Every so often, something comes along that’s just irresistibly lovable. So it was with the Korg monotron. With a price of US$60 (or far less), a pocketable size, the ability to run on batteries, a nice, glowing red LFO knob, a delicious filter, and toy-like playability, everyone loves the monotron. People who have racks of vintage synths love the monotron. People who have never seen a synth before love the monotron.

Then, along came the Korg Monotribe, which grafted ultra-simplified analog drum circuitry and a sequencer, and … somehow, you wanted to love the thing instead of just loving it. I talked to a number of people who struggled to find something to say about the Monotribe – it didn’t have that magical effect the monotron did. Readers didn’t like thd drum sounds. The unit was bigger and pricier, but still lacked real control voltage or MIDI without hacking. Some of these units found very happy homes, to be sure, some mods were impressive, and it was great to see the circuit designs, which are quite clever, released. (Look closely at that design, and I think you begin to appreciate what was beautiful about the Monotribe that a lot of people missed: the circuits for the drums, while some folks maligned them, are incredibly elegant and simple.) But the bottom line: the Monotribe simply wasn’t the sensation the monotron was.

Well, Korg has wisely returned to the cute, impossible-not-to-buy, pocket-sized monotron package with two new models. And suddenly, that feeling — that “yeah, I have to have that” feeling, rather than the “I think I might want it” — is back.

The monotron DUO looks like it’s just a monotron with a new paint job, but it’s not. In addition to bumping from one VCO to a far more interesting two, the X-MOD circuitry comes straight out of Korg’s ridiculously-brilliant Mono/Poly classic. (Edit: I should add that the X-MOD is not specifically what made the Mono/Poly great – but it is nice to see anything off the original. In this case, it’s essentially a pitched FM, as readers point out, and as you can see in the video.) And that turns to another lesson learned from the monotron: bring back great circuits (like the filter on the MS) into modern designs. Like tasting the Tootsie Roll candy you had as a kid, it remains every bit as sweet. It’s otherwise the same monotron VCO square wave synth (double doubling your enjoyment in the process), but the addition of X-Mod should be good fun, as was the LFO on the previous model. Update: it appears the DUO also has the key range switch present on the Monotribe – bonus!

Then there’s the monotron DELAY. The silkscreen looks like it escaped from a movie tie-in toy for The Last Starfighter. But what you get is both that brilliant analog filter (the MS-10/MS-20) and a new “Space Delay.” I’m guessing the delay is digital, as it offers “analog-style echoes,” but no matter. Korg may have just created something more useful than the original monotron, because now you have a simple delay unit and the filter and the Stylophone-style controls in one unit, with an audio input jack.

Yeah, the ongoing emphasis on the “analog muscle” in these is a little funny, but let’s be honest: you want these. 2011 just got its first obvious Christmas list entries. And some of us will be looking for a holiday we can make up just to get them sooner.

Hope to have a hands-on — and some sound samples of the delay, which we know only by its silkscreen YouTube demos from Korg JP right now — soon.

http://korg.com/monotrons

See also DE:BUG coverage [Deutsch] – hi, guys, see you tonight at your Berlin Music Days party!

  • http://noisepages.com/members/papernoise/ Hanzo

    I want to resist the urge to buy these and I know that they are: a) geeky toys b) underpowered plastic boxes c) a bit of a hype and d) kind of silly

    but still… I love them! and I want them all!

    Bullshit apart… my evil plans are to take a monotribe a monotron duo and a monotron delay and mold them all together to what Korg really should be releasing! the Monotribe Duo Delay Spacemonster!

    • lucafrigo

      My favorite is the Delay….I want :D :D

  • http://none Jason Duerr

    to my Wife Diane, please book mark this page. Christmas is not far away. Thanks, My Love.

  • Peter Kirn

    @Hanzo:

    Reality check – the original monotron is trading for US$40 street. For two oscillators and a filter, I don't think that's underpowered. And you can definitely make music with it. I certainly don't mean to hype them up, but I think they're eminently reasonable for what they are.

