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Microkorg xl+ vs novation mininova
Old 11th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Microkorg xl+ vs novation mininova

Hey, Im gonna buy one of these synths when it comes out, love the microkorg and can see that novation has pumped its little synth to try and topple the mkxl+ but I'm just wondering if it's a case of quality over quantity?
Opinions?
Old 19th September 2012
  #2
Gear interested
 

Hi Fella,

After reading your post, I assume two important factors. Either it's a space saving thing, or maybe your going for the portability? In which case, both synths offer one or both of this. I've kind of had experience with the Microkorg, in the form of the MS2000. Here's my honest opinion:

In truth, you couldn't go wrong with either! The Microkorg is tried and tested. As a huge fan and owner of the MS2000, for me it would just work. The Mininova appears to follow the same kind of small factor and coolness as the Microkorg, whilst offering a few more interesting features. However, if I was in your situation, for me it would be a little bitter sweet. Here’s why:

When news of the Mininova first appeared, the first thing I did was checked out it's specs. After reading about it and feeling impressed, I could not help but then feel a little disappointed, after failing to find the magic ‘b’ word, yep you got it - batteries (dunno if I skipped over something, but no sign of that word - can someone confirm this?) Oddly, it’s a feature I’d personally look for first with something like this.

That means, if I wanted to buy the Mininova to take out and about with me, I’d need to take my laptop (for usb power) or be near some power supply! With the Microkorg, I could flip it into a cute carry bag and gig anywhere I wanted without anything else, well, except for some form of monitoring of course! (I’m the kind of guy who would take the microkorg to some random field and just sit and absorb some inspiration) but I’m just a geek...

On the other hand, if I wanted a different sound, newer features, and just wanted to be different, the Mininova would be a yes. It looks cute and interesting. I have experience with the K-station way back, and can confirm Novation is a great and quality company. For me though, that lack of battery power is a little nag! Hmmm ^_^
Old 19th September 2012
  #3
Gear interested
 

PS: I do acknowledge that in fact you was referring to the XL which is based on something else, not the MS2000, my bad, but the battery concept stays the same ^_^
Old 19th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
I'd get the Mininova as its a newer synth engine and appears to have more modern features such as the touch sensitive interface and flexible synth architecture that allows you layer up to 5 effects including Pre filter distortion. You also get more voices of polyphony that's 18 voices as opposed to the Microkorg's 8.

To the Microkorg Xl+'s credit it appears to come with sampled pianos, keys and organs. I have no idea how good they are.
Old 19th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoog View Post
Hi Fella,

After reading your post, I assume two important factors. Either it's a space saving thing, or maybe your going for the portability? In which case, both synths offer one or both of this. I've kind of had experience with the Microkorg, in the form of the MS2000. Here's my honest opinion:

In truth, you couldn't go wrong with either! The Microkorg is tried and tested. As a huge fan and owner of the MS2000, for me it would just work. The Mininova appears to follow the same kind of small factor and coolness as the Microkorg, whilst offering a few more interesting features. However, if I was in your situation, for me it would be a little bitter sweet. Here’s why:

When news of the Mininova first appeared, the first thing I did was checked out it's specs. After reading about it and feeling impressed, I could not help but then feel a little disappointed, after failing to find the magic ‘b’ word, yep you got it - batteries (dunno if I skipped over something, but no sign of that word - can someone confirm this?) Oddly, it’s a feature I’d personally look for first with something like this.

That means, if I wanted to buy the Mininova to take out and about with me, I’d need to take my laptop (for usb power) or be near some power supply! With the Microkorg, I could flip it into a cute carry bag and gig anywhere I wanted without anything else, well, except for some form of monitoring of course! (I’m the kind of guy who would take the microkorg to some random field and just sit and absorb some inspiration) but I’m just a geek...

On the other hand, if I wanted a different sound, newer features, and just wanted to be different, the Mininova would be a yes. It looks cute and interesting. I have experience with the K-station way back, and can confirm Novation is a great and quality company. For me though, that lack of battery power is a little nag! Hmmm ^_^
The old Microkorg was based on the MS2000. But the newer model, the XL is based on the Radius and R3 architecture.
Old 20th September 2012
  #6
Gear addict
 

even tho im a HUGE microkorg fan id buy the mininova cuz of the "fx" buttons it has.. and with the flip of a switch the fx buttons turn into an arp. it also has real cool software to control it while the microkorg xl+ software sucks.
Old 14th April 2014
  #7
Gear interested
 

Would a USB battery pack work? If that's the main issue with the mininova?
Old 23rd September 2015
  #8
Here for the gear
 
n13L5's Avatar
 

I was looking for a small keyboard for my 5 year old daughter...

