Korg Minilogue Synthesizer Overview & Demo


Here’s an video overview and demo of the Korg Minilogue, a new four-voice polyphonic analog synth, from Sweetwater synth guru, Daniel Fisher:

In the video, Fisher walks you through the architecture of the Korg Minilogue and its various parameters, before demonstrating some of the sounds you can create with it.

Pricing and Availability

The Korg Minilogue will be available in stores on January 21st, 2016, priced at US $499.99.

143 thoughts on “Korg Minilogue Synthesizer Overview & Demo

    1. YES! YES! YES! KORG did make it happen, an polyphonic analog Synthesizer for 500$ /600€,
      which sounds and looks amazing!
      Now lets see if other companies will follow in the poly analog market 🙂
      glad that 3 days ago I already preordered 🙂

  1. Looks really good as a performance instrument, but kind of light on modulation and routing. Still, for $500, definitely looks like a good buy.

  2. Every time I play my Volca Keys I think to myself: If only korg would make this polyphonic, with keys, and memory, etc… This is my dream. KORG made my dreams come true. SOLD

        1. I was, because everything in that demo sounded paraphonic to me too!

          But yep, I’m hearing it’s true poly.

          Which is amazing.

          And which means they really need some better demos than this!

      1. Daniel Fisher clarified (and it’s been verified by others on other forums who have it, and even opened it!): “It is a true 4-voice polyphony synth, with each voice having two Oscillators, a resonant 2/4-pole Lowpass Filter, an Amp, two Envelope Generators, and an LFO. Even the Audio In jack is sent, pre-Filter, to each of the four voices. When in DUO Mode, you have two voices with four oscillators per note. When in UNISON, you have eight oscillators for that note. I know, it’s hard to believe it’s real at this price point. Thanks for watching!?”

  3. Add says, “Has the sound of polyphonic analog” . Korg’s version of System 1 ACB, like Roland ‘s marketing bla bla of ACB which is nothing more than software too. Is it so difficult to clearly speak out what this animal really has under the hood.

    1. It’s analogue as far as the oscillators and filter are concerned!
      The delay section, and perhaps the modulation sources, are likely digital.

        1. Yeah, that’s a good guess. That whole section is probably in code. Doesn’t seem worth routing the signal back out to analog for an HPF. That would just be another source of noise. No one cares if the HPF is digital. It’s the resonant filters that people (should) care about.

    2. except this IS analog…. vco vcf
      not VA, not algorithm software generated digital oscs, not math based digital filters, but circuts and voltage.

      i can understand the confusion as its actually in same price point as those digital products you mentioned.

      also its not an official overview from korg, but a retailer trying to sell products, so they tend to skip the tech details.

  4. A great synth at an unbelievable price point. Korg have another winner on their hands.

    With VAT is should be around £420 in the UK. We’ll see.

    1. Desktop monosynth vs keyboard equipped polysynth, shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which one appeals most to your needs?

      1. Don’t need keyboard, especialy not minikeys – I have 61 keys Fatar for which I have currently no use, so … actualy pulse 2 has paraphonic mode. Also it has 2 LFOs, 8 modulation slots, HP, BP, LP filters, advanced arp, ext in, … and I have 500 Eur which I can spend. But they are sounding quite different …

  5. Not only does this sound great, not only does this have many awesome features, not only is the price tag very low but it looks AWESOME!

    1. I have the JD-Xi. I love the JD-Xi. I couldn’t disagree more. I bought the Minilogue immediately. I think they’ll compliment each other wonderfully. Guess I’m just not “modern” enough.

  6. Be great if they did this to the full Volca range – scaling up and adding features, a bass engine based on this form would be killer, as would the drums – that would be like a 808 setup for $500.

    But all the same this is lovely kit, prefer it without the keys, for me it isn’t about mini-keys but keys full-stop, I play a grid so I don’t need them, just a sound box with knobs is all I require – but I can always cut them off.

