Korg Monotribe Video Preview – Is This The Budget 303?

Musikmesse 2011: We’ve added several video previews to our previous Korg Monotribe introduction post.

This one, though, via Nick at Sonic State, definitely deserves a look, because it delivers the goods.

The Korg Monotribe is looking more and more like it could be the budget 303. We’re not sure, though, because Korg hasn’t released official pricing for the Monotribe yet.

Check it out, though, and let us know what you think!

49 thoughts on “Korg Monotribe Video Preview – Is This The Budget 303?

  1. watching the video, I keep wanting to push the demo guy out of the way like the SNL Tech Support skit "moooooooovvvveeeee" and sequence something half musical and acid tweak it. Hello McFly! What might your prospective audience want to hear? sheesh! LOL

  2. It looks pretty promising to me, if his price estimate is accurate though i think ill wait till it's been out a while, ive just got some more important things to buy.

    That being said, if it's sub $150, GIMME GIMME GIMME!

  3. yeah, i'm a bit sad about that, but the offical korg videos do make the drums sound pretty nice.

  4. Korg keeps missing the boat. It's stuck on "Almost".

    Stock drum sounds? Even if analog…so what? Instead, they want you to buy two in order to do anything halfway interesting.

    How is anyone going to want to keep playing something that always sounds the same?

    Sorry, but I'm already bored.

  5. after watching the video, im gonna say there pricing it at about $250 maybe $300. that synth sounds nice and dirty though., but the drums, meh.

  6. it is very sad to see a korg product in a video with a guy that does not know anything about the synth he is about to present, …
    does not have cables ? "that's the problem" he says, ….
    lots of problems for the Korg advertising people, ….
    terrible presentation.
    I will not buy this toy because this poor demo.
    looks like a kids toy, by the way.

  7. yeah +1 on that.

    I could do without the drums… What I really wanted was 16 steps, accent/glide, and pattern storage. It would have been really cool if there was also a 2nd sequence for cuttoff or ENV release.

    O… and 2 outputs: one for synth and the other for drums…

  8. Sounds like Korg just went PLOP, here' s your new product! Figure it out and demo it NOW!

    Kinda felt sorry for the guy, but he coaxed some nice sounds outta it. Chopping up your synth riffs into 8 segments has some possibilities; way more than that drum section, which was lacking.

  9. About the drum sounds – the LFO has a "1 shot" selection on the switch, which I can only imagine applies primarily to the drum sounds, and with that assumtion I believe the filter, pitch, and noise would be usable too. I'm just trying to make educated guesses here – sure didn't look like the demo guy really knew his way around the thing yet.
    $400's a bit steep – especially for those of us who had so much fun taking apart and hacking the monotron. for $50, if you break it beyond repair it's not that much of loss that you wouldn't just get another one (though mine is currently in a state of perpetual modding and haven't felt the need to go back to the original yet). This one would certainly be less friendly in that regard. I'm wishfully thinking the demo guy had no idea what he was talking about and estimated high so that we'll be relieved when the real price is much lower.

  10. this thing looks pretty cool depending on the price it could be really attractive… On a side note I'd LOVE to see somebody else demo it because the guy in this video is just very very annoying to me…

  11. I guess Denki has already his hands on this thing.
    But to be honest, this will say nothing about the quality of the device. He can do something astonishing with a wet piece of cake. 🙂

    1. Wishful thinking. Before the details came out, rumors said the Monotribe was a tweakable analog monophonic synth with a wicked filter and a built-in pattern sequencer. Lots of people, including me, hoped it would be a new take on the 303 paradigm. But actually I think it's more reminiscent of those glitchy boutique noiseboxes, a la SuOnoio.

  12. what a great looking piece of crap. my iphone has a more compelling user experience. this is utterly useless.

    in this day and age anything hardware needs to be absolutely ASTONISHING to compete with the ipad.

  13. This looks superb. I've had lots of fun with the Monotron, and live it sounds absolutely f**king wicked. There is a difference between true analogue with classic korg oscillators and an iPad/iPhone.
    Theye got me on the quantized chromatic keyboard with this, and the 8 step sequencer gave me a hard on. 280 euros seems a bit steep mind, but if it's 200 dollars or under I'm ordering that bastard as soon as it comes out.

  14. Save you dosh and put it toward a tempest. That’s Gonna be the analog maschine of this year and beyond.

  15. You're missing the point. The ipad is digital. So it does not compare to anything analog. Go back to your apps.

  16. Yes – sounds nothing like a 303, but is definitely designed to be a bassline synth + techno machine.

  17. No, this is not a TB-303, but that's OK.

    I don't see why KORG is playing "The Price is Right" with the Monotribe, though. It's a cute game to play with your viewing audience, but the company should just announce the street price already. I think a lot of people are waiting to base whether to purchase or not to purchase on how much they're charging for this box. Personally, I think the Monotribe has some musical potential, but I wouldn't pay more than $179 US for it. It's analog, there's a little sequencer, and it's designed to be "played" via the knobs and buttons, but it's got no pattern storage to speak of, only one 1/4" out for all three "parts", and the sync capabilities are a large question mark right now. I get that KORG would like to think that people out there will buy more than one Monotribe and sync them together. You know, they can dream, there's nothing wrong with that. No, my main concern is how well this box will sync to a source signal other than another Monotribe. The marketing lingo says that "you can enjoy synchronized performance with a variety of equipment equipped with Sync connections". OK, we'll see about that.

