The Korg Monotribe Analogue Ribbon Station (First Photos)

Korg Monotribe Analogue Ribbon Station

Official photos of the Korg Monotribe Analogue Ribbon Station – a new analog synth that’s expected to be announced at Musikmesse 2011 – are now available.

Features include:

  • Synth with single VCA, VCF, VCA
  • LFO
  • Envelope Generator
  • Selectable wave options
  • Noise
  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • High Hat
  • Built-in Sequencer
  • Toggle synthesizer matrix

This thing looks like it may be rather wicked – with lots of hands-on tweakability.

We’re looking forward to learning more and hearing what it sounds like. Let us know what you think!

More photos below.

Official specifications for the Korg Monotribe and pricing are to be announced. We’ll have the details later this week.

via guest comment on previous Korg Monotribe post.

82 thoughts on “The Korg Monotribe Analogue Ribbon Station (First Photos)

  1. iPad version please.

    Oh wait. On 2nd thought. That will have zero to shit MIDI implementation as well so..pass, lol.

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  2. Looks like it will be cheap and fun.

    I'm interested to see what the connectivity is on this. It's got In Sync Out, but on what looks like 1/8" jacks.

    Hmmm…..

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  3. I was expecting at least USB, which would have made some sort of sense to the Korg iPad app users that they marketed this to. Looks interesting IF it's < $100 USD.

    At least it's NOT what many expected… none of us suspected that the Stylophone would get competition! 😉

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  4. what's so great about ribbon controllers? why can't they make an analog synth like this with actual keys?

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  5. I WILL BE WAITING IN LINE FOR THIS. probably won't be a line but I WILL BE WAITING IN FRONT OF GUITAR CENTER FOR THEM TO OPEN THE DAY THEY GET THESE IN STOCK

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  6. I'm intrigued! It's real analog and it looks like they're cutting out a lot of extras in order to make this cheap. that's OK with me as long as it sounds good.

    I hope it's not limited to 8 steps, though.

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  7. See you in line, man! The Monotron is possibly the greatest purchase I have made in like, the last five years. This thing is going to be *essential*.

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  8. i still think Korg are not quite meeting their market. the lack of even a mini keyboard is a real disappointment.

    give me MS20 analogue sound, mini keyboard, set of 100 presets, and then add the electribe sequencer (including display screen).

    you think how Moog has protected its brand, and then compare with Korg… it's such a shame.

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  9. This sounds very nice but they have to make it cheap for people to buy it. I always want more features, too. I hope that they make it hackable like the Monotron.

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  10. Moog was revolutionary 50 years ago, and they've essentially stuck to the same recipe ever since (granted, it's a really, really, awesome recipe, but still)

    Korg should get at least some credit for trying something new, not necessarily revolutionary, but there's nothing else on the market quite like it (by the looks of it)

    Personally, im a bit broke right now, and have other gear i would rather purchase first, but if the sound is good and the price is right i can see getting it for the tweak-ability/analog sequencing.

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  11. It seemed to me that most wanted features of Monotron's successor were MIDI or any playable keyboard. We tweaked analog hardware enough with Monotron, time to make some actual music, no?

    Nature of this SYNC thing is unclear, so we still need to wait at least till 6th of april to make substantial conclusions.

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  12. It seems some anaphobic suit at Korg is too shy to go all the way and green-light a monophonic synth with a full keyboard.

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  13. I have so many (two or three) guesses what it could be for! One I'm shure nobody wants to hear is that it is for sync just between two Monotribes.

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  14. i'm assuming sync is to use multiple monotribes together like the bliptronic, as opposed to some sort of general protocol like cv.

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  15. @christian that’s “sync in” and “audio in.” Probably CV sync and why would it not be standard CV given that the monotron AFAIK uses standard CV when modded?

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    1. Thanks I had another thought which was that it could be a seperate audio out and in for making a daisy chain of monotribes. the only reason i think this is because why would they have a SYNC In then a SYNC only jack as well as a SYNC out.

