My Korg Monologue Synthesizer Review
Since it was founded in 1963, Korg's goal has been to create new experiences in music and performance.
The instruments Korg will deliver are reflections of ideas of the many artists and users who continue to love Korg.
My Initial Thoughts
Having tried out and used this unit's "big brother", the Minilogue, I was eager to get my hands on this monophonic analog synthesizer from Korg.
Don't mistake this unit for just a single-voice version of its predecessor, as it offers much more than that.
In this review, we will be taking a look at all the basic functionality offered by this device, starting from its most basic characteristic, and working our way up toward the more advanced capabilities.
With that in mind, let's get started!
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- VCF changed for 2-pole with more bite
- DRIVE added for rich bass and cutting leads
- LFO capabilities expanded with higher rates...
Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations
The Korg Monologue is an analog single-voice, two-octave (25 keys) synthesizer.
It is fully programmable and features a very handy 16-step sequencer.
This feature alone enables it to perform elaborate rhythmical patterns, especially along external gear, such as drum machines.
The sound is generated via the Monologue's dual-oscillator setup, with an LFO featuring three waveforms.
It also comes with a newly-designed low-pass filter on board and a great addition in form of the drive control.
This gives it a special edge in terms of sound-building. I have found tweaking the controls and exploring sounds to be very rewarding.
The deep basses hold ground compared to much more expensive units, even surpassing them at times.
This, along with its capability to produce sharp lead sounds by adding distortion, makes it one of the favorite features of this synth.
I have found its general user-friendliness to be a major upside of the Monologue.
It offers 100 preset slots.
Out of those, 80 are pre-programmed, while 20 are left for the user to create their own sounds.
So, if you are new to analog synthesis, you will still be able to use and create great sounds right on the spot.
At the same time, this synthesizer is no beginner's toy - as proven by the lists of its users in the music industry.
In a consulting role, electronic mastermind Aphex Twin is one of the creators who helped build the Monologue's presets.
Another cool addition: the oscilloscope display which lets you actually see the wave shape as it modulates.
When you connect other instruments with the Monologue, the oscilloscope will also let you see the shapes of other signals coming through.
Advanced Features and Performance
The Monologue has the usual audio connections (main output, USB MIDI, headphone and input).
That way, you can sync it with other gear and use it as part of your DAW, studio or stage setup. With the USB connection, you can also use it as a MIDI controller.
The setup of the keyboard, in my opinion, also reveals that while building the Monologue, Korg was very aware of its appeal to all kinds of musicians.
Namely, it starts from the E note (not C), making it a great companion for a bassist or guitarist stepping into the analog synth world.
Of course, electronic music creators remain its main target audience.
In addition, the Monologue is powered either by 6 AA batteries or DC power.
With the first option, you will enjoy full mobility with this unit.
Last but not least, this synth is impeccably designed.
It comes with the nice wood panel we've grown accustomed to by Korg, and in a variety of 5 different colors.
Pros & Cons of Monologue
Amazing price/quality ratio: offers a big sound in an easy-to-use package
Ideal starting point for a novice in music
The slim keys might be off-putting for more accomplished keyboard players
Power supply is not included
No modulation wheel
My Final Thoughts
Perhaps you are just embarking on your analog journey, or you already have plenty of experience under your belt.
Either way, the Korg Monologue is one of the best synthesizers you can get.
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