    And I like toys. We do say "playing" music, not "working" music, after all. ;)

  • Art
  • http://www.facebook.com/rawcoco Rawcoco

    They should use some of the micro korg technology, ms-20 & these little guys to come out with a MS-30. I think that's what we really need.

  • Peter Kirn

    @Rawcoco: the irony is, it might be cheaper to just pick up the used MS rather than make it new. Seriously.

  • http://haha-fresh.blogspot.com lazenbleep

    it would be great if they could introduce the key range from the monotribe. makes the membrane useful!

  • s~

    the time i resisted the original 'tron was all lost time – bought (and positioned) it straight after the irresistible monotribe  - glohhhhhhhhhrious sounds and always fun … see(hear) the potential, not the limitations. tools not toys !

  • http://www.inoutfest.org Flplsx

    damn! the last part of that 2nd delay vid was awesome!

    i should start using my monotron more, i managed to get the midi mod working and all.

  • http://haha-fresh.blogspot.com lazenbleep

    ooh ooh LOOK at the duo video. theres a little button on the back panel for key range!

    Korg i love you!

  • Peter Kirn

    I'm curious to hear more Monotribe feedback, actually. (That is, feedback from humans on the Monotribe, not … sound feedback. You know what I mean.)

    I did hear some negative comments, but I can see a lot about it that's potentially very likable. So I'm primarily interested in how you're using it in your musical work, which is what matters.

    And the monotron, too.

  • http://soundcloud.com/jonowise jono

    Hey Peter original Monotron is just 1 vco, this will be the ultimate poor mans modular ! 

    monotron:

    Synthesizer structure: 1 VCO (Sawtooth Wave); 1 VCF; 1 LFO

    Switch: Standby / LFO to Pitch / LFO to Filter

    Knobs: VCO Pitch, LFO Rate, LFO Int., VCF Cutoff, VCF Peak

    Controller: Ribbon Controller

  • Peter Kirn

    @jono: Sorry, realize I made that extremely unclear to the point of being wrong. ;) Fixed.

  • Yoknot

    very cool these two. most excited about the duo. the key range option is really a 'big' deal compared to the original monotron.

    the original monotron is both a toy and a usefull instrument imo. it's a pretty good analog bass drum module, that alone makes it a good buy. as an instrument you could work hard on it and do a whole song with it, but that's not very easy or comfortable. but for creating some drum sounds, other samples or using it for typical ribbon controller synth sounds in a song it's perfect. I did do a simple song with it for the korg monomania contest:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u46-Npyzngs

    I hope the delay also has the key range option. I'd rather have an extra vco or some other type of modulation in stead of the delay effect. but It still worth a buy probably.

  • http://www.warriorbob.com Warrior Bob

    I have a Monotron, and while I greatly enjoy playing with it, I pretty much just use it (together with a mini Kaoss pad) as a toy for making space noises.

    I think it'd be MUCH more useful if there was a discrete-keyed controller for it. I find it very hard to hit specific notes reliably, and so haven't found a way to really play melodies with it.

    There isn't a mod out there that addresses this, is there? Or is this something I can get over with practice?

    • jameswilddev

      The DUO has a quantize switch which allows you to use chromatic/major/minor keys

  • Yoknot

    @warrior bob

    a stylus helps.

  • http://xfader.com REGEND

    toys to some are instruments to others…just look back at the childrens album CDM posted a few days back.

  • http://noisepages.com/members/papernoise/ Hanzo

    @Peter Kirn: no I totally agree with you! I was ironic about the monotrons being underpowered toys, or better there is that rational voice in me claiming that, but the guts know better than that!

    I feed on limitations! That's what makes us creative, isn't it?

    The addition of the range selector has made these little guys a lot more usable than the first one, still, you could get some melodies out of them with some practice and appropriate tuning.

