Feature. Außerdem wird das Motion-Recording optisch angepasst an den des XD. Das sind alles faktisch Anpassungen die die Synthesizer insgesamt mit dem versorgen, was noch in anderen Korgs vorhanden war. Das ist keine Revolution aber eine nette Produktpflege.

Weitere Information

Das Update bekommt man bei Korg. Der Minilogue wird hier versorgt. Die Anleitung für die neuen Funktionen befinden sich hier. Die Monologue Daten werden hier bereit gestellt.


Installation – Minilogue:

Installation – Monologue

KORG’s nutekt NTS-1 is a fun, little kit – and open to ‘logue developers

KORG has already shown that opening up oscillators and effects to developers can expand their minilogue and prologue keyboards. But now they’re doing the same for the nutekt NTS-1 – a cute little volca-ish kit for synths and effects. Build it, make wild sounds, and … run future stuff on it, too.

Okay, first – even before you get to any of that, the NTS-1 is stupidly cool. It’s a little DIY kit you can snap together without any soldering. And it’s got a fun analog/digital architecture with oscillators, filter, envelope, arpeggiator, and effects.

Basically, if you imagine having a palm-sized, battery-powered synthesis studio, this is that.

Japan has already had access to the Nutekt brand from KORG, a DIY kit line. (Yeah, the rest of the world gets to be jealous of Japan again.) This is the first – and hopefully not the last – time KORG has opened up that brand name to the international scene.

And the NTS-1 is one we’re all going to want to get our hands on, I’ll bet. It’s full of features:

– 4 fixed oscillators (saw, triangle and square, loosely modeled around their analog counterpart in minilogue/prologue, and VPM, a simplified version of the multi-engine VPM oscillator)
– Multimode analog modeled filter with 2/4 pole modes (LP, BP, HP)
– Analog modeled amp. EG with ADSR (fixed DS), AHR, AR and looping AR
– modulation, delay and reverb effects on par with minilogue xd/prologue (subset of)
– arpeggiator with various modes: up, down, up-down, down-up, converge, diverge, conv-div, div-conv, random, stochastic (volca modular style). Chord selection: octaves, major triad, suspended triad, augmented triad, minor triad, diminished triad (since sensor only allows one note at a time). Pattern length: 1-24
– Also: pitch/Shape LFO, Cutoff sweeps, tremollo
– MIDI IN via 2.5mm adapter, USB-MIDI, SYNC in/out
– Audio input with multiple routing options and trim
– Internal speaker and headphone out

That would be fun enough, and we could stop here. But the NTS-1 is also built on the same developer board for the KORG minilogue and prologue keyboards. That SDK opens up developers’ powers to make their own oscillators, effects, and other ideas for KORG hardware. And it’s a big deal the cute little NTS-1 is now part of that picture, not just the (very nice) larger keyboards. I’d see it this way:

NTS-1 buyers can get access to the same custom effects and synths as if they bought the minilogue or prologue.

minilogue and prologue owners get another toy they can use – all three of them supporting new stuff.

Developers can use this inexpensive kit to start developing, and don’t have to buy a prologue or minilogue. (Hey, we’ve got to earn some cash first so we can go buy the other keyboard! Oh yeah I guess I have also rent and food and things to think about, too.)

And maybe most of all –

Developers have an even bigger market for the stuff they create.

This is still a prototype, so we’ll have to wait, and no definite details on pricing and availability.


Yep, still waiting.

Wow, I really want this thing, actually. Hope this wait isn’t long.

I’m in touch with KORG and the analog team’s extraordinary Etienne about the project, so stay tuned. For an understanding of the dev board itself (back when it was much less fun – just a board and no case or fun features):

KORG are about to unveil their DIY Prologue boards for synth hacking


Sounds and stuff –

Interviews and demos –

And if you wondered what the Japanese kits are like – here you go:

Oh, and I’ll also say – the dev platform is working. Sinevibes‘ Artemiy Pavlov was on-hand to show off the amazing stuff he’s doing with oscillators for the KORG ‘logues. They sound the business, covering a rich range of wavetable and modeling goodness – and quickly made me want a ‘logue, which of course is the whole point. But he seems happy with this as a business, which demonstrates that we really are entering new eras of collaboration and creativity in hardware instruments. And that’s great. Artemiy, since I had almost zero time this month, I better come just hang out in Ukraine for extended nerd time minus distractions.