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  16. Are Korg inept when it comes to MIDI? Are they technically incapable of it? Is there some great MIDI patent they don't want to infringe?

    Monotron, Kaossilators, Wavedrum, this…

    What… the… Really p'ing me off, Korg…

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  17. wtf… gimme at LEAST a USB so I can plug a real keyboard into it, or sequence stuff out of a computer. I would buy this the DAY it comes out if it had MIDI.

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  18. Note the "FLUX" button, which activates the capacitor to allow time travel. 😉

    I wish there was MIDI, but may be able to jury rig synch using noise into CV in.

    I wonder – are the drums adjustable (and analog), as well as the synth voice? I hope so.

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  19. VJFranzK

    The Flux button caught my eye, too. Don't remember seeing that on a synth before! If it can take synth technology back in time and deliver 70's synth sounds, it'll be popular.

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  20. All you nay sayers dont know the power of analog sync. With the onboard sequencer having 8 steps, you can create infinite possibilities when you send a different pattern than quarter notes as a pulse into the sync input. Just you wait and try it, it will blow your mind.

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  21. Not what I expected, but still very cool. I wish it had either midi or proper cv/gate… but at least Korg is listening to their customers!

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  22. I've given this quite some thought on the way home, and I've basically came down to "No MIDI? No sale.".

    I've bought my fair share of Korg "fun" boxes. The monotron and kaossilator, for example. But they're toys. Most of us probably have some fun with them and then get back to more serious hardware. Finally something we basically all wanted to see from Korg arrives, and I was genuinely excited by this. But I just don't need to spend any more money on another stupid box from Korg that's going to sit in my room when the novelty wears off because there's just no good way to program/backup/automate/sync/update the damn thing.

    I'm sure they'll still sell a ton of them. But whoever is that douchebag product guy who keeps going into concept/design meetings with "we don't need MIDI, that's not what this product is about, this is all about fun, and real-time tweaking, and that's what we're bringing to the table with this", I really think you've ruined the true potential of a lot of good products. Please, Korg, stop listening to that guy.

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  23. I understand all of the 'bummer, no MIDI' sentiment… but honestly, if this is a relatively affordable as the Monotron, it will be worth it.

    I have been using my Monotron at gigs, and you can take that little beast in your hand and come out to the front of the stage and really get down with it. People go nuts. And once you jam on it a while, you can actually get licks that are basically in key. The 'novelty' of it is that it is slightly crude and theramin-like. Seriously, at every show at least two people came up afterward to ask, 'what the hell was that kick-ass little black thing!?'

    If you want something that reacts precisely to the input from your MIDI controller, this is not what these are for. Save up and get a DSI Mopho. For under $100, these things are fun and unique. It's what you figure out to do with it within it's limitations that makes it cool.

    Also – if they release the schematics with this, like they did with Monotron, then I'm sure some enterprising people with come up with some decent mods for MIDI input, for the adventurous…

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  24. The main reason I'd want MIDI is to clock it to other gear. Really, what good is the sequencer if I can't? I know that's what the sync port is for, but if I have to get a MIDI-to-CV converter, that ups the price of this little box quite a bit.

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  25. Why not make these as modular 'lego' blocks?
    Assemble whatever you want and make all the modules super affordable?
    MIDI, extra LFO, Filter, Snap together!
    Everyone is happy!

