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A Monosynth that maybe deserves a little more attention? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 15th September 2011
  #1
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flat's Avatar
A Monosynth that maybe deserves a little more attention?

The Korg mini700s is hardly ever mentioned here. It was used on quite a few classic songs in the 80s by Human League, The Cure, John Foxx, Kitaro, The Cars. From what i've heard its one of the few Korg synths that has a very large 'sweet spot' ...but in all the never ending Pro-1, SH blahdy blah, MS20, Moog etc etc etc, this little guy never seems to be discussed.

Visually its an eyesore, but from what I've heard it sounds absolutley superb. (keyboard wizards demos are an example)

Is there something i'm missing?

Old 15th September 2011
  #2
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dhollmusik's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
Is there something i'm missing?
It does sound good but I guess at around a €500 average asking price (because of its relative rarity and proper vintage age) people tend to skip it and go for things like the Yamaha CS5 or CS01 which are half the price and arguably even better (tho' I personally have no experience of any of these).
Old 15th September 2011
  #3
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Rust Creep's Avatar
 

i don't think you're missing anything

its just one of those synths that haven't been hyped as much as others.. but it is vintage analog and still fetches a fair price for its age though.. a few threads like this on GS and a video of deadmau5 standing by one and you can expect them to cost double a year from now

i have had my eye out from one.. along with a lot of other great monosynths...

no idea why i haven't gotten into polys... but damn i love me some monosynths
Old 15th September 2011
  #4
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you just dont get them..they are so rare ..and pricy
Old 16th September 2011
  #5
Gear Guru
They are great... but you get really really sick of the env after awhile.. has this same vowel effect no matter what you do ... just that you can slow it down.

I'd say the underdogs are...

Jen SX1000
Mulitivox MX 2000
Moog Micromoog
Old 16th September 2011
  #6
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skyshooter's Avatar
Wasn't that the first synth Vince Clark bought? I believe he talks about it on the remastered first album video.

Martin made a joke that it was the Waauugghhhh sound they used for a long time until Daniel Miller helped show them sound programing.
Old 16th September 2011
  #7
Gear Guru
The Normal by Daniel Miller is a prime demo of the 700s repeat function with ring mod... the noise for drums... simple lead.. all 700s

Old 16th September 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
monsterz's Avatar
 

Very unique sounding synth.

The 700 is much simpler than the 700s. The 700s has the extra oscillator and ring modulator, plus extra envelope and filter mod functions.

Look out for the Maxikorg/800DV. Basically two x 700s in one box.

Still one of Philip Oakeys favourite synths.
Old 16th September 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

funny! i played on this one yesterday and had a laugh, tho the sounds sculpting isn't really diverse enough for me. You'll stay in that 80's arp vibe alot! Tho i really liked the modulation and filter idea on this thing
Old 16th September 2011
  #10
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
Listen at 2:50

Bit like a Juno for a moment.
Old 16th September 2011
  #11
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Rex the Dog use this synth all over their stuff... they were featured a while back on a Future Music DVD - was cool to watch him working with it.
Old 16th September 2011
  #12
got a nice tone - but you cant CV it I dont think?
Old 16th September 2011
  #13
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
got a nice tone - but you cant CV it I dont think?
Theres a diy parts list here

I don't know if firms like Kenton ever did anything though.
Old 16th September 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyshooter View Post
Wasn't that the first synth Vince Clark bought? I believe he talks about it on the remastered first album video.

Martin made a joke that it was the Waauugghhhh sound they used for a long time until Daniel Miller helped show them sound programing.
Vince's first synth was a Kawai S110F. Andrew apparently borrowed a Mini-korg 700 early on, before he got the Moog Prodigy.
Old 16th September 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
The Korg mini700s is hardly ever mentioned here. It was used on quite a few classic songs in the 80s by Human League, The Cure, John Foxx, Kitaro, The Cars. From what i've heard its one of the few Korg synths that has a very large 'sweet spot' ...but in all the never ending Pro-1, SH blahdy blah, MS20, Moog etc etc etc, this little guy never seems to be discussed.

Visually its an eyesore, but from what I've heard it sounds absolutley superb. (keyboard wizards demos are an example)

Is there something i'm missing?

That little synth sounds very good indeed!

Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett band) and the Vannelli brothers were also big users of the Mini-korg.
In fact, all the strings and brass on Gino Vannelli's first three albums were built up one note at a time
using the Mini-korg (it was joined by a Maxi-korg on their 2nd album Storm at sunup). The mini korg
was also used for a lot of the bass parts on the aforementioned Vannelli albums.