    Sill It would be interesting to see what one could make if one was to put all the 4 monothings together…

  • http://noisepages.com/members/papernoise/ Hanzo

    @warrior bob: I've seen vids on youtube of people playing complex memories in perfect or let's say in interestingly almost perfect) tune on monotrons… so I guess it's a matter of practice, and correct use of a stylus (which can be anything, since the touchstrip is of the resistive kind and just reacts on pressure)

  • http://keithhandy.com Keith Handy

    I have a monotron and would be interested in replacing the existing ribbon with a longer one, for either greater range or better precision. Has anyone tried this?

  • greg

    I would pay a bit more, happily, for the original monotron with selectable saw/triangle/square waves on the VCO and nothing else added.

    A quieter amplifier would be nice, but I'd deal.

    For the DELAY . . .

    Why would you want an MS-10 filter if you couldn't turn up the resonance, and isn't that delay just going to be one from the Kaoss pad? I thought everyone hated those.

    Too bad, because I'd love to have those extra waveforms going into the original monotron's filter setup, without all the extra hiss from an extra cable and cheap amplifier.

    For the DUO . . .

    Isn't "x-mod" just a fancy way to say "frequency modulation," and can't we already do that on our original monotrons?

    It also looks like we lose the modulation options on the filter.

    And in exchange, we get two oscillators wired in parallel to the amplifier – I think.

    We lose basic monosynth features for things we could do better in any software sampler or DAW.

    Guess I'm not the target market.

  • Tele-Pet

    I fell in love with the Monotron. Not too playable for specific notes, but worked wonderful as a noise source for the MIDI Murf Mooger Fooger. I upgraded to the MonoTribe, and had it modded (via eBay) with MIDI i/o, separate outs, and decay on the BD and SD… and it works almost perfectly. I don't think I'd ever get another Monotron, but perhaps they'll be updating the MonoTribe with of these new features. That might be neat.

  • http://pwmmusic.bandcamp.com/ ushaped

    As much as I think these are cool, I wish they would do a reissue of the actual MS series. New MS10/20/50, SQ10. That would be a nice way to get some analog muscle into people's hands!

  • http://www.valhalladsp.com Sean Costello

    @Greg: No resonance on the Monotron Delay? I hadn't noticed that. I agree, that really cripples the MS-10 topology.

    As far as the Duo, being able to play pitched FM is a nice thing, and the Monotron would only be "in tune" if you landed on a pitch that was consonant with the LFO, and tilted your finger just right. Which is an awesome sound on the Monotron, especially with slight finger deviations, but I digress. I tend to use the filter modulation on my Monotron for FM anyway, so I'd rather sweep the filter manually, and have 2 VCOs that can be detuned and also do FM. Well, I'd rather have both options, but I already have the Monotron.

    It looks like the exact same casing is used for all 3 Monotrons, just with different dyes in the plastic. Presumably the knobs need to be fixed in number and arrangement to fit into that case, so this explains the lack of resonance on the Monotron Delay, and the lack of filter modulation on the Monotron Duo.

  • http://i5music.net Jim Aikin

    You know, I paid $10,000 for my cello. It will be of practical use to some musician (or to a succession of them) long after I'm dead. I find it very hard to whip up any enthusiasm for a $50 plastic toy that is going to wind up in a landfill next year. Let's not promote conspicuous environmental damage, shall we?

  • http://www.valhalladsp.com Sean Costello

    @Jim Aikin: You know, there are now entire genres of music based around the plastic musical toys of yesteryear, especially those that have a number, a zero, and the same number again in their name.

    That being said, my Monotron is currently broken, in that the Filter Cutoff knob no longer works. So spending a bit more money on better quality components might be nice, even if this cost was passed on to the consumer.

