Supercharged minilogue xd synth leads Korg's NAMM sonic assault
Three years ago, Korg announced an affordable polyphonic analog synthesizer called the minilogue. Now, ahead of the NAMM 2019 music industry expo, the company has revealed the next generation model – the minilogue xd. New volca drum and volca modular synths have also been announced.
The original minilogue is a four voice polyphonic analog synthesizer with two voltage controlled oscillators per voice and was announced just before NAMM 2016 for a fraction under 500 bucks. Fitting then that Korg has revealed a powerful new version prior to NAMM 2019.
The minilogue xd has a similar basic skillset to the older model, but gains a digital multi-engine oscillator (from the Prologue), digital effects, an upgraded sequencer, and micro tuning. The four voice polyphony still rocks the house but the structure shapes up as two voltage controlled oscillators plus that digital multi-engine, one voltage controlled filter, two envelope generators, one voltage controlled amplifier, and one low frequency oscillator.
That "third oscillator" provided by the digital multi-engine comes with three different sound generators – a noise generator with four types of noise, a Variable Phase Modulation oscillator with 16 types of oscillator in its arsenal, and a user oscillator with 16 slots for loading in user programs. This addition allows players to push sound creation beyond what's normally available on pure analog synths.
More digital technology has been infused into the minilogue xd in the form of digital modulation, reverb and delay effects courtesy of a 32-bit floating point digital signal processor. And cross modulation and a two-pole filter with signal drive join the wave shaping and sync modulation found elsewhere in the 'logue series hardware.
There are 200 presets cooked in, with users getting another 300 slots for their own program creations. A polyphonic step sequencer with 16 button-controlled steps can also record the movements of up to four knobs. The pitch of each key can be individually adjusted, and a joystick has been added to the synth for pitch bends and modulation depth control.
Rounding out new additions to this impressive beast are stereo output jacks, two CV input jacks, and a damper pedal jack.
Korg's minilogue xd is available for pre-order now for a suggested retail price of $649.99, the promo video below has more.
More volcas from Korg
Korg has also revealed two new volca portable synths – the volca drum and the volca modular. The volca drum digital percussion synthesizer taps into a six part digital sound processor synth engine to generate waveforms, with a wave folder and overdrive and distortion added if desired, and some sonic pop dialed in using a waveguide resonator.
Making connections on the interface of a huge modular synthesizer like Moog's System 35 can be daunting to the newcomer. The volca modular is designed to make patch-happy sound synthesis more accessible.
The volca modular features eight standalone modules and 50 patch points. Each of the analog modules have been wired up internally, so that it makes sounds out of the box, but players can over-ride those connections using the included pin cables.