Korg Monotribe System Update Adds CV/Gate Control


Several readers let us know about an update to the firmware for the Korg Monotribe that adds CV/Gate control:

Korg Japan have released a new system firmware, version 2.11, for the Korg Monotribe that adds a mode to control the Monotribe with analog control voltage and gate signals.

In CV/Gate mode, the Monotribe receives the CV/Gate signals from a 3.5mm four-connector TRRS plug inserted into the Sync In jack. A Monotribe with the update applied supports both exponential V/Oct and linear Hz/V control voltages, as well as positive and inverted gate signals.

Turning the octave select switch while in CV/Gate mode will transpose any incoming pitch signals up and down by octaves.

Here are some videos that demonstrate the new CV/Gate mode for the Korg Monotribe:

The first video demonstrate controlling a Monotribe with the Analog Four.

The second video comes via radiokoala, who notes:

Below is my demo of Korg Monotribe in CV/gate mode, modulated by my dual analog oscillator module… (I am basically FM’ing monotribe’s VCO, I think this is the first video of its sort!)

As you probably know, korg kingkorg can control monotribe via cv/gate, so when on japanese korg website a new firmware allowing a cv/gate appeared I installed it and DIY’d a cable (one needs special 4-pole minijack cable)… Monotribe + modular = a plenty of fun to be had!

Technical details for radiokoala’s video:

What actually happens is Osc 1 sends gate signal, and Osc 2 provides CV data. In other words, monotribe’s internal VCO is frequency-modulated by DWG. (Which makes it sound more interesting, as you will hear.) Both CVs do not affect the drum track in any way, however a synth part is fully sequenced with a Sputnik oscillator.

Additionally, radiokoala not only jams with a patch he created, but also demonstrates how monotribe sounds with and without modulation via CV. Overall man’s opinion is, addition of a CV/gate does really breathe a new life to monotribe — this mode really ain’t nothing other but a perennial spring of fun!

The update is delivered in the same way as the version 2.0 update, as a WAV file to play into the Monotribe’s Sync In jack. The description and download page (in Japanese) can found at Korg Japan’s site.

via Suineder, Igor

39 thoughts on “Korg Monotribe System Update Adds CV/Gate Control

  1. Korg! I am still waiting for the Polytribe/Megatron! (An electribe mx, analog edition) With a proper drum synth section! You can do it! : ) i know you can.

  2. So…you can play it with an external keyboard. You can sequence it with an external sequencer. Guess i don’t need that midi conversion kit anymore? I can’t see what else it could add. I’m new to this, mind.

    1. – “Save Bank”
      – “Randomizer”
      – The XY Pad automated via MIDI and mouse
      – “Spring time”
      – LFO “auto” tuning
      – Key tracking “inverse”
      – Saw and S&H (Sample&Hold) LFO Waveforms

        1. Not to mention that our MIDITRIBE I/O Kit will turn the Monotribe into a sort of MIDI to CV and CV to MIDI converter :0)
          We have yet to run the tests, but most probably that’s what’s going to happen, we still waiting for the English documentation, so that we can learn how to operate it properly and run reliable tests.

          Gabriel Rodrigues,
          Amazing Machines

          1. We got word from a customer saying that the MIDI input and output on the MIDITRIBE I/O still work while in CV mode, even MIDI clock in/out still working, which means one could add an extra LFO or Envelope to Pitch via CV while still having full control over MIDI, we will be running tests to confirm that and come up with an announcement soon.

            Here’s a link to his review video:


            Gabriel Rodrigues,
            Amazing Machines

  3. Another reason (not that I need one) to buy the MS-20 Mini!

    Does it send CV? I’d like to use the sequencer on my hopefully-soon-to-mine MS-20.

