KORG Minilogue XD Poly Hybrid Synthesizer First Look: Because Not Only Analog Sound Makes Fun!

The Advantages Of Analog & Digital In One Affordable Poly Synthesizer!

At this year’s NAMM, the KORG Minilogue xd, a further development of the Minilogue Synthesizer, was launched. Even though KORG gave only very few media the opportunity to test the instrument before the NAMM, I was glad to be in Anaheim to get a quick first look. Yes, it’s now black-grey and really nice.  The new digital engine gives the relatively simple analog engine of the Minilogue much more complex and versatile sounds. Also the new open-source effects makes the sounds even fatter and interesting. Also the new sequencer, now in blue and the joystick are nice addition.

Especially with the joystick, you can bring very nice vibes and movements to your sounds (check the video below for some actions!). Unfortunately, he still has the mini-keys but these are not so bad, so we can use them well. What makes the Minilogue xd much more interesting than the old one is the digital touch. Especially because third-party developers are now able to develop new oscillators and effects, users can regularly add new features to the Minilogue xd by buying small add-ons. So he will not get bored in the long run

News From January 15, 2019

The rumors are true! KORG announced today the KORG Minilogue xd, a new expanded version of the initial Minilogue polyphonic analog Synthesizer. The new version comes as predicted with the best-known digital engine and a new sequencer. Good to see is that the Minilogue xd features now built-in effects (not expected) powered by the new multi-engine, an improved analog filter and the very creative micro-tuning function from the monologue. Beside this it has now a joystick for pitch/mod wheel and 2 CV inputs.

After the rumors, the Minilogue xd is no surprise but it is nice that it is true. The Multi-Engine is a real beast and I’m curious how it will be in Minilogue xd. KORG shows after the Prologue also with the Minilogue xd how modern synths have to look. Using the benefits of analog and digital together in one device. Great!

KORG Minilogue xd

Overview

We wanted to deliver a next-generation analog synthesizer for a new generation of musicians new to analog synthesis. That dream was realized in the development of the minilogue, which instantly made the analog synthesizer approachable.  In addition to emphasizing the same real analog sound and joy of controlling an electronic musical instrument offered by the original minilogue, the minilogue xd newly adds a digital multi-engine, effects, a powered-up sequencer, and micro tuning functionality, further expanding the possibilities for sound design and performance potential. minilogue xd is a fitting addition to the original groundbreaking minilogue.

Four-voice polyphonic analog synthesis. The analog synthesizer circuit of the minilogue, whose genuine analog sound had a huge impact on the synth world, has been further developed for the minilogue xd. Voice structure of minilogue xd is 2VCO + MULTI ENGINE, 1VCF, 2EG, 1VCA, and 1LFO. In addition to the distinctive circuits found in the series, such as wave shaping to shape the overtones of the oscillator and a sync/ring switch, there’s also cross modulation, a sharp two-pole filter, and a drive switch that adds thickness and drives signal into minilogue xd’s filter.

KORG minilogue xd

Every parameter has been tuned in detail based on what musicians want out of their synth. The sounds range from the warm pads typical of analog to fat basses and crisp lead sounds, covering every situation. Of course, programs that you create can also be saved in the unit. Out of the box, minilogue xd comes loaded with 200 presets, and a total of 500 programs can be saved.

KORG minilogue xd

Equipped With A Digital Multi-Engine

The additional sound design possibilities of digital sound are delivered by the multi-engine that’s provided as a third oscillator in addition to the two analog VCOs. This engine, which is equipped with three different types of sound generator (noise, VPM, and user slot) lets you take advantage of a sonic character that’s different than analog, and use it at the same time as the analog engine, infinitely expanding the potential of hybrid sound design.

The noise generator provides four types of noise that are indispensable for percussive sounds or for sound effects. You can use the digital filter to directly change the color of the noise. minilogue xd’s multi-engine features a VPM (Variable Phase Modulation)/FM oscillator with a two-operator structure. It can produce sharp, metallic sounds with complex overtones beyond the possibilities offered by analog systems. With 16 types of oscillator and a SHAPE knob control, you’ll be able to create complex sounds intuitively. User oscillators allow you to load your own oscillator programs that you created or obtained via the internet. There are 16 user slots, as well as one type of morphing wavetable oscillator provided as a preset.

KORG minilogue xd effects

High-Quality Digital Effects

minilogue xd’s high-quality digital effects use 32-bit floating point DSP processing, adding a finishing touch to its deep sound design platform. The three types (modulation effects, reverb, and delay) can be used simultaneously, letting you choose from a wide range of variations including chorus, ensemble, warm tape delay, and a diverse variety of reverb. The user effect slots allow you to load your own effect programs that you’ve created.

User customization brings out infinite potential

The minilogue xd features a customizable open environment. The unit comes with 16 user oscillator slots and 16 user effect slots that you can customize. Oscillators and user programs that you’ve created with the SDK (Software Development Kit) can be loaded into the minilogue xd via the dedicated librarian software.  What sounds might arise from the fusion of the expanded digital oscillators with analog synthesis? Create original programs, share code, and participate in the user community. You can start with sample code provided by KORG.

Polyphonic Step Sequencer Controlled By 16 Buttons

The step sequencer provides 16 steps, and supports both realtime recording and step recording. You can use the 16 step buttons to select a step directly, allowing quick editing to replace the pitch of a step or to mute it, or even improvisatory performances. Motion sequence lets you record the movements of up to four knobs, adding time-varying change to the sound, and you can record not only smooth changes in value but also values that change precisely at each step. You can use this to design the sound differently at each step; for example, you might create a drum pattern or sound effect from just a single program. This allows countless ideas to be unleashed.

A Thoughtfully Designed Interface

The new joystick Controls pitch bend and modulation depth, etc. A desired parameter can also be assigned to the up/down axis. Voice mode features four different types: poly, unison, chord and arp/latch

Micro Tuning

The minilogue xd is equipped with the micro tuning function featured on the monologue, allowing you to individually adjust the pitch of each key. Built in are 23 preset tunings that include some created by Aphex Twin and Dorian Concept, and users can also create and store six user scales and six user octaves. Start by trying out the preset tunings of famous musicians, and then advance to creating your own original tunings.

Oscilloscope and motion view display

The organic EL display is now larger, and also provides oscilloscope functionality for you to view sound as the electrical signal’s waveform. This makes parameter changes visible in real time, giving you visual feedback that helps you understand how the synthesizer works. The display can also show motion view for visualizing the movement of a stored motion sequence.

KORG minilogue xd

Output is now stereo

A stereo effect unit is provided at the final stage, and the output jacks are now also stereo. Spatial-type effects such as delay, reverb, and chorus will add an even more convincing touch to your thick analog synth sounds and sparkling digital synth sounds.

Damper pedal jack

A damper jack has been added in response to requests from artists and users.

Two CV IN jacks

Two CV IN jacks are provided, with voltage levels of -5V–+5V. In addition to CV/Gate, these can also input modulation signals, allowing you to use external devices to control parameters in the same way as moving the joystick up or down.

KORG minilogue xd is available soon for a price of 649€ worldwide.

More information here: KORG 

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