Korg Monotribe 2 – Free Update Adds New Features!

Korg Monotribe 2

Korg has released System Version 2 for the Monotribe – a major firmware update that adds sample and hold, a new sync capabilities, 16 step synth sequences and more.

Here’s what’s new in Korg Monotribe System Version 2:

  • Sequencer:
    • Synth part resolution has been doubled to 16 Steps
    • Volume Automation has been added to the synth part.
    • Active Step can be specified for each part.
    • Drum Roll capability has been added.
    • Gate Time Hold function has been added.
  • Synthesizer:
    • Sample and Hold (S&H) function added to LFO.
  • Sync:
    • Connected sequences allow multiple monotribe units to play in rotation.
    • Half Tempo function has been added.
  • Short Cut Keys:
    • Four convenient shortcuts for creating patterns quickly

Here’s a quick user demo:

Here are the details:

  • 16-Step Synth parts – As with drum parts, the synth part now provides timing information in between the steps in a sequence, allowing a pattern to achieve a total of 16 steps.
  • Synth Part Volume Automation – Volume Automation allows the synth volume to be recorded during playback to create more detailed sequences. The left side of the ribbon controller keyboard decreases the volume, and the right side increases it. This Volume Automation can even be controlled when if Flux mode is on.
  • Set individual Active Steps for each Part – The Active Step function lets you specify which steps are played or jumped when playing back the step sequencer. Now, the Active Step can be set individually for each of the SYNTH, BD, SD, and HH parts. By specifying a different number of steps for each part, you can create complex polyrhythms.
  • Sample & Hold (S & H) added to the LFO – The RATE knob adjusts the frequency of change, and the INT. knob adjusts the depth of change. Unlike traditional LFO waveshapes that provide a constantly changing signal, the Sample & Hold feature takes a “sample” of the LFO signal and holds that level for a specific duration of time. The results are the highly popular and slightly random stepped-filter effects so famously used in analog synthesizers. By using noise as the input signal, the monotribe version 2 lets you create effects that change in a distinctively random manner.
  • Drum Roll capability – A roll can now be added to the desired drum part. The speed of the roll can be controlled using the ribbon controller keyboard; moving toward the right will increase the number of strikes. You can also record the drum roll using the sequencer to intuitively create subtle and dynamic drum patterns.
  • Linked Sequences play multiple monotribes in rotation – The Link Sequence feature is a completely new sync method that vastly expands the scope of the monotribe, to deliver even more fun. When sequence playback reaches step 8, the sequence will automatically stop and the next monotribe unit will start playing. By loop-connecting the SYNC jacks, the playback can keep cycling through multiple units – in true modular fashion.
  • New Additions – The Gate Time Hold function lets you use the ribbon controller keyboard to play and record new pitch information while retaining the gate times recorded in the sequencer. Also new is the Half Tempo function, which cuts the tempo in half when synchronizing to an external input from the SYNC IN jack. In addition, there are now four shortcut keys that instantly initialize various types of sequence data or active step settings.

Let us know what you think of the Korg Monotribe System 2 update!

Updating Procedure

Thinking of monotribe as an analog synthesizer, the procedure of for updating the Operating System is also a very old-school, analog-style method, reminiscent of loading data via the playback of analog cassette tape. Download the system data which Korg has encoded as an audio (WAV) file from www.korg.com or from the website of your local Korg distributor. Then, play back the file using a WAV file player like a Smartphone or using PC application software, directly in to the monotribe’s SYNC IN jack. When the audio (WAV) file finished playing, your monotribe has been updated. It’s a traditional procedure revived for a new generation.

WARNING! Do not playback the system update file on any speaker or headphone system as this could lead to damage to equipment and/or hearing loss. Neither Korg nor any of its affiliates will accept responsibility for any damages, personal loss or injury that may result from playback of the file.

16 thoughts on “Korg Monotribe 2 – Free Update Adds New Features!

  1. Wow. That was like… magic. For someone like me who has grown up with computers and other digital stuff, updating software with sound if really quite an interesting concept.

    Update completed, and everything seems to work as described in the updated manual (except I don’t really get the very last part. something about saving when turning off the device).

    It’s definitely nice with the 16 steps for the synth. that is the major upgrade in my opinion.

  2. Imho the most trivial part of the upgrade is the 16 synth steps, all the other features are sooooooooooooooo creative. This is a whole world of awesome and Korg really ought to be applauded. The update goes via your sound playback device into the sync in jack, easy 2 minute mod.

    I have a query for owners of 2 monotribes, lucky u. I tried daisy chaining my v2 tribe with a v2 in a shop today. Lots of fun, but it seems there’s no way to sync the tempo ( you get close by matching tempo) of the two units. Both work as master clock. Also not sure if it will fly when using the app to provide sync into the iOS world of apps. Thoughts ?

    1. Press the ‘Gate Time’, keep it pressed in and press the ‘5’ button of the step sequencer. Now you should be able to use S&H when you have the mode switch on ‘1shot’.

  3. I love that I update my newest korg (monotribe) the same way I update my oldest korg (poly 61)! I never thought they’d bother expanding this model. I’m going to really enjoy playing with shift and hold!

    wow I just realized there’s 30 years between those two korgs!

  4. Wow, it’s all good 🙂
    I’m lucky enough to have a Roland MC202, which is a brilliant partner for the Monotribe. That saves and loads sequences in the same funky audio file way.
    Another fun thing to try is recording your sync output to a loop in Abelton (other sequencers are available….), and then playing it back to the Monotribe sync in, whilst telling Abelton to use it as a tempo master track. Instant midi sync 😀

  5. Gotta say that I love my Monotribe. Just updated it to ver 2.0 today and I think the best new features are the sample and hold and the drum roll.. drum roll is totally great! This little box just keeps getting better. Think I might have to get another one to daisy-chain them 🙂

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