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Boutique vs Minilogue
Old 15th January 2016
  #1
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Boutique vs Minilogue

I was going to make this a poll but the results would be worthless (analogue purists, fanboys, haters, shills etc.)

Not expecting many replies for a couple weeks.

Anyways,
Roland recently released the four voice boutique, now Korg releases the four voice minilogue.

Please post how they compare in the following categories:

Sound

Sonic Range

Interface (knobs sliders keys wheels etc)

Integration with other hardware and PC/Mac

Build Quality

Other (such as fun factor etc.)

I want to make this a general thread to make it useful,
But my question:
I've been on the fence about the boutiques, I just hate that they have minijacks which are exponentially more prone to fail than regular ones.

The korg seems better in terms of interface and no minijacks, the x factor for me though is how they sound. If the minilogue also sounds great I'll gladly pay the extra cost.

If you are an analogue purist a disclaimer would be great. If I had to pick between analogue as a whole and digital as a whole I'd pick analogue, but this does not work on a case by case basis. I paid a similar price for the Volca bass as my TB3, the bass is gone (complete crap mismarketed as acid) while the TB3 with help from a distortion pedal is great IMO.
Old 16th January 2016
  #2
I've got all four (just got the minilogue today), so I'll bite. But not until later this weekend, perhaps, once I've had a chance to, you know, actually use the minilogue. I'm not an analog purist (this is arguably my first, but not by any sort of plan or preference), not a Korg or Roland fanboy. I'm a classic Casio CZ fanboy, if anything.

I should say that I don't buy the premise of your question, though. Two things:

1) Despite them being four voice and $500 or less, they are so apples and oranges. I just spent 30 minutes on the minilogue and I can tell you that already.

2) Anyone who does have a minilogue and one or more Boutiques has probably made the choice to have both. I didn't even think about selling a Boutique or two to get the minilogue. If anything, I stalled off on getting a Moog Sub 37.

But like I said, give me a few days and I'll try to remember to come back.

In the meantime, it would help if you would better outline what you look for when you say "sounds great". What kind of sounds do you like? New Wave, EDM, ambient, progressive rock, what? If you are looking at a Boutique, which one and why (controls, familiarity with the sound of how the original was used)? Because if I tell you "it sounds great!", that's useless to you. If I tell you, "I lean towards Berlin School style and Synth X is excellent for that," it at least tells you whether or not we're even on the same page.
Old 16th January 2016
  #3
Gear Addict
 

...analog purist is an overkill of a term.

Lots of us that crap on some of these modern offerings are simply comparing it to other stuff.. much if it older stuff. Compared to much of the older synths a lot of modern stuff just doesn't compare so we crap on it. I'm wiling to bet dollars to donuts the people that snark at analog purists have never played the synths that these companies are trying copy, recreate, or be inspired by. They also screw them up half the time with bad gain staging or bad filter designs.

This isn't the case for all synths. The Dominion 1 sounds great. And so does the Minilogue from what I've heard so far. The filter has a bit of Roland IR3109 to it, it sounds really good. So do the oscillators. it sounds cleaner but yet has a bit of discrete VCO (vintage) to it. You may not have noticed but a lot of the analog purists are already lauding the Minilogue from the demos alone.
Old 16th January 2016
  #4
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Seems daft to compare them as the Boutiques are available as modules, particularly in regards to integration into an existing setup.

Surely a better comparison would be the System 1? Roughly the same price, might be a touch cheaper these days.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by haze015 View Post
Surely a better comparison would be the System 1? Roughly the same price, might be a touch cheaper these days.
That would be a much better comparison -- sound, build, price, size -- I wish I could do that comparison, but I can't bring myself to get the System-1. I find the plug-outs pricey, and feel it's bound to be obsolete within a few years because of manufacturer's dreadful support for how OSes change over time, even a few short years.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaintjohn View Post
In the meantime, it would help if you would better outline what you look for when you say "sounds great". What kind of sounds do you like? New Wave, EDM, ambient, progressive rock, what? If you are looking at a Boutique, which one and why (controls, familiarity with the sound of how the original was used)? Because if I tell you "it sounds great!", that's useless to you. If I tell you, "I lean towards Berlin School style and Synth X is excellent for that," it at least tells you whether or not we're even on the same page.
My favorite sound are those associated with acid house, Detroit techno from the start through to mid/late 90s, and 90s Goa trance.

I'm leaning towards the Juno boutique because I've long wanted the 106 but when I've come close to buying one I end up deciding I can't swing the price. Like the demos I've heard. The Jupiter would be attractive to me but I have big hands and was more comfortable with the Juno sliders when I demod all 3.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azone2 View Post
...analog purist is an overkill of a term.

Lots of us that crap on some of these modern offerings are simply comparing it to other stuff.. much if it older stuff. Compared to much of the older synths a lot of modern stuff just doesn't compare so we crap on it. I'm wiling to bet dollars to donuts the people that snark at analog purists have never played the synths that these companies are trying copy, recreate, or be inspired by. They also screw them up half the time with bad gain staging or bad filter designs.