  • Peter Kirn

    Jim, part of the problem with plastic and refuse is that plastic is made to last. So I have to disagree: if you build the thing to last, and people keep it and continue enjoying it, then it doesn't wind up in a landfill. It's something you would continue using – particularly with a circuit that could be repaired or modified. The issue is when you take plastic, something made to last, and throw it away. So don't buy it and throw it away, but do buy it and keep it. I seriously doubt anyone is torn between a 'cello and a monotron.

  • Peter Kirn

    @Sean: check the connection to the filter cutoff knob; that sounds fixable.

  • http://Www.authenticfilms.com Charles

    I have the Monotribe, and I actually quite like it – it does everything the 'tron synth does and more, plus it has a sequencer and drums, and it's almost exactly what I was wishing for about a year before it showed up. The main things I want are (a) a slightly better keyboard (don't need discrete keys, just a bit more precision – stylus is an interesting idea) and (b) longer sequences – a button to change bars, say. In other words, something a little closer to an Electribe.

    Why not just get an Electribe? The answer is that I love the battery power and the built-in speaker, and none of the Etribes has those, or the Mono's combination of drums and sound-tweaking. It's like the electronic musician's acoustic guitar. Or it could be, with a little work.

    These are interesting, but they're going in the wrong direction for me. Not sure how feasible it really is to link them all together…

  • Peter Kirn

    @Charles: Actually, that's interesting, as generally I didn't hear people comparing the Monotribe to the ElecTribes (despite the name) — but I do agree with you!

  • experimentaldog

    I just about blew up my monitors with my Monotron.  Don't underestimate its power, it sounds great.  Another neat trick is to run it through pitch correction software to create scales/arpeggios.

  • http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pairshare/id424429744?mt=8 Brian Tuley

    I like my Monotron.  It is what it is.  Sounds great too.  I found it difficult to solder CV leads onto the board, but it was labeled, which means it was probably intentional by korg.  In other words it was begging to be hacked.  

    I see these micro synths as a very in-expensive promotional item for Korg, and perhaps a gateway (drug) to entice users to favor higher end Korg brand products down the road.  I mean can you imagine the free blog press Korg gets from these gadgets?  It's a brilliant and fun, and quality little synthesizer.  

  • Aaron

    They should come up with some future models that all have some toy-like modular-ability, where one unit can be master kb, sync tempo, etc. and make it easier to daisy chain them all. Imagine the Monotribe with a bunch of slaved monotrons of different types.. that would be awesome.

  • http://musiquenontalent.blogspot.com Robman84

    Have to say, the Duo looks great! Maybe santa will be kind. BTW for cheap autotuning if you have an ios device try plugging your monotron into the t-pain app. Vid at my website if you are interested.

  • http://www.valhalladsp.com Sean Costello

    @Peter Kirn: You're probably right. I was thinking that a pot element was getting disconnected, but I'll check the connections to the board.

    I have a Monotribe, and like it. I don't love it, because the sequencer is too limited with its 8 quantized steps. Interestingly enough, if you put the Monotribe into Flux mode, you can create MUCH more complicated sequences, if you can play the part with a lot of precision. Which I can't, but it is fun to try.

    I think that the new Monotrons + the Monotribe are pointing towards a new analog-ish direction for Korg. The Monotribe showed that the lower cost analog electronics used in these Korgs (surface mount, presumably with no temperature compensation) can be controlled and KEPT IN TUNE using a low cost microcontroller. The new Monotrons make it clear that the pitch quantization from the Monotribe is easy to integrate into a smaller, cheaper device. I wonder if the new Monotrons are using a uC for the pitch quantization, and if so, then if the Monotribe MIDI hack will work on the Monotron Duo and Monotron Delay.

  • J

    It will be interesting to hear if they fixed the hiss that people complained about.

  • http://www.valhalladsp.com Sean Costello

    J: The Monotribe has far less hiss. It also has a much more robust power supply, so that may be part of it. Having said that, my favorite Monotron sounds are when the battery is dying. It gets into some sort of chaotic loop, where the sound coming out of the speaker drains the battery, so the voltage drops, so the oscillator drops in frequency until it is totally stopped, at which point no sound is coming out of the speaker, which allows the voltage to leap up again, which starts the whole thing over. (Note: the above is my own crappy understanding of electronics – I can hear the "control system" at work, but voltages and currents might as well be magic elves as far as I know.)

