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microKORG
Old 12th May 2017
  #1
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microKORG

Anyone own a microKORG, microKORG S or microKORG XL+? I have no prior synth experience and want to own 1 first synth as I already own a digital piano. Is it wise to replace the stock mic on the microKORGs?
Old 12th May 2017
  #2
For a first synth in that price range, I'd rather have a Minilogue. Way more real time control to get acquainted with sound design.
Old 12th May 2017
  #3
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Eric J's Avatar
If you're going to get any microKORG, get the original. Consensus is that one sounds the best.

Minilogue isn't a bad choice either, if you're OK with paying a bit more.
Old 12th May 2017
  #4
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Get the original microkorg as it lasts
Old 12th May 2017
  #5
Gear Guru
I agree with Minilogue....

Why would the original MicroKorg be better?
Old 12th May 2017
  #6
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Eric J's Avatar
Original microKORG is basically an MS2000 in a smaller box...the XL is...not.
Old 12th May 2017
  #7
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Consider also used Korg R3. Same engine, far easier editing and full sized keys.
Old 12th May 2017
  #8
Gear Guru
Oh... Missed the whole XL model being mentioned... Totally different beast
Old 12th May 2017
  #9
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I've been using the minilogue and was instantly drawn to it because of its knob layout. It's so much fun to mess around with this synth. You can get some WILD sounds ! It's also poly and mono too, which is a nice plus.
Old 12th May 2017
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctrl+z View Post
Consider also used Korg R3. Same engine, far easier editing and full sized keys.
The R3 has the same engine as the Radias and XL.

The original MicroKorg is the same engine as the MS2000.

The Radias derived engine is more versatile and glossy sounding. The MS2000/MicroKorg arguably has more character.

The on board mics are absolutely fine for vocoding.
Old 12th May 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adydub View Post
The R3 has the same engine as the Radias and XL.

The original MicroKorg is the same engine as the MS2000.

The Radias derived engine is more versatile and glossy sounding. The MS2000/MicroKorg arguably has more character.

The on board mics are absolutely fine for vocoding.

Sorry, My bad.
Old 14th May 2017
  #12
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You should check out the Roland JD-Xi as well, it's at a similar size and price point as the MicroKorg but has a lot more capabilities.
Old 14th May 2017
  #13
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I'm of two minds on this subject. I started out by snagging a Microkorg XL for an absurdly cheap price, and it ended up being great for learning synthesis. While it definitely lacks quick access to parameters, the sonic possibilities are rather deep between the subtractive engine, Korg's VPM FM, formants, the built-in samples, layering, the mod slots, the effects, etc. So while there's a learning curve to programming it, there's less chance of running into a wall. The downside in my opinion is that it lacks the sonic immediacy of even something like the volca keys, so chances are that if you start out with it you'll want to upgrade in a few years anyway. And if you want to upgrade without losing a ton of options it's going to be quite a price jump. For that reason, the minilogue might be a better starting point. Not as many options, but I imagine it'd be more useful from a practical standpoint. So I suppose my recommendation would be Microkorg XL for learning, Minilogue for making music?
Old 14th May 2017
  #14
Here for the gear
After hesitating for a long time before getting my first "complete" synth (after having owned a Volca Keys for months and had tons of fun with it) I settled for the Microkorg and never regretted it.

It's just fun to use. The default presets are good. The edition can be understood in a second (literally, you just read it on the panel and you see what you can edit) and there are tons of youtube videos about how to create this or this patch (plus patches online) allowing you to understand subtractive synthesis. So for sure it's probably not as easy as a minilogue whose panel is full of knob but for the price it's great and the sound is honestly good (I made my entire first EP with it and a microbrute for the bass).

I don't have enough experience with the Minilogue and I believe it's a good synth although I don't personally appreciate the sound that much. But for the price, portability, numbers of second hand models available, the Microkorg is definitely a bad investment and I don't consider selling mine even after upgrading to a DSI Mopho x4.

(And seriously, just look at some nick cave footage, most of the strings come from a microkorg. This thing just sounds good.)
Old 14th May 2017
  #15
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Jamie munro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boombapdame View Post
Anyone own a microKORG, microKORG S or microKORG XL+? I have no prior synth experience and want to own 1 first synth as I already own a digital piano. Is it wise to replace the stock mic on the microKORGs?
had an xl since they came out in 08 roughly, bulletproof little box and super under rated as a synth and PCM sample player to boot - i remember the crap it received from the internet about it being a POS and all the knobs will break in a year and be in car boots sales for a tenner bla bla - mine has gigged lots, been to many filthy places, has had literally thousands of hours use and is still 100% - not a single fault.

