As SOS got ready for Superbooth, rumours reached our ears that Korg would be launching a couple of products, although details were scarce. When the show opened, two new synths were unveiled: the Nubass, an addition to the Volca range of mini synths, and the Minilogue XDM, a keyboardless table‑top version of the Minilogue XD.
Even from the name, it had been pretty clear that the new volca was a bass synth, but although we had heard that there was a valve in there somewhere, we hadn't reckoned with Nutube, which is a newly developed Korg vacuum tube used at the core of the new battery-powered volca's oscillator, sub-oscillator and drive circuits. These are coupled to a 16-step sequencer with Transpose, Accent and Slide parameters for classic Bassline-style electronic bass pattern construction, and what Korg describes as an "aggressive-sounding" ladder filter — which we can confirm is a good description, having now heard it on the Korg stand at Superbooth!
The Minilogue XDM provides all the synthesis capabilites of the Minilogue XD but omits the latter's keyboard. It can be connected to a Minilogue XD via MIDI, creating a combined eight-note polyphonic synth (see below), making good on a suggestion our own Gordon Reid made in his review of the original Minilogue in SOS March 2016, and which he bemoaned the continued lack of in the keyboard Minilogue XD review in the latest issue. However, shortly after that review went to press, a firmware update to make connecting the XD and XDM possible was announced.
The Volca Nubass, it's now confirmed, will retail for £179$280 and the Minilogue XDM for £565$800.