    That is my 2016 resolution, buy cheap synths with mini-keys and have fun knocking them off and turning the bad design into a useful tool – I guess an artist should always modify off-the-shelf kit, otherwise we are just conforming. Maybe this year we should all do that, break mini-keys off, take photo and upload mod, and send them keys back to the company asking for a refund on them. They may get the f*cking message sooner or later.

    1. i snap the keys off all my synths. for fun. ntm how gratifying it is… because i have a master keyboard…. for me its name is push. if i had to pay for a fatar quality or weighted keys or even just full sized plastic on every syngh i own id be quite upset and much further in debt.

      still cant belive people who “need” full keys dont have a decent master keyboard if its so nessecary to their virtuoso playing style. i picked up an 88 key 120gram key (i think, from memory) with hammer response for 200 used. goes to show the value of decent keys. not much.

      rack mount and modules are win. dave knows. save production costs, save msrp. better for all. cheers.

  7. His style of playing and his soundsettings give me the feeling this thing has only one filter, so it’s paraphonic (like the old Poly 800).
    And when he turned the VCF Attack up, the envelope sounded quite steppy at fast settings.
    And why in the world the awkward minikeys? Make an expander or give it real keys a musician can play!

    1. I’ll bet you musicians can play this. I’ve met musicians, you’d be impressed by them! They are able to play just about anything.

  8. When do you think it’ll be available in the UK? I think this would make a nice pairing with my BSII – kudos to Korg for their design ideas, I love onboard sequencers, and with the polophony/voice modes etc it will be mine. Oh yes it will be mine

  9. I love Daniel fisher, he’s a god.

    This synth has great flexibility, but not as much warmth as the moogs possibly.

    I really hope there’s a LATCH/HOLD key for the arpeggiator.

    Otherwise I see nothing amiss.

    Not sure I get the 4 voice thing…. So many products have been four voice lately…

    Oh and everyone has been hoping to be the next micro korg (sales through the roof) THIS IS THE NEXT MICROKORG.

    nice one korg!

  10. Nice instrument, too bad companies can’t seem to leave these God awful mini keys in the rear view mirror where they belong…

  11. Did anyone else hear noise bleeding through the filter when he added resonance and tweaked the cutoff (for example, at 6:27)? I’m hoping he just didn’t zero the noise mix completely…

    If I recall correctly a big gripe of many MS-20 mini users was the noisy filter, real shame if this one suffers from the same.

  12. this demo…..Bloody Brilliant. Heard ALL i need to hear. Sounds auditioned exactly how i would do it, and showing off its capabilities. Top work Sweetwater and Korg for giving it to them first to do a decent demo.

    So SOLD its rediculous….

  13. It’s sounding pretty cool to me…

    I’m still not sure if it’s polyphonic or paraphonic, and what modulation options are available.

    Still… it looks like korg will sell a bunch of these… reminds me of Korg’s take on the mini-brute, but with some of the poly 6 voice modes.

    Are those mini keys, or does the demo guy have big hands? I really hope those aren’t mini keys. I despise mini keys.

  14. Well, it’s nowhere near as good as the Pantomime IV, but I think if you put it through a crab stewed in it’s own reverb overnight it would be passable, especially with full-size keys or no keys at all.

  15. Well, basically no chance I’m not going to own one of these in the next couple of months. It’s sounds great.

    Synthtopia comments section so I’m gonna wish out loud.

    1. Another LFO
    2. Mulitimbrality (even if something need to be shared or unavailable to voices 2-4)
    3. Headphone jack in the front! Or at least far enough away from the other 1/4″ jacks to let you just feel around for it.

    I don’t see it but I’m still hoping it’s actually there: a quick way to enter “what the controls are set to right now” mode.

    That’s about it. Can’t believe they pulled this off for $500 street.

  16. This is great – a true analog poly for $500 is amazing. I’m really glad it exists. It sounds like it will be a hit in the EDM/pop world, and I’m sure it will be ubiquitous in a year or two, which I’m all for (everyone should own an analog synth).