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  26. Do we know it's only got one voice? Could there be samples for some of the drum sounds – I actually hope not. Best would be an analog voice for each sound…

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  27. Unfortunately, I can't see it being for anything else. Still, having a couple of these would probably mean that you could layer sounds (polyphony?) while staying in sync. You could maybe increase 8 steps to 16 and beyond; though it would have to run one then the other so that would limit things. Looks like I'll have to get 3 🙂

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  28. Has anyone noticed that according to size of 6,3 mm jack connector this will be really small and cute? Approx. 130x90x50 mm makes it the littlest groovebox available (except maybe MFB 522)

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  29. I can’t get over the comments about what hardware they’ve had to cut to get the price down and wondering how korg could make it so cheap. walk into a Tandy sometime and check out the toy keyboards in there. these “pro” toys are so over priced it is disgraceful how we fall all over eachother just because we think it might be less than $500.

    it’s not hand made, analogue probably makes it cheaper to produce. the monotone was pretty expensive for what it was. then thru double the price when they ship to Australia, despite the fact that it weighs nothing and the AUD is stronger than the USD.

    it is all a bit of a con. I’ll wait for the evolution of this series to get a bit more useful. I’ve wanted an MS 20 for most of my life. this isn’t going to satiate that desire.

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  30. My hope is that they're ramping up on quirky analog gear. First the Monotron, now the Monotribe. They are testing the waters, evaluating features (or lack thereof), and just maybe earning some money that could perhaps found a more ambitious project for those among us who want their toys to be useable in a standard (MIDI) studio environment, too.

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  31. The complaints about lack of MIDI are somewhat understandable, but Korg isn't targeting the serious gearheads with this – like the Monotron, this is all about instant hands-on fun. Call it a toy if you will, but I've heard some really wonderful music made with the 'Tron and I expect the same will happen with the 'Tribe.

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  32. Not a real synth just a toy, blah blah blah, sorry but some of us don't have thousands of pounds/dollars to plow into a modular system, this is pick up and play, hopefully hooking some of us into saving for a "real" synth,
    also does it make beepy noise? A=Yes!!!! =WIN + AWESOME!!!!
    The monotron is awesome!!!( I have a dark energy which is more awesome but far more pricey!!!)
    (having an analog studio in your backpack is truly amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
    Can't wait for this!!!

    Plus – I bet they release the schematics just like they did for the monotron, modding will prevail should you want midi etc.

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  33. Damn… Looks nice, could use better outputs and MIDI.Maybe you can fix that for yourself (as there are already lots of Monotron hacks).

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  34. If it's around $100 US I'll definitely buy one. I don't care (and have absolutely no use) for MIDI so that's not a problem. Some of us dream of cheap analog, no matter how small and featureless. This looks like a dream.

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  35. I really don't need midi, i am an art rock performer so i barely use midi for modules, but not sequences. So this will be great for me

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  36. I'm more interested in the analog connections – are those normal CV's or something else.

    If they are CVs it could be pretty cool.

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  37. Message to all you USB computer geeks: GET OVER YOURSELF AND YOUR MIDI WISHES. THE SYNTH IS WHAT IS IS, SO MAKE SOME FUCKING AWESOME MUSIC WITH IT AND STOP TREATING YOUR MIDI AND USB CABLES LIKE ROYALTY!

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  38. UNLESS YOU PLAN ON LIVING YOUR LIFE IN THE MATRIX. No Seriously, enough with the hate, this thing looks capable of some real cool percussion sounds and with the built in sequencer I can see myself using this on stage paired with an electric guitar and some loop pedals.

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  39. I will definitely be buying this if the price is right. It would have been amazing if they gave you a way to plug in a nanoKey or something to use instead of the ribbon, but it's not the end of the world. If this thing is as moddable as the Monotron (which I suspect it is) this will be a huge hit for Korg.

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  40. hi ! i want try that soon. keyboard looks so small no ?i think it don't need midi, musicians can play it !!!

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  41. Besides which, this thing is still far more interesting that the digital-workstation-ish items everyone's been touting as "game-changers"…

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  42. The micromoog is not considered a "toy" nor is the original SEM (no midi on either).

    It would have been nice… but I guess they have to keep the cost down somehow… this is DISCRETE ANALOG by KORG…. stop whining!!!!!