Artemiy is happily making sounds as colorful as that jacket. Check sinevibes.com.

The post KORG’s nutekt NTS-1 is a fun, little kit – and open to ‘logue developers appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Die Korg-Familie bekomme neue Oszillato(h)ren: Das andere FM von Sinevibes


Sinevibes ist der Hersteller bzw. Bent ist der Name bisher zweier Angebote für Prologue und Minilogue XD von Bent. Sie erweitern den digitalen Oszillator-Bereich.

Schon lange waren Oszillator-Modelle für die Korg-Synthesizer angekündigt und von Mutable bereits auch geliefert. Und dann gibt es noch einen Anbieter namens Bent. Von dort kommen jetzt schon zwei Angebote:

Zeitkonstantenkompensatoren neu kalibrieren!

FM gibt es eigentlich ja jetzt schon, dennoch gibt es von Sinevibes die Bent Oszillator-Modelle. Das Besondere ist nicht nur die FM selbst, sondern die Verbiegung der beiden Oszillatoren innerhalb dieses Modells. Sie verformen die Kennlinie und Charakteristik sowie Phasenlage und Zeitsymmetrie. Als Schwingungsformen sind fünf verschiedene vorgesehen, die allesamt Symmetrie-Modulation zulassen und „Harmonic Balance“ justierbar macht.

Die Qualität und „Auflösung“ dieses Effekts soll sehr hoch sein. Ein langsamerer LFO bis 10 Hz ist ebenso verbaut. Eine AD-Hülkurve ist auch vorgesehen.

Neben diesen gibt es auch nocht das „ältere“ „Turbo“-Modell, das ebenfalls FM-Sounds generiert. Auch hier ist eine kleine AD-Hüllkurve verbaut und die hohe Aufllösung ist hier ebenfalls über dem der normalen Synthesizer.

Die Möglichkeit für eigene Oszillatoren-Modelle begann mit dem Prologue und ausgegebenen DSP-Boards und wurde durch den Minilogue XD erweitert. So kann der dritte Oszillator deutlich mehr. Der Code ist eigentlich gleich für die bisher zwei Synthesizer.

Weitere Information

Korg forderte auf, dass Hersteller sich dessen annähmen und sie haben es auch getan. Aktuell gibt es beide auch als Bundle für 49 Dollar. Mehr dazu findet man auf der Website von Sinevibes.


KORG’s minilogue xd is a new 4-voice synth with the best of the rest

KORG are introducing the Minilogue xd. It’s not just a Minilogue with some extras: it’s a new polysynth with the best bits of all the KORG analog range, including the prologue flagship, in a compact package.

It’s like the hatchback of synths – the compact, mid-range priced synth that might just wind up being everyone’s favorite. It’s poised to be the Golf GTI of electronic instruments.

It’s in the compact monologue form factor, with a US$649.99 price. And it’s coming soon (this winter, so… at least “before spring”).

To be honest, I loved the original of this series, the minilogue. But then with each new iteration, KORG added something new that made me want a combination of all the other synths.

And now, sure enough, what do we get? A combination of all the other synths.

From the minilogue: the elegant 4-voice polyphonic voice structure and voice modes that made the original so terrific.

From the monologue: the 16-step sequencer and microtuning features (thanks Aphex Twin!), plus that cute little form factor.

From the prologue: the MULTIdigital oscillator, plus new effects.

I’m sure some people will gripe because they wanted the extra keys and size of the minilogue, but otherwise this looks like the perfect KORG synth.

Reverb, delay, and modulation, plus two CV IN jacks complete the package.