Initially I was thinking of a 25 key, but then I realized that 37 smaller keys would be much more useful for her to learn.

I looked at the 4 Yamaha retro minis, the Microkorg and the Mininova.


In the end, I think either of them would be ok to learn to play the keys, given they're all polyphonic.

But only the Mininova has an interface that will be fun for her to explore analog synthesis with.


The same pretty much goes for me:

If a Keyboard is going to send me to push little buttons while staring at a tiny display, I'll instantly be off to my computer and rather play with my synth plugins that let me at least spread everything out on a huge screen and instant MKB access to everything.

This is also the reason why I will probably forgo the more powerful Waldorf Blofeld and get a Nord Lead instead: no staring at a tiny LCD screen for extended periods of time.

I have enough cool VA synths in my computer to be too jaded with interfaces that annoy me.


I *could* sure go for a Modulus 002 if I had the 5 grand though ;-)



This may seem like something of a Tangent for this thread, but I think all musicians have retained something of their inner child, so my recommendation for any adult would also be either the MiniNova or the Modulus: more fun to play with. :D
Old 23rd September 2015
  #9
Here for the gear
 
n13L5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amigamike View Post
Would a USB battery pack work? If that's the main issue with the mininova?
Yeah, if something can be powered from a USB port, it can be powered from a battery pack.

I think that's better than throw-away batteries and you can buy the size pack you want depending on how long you plan to play.


If you're adventurous, you could open the case and strap such a rechargeable battery pack inside, connecting it between the existing USB socket and the cable that leads from it to the circuit board. If you aren't into electronics, just have a local shop hook it up for you.
Old 21st October 2015
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lfabila View Post
Hey, Im gonna buy one of these synths when it comes out, love the microkorg and can see that novation has pumped its little synth to try and topple the mkxl+ but I'm just wondering if it's a case of quality over quantity?
Opinions?


So... what did you ever decide?

I am also debating the MicroKorg vs the Novation MiniNova? I know it's a long debated... debate. I am interested as my first synth. I am a piano player, jazz and classical, and play rock style in my church.
I got inspired by Snarky Puppy.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_XJ_s5IsQc
5 min. mark.

and why microkorg as opposed to the xl?

Looking for more using it as a performance keyboard, it would be my first venture into learning how to tweak with sounds, not just playing. It seems like the Mininova is easier to use because of the toggle? I dunno, though. MiniNova has a huge polyphony, but MicroKorg only has 4 notes? You can get lush chords would 4 notes, when voiced correctly, but 5 might be better? Am I thinking of this keyboard wrong? I'm thinking 2 hands still...

The MicroBrute by Arturia seems great as well, purely analog, right? However, only 2 octaves... it would be tough soloing on.
and no savable patches, etc.


Anyways, thanks for any input!
Old 21st October 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Original MicroKorg sounds better to most people (myself included but I like both). It also feels better made, less flimsy, looks better, better interface (DW8000 matrix with no LCD, as DW user I like this) and you can turn off arp steps from dedicated buttons (XL puts the arp steps on the LCD, boo). XL has greater (double?) polyphony of MK's 4 and extra digital sounds (XL+ has even more, that's the one I would get).

Mininova sounds better to me than both but I still like Korg.

Mini/MicroBrute is monosynth only if that is an issue - and there I'd get an MS20 mini.
Old 21st October 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 
login's Avatar
Ultranova is the best: better interface by far then the microkorg or the mininova, better sound engine than MK, and full keys with AT!

The mininova interface is not fun at all, so many stuff is deep inside menus, basic stuff like oscilators waveform. In the ultra everything is one botton away.
Old 21st October 2015
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilita View Post
Original MicroKorg sounds better to most people (myself included but I like both). It also feels better made, less flimsy, looks better, better interface (DW8000 matrix with no LCD, as DW user I like this) and you can turn off arp steps from dedicated buttons (XL puts the arp steps on the LCD, boo). XL has greater (double?) polyphony of MK's 4 and extra digital sounds (XL+ has even more, that's the one I would get).

Mininova sounds better to me than both but I still like Korg.

Mini/MicroBrute is monosynth only if that is an issue - and there I'd get an MS20 mini.
So... you like the MicroKorg XL+, the most, even though the Arp steps are more difficult to get to, right? Just trying to sort all that out.