  • Benny Bones

    Incidentally, for those who are familiar with the cheap and hackworthy Gakken SX-150, Matrixsynth just posted a video revealing a newly released Mark II model. I think an SX and a Monotron would make a pretty cute couple, don't you?

    http://m.matrixsynth.com/2011/10/gakken-sx-150-ma

  • noisetheorem

    I want to eurorack them. 

  • http://www.youtube.com/db3ll db3ll

    @ Keith Handy:  Assuming that the ribbon controller in there is a regular strip with varying resistance, I would think it would be very easy to replace it. SVHS (old ADAT) tape has resistance along one side, you just need to figure out what the resistance is of the current ribbon and approximate that with the length you want ( have used it for ribbon controllers before). I'd probably do it with 1/8th inch jacks on the sides (assuming there's room) so I could connect/disconnect the new ribbon and have the current ribbon shorted out when the new one's plugged in. Might be worth a try if you really find it unusable as is.

  • http://cooptrol.com cooptrol

    What we need from Korg is an update of the Electribe EMX + ESX. I can't understand what's delaying this.

  • http://noisepages.com/members/matt.hand/ Matt

    I would totally use either of these for performance/recording, but they seem awesome just to be able to take with you wherever. I often wish I had an instrument to play with while riding on the metro and whatnot.

  • http://www.wholeheartedsongs.com Whole:Heart

    Holly mother of god that Monotron delay filthy

  • seank
  • http://arvidtp.net Arvid Tomayko-Peters

    @Keith Handy, @db3ll: Tape from sony hi-8 camcorders also works – I made a 5 ft long ribbon controller for an installation with it once. Granted I was sampling it with a micro-controller rather than doing analog synthesis, but the same concept should apply. The A-to-D conversion was pretty noisy, so I'd watch out with a big ribbon with lots of resistance.

  • J

    @Sean – that sounds like an amazing malfunction.Now I really want a Monotron!I'm very software oriented but it's fascinating that analog processes don't seem to have absolute boundaries. No clear-cut 'edge cases', but messy zones of leakage and chaotic states.

  • blindelf

    one person's "silly toy" is another person's dream synth. I make experimental/noise/ambient/space recordings and the original monotron run through various effects pedals and plug-ins is a raging, wailing monster worth many times its price. real analog for cheap plus that filter is priceless if you have some imagination and like to play in the deep end of sound possibilities.

  • http://none sis

    When will someone do a nice eurorack module with their original monotron?  Seemed like it was about to happen … 

  • http://none sis

    also its just so clever that the duo uses the square wave (the original was saw)

  • vincent

    oh, i love these already. I have the monotribe and i am gonna get both the duo and the delay. duo>monotribe>delay=bliss…

  • Mutis Mayfield

    I think Monotron family could be midificable (input) as Beatnik.jp made:
    http://beatnic.jp/monotron/V2.html

    I translate the guide into spanish and buy few kits (if anyone is interested…)
    http://www.hispasonic.com/blogs/poniendole-midi-m

    I'm wondering about using the same kit and control the new ones. Maybe it will not perfect but it will be glitchi for sure!

    And how knows? Maybe the board fits perfect and all the maths were done :)

    I love the delay one!

    -m!

  • Vincent

    I find it both annoying and sad to see people knocking these new gadgets from Korg. Yes, there are surely many things I'd like to change about their nature, but the best part is that you actually CAN! The schematics for these are all online. If you don't like the noise from the Monotron, mod it with a 1/4" output or even try using a different amp. There's no limit to what you can do with these things. Are you guys REALLY complaining about an analog filter for about $40? (Especially one that sounds quite good imo, especially after simple mods.)