Hilariously that “XD” of course also signifies “lol,” which may be how you feel if you just sold off a monologue or minilogue and now can buy up a combination of the two. (As with Windows XP, KORG are using the lowercase xd to de-emphasize that a little…)

Sing along:

Obligatory! Demo! Video!

The post KORG’s minilogue xd is a new 4-voice synth with the best of the rest appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Leak: Korg Minilogue XD – aufgetaucht!

Korg Minilogue xdKorg Minilogue xd

So wie die Volcas kürzlich ist nun auch ein Bild des Minilogue in einer anderen Version aufgetaucht namens Minilogue XD.

Wie beim Prologue scheint der dritte Oszillator die digitale Engine geerbt zu haben und daher auch den Namen XD (Engine, Digital). Diese ist in der Lage FM, Sync-Sounds und digitale Wellenformen herzustellen aber auch können Entwickler für diese Engine neue Oszillatormodelle schreiben. Es gab auf der letzten Superbooth entsprechende DSP Module, die man dafür nutzen kann ohne einen Prologue oder jetzt auch den Minilogue XD besitzen zu müssen und man kann die Modelle frei anbieten.

Das dürfte hier 1:1 auch möglich und umgesetzt sein und damit hat man das Gerät deutlich aufgewertet. Es wird noch immer 4 Stimmen besitzen und sonst analog sein und auch das gleiche Modulationskonzept aufweisen wie der Minilogue. Ob das Gerät teurer ist und zusätzlich in den Verkauf gehen wird und wann oder ob der bisherige Minilogue ersetzt werden wird oder ob da nur jemand einen sehr gut gemachten Spaß erlaubt hat ist nicht vollkommen klar.

Wir können nur warten, bis die Geräte wirklich gezeigt werden. Preise oder ähnliches sind selbstverständlich auch nicht bekannt.

Watch Space Dimension Controller tear up his live set

Jack Hamill, aka Space Dimension Controller, is another of those stand-out live electronic instrumental performers, able to involve lots of improvisation while still maintaining control and composure. No press play sets here – this is all perfectly conducted live performance. Note that that still doesn’t necessarily mean playing absolutely everything – it’s more about this hybrid of controlling elements from a compositional sense, maintaining some balance between what’s pre-composed and what’s made on the fly.

Resident Advisor shot a lovely extended film with him:

In the rig, Maschine Jam controls Ableton Live (and is handy for just such integration). I have to say, while I love Push (and in particular its display and velocity sensitivity), it sometimes feels more like a studio tool than a live performance instruments. Jam is organized a little more around playing live – and it has those great touch faders.

The rest of the rig:
KORG Minilogue
Two iPads, running touchAble
Allen & Heath mixer
Akai Professional LPD8 controller? (I think, can’t see clearly)
Some other stuff I can’t quite spot…

Nice stuff!

The post Watch Space Dimension Controller tear up his live set appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Korg Minilogue Desktop – so sieht er aus!

Korg Minilogue Desktop

Synthesizer sind nicht immer so gebaut, wie man sie vielleicht haben möchte. Vielleicht passt die Tastatur nicht, sie ist zu klein oder zu groß oder im Weg, weil man das Gerät nur irgendwo einbauen will. Es gibt immer Wege – so auch beim Minilogue Desktop.

Die Firma Instrument Stands stellt normalerweise diverse ausgefallene Ständer und Zubehör für Synthesizer her. Aber nun haben sie auch den Minilogue umgebaut. Auf ihrer Site findet man noch mehr interessante Ideen, was man wie ändern könnte, wenn man nur wollte. Und beim Minilogue Desktop wurden nicht einfach nur die Tasten stumpf abgesägt, sondern auch eine neue Rückseite mit Korg-Schriftzug entworfen.

Das Bild stammt von einem User und Musiker namens Ansome.