    I just wish there was something in between this and the DSI/Modal/Elektron offerings. It seems like we’re stuck with (for now anyway) either Korg analog, which is great, but definitely has an edgy/poppy sound to it, or have to shell out major $$$ for one of the big boys. Why can’t someone make a 4-6 voice VCO poly in the ~$1200 range that is more flexible and a little ‘smoother’ sounding?

    1. If we can get a genuine analog with 4 voices on this Korg, Roland is going to need to bump up the polyphony on the Boutiques to six or eight to make me think they are worth the money. If you’re going to fake analog, that’s fine, but give me lots of polyphony in compensation.

    1. That diagram shows that the synth is actually a poly/paraphonic hybrid. Each voice has a low pass filter, but there is only a single high pass filter at the end of the signal chain.

      [update: The HPF is in delay circuit, so I withdraw my comment about paraphony]

  17. im not licking everyones balls just yet.

    it looks nice its sounds cool would like to know what is the digital parts of it and how those knobs feel.
    want the @sonicstate review not the people who are selling them review. aside from that korg still gets a high five but i need more info.

  18. This looks brilliant.

    I’m interested in hearing how fast & deep the LFO can go. Volca LFOs are ok but when compared to the Monotribe they are pathetic. The Monotribe has the best LFO I’ve even played with (although my experience is limited) – that thing goes f*cking crazy! I hope the Minilogue has something more akin to the Monotribe than the Volca series.

    I’m also surprised that there is no sample and hold function to the LFO, given that there is a noise source.

    Oh well, you can’t have everything. There are some innovative sounding functions to the LFO which I haven’t seen before anywhere else.

    Also – built in delay! oscilloscope! wood finish! holy shit!

    1. also love the monotribe. it has survived through gear purges and keeps providing playable inspiration, end up in song after song, where the shinier, more expensive gear I keep trying to replace it with just falls by the wayside. the audio rate LFO is awesome.

      would also love it if it was close in lineage to the monotribe. judging by this demo the character is closer to the volca keys though (which I never bonded with).

  19. It sounds fantastic! As I was watching & listening, I was checking of the features that would be on my “MUST HAVES” list.

    However, one thing I didn’t see on the interface was whether you could modulate AMP with VELOCITY. I’m glad they have it for the filter, but was a little disappointed not to see a velocity setting in the amp section.

    Does anyone know if it appears in the hidden edit features?

    Not necessarily a deal breaker, but an unfortunate omission if missing.

  20. What’s there not to love? 🙂

    I’ve always had a thing against little miniature synths but this one sounds amazing! As much as I hate them, this one I may just have to buy!

  21. This looks and sounds great! Kudos for Korg for a great design!

    Some folks have complained about the design, but I actually love it. The big slab stainless steel face plate with the wood rear is such a great marriage of modern and vintage design.

    I’ve also read a lot of complaints about Korg putting keys on this rather than making it a module. I also have one MIDI keyboard I tend to route, but I believe Korg’s rationale is probably the fact that keyboard synths tend to sell a lot better (especially at this price point) than modules. Very few people’s “first synth” is a module.

    Also, even though I don’t need it, I tend to really enjoy having keys on a synth as I’m concentrating on exploring it – lends itself to a more personal connection to the instrument in my view.

    1. Nice to have a choice (Blofeld and Blofeld Keys), but that’s two SKUs which means more hassles for the manufacturer and retailers.

  22. The canadian dollar is so bad right now, a pefectly priced 500$ usd synth is almost around 800$ here these days…. But then i would be pay more than 800$ + for any other similar synths in the market, the minilogue is a steal. Time to go to the shop and pre order 🙂

  23. Been holding off buying new gear……. but I’m going to get this sometime this year! Perfect compliment to my current set up. I’m guessing it has cv out or sync to volcas? Haven’t watched the whole thing yet. Korg is crushing the competition. …. with innovative products and price points.

  24. Makes me wonder… if they can pull off this synth for $500, what can they do with $2000 or more? I’d love to see Korg create an all out “super” synth. It’s not like there’s a shortage of buyers for a great synth. Look at the Prophet 6 – not cheap bet selling really well. What can Korg create in this higher price range?