Here's a couple of examples...





They finally succumbed to using polyphonics though, on the albums
A Pauper in Paradise (1977) and Brother To Brother (1978).
Old 17th September 2011
  #16
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Dudley's Avatar
 

the mini-korg is the tits.
Old 17th September 2011
  #17
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Dudley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
Visually its an eyesore, but from what I've heard it sounds absolutley superb.
i disagree. they look really cool - different to the standard 'classics', but the coloured knobs and sliders look lovely.

and yes - it's the snappiest, zappiest synth i've ever played.
Old 17th September 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
I Love my mini700. It has a sweet, sweet sound. That filter is the key. There are so many timbres hidden in that filter that I don't mind not having more standard mono synth features. However, having said that, I'd love the 'S' version as well (or better still the 800DV!) since I'm a sucker for ring modulators, and having two oscillators never hurt anyone! Ha!

This little Korg is also (or used to be) the one liked the most by Kitaro. His early albums have the mini700 solos all over.

I've just sampled my 700 for a project, and I have to say, it is fun playing a polyphonic mini700!
Old 17th September 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudley View Post
i disagree. they look really cool - different to the standard 'classics', but the coloured knobs and sliders look lovely.

and yes - it's the snappiest, zappiest synth i've ever played.
I think it looks lovely as well. There is a certain 1970s charm about it that few synths poses.
Old 17th September 2011
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post

Visually its an eyesore,
Not when you sit in front of one. And then, once you read that the filter is called a 'Traveller' you enter a psychedelic dimension like no other, and your vision is filled with grandeur.
Old 20th September 2011
  #21
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skyshooter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikael488 View Post
Vince's first synth was a Kawai S110F. Andrew apparently borrowed a Mini-korg 700 early on, before he got the Moog Prodigy.
Thanks ^ for the clarification. As I get older the C.R.S.* really affects me.
Someday I'll get a chance to play around with one.



*can't remember ****
Old 21st September 2011
  #22
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dougt's Avatar
 

The MaxiKorg (800DV) is the real sleeper. 770 is an awesome little mono too (lot more interesting than the 700s).
Old 21st September 2011
  #23
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laikenf's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by himalaya View Post
I think it looks lovely as well. There is a certain 1970s charm about it that few synths poses.
And it has that old school Korg logo to boost
Old 26th September 2011
  #24
Gear Addict
For what it's worth, it and the related 800DV has been Kitaro's main lead sound since the 70s. He likes the autobend feature with delay :-)

The 700S is the full featured mono. The earlier 700 has a single VCO and no ring mod. You can spot it by the blank wood left hand panel.

The 800DV is kind of like 2 of them but not 100% since what looks like a second and fourth VCO are actually sub-oscs meaning they can't detune, only do octaves - then the single ringmod is between the 2 synth layers. Still you do get 2 sets of everything else

The oscillators sound really interesting and genuinely different, I knew since I read a site on the 90s that the waveshape especially the saw was abnormally shaped but I didn't know why until recently. The reason is they are making the saw out of 4 I think divided square waves in different octaves and levels. Anyway up high it sounds unique and radically different than say CEM based VCOs a staple of 80s analogs.

I think the design is fun without being obnoxious. Sure it's old but it's not bad.

The 2 filters of course are great.

I can criticize what it leaves out. The envelopes are not really full featured and the resonance is not variable.

You can mod them for CV though there are a few hurdles. They use Hz/V like the Yamaha CS monos and unlike modulars and Roland/Moog. You can tap into the keyboard CV but you need to make a new circuit board or hold down a key with tape to actually get the CV/Gate to play the synth. The filters can be controlled but you will need the hard to generate range of 0 to 20v to do it.

So what does the 770 have over the 700S besides a more standard panel layout (the 700 differences are more obvious).

They used to be dirt cheap but not so anymore. For some reason they were never really common where I live (NYC). A friend in vintage synth sales back in the 90s told me Kitaro (who's lived in the US for years) really would go around buying up spares while on tour.
Old 26th September 2011
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

not sure , its a great synth but for me has a bit of a character i find a little irritating at times , its great for a certain vibe but one i get sick to death of after a while like certain synth demo guys theme tunes on youtube that all sound really f....irritating after a few listens .