Nun lässt sich der Minilogue leicht unterbringen und über eine größere Tastatur spielen, sagt der Hersteller in Großbritannien. Die Anschlüsse sind und bleiben natürlich identisch und die Rückseite und alle Bedienelemente inklusive des Bending-Hebels wurde nicht verändert oder umgesetzt. Die gleiche Änderung ist auch für den Monologue möglich. In der Bildersammlung kann man zwei verschiedene Farbversionen bewundern, eine silberne und eine schwarze, welche es so auch von Korg gibt – nur eben mit Tasten.

Korg Minilogue zur Desktop-Version umbauen

Wer sich für einen Minilogue Desktop interessiert, keine Angst vor Garantieverlust hat und sich selbst etwas inspirieren lassen will, kann die Bilder des Umbaus ebenfalls auf der genannten Facebook-Seite finden. Die Platine ist genau so schmal wie das Desktop-Gerät, sodass elektrisch keine Veränderungen vorgenommen werden mussten.

Preise sind nicht bekannt, diese kann man telefonisch oder über die Facebook-Präsenz erfahren. Es gibt noch etliche andere interessante Dinge dort.

Visionary Tatsuya Takahashi leaves a huge legacy as he departs KORG

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Tatsuya Takahasi has changed the face of the modern synth industry.

And I can even say that literally. “Tats” has become a household name in the international synth community in a way no other Japanese engineer, designer, or leader has. (Compare, for instance, Hiroaki Nishijima, creator of the MS-20 – a name people rarely know as readily as they do the synth.) Korg products are still the work of big teams, like any large maker, but Tatsuya has been a public figure, outspoken and eloquent in the description of the instruments he’s created and the philosophy behind them. (Perhaps his Western upbringing has mattered, too – Tatsuya spent a lot of his formative years in London and speaks English as if it’s a first language.)

That in itself is important, but even more so is the direction Tatsuya and KORG have taken with making synths more accessible, popular, and influential.

Ask a few years ago what would have the biggest impact on synthesis reaching new audiences, and I’ll bet a lot of people would have pointed to mobile apps. Instead, in his role leading design and engineering for analog synths, Tats made synth hardware the democratizing force. I think you could even go as far as saying that hardware, more than apps, has been what has most impacted the culture of music making in recent years and inspired the greatest passion in the present generation of electronic musicians.

Why is this man smiling? Why, because Tats has just finished what's likely to be another big hit for KORG.

Tatsuya visiting my studio last year with his (then-new) Minilogue, which I think is one of the best synths in recent years.

The long string of synth gear launches Tats has overseen has some clear themes. These are instruments that are fun to play with, offer lots of hands-on control, and typically feature battery power and portability. And what a roll he’s been on: the monotron (monosyth), monotribe (drum machine), volca series (synthesizers and drum machines), and most recently minilogue polysynth and its follow-up the monophonic monologue were all projects he led. He’s also been behind the analog reissues of the MS-20 and ARP Odyssey ad the SQ-1 sequencer. And he did the littleBits synth kit in collaboration with littleBits.

Tats talks about his populist philosophy in his public letter on Facebook (below, in case you haven’t read it already). But it’s worth noting just how far this realm has come.

Serial number 101 = the first serial number for volca, ever. No, we don't get to keep it. This is the unit Tatsuya himself was carrying around.

Serial number 101 = the first serial number for volca, ever. No, we don’t get to keep it. This is the unit Tatsuya himself was carrying around.

Making synths in this way really has transformed music. When a synth costs under $200 (like the volca series) or even under $100 (like the monotron), there’s a vastly larger segment of the population that can afford it. This isn’t a question of quality; there are some people who simply don’t have the disposable income to invest in a pricier instrument.

Reducing the price also telegraphs that this is something you can play with, something open to experimentation. It begs you to relate to the object differently on an emotional level. And actually, I think music benefits when you imagine a toy and all the freedom that implies, rather than a tool. An inexpensive synth is something you can try without saying something like, “hey Mom, hey Dad, I’m enrolling in ten years at the music academy, will you buy me a ‘cello?”

