Arturia iMini vs Model D Minimoog Synthesizer

In the latest episode of Sonic Touch, Nick and Gaz dig into the new Arturia iMini, and even compare it to a Model D Minimoog.

Here’s an earlier comparison between Arturia iMini and the desktop version, Mini V


  • Minimoog sound.
  • 3 Oscillators
  • 24db per octave filter.
  • Simulated headphone jack/external input feedback.
  • 2 Assignable XY pads
  • Chromatic or tuned scale keyboard modes
  • Polyphonic mode
  • Full featured arpeggiator
  • Repeat
  • HOLD and MEMORY latch modes
  • Octave span
  • 5 note order modes
  • Speed and sync controls
  • Virtual Analog Chorus
  • Virtual Analog Delay
  • Owners of both the iMini and Mini V software apps can transfer sounds from one platform to the other via iTunes.
  • Full user MIDI mapping of panel controls.
  • Supports WIST sync with other iOS devices.
  • Tabletop Ready
  • Soundcloud seeder (via Tabletop)
  • Render to .wav file (via Tabletop)
  • Audiocopy to paste your audio into another iPAD application. (via Tabletop)

Arturia iMini is available now for US $9.99 in the App Store.

Here are the audio examples mentioned in the review:

via sonicstate

16 thoughts on “Arturia iMini vs Model D Minimoog Synthesizer

    1. bubbstar – how does the classic Model D fit into that mindset?

      You have to tune it, get an audio interface set up and then it’s got no MIDI support.

      Neither are toys, in the right hands.

  1. It’s interesting, i suppose, but I don’t think it’s really a fair comparison, even ignoring the fact that they haven’t controlled for the entirely different types of outputs (one a line-level jack with quite a chunky amp behind it, the other an output designed for a set of earbuds – wildly different impedences etc).

    i mean, imini is $10, polyphonic, integrated with other apps, always in tune, has hundreds of patches, effects, keyboard scales, x/y pads, etc. etc. a real minimoog will set you back $5k in good condition, has no memory, is monophonic, goes out of tune, has no midi without modding, etc. plus, if you have tabletop, you can have 8 iminis running at the same time (albeit monophonically) for your $10 and carry them around with you.

    i don’t think arturia are really saying “it’s identical to the real thing”. for one thing, it’s not possible – in my experience individual units of the same model of analogue synth can sound pretty different to each other – all they’re saying it’s a very good approximation. and for those of us without $5k to spare (or $60k to replicate the tabletop experience), this is a good thing.

    also, does anyone else find it interesting that when people discuss why a “real” synth is “better” than a model, or analogue is “better” than digital or valves are “better” than blah blah blah….they use words like “weight” “warmth” “depth” “punch”, none of which can be defined and therefore (conveniently, a cynic might say) none of which can be measured. because i find it very interesting indeed.

    1. A lot of what makes classic analog sound fat is their ‘defects’ – tuning instability and distortion. These add complexity and motion to the sound.

      And a lot of the criticism of the sound of software synths is the result of boring synth patches. If you add a little noise to your oscillators as a modulator (or tuning instability if that’s an option), the oscillators will chorus against each other a little randomly, like old analog oscillators.

  2. I’m ready for the thumbs down here OK. I do have an 1974 Minimoog. I also have the Arturia and the Minimonsta plug ins. I will more often than not use the plug ins during a session. They are fast to use and they get the right sound “in the mix”….. but there’s one thing they don’t do and that’s draw you in with their hypnotic power to make you want to press keys, turn knobs, try crazy modulations that make you say…”whoa! look at the time!!… I forgot to stop for lunch”… so I’m saying, it’s not the sound, the accuracy of the replication… it’s the way the old Moog surprises you when your fingers touch those beautiful big black knobs. To me it’s like saying… I’ve driven a Ferrari on my Playstation” and “I own a Ferrari”

    1. That is the best and most valid argument I have heard since ever, and I know where youre coming from, I can lose whole days just tweeking. My counter argument is as long as the app has good midi in support and you have a decent controller keyboard with plenty of knobs you can recreate the expeirience youre describing.
      I got the iMini when it came out, got home at 10 and found myself looking up at 3am thinking where has the time gone!

  3. the imini is a fail because the flaws that it corrects are part of what makes the “moog sound.” the moog synth is more of an instrument than a synthesizer these days – in that as a synth its not really the most exciting – but as an instrument (like a b3 or rhodes is an instrument) it has a character that is all its own.

    so where does the imini fit? nowhere really…..just a configuration of generic junk made in a chinese sweatshop. not an exciting synth, not a unique instrument. just like much of the soulless mass produced garbage that fills many of our lives.

    1. Arturia – French. Retronyms – American. Not sure what Chinese sweatshops are involved (oh, the iPad, uhhhh, fair enough)

      Are you honestly saying you can’t make soulful music with mass produced equipment? Moogs were mostly made t order but every Roland, Yamaha and korg could be classed as “mass produced” just like a lot of gibsons, fenders, etc etc.

      Once again, my mantra : its not the technology, its what you do with it.

      1. I agree, I am not saying that soulful music cannot be made on soulless mass produced garbage. In fact soulful music can probably made under just about any circumstance. I am referring to the homogeneity of the ipad and how it tries to emulate a result rather than the process of getting to the result, while losing a few important steps in the process. but for the 10000 people who think they are making a moog sound on the ipad, and end up making soulful music that does not sound like what is real moog, their version of “moog” wlill become the new new “moog” sound.

  4. Slightly off topic, Gaz’s hair is really getting out of control with every episode of sonic touch, something needs to be done! I’d like to think Nick had thick Afro at the start 😉

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