The Korg Minilogue was hailed as a next generation analog synthesizer upon release. Combining the charming yet raw sound of analog synthesis with handy modern features, it quickly became one of their most popular products. Now they’ve unveiled the Minilogue XD, an evolved version of the Minilogue that offers new levels of analog & digital integration, expanded sound design tools, a supercharged sequencer, and much, much more.
Korg Minilogue XD – what’s new?
- Micro tuning (as on the Monologue) for detailed pitch control
- Additional circuitry added for expanded voices – cross modulation, two-pole filter & drive switch
- 500 spaces for presets to be saved, including 200 that come included
- 2 analog oscillators combined with a digital multi-engine 3rd oscillator
- Noise generator, VPM oscillator and user oscillator spaces expand your tonal palette
- Studio-quality digital effects powered by 32-bit DSP processor, including modulation and ambience
- 16-button sequencer with intuitive real-time editing and performance tools
- Larger oscilloscope & motion view display
- Extensive connectivity, including CV in, damper pedal and new stereo output
Here’s what Korg say:
In addition to emphasizing the same real analog sound and joy of controlling an electronic musical instrument offered by the original Minilogue, the Minilogue XD newly adds a digital multi-engine, effects, a powered-up sequencer, and micro tuning functionality, further expanding the possibilities for sound design and performance potential.
Analog synthesizer circuit that shatters expectations for its class
Four-voice polyphonic analog synthesis. The analog synthesizer circuit of the Minilogue, whose genuine analog sound had a huge impact on the synth world, has been further developed for the Minilogue XD.
Voice structure of Minilogue XD is 2VCO + MULTI ENGINE, 1VCF, 2EG, 1VCA, and 1LFO. In addition to the distinctive circuits found in the series, such as wave shaping to shape the overtones of the oscillator and a sync/ring switch, there's also cross modulation, a sharp two-pole filter, and a drive switch that adds thickness and drives signal into Minilogue XD’s filter. Every parameter has been tuned in detail based on what musicians want out of their synth. The sounds range from the warm pads typical of analog to fat basses and crisp lead sounds, covering every situation.
Of course, programs that you create can also be saved in the unit. Out of the box, Minilogue XD comes loaded with 200 presets, and a total of 500 programs can be saved.
Equipped with a digital multi-engine
The additional sound design possibilities of digital sound are delivered by the multi-engine that's provided as a third oscillator in addition to the two analog VCOs. This engine, which is equipped with three different types of sound generator (noise, VPM, and user slot) lets you take advantage of a sonic character that's different than analog, and use it at the same time as the analog engine, infinitely expanding the potential of hybrid sound design.
High-quality digital effects
Minilogue XD’s high-quality digital effects use 32-bit floating point DSP processing, adding a finishing touch to its deep sound design platform. The three types (modulation effects, reverb, and delay) can be used simultaneously, letting you choose from a wide range of variations including chorus, ensemble, warm tape delay, and a diverse variety of reverb. The user effect slots allow you to load your own effect programs that you've created.
User customization brings out infinite potential
The Minilogue XD features a customizable open environment. The unit comes with 16 user oscillator slots and 16 user effect slots that you can customize. Oscillators and user programs that you've created with the SDK (Software Development Kit) can be loaded into the Minilogue XD via the dedicated librarian software.
What sounds might arise from the fusion of the expanded digital oscillators with analog synthesis? Create original programs, share code, and participate in the user community. You can start with sample code provided by Korg.
Polyphonic step sequencer controlled by 16 buttons
The step sequencer provides 16 steps, and supports both real-time recording and step recording. You can use the 16 step buttons to select a step directly, allowing quick editing to replace the pitch of a step or to mute it, or even improvisatory performances.
Motion sequence lets you record the movements of up to four knobs, adding time-varying change to the sound, and you can record not only smooth changes in value but also values that change precisely at each step. You can use this to design the sound differently at each step; for example, you might create a drum pattern or sound effect from just a single program. This allows countless ideas to be unleashed.
Thoughtful, intuitive interface
The joystick controls pitch bend and modulation depth, etc. A desired parameter can also be assigned to the up/down axis.
There are four voice modes on the Minilogue XD, as follows:
- Poly: The Minilogue XD operates as a four-voice polyphonic synth.
- Unison: The unit operates as a monophonic synth, with the four voices working in unison.
- Chord: Chords are produced using one to four voices.
- Arp / latch: (arp) provides an arpeggiator with up to four voices that can also be used while the sequencer is running / (latch) switches latch on or off.
A voice mode depth knob is also provided, which applies a corresponding effect for each mode:
- Poly: Turning the knob toward the right switches to DUO mode and deepens the detune.
- Unison: Turning the knob toward the right deepens the detune.
- Chord: Selects mono or chord type.
- Arp / latch: (arp) selects the arpeggiator type.
The Minilogue XD is equipped with the micro tuning function featured on the monologue, allowing you to individually adjust the pitch of each key. Built in are 23 preset tunings that include some created by Aphex Twin and Dorian Concept, and users can also create and store six user scales and six user octaves. Start by trying out the preset tunings of famous musicians, and then advance to creating your own original tunings.
Oscilloscope and motion view display
The organic EL display is now larger, and also provides oscilloscope functionality for you to view sound as the electrical signal's waveform. This makes parameter changes visible in real time, giving you visual feedback that helps you understand how the synthesizer works. The display can also show motion view for visualizing the movement of a stored motion sequence.
A stereo effect unit is provided at the final stage, and the output jacks are now also stereo. Spatial-type effects such as delay, reverb, and chorus will add an even more convincing touch to your thick analog synth sounds and sparkling digital synth sounds.
A damper jack has been added in response to requests from artists and users. Finally, two CV IN jacks are provided, with voltage levels of -5V–+5V. In addition to CV/Gate, these can also input modulation signals, allowing you to use external devices to control parameters in the same way as moving the joystick up or down.