It is dead easy to learn, the interface that looks limited is actually really well thought out like most korg stuff - it has great midi and responds really well to external keys if you don't wish to use the little keys. Good fx engine too that can be used for external sources so its a good processor in addition to a synth.

the stock mic is great for vocoding - you can use it for vocals but it does seem to add a bit of low end so there is that to consider, you could just plug an SM58 or similar into it.

pretty sure by now there must be great demos of it on YT, never looked personally but i know it's sound surprises people when you actually program it and show it off - it is capable of way more than it seems.

for a first synth id recommend it no hesitation, it sits proudly among my many much more expensive synths and doesn't mind a fight.
Old 14th May 2017
  #16
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junipersuction's Avatar
 

I own a XL and use the stock mic plugged straight into the audio interface for quick vocals sometimes. Does the trick! Radius engine too and doesn't take up much space.
Old 15th May 2017
  #17
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Who here has used the Minilogue?
Old 15th May 2017
  #18
Gear Nut
MicroKorg all the way! Its mic is okay, I mean you'll be mumbling stuff to be processed by a vocoder on it, so it does the job pretty well. Love the delay on the Microkorg it's a crazy one. And just see a few Dorian Concept videos and you'll be totally convinced to get it as your first synth (was my first one too still using it big time, still haven't explored even half of its potential).
Old 15th May 2017
  #19
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Eric J's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boombapdame View Post
Who here has used the Minilogue?
Lots of us. I had one for a few months...
Old 15th May 2017
  #20
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@ Eric J did you notice a clicking issue?
Old 15th May 2017
  #21
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Eric J's Avatar
Nope.
Old 15th May 2017
  #22
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boombapdame's Avatar
 

Does it include a USB cable?
Old 15th May 2017
  #23
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Eric J's Avatar
I don't remember. Does that matter?
Old 15th May 2017
  #24
Gear Nut
 

I have the MicroKORG XL (XL+, I think). I got it used, so what I paid for it was less than half of the price of a new Minilogue. At the time, I already had an Arturia MicroBrute, but as mentioned above, the MicroKORG XL is a very different beast from that. It's virtual analog, though I've never really spent the time to figure out how to do synthesis/programming on it. It stores a bunch of presets, so I just through a bunch of bass sounds on there, and assortment of key and lead sounds.

What I really like about it, however, is that it's just a good pick-up-and-play instrument without having to worry about limited polyphony or messing around with knobs. It's also extremely lightweight and can be run on just a handful of AA batteries (I use Eneloops). It's also a 5-pin DIN MIDI controller that supplies MIDI power, so if you want to control something like a Korg Volca, or some other type of synth module, you have a pretty great 37-key controller with velocity sensitivity, and it's relatively compact.

I'm very tempted by the Minilogue and will probably end up with one eventually. I just haven't had the time for music lately to justify getting one, because the reality is with the collection of my Volcas, and iOS instruments (using an external controller), I already have endless possibilities for pretty much any type of synth or sample sound I'm looking for. The appeal of the Minilogue is quite different - it's a basic analog poly synth that caters to traditional knob-tweakers that they just happened to make for a very affordable price.
Old 15th May 2017
  #25
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sin night's Avatar
I have both the microKorg (the black limited edition) and a Minilogue. I'm not a fan of digital synths, I prefer real analog synths, but the microKorg is an exception. It has character and it can do a lot. You can't really go wrong with a microKorg, it's sort of a classic and it can still have its place even when you buy other synths (unless you really hate the microKorg, of course!).
To my ears, the mikroKorg filter sounds quite different from a real analog filter (it's not a modern zdf filter)... and I think this is nice nowadays, because it's a different colour to expand the palette (we have a lot of real analog synths to choose from nowadays).


I think the keys on the Minilogue are way better: while I can play something on the those keys, I'm almost unable on the microKorg. I prefer a proper keyboard, anyway.
The Minilogue is more fun to play in my opinion, the controls are almost all there on the front panel, while the microKorg requires to use the matrix (which isn't bad, anyway... just less fun). The microKorg has a software editor (which is not that great but does the job) while the Minilogue doesn't (but there are third-party utilities).
As far as I remember, the Minilogue doesn't include a usb cable, while the classic microKorg MK1 requires a midi interface (the XL and the newer S editions have also midi over usb, but the classic MK1 has just din midi).


You can't go wrong with any of them, if you're unsure it's probably safer to buy a used microKorg MK1 (it shouldn't be hard to find one), because it's cheaper and it shouldn't be that difficult to sell it again if you don't like it or you want to buy something else...
Old 16th May 2017
  #26
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If I was looking at a microKorg I'd seriously consider a MS2000 instead. Same engine with more options, a classic digital synth.
Old 16th May 2017
  #27
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Best bet Microkorg 1.! U still find them new at a good price and r more reliable than ms2000 still the same engine. The others mentioned sound weak. I have many synths and bought 2 new microkorgs cause they will not be for much longer in production, at least the original ones with ms2000 engine
Old 16th May 2017
  #28
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Huge lover of the OG MicroKORG here (nice to see others too, I feel like it gets a lot of flack here), it's a great synth. But for a newbie I would not recommend any of them. Get something that's more knob-per-function, like a Mini/Monologue, any of the Arturia Brutes, Reface CS, it will help you learn/understand synthesis much quicker and better.
Old 16th May 2017
  #29
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Does any 1 know of any useful sites for learning how to use the microkorg? i have one but never really used it

im wanting to dive into the hardware side off things now instead off been ITB all the time
Old 16th May 2017
  #30
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SonicBern's Avatar
 



I would like to join this group therapy and confess that I own a microKORG...

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