    What I am salivating over is the concept of a sort of mashup between the Korg Electribe ESX and the Monotribe. If Korg made a groovebox with a sampler, analog synth, analog filters (say 2 of the independent Monotribe filters), the delay effect from the Monotron delay, and plenty of knobs for realtime control, it would become an INSTANT, must-have instrument. (A performance-oriented sampler with 2 analog filters would be enough to sell me alone)

  • Peter Kirn

    @Vincent: not a *whole* lot of knocking going on, so don't be too sad! Overwhelmingly positive, I'd say.

    Oh, except I will say, it is actually very possible to build just the analog filter for less than $40. ;) These are more than an analog filter, though.

  • Keith

    I like how KORG has gone with a kind of tip of the hat to both the Polysix and the Mono/Poly with the graphic design on the new Monotron Duo. I am talking about the blue colour that they chose for the main part of the Duo's case, and also the little stylistic touch that they made to the name "Duo". Sometimes it's the little things. 

    I'm another that hopes that KORG will deliver one of these days with a stellar update to their analog glory synths of yesteryear. Like a modern day hardware equivalent of a Polysix, a Trident, and/or a Mono/Poly. I think that they have the engineers to do it, and perhaps the market research would show them that it is financially viable to do it, too. Now is the time.

  • Charlie Lesoine

    Wow these look really fun! gotta get these and chain them all together with the OG monotron!

  • Paul

    I like, and will likely buy one, or perhaps both. I already have a regular Monotron, and I added Beatnics Midi kit to it. Which made it way more useable to me personally. 

    Still, I can't help but feel a little frustrated. These clearly show that Korg knows perfectly well how to build analogue synths. And it makes me wish and lust for something a little more substantial than these.. IE, a single analogue monosynth that has the features of all 3 of these. Preferably with midi/CV. 

    Something vaguely like a 2 or 3 osc Dark Energy.. Please Korg?? :p

    (Monotribe was almost there. But damn, how much better would that have been if they left out the weedy drums and put more into the synth!?)

  • http://soundcloud.com/radiokoala radiokoala

    @Peter: Here is my human feedback on the Monotribe: the thing is barely usable. To start with, if you search for "monotribe filter" on youtube, you would find zero to null relevant videos, and not due to it being in production for not long. Guess why?..

    "Some bits of the Monotribe seem utterly bonkers from a design point of view. The Monotron was apparently known for letting you pipe in external audio and use its filter as a signal processor; A great way to get a cheap analog 12db lowpass. The Monotribe offers this as well, but doesn’t disable the gate when the feature is engaged, meaning you must play a synth key to be able to hear the external audio through the filter. Why this seemed like a good idea to ANYONE at Korg is a real mystery, as it effectively kills the entire usefulness of the function."

    (c) doosday.no

    After having faced this on device I paid 200 euro for, I can't hide my disappointment, especially given that Monotron (which is now only 40!) does what Monotribe simply cannot. To use it as a filter you either need to turn the sequencer on or hold a note; this means you will always (always!) hear an oscillator mixed to your external signal. One might think turning off all the steps of synth will eliminate the tiresome hiss, but no – once you do it, there becomes no output whatsoever! Thus, if with monotron you can mix external signal with internal by playing a ribbon, on monotribe YOU DON'T HAVE SUCH OPTIONS. All in all, that means that if you decide on monotribe in favor of monotron, you don't get an expensive analog 12 db lowpass instead of a cheap one – you get a malicious filter that adds some sort of spam to your signal and you can't do anything about it!

    Talking about how I'm using it in my musical work, I think what worked best is applying FX to monotribe's sequences (mangling beats, if you like). Here you can achieve interesting results that I was, for the most part, unable to achieve via fooling with sync in – an aspect of monotribe that seemed especially promising to me, but even here it proved its worthlessness… (For once I was able to get something satisfying by modulating the rate though: http://chipmusic.org/radiokoala/music/monotribe-c… )

    Other than that, monotribe is good as on-the-go acid machine and for on-stage improvisation. However, in terms of value for price it is beyond hope behind all monotrons. Ah, and if it adds anything to my review, I've been using it for about month and a half.