      1. I would buy a 16 voice for 2k… especially if they add a second filter ala ms-20, and rework the modulation… 3 lfos, 3 env, and the effects from the kronos… make it 4 part multi like a nord and give me the option to record more than 4 motion sequences per part… oh and normal keys or a module please.

        a man can dream…

        1. Korg actually *does* make a 16 voice, 4-part multi-timbral all analog synth for $2,000…

          It comes with FOUR 37 note keyboards, and each of the multi-timbral voices can be used independently as a stand alone instrument!!

          (You see where I’m going with this?)

      2. these are all features you would be better off going with a digital synth for, not sure about the keurig brewer.

        I much prefer analog synths, but the circuits take up physical space, the only way “multitimbral” and “16 voice” is really practical in the analog realm is things like the organ and string synths of yore. I don’t think this is how you meant it though.

        even with microprocessors for control, too many voices would make for excessive complexity, even if you have room to keep stacking multiples of the physical voice circuitry

        1. You have no idea what you’re talking about. The analog 4 and Parva are both smaller than this and both offer full multitimbrality. The additional digital components to make an analog synth multitimbral take up negligible space. The limiting factor is more expense in ADC/DACs and programming/testing the interface. Refer to the histories of DSI and Elektron to see how easy it is to have torch-and-pitchfork inducing bugs creep in.

          As it’s been suggested, the minilogue might have voice-shared LFO’s which would explain why it can’t be multitimbral. Adding that feature would then would require more DAC’s, which would add expense, but almost nothing in size.

          1. more voices = more circuitry. 16 analog voices as mentioned in the post I replied to is prohibitive. you mention a 4 voice synth and an 8 voice synth. The Parva is small so maybe it is possible? we’ll see once it is actually out.

            multitimbral = complexity. It’s doable I guess. DSI is a good reference point for this, many extremely buggy synths with lots of features and digital control, the tempest was the worst synth purchase I have ever made. Also had the Analog Four, which worked well but once you turned off the fx and soloed a voice, sounded terrible.

            I’m not saying you can’t try, I just think for the kind of features that guy was asking for you might be better going fully digital.

            the andromeda a6 had specs like that I think.. it was very expensive though, and didn’t live up to the hype (IMHO). didn’t do very well either I think. all that digital control tends to require a fair amount of compromise in the analog circuitry.

    1. Thanks very much for the link to this diagram.
      What strikes me in this, and may be very unique in this price range is the analog input.
      When you set the oscillator outputs to zero, use the analog input through all 4 voices, and control filter frequency through keyboard pitch and or velocity, likewise for the vca, you might get some very interesting effects playing one up to 4 notes, possibly sequenced. I would like to here some demo’s on that one!

  25. For 500€ this is a sure shot, I really can’t imagine how they managed to cram all this goodness for such low cash, it’s even cheaper than some comparable knobless modules ffs!

  26. I bought the microkorg xl, miniMS20 and the Electribe Sampler. Also picked up some of the littlbit delays when Radio Shack was going out of business. Looks like Korg is frankensteining parts of some products I was pretty happy with together in a really effective way.

    The electribe sampler had the best build quality, one i’m most comfortable with taking on tour or whatever. Hopefully the build is solid like that.

    Gotta say, so far the sounds don’t blow me away, but this is just one demo. And for the price, my god, well done.

  27. Looks like Korg is still going through their inventory of slim-size keys. Hopefully that inventory will be used up soon so they can order a batch of full-size keys. One can only hope. 🙁

  28. Not impressed.
    I will wait for more youtube videos, and determine it’s limitations. I know it has some, we are just not finding all of them yet.
    The user demos on youtube will help to make my decision for me.

    I already have too much gear and not enough time to use it (thanks to F***n’ having a job). 🙁

  29. It’s a bit like the Dave Smith – Mopho.

    I wonder why Korg left a large space of nothing at the lower-middle area on the front panel?