Singing has that kind of accessibility. Folk instruments can be handed down, like a mandolin, and have a similar emotional relationship. But synthesizers risk becoming the domain of people with extra cash and with an already established love of the field. When we say “too snobby,” we mean literally that an instrument becomes an expression of class. And I don’t think that’s something this world needs more of at the moment.

I have a personal connection to that saga, because it’s a story that has followed CDM, too. And that message came from people who read this site. Before KORG released the monotron, readers were already devising cheap DIY solutions to produce their own portable, cheap synths. Readers were telling me how important these values were to them, before KORG responded with a product with those values. Then Canadian engineer James Grahame started talking to me about the inexpensive, portable digital monosynth he wanted to produce. We had already started on schematics when the first monotron arrived on the scene – and instantly recognized that it embodied a lot of the philosophy we had talked about.

But that was really an important moment. Big companies – any big companies, even in electronic music – don’t tend to move quickly. So to see an individual bring this kind of new philosophy to one of the so-called Japanese “big three” was a revelation. Here was someone who “gets” it. And Tats and his team have continued to deliver hit after hit after hit. This has benefited our community twice over. One, KORG have a scale, technical competence, and distribution and marketing apparatus that smaller makers can never match, which means these products can reach a wider array of people worldwide. Two, there’s been the significance of having that resonance in a larger maker – it validates this populist agenda and even sets a standard for those of us who don’t have our own factories at our disposal.

Moreover, Tatsuya has helped lead the resurgent interest in analog synthesis, much in the way that Lomography has rejuvenated film photography.

It’s also redefined what’s important about analog and hardware, which is not so much the analog circuitry itself as hands-on control and simplicity – stuff that’s fun to play. So you can see KORG’s mark not only on new analog stuff from some of its competitors, but also on the (digital) AIRA and Boutique series reissues from Roland, and Yamaha’s Reface keyboards.

And I think KORG’s leadership has also helped all the other synth boats rise, too. Tats’ commitment to openness – releasing filter schematics and hackable boards, and working on the littleBits as an educational tool – has aided other boutique DIY makers (like us, for sure). KORG were the first major maker to embrace open source hardware licensing for one of their products, after some of us did it in much smaller enterprises.

For KORG’s part, it’s clear that this spirit won’t depart alongside Tatsuya. He promises in his letter to remain in an advisory role. And I think he’s taught the whole organization a lesson in what’s possible and commercially viable – indeed, all of us. You can also bet that some less publicly-visible people at KORG will carry on his new spirit and dream up some new ideas. Tatsuya mentions “Tada” in the Facebook post, for instance. He confirmed with me that that’s a reference to Tadahiko Sakamaki, product planning. Figuring out who will carry the torch – if perhaps a bit more quietly or less publicly – will be something I’m sure we’ll all be trying to suss out. But it is important to note that these are team efforts. That’s not to take away from Tatsuya’s talents – far from it; I think it’s harder to drive clear product focus with big teams and large scale.

Looking beyond KORG, though, I think it’s inspiring to read Tats’ email partly because there’s a lot more to do. If we really want to make synthesizers more accessible, if we want to make them work in education, if we want them to reach more people including those who lack the financial resources of our main market, if we want to be socially responsible instrument makers and musicians, we’re only getting started. And I think there’s a role not just for big players like KORG, but also all of you one-person and two-person shops making modules and kits and weird inventions. All of you CDMers, that is.

Tatsuya is moving to my country of residence Germany. I have no idea what he’s working on next when he says he will “explore new areas where sound and technology can have positive social implications.” He does assure us that’s not in this industry. But I wish him the best – and hope we all meet in Köln or Berlin soon, as this country is home to ever more inventors. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter will be.

Korg's Tatsuya Takahashi stops by our studio, playing his volcas (and a bit of MeeBlip with us, too!)

Korg’s Tatsuya Takahashi stops by our studio, playing his volcas (and a bit of MeeBlip with us, too!)

Here’s his parting letter:

It’s been a good ten years at Korg!