  • http://soundcloud.com/radiokoala radiokoala

    BTW, review that I quoted is available in full here:

    http://www.doomsday.no/esn/2011/08/thoughts-on-th

    (A far better read than reviews in the glossy audiomags, if you ask me.)

  • http://cynicone.bandcamp.com cynicone

    WHERE DO I GET THESE NOW

  • Ratcage

    I have read so many scathing reviews of the monotribe and very few positive – but I love mine.

    People talk about the uselessness of the filter as an aux in compared to the monotron, but the information has been out there since it's release. If you only want to use the filter without hearing the synth, buy a monotron. However if you want to modulate some sound that compliments what's going on in the monotribe it's spectacular.

    The sequencer is short, but that simply means you have to play it and not just trigger sequences and tweak knobs. It's a different creature from electribes for sure but totally worthy imho.

    As for the drums, they're pretty wimpy but not unusable by any means. When you run the monotribe through an eq or even a KP you can totally drive them up through the mix but If you want a tweakable drum machine, I'd look into electribes.

    Anyway, just thought I'd throw in on the monotribes side. I recomend reading up on a machine, watching some demos and using some imagination to make the best of a machine, and not just being a bitch about it not including every feature you imagined it might have.

    Btw the new monotrons look kinda gimmicky. I nabbed the original cos, at that price why not? It sounds great and the filter is awesome, but pretty difficult to make anything remotely musical with it. The key quantisation is probably the biggest step forward.

    Maybe if you don't already have a monotron, they could be ok otherwise just run your monotron into a delay pedal, daw whatever.

    Also, I've broken 3 monotrons inputs and outputs just by moving them with the cable plugged in. Maybe i'm not the gentlest, but def look for something a little more robust. If I wasnt on good terms with the guys at the shop it would have been a £50 drop and I'd never have touched a mono-anything again.

    Peace

  • http://zeroreference.blogspot.com zeroreference

    I love my monotron. Used it as an analog bass module like someone else said, just to add a little low beefiness. It's tons of fun and super-easy to use. At some point I'm definitely building a mega-monotron modular (maybe plus gakken''s as well) synth.

    Also, as someone w/out a lot of synthesis knowledge the monotron is a great learning tool. I've had an alesis micron for ages but am still intimidated b/c of the tiny screen and the ten zillion options.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LouAshbyRecords Pete Marriott

    Thanks for reactivating my gear lust.

  • doclvly

    @Jim Aikin 

    most people don't have 10,000. just sayin…

    need to try eating with a plastic spoon every once and a while and shove that silver one where the sun don't shine. WTF are you doing on cdm anyway?

    P.S. this reaction is assuming your are not being sarcastic. If you are I apologize.

    music creation isn't just for the upper middle class and wealthy. In-fact I need it more, Id like to relax I worked all day.

  • Charlie Lesoine

    I applaud korg for making inexpensive instruments. Not only is it a smart business move to appeal to the general consumer market, but it gets more kids making noise!

  • http://youtube.com/fsk1138 FSK1138

    hi peter 

    korg monotron 3×5 eurorack templates

    did some test printouts for size – theses units were made to rack

    thinking about ….better knobs, rack power,front access to vol,  line in/out ,and cv in mod  for each unit 

    ff to ~ 2min  for a look at the templates 

    &nbsp ;http://youtu.be/GL75ZsUDm28
    i will post a .pdf download linkwhen i finalize the layout 

    -if korg start shipping  these units in euro rack form they will  really have something 

  • http://youtube.com/fsk1138 FSK1138

    well some one beat me to it  

    - and it looks really good 

    monotron-E

    http://youtu.be/YB4yjGDucuo

  • SX 4 Life

    @ cooptrol UR absolutely right on the money. A new and improved SX and MX would absolutlely slay! As in just combine the two into a single super unit. I dont get why KORG have been hesitant about it. I write to them religiously. I suggest everyone else do the same.

