Friday, 15 October 2010

Monotronic - Mini Review For A Mini Synth

Today, after an extremely long period of waiting, I finally got my hands on a Korg Monotron! I placed an order at several months ago - when the site said 'in stock' - which was getting pushed back so much I finally asked for cancellation and a refund this week and ordered from the UK...yesterday. Less than 24 hours later and I'm living in pocket analogue synth heaven.

As you may know - or can at least see in the picture - this small device, about that of an average digital camera, sports a slim ribbon controller and just a handful of knobs. The inside however is an all-analogue, with a filter descended from the old Korg MS-20.

Playing around with the VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) on the ribbon controller is quite a bit of fun - I hijacked a spare Nintendo DS stylus on account of my inaccurate fingers - especially as battery power and a built-in speaker mean you can carry it all about the place. However, my favourite part of this synth is the audio input that lets you utilise that awesome filter. Hook up to a set of decent speakers, whack in some drum or instrument loops and then prepare to get lost in a knob twiddling trance.

I picked this up on the way out of my flat when leaving for my girlfriend's earlier so I've been limited in its application so far, as soon as I get back to the rest of my gear however, I can't wait to hear how it sounds. 4 stars.

  • All-analogue goodness, MS-20 filter.
  • Sleek form factor, fits right in my pocket.
  • Awesome price, under £50.
Possible Improvements:
  • Option for non-battery power, I'll be rinsing the AAAs.
  • The ribbon controller doesn't give a great amount of playing possibilities.
  • Needs a bigger brother model, more options for audio ins/outs & MIDI input.

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