A few years after starting at the office, Tada and I, over a cigarette break, started shooting ideas around for a battery powered pocket analog synth. The monotron was the humble beginnings of what became a mission to make synthesizers fun, exciting and accessible again. To give synthesizers back to the people. To make synthesizers less snobby. To open up creative opportunities. To get people interested in electronic sound and see some kind of light in creating their own sound using technology amidst a world that is inundated with it.

monotrons, monotribe, volcas, minilogue, monologue, some reissues, SQ-1, littleBits synth kit – we put out a lot of gear.

After a blur of 21 products we released over seven years, I look at the world of synthesizers and it’s a pretty cool place. I see kids getting their first taste of synths with the volcas. I meet people who have their dormant synth passion rekindled by the minilogue. And it’s not just Korg. The whole industry has set out to achieve this common goal.

The name volca comes from the German word Volk: “the people” or “crowd”. Like Volkswagen “the people’s car”, the volcas are “the people’s synth”. I have fond memories of meeting Mike Banks and being told how the volcas reached poverty-stricken youths in Detroit. That manufacturers have to take responsibility for the social implications of putting out gear.

On the 17th of February I will be leaving my full time position at Korg and will sidestep to advisor. I will also be moving out of Tokyo to Cologne to explore new areas where sound and technology can have positive social implications. I won’t be going to any of the competition, but rather will be shifting direction of my main line of work while at the same time guiding the now super team at Korg venture into the future.

I am hugely indebted to everyone in engineering (my super duper team will keep designing the best of the best), production (love you all in Vietnam we did this together!), sales (job well done), marketing (fun times making those movies), distribution / dealers (essential work the world over), media (you guys got the word out) and most of all the musicians out there who are creating music with our synths – without you our work is meaningless.


it’s been a ton of fun. more to come.


Via Facebook

The post Visionary Tatsuya Takahashi leaves a huge legacy as he departs KORG appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

NAMM 2017: Vierstimmiger Grieche – Dreadbox Abyss

Dreadbox Abyss Analog PolySynth

Analog und vierstimmig ist noch immer selten. Dreadbox ist nun einer der wenigen erlesenen Pur-Analog-Hersteller, die es geschafft haben, polyphone Maschinen anzubieten.

Die größten Konkurrenten auf Augenhöhe sind Korg mit dem Minilogue, etwas entfernter sind die 8- bis 12-stimmigen Synthesizer von Behringer und Dave Smith, der kürzlich mit dem Prophet 08 in Versionsnummer 2 geht. Dreadbox selbst zeigt ein Bild auf ihrem Instagram Account, wo man den neuen duophonen Nyx und den Abyss sehen kann. Er wurde vor einigen Wochen angekündigt und wir berichteten auch darüber.

Er hat eine eher einfache Struktur, seine Stärke ist seine Größe und der voll analoge Aufbau. Bisher war der Klang als hochwertig zu beschreiben, daher sind die Erwartungen an den Klang des Abyss ebenfalls hoch. Die Komplexität entspricht in etwa einem Roland Juno-106, allerdings hat er auch einen LFO mit vier Schwingungsformen an Bord. Für das Filter und die Lautstärke sind jeweils ADSR-Hüllkurven vorgesehen. Diesbezüglich ist er sogar etwas großzügiger bestückt, jedoch trotzdem klassisch.

Wirklich erstaunlich ist bei dieser Bauweise die Größe. Im oberen Bildbereich kann man den bekannten Erebus als Vergleich heranziehen. Er passt sehr bequem in eine Hand, somit ist das Abyss kleiner als zwei ausgestreckte Hände und auch für kleine Livesets interessant, die eben nicht mit einer einzigen Stimme auskommt. Angesichts der Vierstimmigkeit der neueren Electribes und der inzwischen ausgelaufenen Elektron Octatrack kann er auch als hilfreiche hochwertigerer Klangerzeuger für Computermusiker und Kisten-Performer sein.

Über Preise und Verfügbarkeit ist noch nichts bekannt, es wird vermutlich heute noch bekannt gegeben.