Korg Intros ‘Fun-Sized’ Monotron Duo Synthesizer, Monotron Delay

Korg today expanded their Monotron line, adding a new synth and a delay effect:

  • The Monotron DUO is a dual-oscillator mini-synth, inspired by the classic Mono/Poly.
  • The Monotron DELAY combines analog synthesizer with a built-in delay effect.

The two new devices keep the form factor of the original Korg Monotron and list for about $60. Yes, we’re talking analog synth stocking stuffers!

Here are the details on the new Monotrons. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Monotron DUO Features:

  • Two analog oscillators (VCO) with individual tunings
  • Edgy X-MOD (with Intensity knob) circuit from Korg’s classic Mono/Poly
  • VCF with Cutoff and Peak Control
  • Ribbon controller keyboard with Scale Select
  • Original Analog (VCF) Filter taken from the MS-10 & MS-20
  • Aux input jack lets you apply filter to any audio source
  • Built-in speaker and battery power
  • Headphone jack for private use

Dual Oscillator / X-Mod Design

The X-MOD (cross modulation) circuit taken from Korg’s classic Mono/Poly can introduce a mild or razor-sharp edge to the overall sound; everything from a rich vibrato to extreme metallic sounds reminiscent of an FM synth.

The monotron DUO’s ribbon controller keyboard now features the familiar Scale function used on the KAOSSILATOR. You can use this button to select one of four scales: Chromatic, Major, Minor, or Off. Choose the Chromatic scale to play precise pitches as on a piano, or choose Major or Minor to create phrases by simply sliding your finger around on the keyboard.


Monotron DELAY Features:

  • Space Delay with Rate and Intensity controls offers analog-style echoes
  • New Pitch LFO with selectable Waveshape and Intensity and shape controls
  • VCF with Cutoff Control
  • Wide-range ribbon controller keyboard
  • Original Analog (VCF) Filter taken from the MS-10 & MS-20
  • Aux input jack lets you apply filter and delay to any audio source
  • Built-in speaker and battery power
  • Headphone jack for private use

The Monotron DELAY is described as ‘an analog synthesizer optimized for sound effects’.

In addition to its analog oscillator, filter, and LFO, it also provides a Space Delay, for ‘swooping, cosmic sounds’. The monotron DELAY reproduces the pitch changes that occur when you vary the delay time, as though you were using an analog tape echo. As with the filter, the delay effect can be added to any external sound via the Aux In jack.

The Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) waveform used to modulate the pitch now offers a choice of waveshapes – a new square wave plus the traditional triangle wave. Both the Rate (Speed) and the Intensity (Depth) can be adjusted independently. In addition, a trimpot on the back panel can continuously adjust the shape/direction of the triangle wave or the pulse-width of the square wave to deliver even more versatility. Used in conjunction with the delay, the LFO can create dazzling effects and provide unique possibilities for embellishing your songs.

The monotron DELAY’s ribbon controller keyboard features a wide, four-octave range. The reversed white keys and body adornments also glow under black light illumination.

40 thoughts on “Korg Intros ‘Fun-Sized’ Monotron Duo Synthesizer, Monotron Delay

  1. It looks like the cross mod. is the only modulation type on this new DUO design. I wish they kept the ability to route the LFO to either the filter or pitch. I also would have liked to see different oscillator wave forms like square and triangle.

    Still looking forward to checking one out.

    1. Have to disagree on the ‘pointless’ comment – but I do like the idea of dirt cheap modular synth modules. If they had cheap plastic bodies but good circuitry, they could be a lot of fun.

  2. I’d like to see these with wireless Midi support. Then you could use an app for sequencing.

    Or how about charging another $10 and including midi ports? Even CV support would be cool.

    1. Like the wireless idea – but I’m not sure how you’d get something like that to work wirelessly.

      MIDI support would be great – but if they added MIDI, people would expect these to work as as reliably pitched instruments. Upgrading the electronics would probably push the price way up.

  3. pointless, why, well pretty much everyone has said something like, yes but you can do this or that with it, you could hack it blah blah blah. Why not make a cheap synth that is actually a usable instrument from day one? Personally I dont think they are cheap for what you get, i have used both the first models and I soon got bored of them and went back to fiddling with my real synths and vsti’s. If you like to fiddle with bits of circuitry and make silly noises then they are great, if you actually want a usable instrument then go elsewhere.

  4. Da Trute tells da troof – if you don’t like these gadgets, don’t knock ’em, just buy something else. If you want a full-featured synth, your choice is not limited. Having said that, none of these gadgets come close to the Kaossilator.

  5. Cheap, ultra portable, fun. Maybe it’s not a full fledged independant instrument, but the Monotron line is an awesome series of toys that work great for generating interesting sounds or filtering inputs.

    I can’t wait for a monotron with a longer ribbon.

  6. i think the monotron series is awesome. But I wish they would make one slightly larger with a tiny keyboard instead of ribbon. Maybe something like the tiny casio sa series (like the sa-1 or sa-7). 2 oscillators, the new mod, scales, the delay, an lfo (with 1-shot mode to use as envelopes) with a tiny keyboard for like $120. That would be cool.

