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Korg Monologue

Analogue Synthesizer
Published January 2017
By Paul Nagle

Korg Monologue

The Monologue may be a cut-down version of the Minilogue, but it offers a few features its polyphonic big brother can’t match.

To follow the popular four-voice Minilogue synth, Korg could have gone either way — larger or smaller. Perhaps concerned for the UK and its shrinking pound, they chose the latter. The Monologue is a trimmed-down, single-voice version of the Minilogue, itself not exactly huge. The filter and envelope implementation has been simplified, the delay is gone and the keyboard reduced to a mere two octaves. Despite the trimming process, there’s a surprisingly gutsy synthesizer left; it consists of dual VCOs and a sequencer with a few tricks that could inspire envy in Minilogue owners. The 100 memories contain both patch and sequencer data and if you enjoy a touch of the exotic with your monosynth, you’ll be pleased to learn that micro-tuning is incorporated.

Externals

The Monologue is a chip off the old block, even down to its wooden rear and the tiny screen for displaying waveforms, sequencer data or information such as patch names and parameter values. The oscilloscope functionality is no mere gimmick either since it promotes a wider understanding of the actions of the filter, of waveform shape movement and of the new drive circuit.

Probably the best thing that can be said about the mini keyboard is that it deviates from the C-C ‘standard’ usually imposed. In what might be an attempt to lure guitarists to the dark side, Korg have opted for a 25-note E-E range instead. The keyboard transmits velocity (but not aftertouch) and while it’s perfectly fine for tapping notes into the sequencer, the Monologue becomes far more pleasurable when an external controller is involved. If you prefer to remain compact, a total of eight velocity curves are offered, so even though you won’t fancy pounding the keyboard too vigorously, you should be able to find a response that suits both your strength and the synth engine’s basic velocity routings.

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Published January 2017