    I’m a bit disappointed that the new firmware update doesn’t address the external audio through issue that the monotribe though. It’s a bit shit that you still can’t just filter external audio without triggering the synth. I reckon it must not be possible without a hack – what an oversight! 🙁

    1. The audio in ‘issue’ is not an oversight, I think. Korg do everything for a reason. I was messing around with my Monotron Delay and plugged it in to the audio in. As you’d expect, when you press a key on the Monotribe it plays the note plus the sound that is going in the the audio in. But, for the duration of the note, the Delay modified the sound giving a wonderful timbre, like adding another LFO to the Monotribe. It was so gorgeous that I’m certain this was its intention, and this is why they made the ‘Tribe with an ‘annoying’ tendency to only trigger the audio in when the gate is open. It makes sense. Why would you want a continuous audio-in on a Monotribe when you could just send both sources through a mixer? It’s not like the speaker is any good. It must be to modify the notes, and it works fantastically. Give it a go.

      1. Nice tip with the delay!
        I still think it would be nice to have option of “through” though – possibly as well as triggered. It would mean, for example, being able to use the sample and hold on the filter lfo on an audio source. As I’m sure you know, the original monotron has it, so it just seems like a feature that should be there but isn’t.

    2. there is a workaround for through audio i believe so as you can just apply the filter to the audio in .i will try and find it and post a link.

  4. Am I right in thinking that by using a Keith McMillen QuNexus for CV output, you can now sequence the Monotribe from your iPad? (iPad midi sequencer data sent via CCK into QuNexus, sending CV via mini-jack cable into Monotribe)

  5. oh wow! They just keep adding value to already purchased product 🙂 .. So… Can I send CV from my audio interface (i don’t have any cv equipped synths) ? And what software should i use?

    1. @TheVille
      Yes, it doesn’t really matter where a voltage comes from as long as it lies in the range of 0V-5V; gates can be up to 20V, though. If your audio interface is compatible, you should be able to interface the Monotribe with programs like Silent Way or Volta, if you use a Mac.

    2. Oops, that last sentence sounded a bit misleading. Volta is for various Mac OSes, while Silent Way is available for Windows and Mac OSX.

  6. I’m really hoping korg are planning to expand the electribe line with an analog sequencer for the ms 20. I’d also hope it could control the moog sub phatty or any oher divine old clunker I have.

    I understand I can basically do this with existing electribes but they have a bunch of stuff I would never want to use – like their own sound banks – which mean the work flow isn’t as efficient as it could be as a pure sequencer.

    I love the idea of chaining monotribes and monotribe to have multiple ms 20 filters!

  7. I am just wondering why this has not been posted by other forums and sites, I would love to believe this is true as I could only hope to control my monotribe with my novation bass station rack 🙂

  8. Whats about trigger-in while using CV/Gate-in?
    Seems to be dysfunctional.
    If I use the 4-pole-plug for an extern seq., the trigger-in funtion does not work. (After hitting play, the built-in seq. runs independent)
    That’s awful. So I have t buy the midi-in-modul to get synchronized drums.
    Please correct me if I am wrong!

    1. this os update AND a midi upgrade are your best option —

      they really work very well together
      over midi you can do WAY MORE with modulation
      and the cv in is the missing link if you have analog gear

      BTW : you can sync the internal seq/drums with gate in

      1. just finished building my anushri . does anyone know if i could link the monotribe and this up and if so how . kinda new to the whole syncing bit

      2. “BTW : you can sync the internal seq/drums with gate in” You mean: MT synth can be played with cv in and sequencer with gate in? In my set i play MT synth with Doepfer A-155 so how can i sync MT sequencer at the same time with A-155… I have an 3,5 mm 4pol cable on one side to MT and two 3,5 mm 2 pol cable to A-155, one to “Trigger” an one to “Post Out”… Thanks.

  9. Sorry if someone already confirmed this and I misunderstood, but can you sequence external CV synths with this update, such as programming sequences on the MS-20?

    1. With the update alone, no. This new firmware only gives the Monotribe CV input ability.
      However, if a Monotribe has been retrofitted with a MIDI output port, incoming control voltages WILL be translated into MIDI.

  10. Finally! Korg USA’s Monotribe page has a link to download the update with an *ENGLISH* instruction manual. You can find it under Support and Downloads -> Operating System.

  11. WARNING:
    The mS-20 outputs 8V for V/octace,
    so it is usless to control the monitribe.
    I found out the hard way.

    1. Don’t forget to feed your Monotribes together for 24db filter fun. Route output to input and output to input between the two.

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