  7. I’m sick of people complaining the tron/tribe range are “toys”. Grow a pair! This is a tool. Find a way of making music with it. That’s your job. If you can’t, stop whinging and buy a tool that suits your particular skills. If necessity is the mother of invention then constraint is its fairy godmother.

  8. Well, don’t judge by size cause many effects pedals are the same size!
    And there is the Monotribe!
    At the same time is a cool little synth to explore and have fun without breaking our bank account. Let’s hope that Korg analog range of products keep growing.
    Korg is taking more risks with certain products than roland and yamaha together!
    With these type of products going on, who knows what will they release next! I suspect Korg has the balls to re-release the ms-20! A 21st century: MS-21 (monophonic upgradable to poly). Let’s hope 🙂

    One thing is sure I will buy the Monotribe (at least). My respect for Korg is growing each day.

  9. Actually, the more I think about this – assuming Korg makes the circuit diagrams of these available: buy all three Monotrons and hack them together. Then you’ll have four VCOs, one LFO, three filters, a quantizer and a cool-sounding delay; now link them to a 50 cm long ‘soft pot’ ribbon and you’d have an immensely functional musical instrument for considerably less cash than a single analogue synth module.

    Of course, you’d have to learn a little bit of electronics and do some of the work yourself…

  10. I have to disagree with people calling these thing useless. I often use my monotron live, and because of the analogue circuitry the sound cuts straight through a rock band to give some awesome sonic screams. Audiences f***ing lap it up, and people are shocked when they see the size of the thing.
    Just make sure you know what you’re getting before you get them. Totally looking forwards to these two new ones.

    1. The Monotron is one of the greatest parts of my live arsenal – not to be underestimated. Crowds go nuts for that thing. I will be getting one of these new ones for sure.

  11. i also use a monotron live, particularly for filtering external stuff. to me its like a really powerful filter pedal. it does look like a toy, and yes my kids like playing with it (which is cool cos it gets them interested in synths) but it can produce some very serious sounds. the new ones look very tempting too. well done korg for thinking of fun, affordable ways to market analogue synths!

  12. I would like to thank all the know-it-all’s above who have said how lame and gay these things are. I have taken all of your ‘expert’ advise and have completely forgotten every word – go but another ‘real’ synth and hang out in the basement some more educating the poor, unwashed, musical masses via sweeping, non-factual opinions stated as fact.

  13. The monotron series is a samplers best friend! Use a octatrack, esx-1,es-1 mkll, or a microSampler, run them through a kp-3…repitch, timestretch,slice,deconstruct into some analog beats, space drones,noisy pads…etc…etc. For sixty bucks! Come on!!! Analog synths on a tight budget folks, korg knows what’s up! Sometimes you’ve got to put some work in to make something interesting, for those that enjoy the work these look amazing! For those that just like to just turn on a machine and write a 1bar loop and call it good, well I’m sure they look like a nightmare, maybe it’s time to grow a pair and put in some work!just a suggestion. On the other hand the first monotron turned into the monotribe…so it looks like korg has some great real affordable analog kit on the way! Remember no one else is doing this!

  14. I love my monotron, it’s a neat fx box for taking on gigs, hooking up to fx and going wild with over my other instruments. Even in my studio if I want some wacky noise or rising fx i’ll use this because it’s a) quicker than any of my other analog gear to set up for the same thing and b) sounds great – i’ll be buying both these as they have advantages over the originals and do different things. Way to go korg, it’s good to know you still ‘get it’. Obviously a lot of people on here haven’t go a clue and would rather sit on a forum and moan about something not being something they want rather than find ways of using it creatively!

  15. also there is NO dual vco synth for under $100, there is NO analog synth with delay for under $100 or even close, so what exactly are you complaining about? If you want midi, mod it!

  16. I find the delay a great idea….ill definetly pick up a couple of those…for the same price or less of a delay pedal you also get the filter and if your so inclined to traditional practitions, the oscillator, all while being made to mod…the duo I’m not so sure about….I may pick one up for collection purposes or use the filter maybe but I’m not so crazy about the ribbon with my huge, thick native hands so using it to play anything with these is just pure frustration to me… it maybe fine for tiny japanese hands so fill with precision by design. My hands, however,are just meat hammers.

  17. Lovely, and in time for christmas to. I’ll definitely pick up a duo, as im liking the sound of the delay on it, and there’s nothing comprable for $60 (or even under about $120 for that matter)

    I love that korg is moving twords cheap hackable analogue stuff. Now, if they release a analogue synth similar in size to the vl-tone (under $200, and with real keys), i’ll buy it in a heart beat.

  18. I love the ribbon controller for the truly continuous pitch control. My ideal monotron would be twice as long (or longer), with a 20cm ribbon controller (or longer) with switchable 2-4 octave range, multiple osc and lfo waveforms, attack and release settings, filter tracking range adjust or at least off/on, quieter, and get rid of the release click. Basically combine the best features of monotron, monotribe, and the 2 new units.


  19. All i could think of when watching the delay monotron video was how delighted the sound engineers of the old scifi shows and movies (Like Dr who) would have been to have one of those.

  20. monotron gives sounds you will NOT get from any vst. and the filter is disgusting. therefore the monotron is an amazing, highly useful, valuable item. viva la monotron and long live a long line of montotron-like successors!

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