  • http://www.bebetterstudios.com Ethan Sager

    Cool, these things look like a lot of fun! What I find great about the Monotron and these new ones are that they force you to examine individual pieces of a synth and think of ways to maximize the usefulness of just a few features.  They're great little refresher tools. Like when I sit in front of any of my big synths, I never say 'Oh lets just limit myself to an lfo, the pitch knob and a filter and see that can do. Instead I start twiddling with every other knob until I come up with something great. All the while I guess I never really know if I have the best pitch, lfo, or filter settings possible for my patch because I just don't take enough time to look at them individually like that. Anyone else notice that? I never have my Monotron in my hands and say, "wow, if it could only have this and that feature, I would be happy." The other synths out there do all that stuff. It takes me back to the days when all I could afford was the little pieces of kit. It's a great refresher.

    Besides that, if you have a Monotron and a copy of Ableton live, Max, or even Reason 5+ what can't you do really? Throw in an iphone with some apps, and you can do much of what rich musicians could only do 10 years ago and a fraction of the baggage.

    I should also mention the joys of plugging in the Monotron to a Eurorack modular. Everyone should try this. 

    Finally, I also recently found another excellent function of the Monotron. I'm often spending a lot of time writing code by day, and keep the Monotron close by to break up the monotony. Client needs to push the project up by 2 weeks? Let's see what the Monotron has to say about that -> ZschwoommmmmWompWompWompWomp :-) It's a great leveler. :-)

  • zuk

    uhm… Still don't get  what korg is aiming to! I find these little gadgets really annoying… Not because I just hate them but because I bought them and I took some time to realize that these things are pretty useless. Monotron is too noisy as a filter and useless if you want to play melodies with it, but it's cheap though and cool in making weird noises. Monotribe is a too much limited sequencer with a too much limited synth part. For example korg could add a full implemented adsr (which is not more expensive than the useless EG switch they built) , a MIDI I/O or at least CV/Gate. I modified my Monotribe and added midi in: cool but a little bit buggy since when you release a note you can hear an annoying click. Today I tried to modify the drum parts but I damaged the whole synth. Now, I'm not that good in modding (that's for sure) but it's quite irritating that I have to pay 200 euros for an instrument which "could be good if…". I'd rather pay 450 euros and get a cool instrument I can play without having to destroy it. Korg has built MS-20 in the past, so they're clearly not newbies in analog synthesis, I bet they would earn so much money if they release a new mono synth… Maybe that's what they're aiming to but how much money should I waste before I get that thing? Will I have my house filled with modules which can't even communicate each other? I love the diy thing but that's not what I paid for, neither I expected Korg would come with two other monotrons. And, at last, I don't agree with Korg when they believe the analog target is made just by techno or D'n'b fanatics: for example I play alternative rock but I still think analog synthesizer fits it well. So why don't you give us something we can seriously play with?

  • BrotherJohn

    Hello
    I'm really interested in these monotrons. I'm new to synthesizers and I was thinking of getting one to put my electric organ or guitar through. So my question to all is….Which one should I buy? Which one works best with an external instrument?

  • http://vimeo.com/827452 Eric G

    @Jim:
    I love the 'cello. I also love crumhorns, mandolins, church organs (admittedly, I can't afford the latter).
    I love to rock out on cheap electric guitars with even cheaper fuzz boxes, and I have a serious renaissance model Hopf tenor recorder that I love to play as well.
    But if we actually start comparing – it would take a heck of a time practising to get even one tenth of the Monotron's sounds out of a 'cello…

  • Picsynth

    Hi
    I added back the resonance control to the monotron delay, here is how

    http://picsynth.000space.com/monotron/monores.html

    more mods coming soon!

    Kevin