This isn't the case for all synths. The Dominion 1 sounds great. And so does the Minilogue from what I've heard so far. The filter has a bit of Roland IR3109 to it, it sounds really good. So do the oscillators. it sounds cleaner but yet has a bit of discrete VCO (vintage) to it. You may not have noticed but a lot of the analog purists are already lauding the Minilogue from the demos alone.
Looking back at my post perhaps I mis spoke.

To clarify, by "analogue purist" I mean people who have a black and white view on things. Analogue good digital bad.

The vast majority of those on here just love a good synth. Plenty of analogues get love, and there's many digital synths held in high regard as well.

I have seen a small minority like recommend an analogue I've tried and hated over a great digital. Yes it's all subjective but there are times where I can tell someone recommends analog because its analog.

My bad if I came of snarky, hate that crap, MSNBC makes me want to blast the TV.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #8
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by killa ego View Post
... MSNBC makes me want to blast the TV.
so don't watch it?
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by killa ego View Post
My favorite sound are those associated with acid house, Detroit techno from the start through to mid/late 90s, and 90s Goa trance.
And you're sure you want just a synth, right? Not something more like the Roland JD-Xi with both digital and (mono) analog, drums, pattern sequencer, lots of patches and programs aimed at those styles and so on? Knobs for everything, or just the important things? Need full MIDI CC support with good DAW integration? I take it you already have a favored keyboard controller?

Based on your preferences and 3 hours with the minilogue (and many more with the Boutiques), I'm inclined to recommend the minilogue. I'll go over the details of your specific items later. I'm just having a hard time imagining that you'd be satisfied with a Boutique (and specifically the JU-06) unless you have a got of other gear or software to fill in the blanks. OTOH, you can get a JU-06 and, if you don't like it after a few months, you probably won't have any problem flipping it. They're starting to get hard to come by in Europe, with indications that they won't be restocked (truly limited edition).
Old 16th January 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
Why do these synths need to be compared? Why don't you compare the Boutique range to the Yamaha Refaces. Or other digital synths like the Mininova, Blofeld and TI Snow?
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #11
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by miscend View Post
Why do these synths need to be compared? Why don't you compare the Boutique range to the Yamaha Refaces. Or other digital synths like the Mininova, Blofeld and TI Snow?
analog purist!
Old 16th January 2016
  #12
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ARTUR's Avatar
Where to vote ?
Old 16th January 2016
  #13
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redloheb's Avatar
 

Soundwise Minilogue is superior -- it has lushness and richness of VCO and real VCF
Interfacewise Minilogue is superior -- it's usable without tweezers, has surface mount controls, 3 oct keyboard, lot of operations modes.
Purposewise Minilogue is superior -- it's good for what it has been made be modern analog poly. All Boutique are bad at their purpose as Roland Classic emus.

Summarizing: Boutique is not in the same class with Minilogue by any param.
Old 16th January 2016
  #14
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i was still within the return period so i actually took back my jp-08. my minilouge will be here mid next week.

the sound was great on it, but them controls were just too damn small. i could have lived with it, but i can also live with my new minilouge too, so im going with that.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by killa ego View Post
Looking back at my post perhaps I mis spoke.

To clarify, by "analogue purist" I mean people who have a black and white view on things. Analogue good digital bad.
Oh my bad, I'm not that guy, I have everything.

BUT specifically for analogue I'll take an older model any day rather than some less stellar sounding modern analog or Roland ACB. I've only played boutiques in store they sounded fairly convincing if I didn't open the filter too much or ride the filter too much. I'll take my relatively cheap 'built like a tank' Juno60 and JX-3P any day before those things. I sold the JP8 - way overrated compared to others we have. If I'm buying anything it's a Dominion 1, for poly nothing interests much.

We tried the System 1 it was absolutely terrible sounding compared just about every other option on hand.
...But I'm not an analog purists, the facts are facts if it doesn't sound good no dice, I don't care if it's got a zillion modulations or whatever other smokescreen is thrown at me.

Minilogue I will checkout at NAMM.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #16
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by redloheb View Post
Soundwise Minilogue is superior -- it has lushness and richness of VCO and real VCF
Interfacewise Minilogue is superior -- it's usable without tweezers, has surface mount controls, 3 oct keyboard, lot of operations modes.
Purposewise Minilogue is superior -- it's good for what it has been made be modern analog poly. All Boutique are bad at their purpose as Roland Classic emus.

Summarizing: Boutique is not in the same class with Minilogue by any param.
Old 16th January 2016
  #17
i believe boutique and minilogue is a fair comparison despite rolands being digital.
the rolands (and reface cs for that matter) are designed/marketed as analogue substitute and so should be held up against true analogues.
Old 16th January 2016
  #18
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

I think they are apple and oranges. But the KORG looks more like a proper synth with an original sound. The Roland brings a blast from the past type sound. The Korg wins the more real instrument contest and is sexy as hell. The Roland's sound good but they look like cute little mini versions of the real deal.
Old 16th January 2016
  #19
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I doubt the minilogue is gonna sound like the olld rolands.But most times id choose analog.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goa-Dubs View Post
I doubt the minilogue is gonna sound like the olld rolands.But most times id choose analog.
and its not meant too

i thought the the comparison was about how "analogue" they sounded
Old 16th January 2016
  #21
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Coorec's Avatar
Didnt read everything in this thread, but the amount of VERSUS in this forum is getting ridiculous. People are acting like they are watching a football match.