DIdn't know the Brutes were mono, that pretty much takes it out. I want to do chords.

So the menus are tough... but could i replicate this if I tried?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpt585iJjCk

Also, if I see a sound tutorial online, and it's for MicroKorg... I should be able to do it on the MiniNova, right?

Thanks!
Old 21st October 2015
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by login View Post
Ultranova is the best: better interface by far then the microkorg or the mininova, better sound engine than MK, and full keys with AT!

The mininova interface is not fun at all, so many stuff is deep inside menus, basic stuff like oscilators waveform. In the ultra everything is one botton away.
THanks, I'll look into the Ultra!

Would you say the MiniNova is easier/more difficult to use than the MicroKorg/XL+?
Old 21st October 2015
  #15
Lives for gear
 
login's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkpod View Post
THanks, I'll look into the Ultra!

Would you say the MiniNova is easier/more difficult to use than the MicroKorg/XL+?
I think that the microkorg is a little better since it's simpler and the matrix is faster once you get used to it.

But the ultranova is way easier than both.
Old 21st October 2015
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkpod View Post
So... what did you ever decide?

I am also debating the MicroKorg vs the Novation MiniNova? I know it's a long debated... debate. I am interested as my first synth. I am a piano player, jazz and classical, and play rock style in my church.
I got inspired by Snarky Puppy.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_XJ_s5IsQc
5 min. mark.

and why microkorg as opposed to the xl?

Looking for more using it as a performance keyboard, it would be my first venture into learning how to tweak with sounds, not just playing. It seems like the Mininova is easier to use because of the toggle? I dunno, though. MiniNova has a huge polyphony, but MicroKorg only has 4 notes? You can get lush chords would 4 notes, when voiced correctly, but 5 might be better? Am I thinking of this keyboard wrong? I'm thinking 2 hands still...

The MicroBrute by Arturia seems great as well, purely analog, right? However, only 2 octaves... it would be tough soloing on.
and no savable patches, etc.


Anyways, thanks for any input!
Hey dude in the end I went with the full sized korg r3 but ended up selling it.

If I were u I would think about the Roland jdxi.
It is a great mix of all the mini sized keyboards imo.
It's has its own patches that u can jump right into but it also has proper analogue wav forms with a fair amount of control for experimentation
Old 21st October 2015
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by login View Post
I think that the microkorg is a little better since it's simpler and the matrix is faster once you get used to it.

But the ultranova is way easier than both.

And now it comes down to price...


Sigh. I love the pricepoint of the mini keyboards. and THat's why they're priced that way, right?

This would be my first synth, so easier probably would be better. Thanks, you've give me a lot to think about!


I see on eBay there are some black Ultras, and blue ultras... are the black ones the older model? Still good?
Old 21st October 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 
login's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkpod View Post
And now it comes down to price...


Sigh. I love the pricepoint of the mini keyboards. and THat's why they're priced that way, right?

This would be my first synth, so easier probably would be better. Thanks, you've give me a lot to think about!


I see on eBay there are some black Ultras, and blue ultras... are the black ones the older model? Still good?
I don't know about black ultras, they must be custom painted.

Ultra was out at the end of 2011 and there has been only one edition.
Old 21st October 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
 
login's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkpod View Post
And now it comes down to price...


Sigh. I love the pricepoint of the mini keyboards. and THat's why they're priced that way, right?

This would be my first synth, so easier probably would be better. Thanks, you've give me a lot to think about!


I see on eBay there are some black Ultras, and blue ultras... are the black ones the older model? Still good?
I don't know about black ultras, they must be custom painted.

Ultra was out at the end of 2011 and there has been only one edition.
Old 21st October 2015
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by login View Post
I don't know about black ultras, they must be custom painted.

Ultra was out at the end of 2011 and there has been only one edition.
maybe it's just bad lighting?

Novation Ultranova | eBay
Old 21st October 2015
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkpod View Post
So... you like the MicroKorg XL+, the most, even though the Arp steps are more difficult to get to, right? Just trying to sort all that out.

DIdn't know the Brutes were mono, that pretty much takes it out. I want to do chords.

So the menus are tough... but could i replicate this if I tried?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpt585iJjCk

Also, if I see a sound tutorial online, and it's for MicroKorg... I should be able to do it on the MiniNova, right?

Thanks!
No, it would be between the Mininova and the OG MicroKorg just because of the sound.