    And for those of you who want to use it with a DAW – it DOES SYNC…very easily (send it an audio pulse….)

    8 steps is kind of small, but the active step parameter opens it up quite a bit….

    O… and the drums are also fully analog.

    The only thing I see missing is glide/accent….I'm sure the modding community can take care of that…

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  43. looks fun. I'd rather them have skipped the synth and ribbon section all together for an korg analog drum box but i'll probably still pick it up

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  44. Well, Monotron was only ~$60, since this is a fair amount of the same hardware, $100 seems fair. I would agree with pyxl8r, much over $100, and it just isn't worth it.

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  45. Um, can I use it with my Korg Legacy Controller ( M2-20) . I just got a few days ago.
    Some one said it might have 1/8 " inputs. The controller works with the iMS-20 w/ a belkin powered hub, and the laptop MS-20 plug but so what. Patch cords even mini ones would be cool.
    Trying to get back to my pre Midi days.

    Had SH 101, Juno 106, Alpha 1, Esq 8 bit sampler. Have Roland JW -50 (93) Casio PT -50 (84) KLC. Wish list DSI anything & a real MS-20.

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  46. I think it would have been easier and have made more sense to put a CV in instead of midi. Then anyone who wanted midi would just need a midi to CV converter. Hopefully they label the circuit board and publish the schemo's like on the monotron but its still a really cool little device. Maybe a poormans 808/303 combo?

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  47. I hope that the drum sounds are tweakable or hackable so that everybody doesn't have to sound exactly the same.

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  48. To the haters…..

    Do any of the other big music gear companies make any analog synths?

    Thank you Korg.

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  49. i was thinking i needed midi so bad when i got my roland juno 6……2 weeks ago, i recorded each note with my creative sound card, sampled with a rex and layed it out in reason, then used it with reasons reverb n stuff, which will sync perfectly in time, if it makes noise, it can be used
    http://soundcloud.com/bonx2-0/organic-with-blue-c

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  50. i was thinking i needed midi so bad when i got my roland juno 6……2 weeks ago, i recorded each note with my creative sound card, sampled with a rex and layed it out in reason, then used it with reasons reverb n stuff, which will sync perfectly in time, if it makes noise, it can be used
    http://soundcloud.com/bonx2-0/organic-with-blue-c

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  51. i was thinking i needed midi so bad when i got my roland juno 6……2 weeks ago, i recorded each note with my creative sound card, sampled with a rex and layed it out in reason, then used it with reasons reverb n stuff, which will sync perfectly in time, if it makes noise, it can be used
    http://soundcloud.com/bonx2-0/organic-with-blue-c

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  52. Im excited.
    May not be so limited after all, and midi may not be so much of an issue.From what I read on other sites there is potential to sync to cv signals. Like real synths used to. It seems to at the least have a gate type of sync from external sources.

    From sequencer.de

    Sync Jacks: A Return To Analog or Modular
    The monotribe provides both Sync In and Sync Out jacks, empowering multiple monotribe units to play and work together for a synchronized performance. Not just other monotribes, either. Audio line level pulses can trigger the Sync Input so the monotribe can be synchronized to a DAW system, for example. In addition, the polarity of the pulse waveform can be changed for both the input and output, so you can enjoy synchronized performance with a variety of equipment equipped with Sync connections.

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  53. According to he same place, you'll be able to have pitch quantization on the ribbon keyboard which will hopefully make it easier to play too.

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  54. I appreciate that they're making this to be CHEAP. There's plenty of of analog synths out there… now how many of them are under 300 dollars? EXACTLY. Thank you korg.
    besides, you know there'll be a midi hack or SOMETHING

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  55. im new to all of this, but would plugging another keyboard into the audio in allow you to use all the monotribes goodies with said keyboard? i would love to analog up my casio

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  56. Midi isn't everything, you bozos. Don't hang yourself by a USB cable if you're not creative enough to make music with different kinds of equipment…

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