The History Of The Korg MiniKorg

Synthesist Alex Ball has shared another of his synth mini-documentaries, this time taking a look at the history of the MiniKorg , Korg’s first synthesizer.

The Korg MiniKorg is a relatively simple synth, but it sounds great and is full design quirks. How many mono synths have one ring modulator, let alone three, like the MiniKorg?

And the MiniKorg’s industrial design is a reminder of how keyboard synthesizers were experiments for companies in the early 70s, and there was a wide variety in synth designs. The MiniKorg put all the synthesis controls on front edge of the keyboard, instead on the face, above the keys. The designers envisioned that you would put the MiniKorg on top of one of your other keyboards, in which case putting the controls on the front edge makes them easier to see.

Topics covered:

0:00 Background
2:19 The miniKORG 700
5:25 Impact
6:13 Legacy and the 700FS

Share your thoughts on the MiniKorg in the comments!

7 thoughts on “The History Of The Korg MiniKorg

  1. What a beautiful reissue – the build quality is fantastic – pairing the best of classic craftsmanship with modern circuit boards.

    It’s almost impossible to find synths with build quality comparable to 70s-80s synths, but this is an exception, along with reissues from Moog and Sequential. Thankfully there have been more well-built options in recent years, like the UDO Super 6, the new Kurzweil, the Hydrasynth and just about anything from Sequential or Yamaha. Most budget and mid-range synths look pretty sad in comparison. .

  2. I “chopped” my miniKorg by making a pitch bend with the fine tune slider.
    Great resonance- sounded like Tomita’s alto voice patch.

  3. For all fans / owners of vintage miniKorg 700 / 700S synths, there is a load of great info on modding your old beast at this website:

    Cykong has other vintage upgrade projects on his site too.

    I have a 700 and a 700S and plan on adding Cykong’s CV and external input mods, together with a Kenton MIDI to CV converter, for my 700. My 700S needs more repair work first.

    For such simple synths, they punch well above their weight and oooh, that Traveler filter !! 🙂

  4. Its a cockeyed little synth by modern standards, but that distinctiveness is what made Kitaro fall in love with it. I’m amused to see an early organ accessory pop up like this, but the reissues all sound good, especially with effects. Its like a pet from another planet that won’t suddenly eat the cat.

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