  30. Looks pretty cool for the price. Not impressed with the sound as it sounds like the volca. It is analog, but it’s not fat enough for my taste. Plenty of digital synths in the same price range have more balls. The filter is dissapointing as well. Maybe it will grow on me after a few more reviews and demos.

  31. The only things that I would like (pretty unimportant mostly) is 4 octaves (I’m slowly turning into a hoarder so something else will fill in the gap) mini speakers just for the fun of it and battery power. I’m pretty sure it could run on batteries. They managed to power the ms-20 mini with 9v, they obviously could do it. I have gigantic hands and the korg mini keys are not a problem for me. I don’t get it when people complain (of course smaller keys are an issue). Still 99% buying it, except if they bring out the monopoly. recently they uploaded a monopoly pic on instagram. Or any other beast that is in my price range, whatever, i don’t care.

    1. Cool. I’m more impressed after that one. I’ll probably be more into it after a sonicstate review and a some user demos. The store demos always fall a little short for me.

  32. Yet another in a long line of synth demos in which the demonstrator makes the synth sound (yawn) boring. It doesn’t matter if this synth only costs $500. It better be able to sound more interesting than this or fuggeddaboutit. My guess is that it can be coaxed into sounding far better.

    Demos should sound awesome and sell the synth. This one is meh. I understand that he spends most of the time demonstrating the parameters, but all the features don’t mean much if the synth sounds vanilla.

    Let’s see/hear a demo that shows what it can do (or not do as may be the case).

  33. It looks amazing, and will almost certainly buy one, but for me it would be far better off if it had:

    1) At least one extra LFO for pitch
    2) Multiple simultaneous LFO targets, with + & – routing
    3) Dials for Key Track / Vel on the filter rather than fixed depth.
    4) Fast / slow env settings a la Minibrite
    5) More CV patching opportunities (gate / pitch / filter / LFO rate)
    6) Selectable destination mod wheel
    7) Pitch bend setting (+1 semitone to an octave or two)

    Maybe (hopefully) there’ll be a Megalogue with full size keys 🙂
    Or a great editor……..

    Having said that, it does look amazing for the $

    1. I would add to that list:
      1) Random/S+H waveform for LFO
      2) Sine Waves for oscillators
      3) A Hold button

      And subtract from it:
      1) Pitch bend range is adjustable from 1 to 12 semitones (stated in one of the demo)
      2) The pitch stick at least has some additional mod routing options under the hood, because the Sweetwater guy was using it to control the delay in one of his patches. Hopefully other routings are possible.

      And multiply:
      1) Another LFO. To me, this is the only truly major bummer. But considering everything else, I’m happy to overlook the omission and enjoy this for what it is.

      1. I would add some things that are lacking when compared to the MiniBrute:

        – selectable dirty MS20 Filter with Feedback (like BruteFactor)

        – transposable Sequencer with different play-modes (reverse/alternating/random… like Minibrute SE)

      2. Having a 4x motion sequencer is probably a good trade-off for not having a second LFO. I’d be more about having independent step length per motion sequencer (i doubt that’s in the spec, or that it will be added). You can get some pretty crazy sequenced polyrhythms out of that.

  34. Looks cool, BUT, would have been PERFECT if Korg had been SMART enough to implement the following:

    1) Poly-rhythmic Sequencer / Espresso machine.
    2) LFO’s timed to the cycles of Saturn’s 4th moon.
    3) Tesla’s Super Secret Waveform.
    4) Built in alarm clock.


  35. I just gonna say Korg did again ;D
    Is not top standard sound (prophet /moog) but a good sounds for more than fair price with amazing options to tweak . ( besides true analog poly ;D )
    I think how great Korg been doing this last years , start the all “analog is back ” market with mini ms-20 , and how they understand the -Bedroom producers customers – which came of the explosion of edm in 2012 . I know have a lot of people have with conditions to expend 1k in a good hardware but must of bedroom producers with use only daws and plugins and wanna try hardware without getting trouble with the bills, Korg made possible !
    I think others company’s ( Yamaha for sure Hahaha ) should learn something with Korg .

Leave a Reply