If you really can not make out what you ask for only two products on your own, you cant be helped, because the only question that is not subject to taste is the integration one. Which in both products, due to the cheap-demands, is very basic or next to not existent.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkodaboY View Post

i thought the the comparison was about how "analogue" they sounded
Oh i must have missed that bit.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
Didnt read everything in this thread, but the amount of VERSUS in this forum is getting ridiculous. People are acting like they are watching a football match.

If you really can not make out what you ask for only two products on your own, you cant be helped, because the only question that is not subject to taste is the integration one. Which in both products, due to the cheap-demands, is very basic or next to not existent.
But then that what a forum is for ,discussion.opinions and fun, we are human after all.If we want subjective we can look at the the spec sheets.

More like american football vs rugby
Old 16th January 2016
  #24
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Jamie munro's Avatar
 

Rugby everytime
Old 16th January 2016
  #25
I have big hands. The Boutique are junk to me. I would need a pair of tweezers to manipulate the knobs and sliders. No comparison at all. Analog aside, one is usable the other is not.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #26
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enossified's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by miscend View Post
Why do these synths need to be compared? Why don't you compare the Boutique range to the Yamaha Refaces. Or other digital synths like the Mininova, Blofeld and TI Snow?
I think the point is that both are 4 voice poly and cheap...Boutiques with keys are $399 or $499, Minilogue is $499.

JU, JX and Minilogue are all very basic machines, not a lot of functions (JP is more sophisticated of course). However Roland made theirs digital and Korg was able to make theirs analog for similar money.

Minilogue covers the same ground as JU and JX, adds some useful stuff like a second EG and proper CC implementation for the controls. Plus it is analog.

That's why the OP is asking for a comparison.
Old 16th January 2016
  #27
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CatManDeux's Avatar
 

The Boutiques try (quite well) to bring back retro Roland sound. Their LFOs are a bit slow and resonances tame by today's standards. If you want retro, go boutique. If you're looking for more edge, go Minilogue.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #28
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GeminIAm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by redloheb View Post
Soundwise Minilogue is superior -- it has lushness and richness of VCO and real VCF
Interfacewise Minilogue is superior -- it's usable without tweezers, has surface mount controls, 3 oct keyboard, lot of operations modes.
Purposewise Minilogue is superior -- it's good for what it has been made be modern analog poly. All Boutique are bad at their purpose as Roland Classic emus.

Summarizing: Boutique is not in the same class with Minilogue by any param.
The tweezer comment might carry some weight for the jp, but is bull**** when referring to the ju. Perfectly useable. The fact that it's filter is digital doesn't mean it doesn't sound good. Why are they bad at their purpose as emus? They do a pretty decent job imo, especially considering the price.

Nothing against the ML, it looks good, but getting a bit fed up with the incredibly harsh comments re the boutiques.
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #29
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LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by azone2 View Post
...analog purist is an overkill of a term.

Lots of us that crap on some of these modern offerings are simply comparing it to other stuff.. much if it older stuff. Compared to much of the older synths a lot of modern stuff just doesn't compare so we crap on it. I'm wiling to bet dollars to donuts the people that snark at analog purists have never played the synths that these companies are trying copy, recreate, or be inspired by. They also screw them up half the time with bad gain staging or bad filter designs.

This isn't the case for all synths. The Dominion 1 sounds great. And so does the Minilogue from what I've heard so far. The filter has a bit of Roland IR3109 to it, it sounds really good. So do the oscillators. it sounds cleaner but yet has a bit of discrete VCO (vintage) to it. You may not have noticed but a lot of the analog purists are already lauding the Minilogue from the demos alone.
I've been on this site for years. We've already done blind tests, people can't genuinely tell the difference much of the time; the difference is often undetectable, but there are always posters declaring digital recreations to be "worlds apart" or some other such nonsense. Many of the analog purists really are pulling their opinions out of their behinds much of the time, based on opinions that are 10+ years out of date (digital being synonymous with "thin," "harsh" etc.)
Old 16th January 2016 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
I think the point is that both are 4 voice poly and cheap...Boutiques with keys are $399 or $499, Minilogue is $499.

JU, JX and Minilogue are all very basic machines, not a lot of functions (JP is more sophisticated of course). However Roland made theirs digital and Korg was able to make theirs analog for similar money.

Minilogue covers the same ground as JU and JX, adds some useful stuff like a second EG and proper CC implementation for the controls. Plus it is analog.

That's why the OP is asking for a comparison.
The similarities begin and end at being four voice poly. However you are not getting the same value proposition, the Boutiques are over priced at $399 which is typical of Roland. You can get other VA synths with more functionality for less.

The JP-8 and the Boutiques are basic, but the Minilogue isn't basic - it's a fully featured analogue synth with plenty of functionality. Watch the videos and read the manual.
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