    Also, I agree that it's a bit of a pain to watch a "demo" be presented by someone who doesn't yet know the product. The young presenter caught in the Sonic State video seems like a nice kid, he manages to produce some results from the box (how could you not), and English is his second language, but KORG could do better in terms of presenting this highly anticipated product and getting their people the information (and the cables) that they need. How about you start with the street price and availability, KORG?

  18. He clearly says he's seen the retail price at "about 280 euros", meaning this thing is basically worthless. That's the same price as a DSI Mopho!!

  19. I'm the nice kid – respectively the one who gets fired. 😉
    As I'm working as freelancer for KORG, the following is only my 2 cents, not some official statement:
    In fact, I understand all of your comments and apologize for your disappointement. However I want to give you some insight about the circumstances:
    These units arrived only the day before, lacking manual, and we had practically no time to get into them in more detail. Due to the leaking of photos, half an hour after the fair started camera teams piled up to see&hear the prototype whose features we didn't know yet in complete.
    On the other hand, our job was more to attract people walking by and get to talk with them about there experiences with the monotron, inform about new features etc. rather than producing real video demos which will be done by the usual suspects. Given an average 90dB noise from the booths around (KORG was situated in the drummers hall) that would've been hardly possible anyway. The clear tone you're hearing wasn't there for us.

    The response of ppl sincerely were veeeery good and numerous and we also met a lot of synth-enthusiasts who really couldn't wait for it to be released. As well, ppl got to try it on their own, since there were 3 more of them equipped with headphones and therefore could easily compensate for my lack of skill 😉
    Whatever: Over the time we found out more about the facts/features of which I'd like to share some with you:

    – List price in Germany is 237€ but was released the day after this video. I'll not take another risky guess for other countries I'll "loose my job for" 😉
    – street price is made by the shops and not by korg themselves
    – availability depends on numerous companies delivering parts from all over the world and isn't made easier by the limitation of communication in Japan following the sad events in the last weeks
    – pressing&holding one of the drum buttons gives you another layer of seq-steps, were you can set double-hits (two 16th notes for each of the 8-steps) to give you some kind of an 16-step light-Sequencer
    – you can save one sequence so that it loads up at every reboot.
    – regarding Sync-In Korg Japan told me it will accept any audio line level signal such as a clear beep, rimshot etc., at least with two monotribes this worked fine and with no delay whatsoever
    – the upper body of it is metal, the bottom made of plastic.

    If there are questions left, feel free to ask.

    Best wishes from Germany,

  20. Also, you can decide whether pressing the 3 drumselection-buttons on the left will produce a sound or not.

  21. Is rhere any 1/8 input/output for connecting other gear except another Monotribe?
    how about The Korg Legacy Controller. i wouldnt mind using the seq/or trying it out.w/mini patch cords. How much is a Euro to US $,? Thanxs

  22. Hi zapparelli,
    1€ currently is 1,44$, but converting won't give you the price in other retailer's areas. It depends on several other aspects like taxes etc.
    Just like the monotron the monotribe offers an external audio in 1/8 jack to process any line-level signal through the analogue circuit. Sync in accepts up to 20V signal from any source (e.g. DAW), sync out gives a 5V signal. There is unbalanced 1/4 Output and 1/8 Headphone Out.

  23. This thing is freaking cool as hell! The only things I'd say it would need to be better would be a larger key strip (it's much too small)…, and a Midi In jack would be a great addition too.

  24. This unit ain't meant to be a TB clone, it has a sound of it's own (that's what I can say so far per what I heard) and the drums sound fine to me… I'll get one, I also bet this thing can be hacked senseless.

  25. it's an instrument in itself, stop limiting yourself, why are there so many fools like you that can't rejoice for modern day analog products like this that everyone can afford?

    If you think this only has one sound, then you've never played ANY instrument before then, your not really willing to explore things are you? you have the right to voice your opinion, but yours is invalid… Sir

  26. Agreed, why do sooooo many dipshits not get it? It really makes them seem innate when they constantly bag shit out

  27. You've got some great points, and I guess we'll have to figure out how it ends up synching, don't let the non recall, plug and play style deter you, it's just the nature of it, it can help you write or perform in different ways. I reckon it's got as much musical potential as a violin or a piano in the end, you've just got to be willing to explore it and treat it like any other instrument.

  28. *eye roll* hardware > soft synth any day

    affordable electribe-esque experience is a blessing, a pearl cast before such swine as yourself

  29. Its the closest thing to a 303 other than the $700+ clones like Analogue Solutions.
    If Roland were smart they will re release the 303 and we will all buy stock from Roland!

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