The korg mini is like that for me , its great if you want to sound like kitaro or get ' that ' vibe but it doesnt have sucha desirable all roudn character as some of the more popular synths mentioned.


>s there something i'm missing?

i think your missing the fact that whilst great it always sounds like itself and i dont think everyone wants that.The flavour / character it has is also not so appealing for alot of genres.The sh 101 etc can cover many more genres and still sound quite different , the korg mini etc have such a unique sound they kind of limit themselves in some respect.

[/QUOTE]
Old 26th September 2011
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikael488 View Post
That little synth sounds very good indeed!

Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett band) and the Vannelli brothers were also big users of the Mini-korg.
In fact, all the strings and brass on Gino Vannelli's first three albums were built up one note at a time
using the Mini-korg (it was joined by a Maxi-korg on their 2nd album Storm at sunup). The mini korg
was also used for a lot of the bass parts on the aforementioned Vannelli albums.
I remember about 7 years ago that Maxi-korg was on ebay. I put in a serious bid but still go sniped...
Old 26th September 2011
  #27
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by leaf studios View Post


>s there something i'm missing?

i think your missing the fact that whilst great it always sounds like itself and i dont think everyone wants that.The flavour / character it has is also not so appealing for alot of genres.The sh 101 etc can cover many more genres and still sound quite different , the korg mini etc have such a unique sound they kind of limit themselves in some respect.
I regard that sonic signature as a plus. But then, the miniKorg has much more to it than Kitaro sounds. Its basses are very colourful and the band-pass sounds can fit into many contemporary genres with ease, especially once the filter cutoff is modulated manually live.
Old 27th September 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itisnick View Post
So what does the 770 have over the 700S besides a more standard panel layout (the 700 differences are more obvious).

The most obvious difference is the stock external filter input on the 770. It's sounds great and is well implemented. Apparently one of the first on a non-modular synth.

You could mod a (700s)s of course but who knows how good of a job it will be.

Also on the 770 that I THINK is different (as far as I can tell just looking at a picture of the 700s, I have a 770.)

-VCO 1 can go down to 64', Ext Input is selectable option.

-Bender is adjustable for speed of ramp and delay of effect. And also for up or down ramp.

-Better Osc Mixer for either Osc seperately or both. And amount per selection.

-Much more tweakble envelopes for attack, sustain lenghts plus a hold option. External trigger option as well.

-You can send positive or negative envelopes to the filters and select pos, neg or no envelope for HP, LP seperately or both at the same time.

-Two levels of brightness instead of one for filter, two levels of travel vibrato depth plus seperate adjustable LFO speed for Filter and OSC.

-OSC 2 options a little different on 770. Duet, 2 mod options plus scale noise, pink noise, white noise on 770. Duet, 3 mod options plus 2 noise settings on 700s.

-Jacks in back for traveller pedal control (via FK-1, good luck finding one) and external trigger (some weird breath controller is in the manual but anything can trigger it via this jack).

Also I thought I'd read on the 700s and 700 that you have to file the traveller switches down so they can pass through each other. Is this actually true? If so, the faders on the 770 pass by each other no problem and need no modification.

So for me the biggest differences are in filter and envelope options which is a big deal, I think.

A 800DV is more than simply two 700s but not quite as featured as two 770s would be. Lacking some envelope and filter tweaks that the 770 has plus the external filter input and external trigger option.

Love my 770. This post has me all worked up and will go rock it right now!
Old 27th September 2011
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

GOD, I love those old Vannelli albums! Jazz-soul-fusion with drums, electric pianos and LOTS of layered analog synth stuff. Great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikael488 View Post
That little synth sounds very good indeed!

Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett band) and the Vannelli brothers were also big users of the Mini-korg.
In fact, all the strings and brass on Gino Vannelli's first three albums were built up one note at a time
using the Mini-korg (it was joined by a Maxi-korg on their 2nd album Storm at sunup). The mini korg
was also used for a lot of the bass parts on the aforementioned Vannelli albums.

Here's a couple of examples...

...

They finally succumbed to using polyphonics though, on the albums
A Pauper in Paradise (1977) and Brother To Brother (1978).
Old 27th September 2011
  #30
Deleted User
Guest
You can hear the 700 and 700s all over the early 70's Vangelis albums like Heaven & Hell, Albedo, Ignacio and Spiral.

Vangelis used the repeater function on the MiniKorg for the Pulstar sequence, and on Nucleogenesis. And one of the tracks on the Ignacio album.
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