I don't find the MKXL menus tough though. and MK has good bass, not quite a Moog but it's fine.

I guess the tutorials would work so long as the MiniNova had all the right parameters.
Old 21st October 2015
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilita View Post
No, it would be between the Mininova and the OG MicroKorg just because of the sound.

I don't find the MKXL menus tough though. and MK has good bass, not quite a Moog but it's fine.

I guess the tutorials would work so long as the MiniNova had all the right parameters.


Thanks, good stuff.

WOuld i be able to use MIDI and hook up my Kurzweil PC-88MX to either of those keyboards, to have a full keyboard with weighted keys, but be able to access and play with their sounds?
Old 21st October 2015
  #23
Lives for gear
 

I clicked on this thread for no particular reason, and learned the ultranova has aftertouch (which isn't in anything I have.) A used one would be one of the cheaper ways to add aftertouch to my setup, I'm gonna look into those.
Old 21st October 2015
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Good call -- and I highly suggest you check out the new Lead A1 model. It's the perfect antidote to both menu-heavy hardware synths and too much time in front of a computer screen. It also works well as a hardware controller, should you decide to do some work ITB. In short, it makes my music life better in many ways, whether standalone or tied to other tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n13L5 View Post
This is also the reason why I will probably forgo the more powerful Waldorf Blofeld and get a Nord Lead instead: no staring at a tiny LCD screen for extended periods of time.
Old 21st October 2015
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Having (briefly) owned an Ultranova, I suggest an Arturia Keylab 49 or 61 controller as a better alternative for aftertouch. YMMV, but in my experience the Ultranova keybed made aftertouch less subtle, more like an ON/OFF switch. And it also strained my hands more than the Arturia.

Try both. You may want the extra synth engine. You may prefer the feel of the controller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by killa ego View Post
I clicked on this thread for no particular reason, and learned the ultranova has aftertouch (which isn't in anything I have.) A used one would be one of the cheaper ways to add aftertouch to my setup, I'm gonna look into those.
Old 21st October 2015
  #26
New Microkorg XL has a different engine then old and good Microkorg which is a little clone of MS2000.
If you are an electronic guy - get the Novation.
If you need versatile instrument - try XL.
Old 21st October 2015
  #27
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mikefellh's Avatar
 

Was going to comment, but then I realized how old this thread was, and considering the OP has 3 posts over 3 years, odds are they haven't been back since...so I'm commenting on that instead.
Old 21st October 2015
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkpod View Post
So... what did you ever decide?

I am also debating the MicroKorg vs the Novation MiniNova? I know it's a long debated... debate. I am interested as my first synth. I am a piano player, jazz and classical, and play rock style in my church.
I got inspired by Snarky Puppy.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_XJ_s5IsQc
5 min. mark.

and why microkorg as opposed to the xl?

Looking for more using it as a performance keyboard, it would be my first venture into learning how to tweak with sounds, not just playing. It seems like the Mininova is easier to use because of the toggle? I dunno, though. MiniNova has a huge polyphony, but MicroKorg only has 4 notes? You can get lush chords would 4 notes, when voiced correctly, but 5 might be better? Am I thinking of this keyboard wrong? I'm thinking 2 hands still...

The MicroBrute by Arturia seems great as well, purely analog, right? However, only 2 octaves... it would be tough soloing on.
and no savable patches, etc.


Anyways, thanks for any input!
Microkorg XL was way better than the original IMO, more voices and more mod options too. Oh and decent samples, the waves on offer give it a lot more power. Looks a hell if a lot better too, retro e.p style. Each to their own though that's the beauty.
Old 21st October 2015
  #29
Here for the gear
 
n13L5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite5ths View Post
Good call -- and I highly suggest you check out the new Lead A1 model. It's the perfect antidote to both menu-heavy hardware synths and too much time in front of a computer screen. It also works well as a hardware controller, should you decide to do some work ITB. In short, it makes my music life better in many ways, whether standalone or tied to other tools.
I got a Nord Lead 3, would you consider this equal to the A1 (aside from maybe worse default sounds on the 3, but more options)?
Old 21st October 2015
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkpod View Post
Thanks, good stuff.

WOuld i be able to use MIDI and hook up my Kurzweil PC-88MX to either of those keyboards, to have a full keyboard with weighted keys, but be able to access and play with their sounds?
Yes.

You can also look at the MS2000 which has full keys and the same engine as the original MicroKorg and has a knob or a button for almost anything. PLus two can be polychained for double the polyphony.
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