The Korg Monotribe is a pretty slick device. Not new but one of my favorites in this neo-retro analog craze. Damn near pocket sized, the Korg Monotribe weighs in at just under 2lbs with measurements of 8.15 x 5.71 x 2.76 inches. This is the prime example a BBoy Tech friendly device. You can throw this one in your bag (messenger or backpack) and be out. You can potentially make a few joints on the way there, while you wait and on the way back. But if you happen to run into a buddy on the way and he happens to have his Korg in his bag, why not connect them both and bang out a few dual monotribe groves.
On-The-Go Groove Making
Light, compact, and portable, monotribe is great on the go. Equipped with a built-in speaker and powered by six AA batteries, it is completely self-contained and ready to deliver hours of enjoyment wherever you take it.
True Analog Synthesis
The monotribe’s sound engine uses technology old and new, merging the powerful sound of analog synthesis with the dexterity and playability required in today’s groove making environments. Analog technology is essential for fast and responsive control, and delivers the full sonic spectrum from warm and easy-going to full-throttle rampage.
Three-Part Analog Drums
The monotribe provides a three-part rhythm section powered by discrete analog circuitry; bass drum, snare, and hi-hat. These three sounds were the key elements in a generation of analog beat making, and are still in demand today. Use these powerful drum sounds to generate distinctive beats attainable only from the monotribe.
Electribe-Style Groove Creation
For over a decade, Korg’s Electribe Series has served as the standard tools for dance music and DJ work, and has earned outstanding popularity, even appearing recently as top-selling iPad app. The fantastic step key interface lives on in monotribe, with a dedicated button for each of the eight steps. This allows realtime, hands-on step editing of not only the drum parts, but also for any synth part sequence played on the ribbon keyboard.
Active Step and Flux Mode
Active Step editing lets you remove or re-insert individual steps, creating short loop-like effects or off-beat patterns that weave in and out of complex rhythms. The step buttons provide this Active Step control during playback, and also provide an instant return to the original 8-step sequence if needed. Flux Mode allows the creation of sequenced synth parts that are not rigidly tied to the step grid, providing more musical versatility. The creation and morphing of edgy beats and stuttering rhythms has never been easier.
Multi-Mode Ribbon Keyboard
The ribbon controller keyboard provides three selectable playing modes/ranges. The chromatic mode (KEY) is ideal for playing melodies and bass lines, and stepping smoothly from note to note. Switch to the continuous mode (NARROW) for glides and bends – just as on the monotron. Also available is the wide continuous mode (WIDE) with a six-fold pitch range for dramatic synth zaps and screams. In addition, pressing the Gate Time button will allow the gate time to be sequenced as the ribbon controller keyboard is played.
Analog synthesizers of yesteryear were prone to drift in pitch. But no more! The monotribe’s self-tuning circuitry provides stable chromatic playability, and will not go out of tune. This self-tuning technology also means no warm-up time, no servicing for pitch calibration, no sensitivity to temperature changes – just the great sound of analog VCO.
Classic Analog Components – VCO, LFO, VCA
The VCO offers a choice between sawtooth, triangle and square wave. White noise can mixed in to the oscillator signal in any amount. The Octave selector covers a broad range, from deep bass to piercing lead-lines. Three EG (Envelope Generator) presets provide the VCA with impressive versatility and dexterity. The LFO can be patched to the VCO and/or the VCF, creating impressive dynamic effects. The Range switch allows the LFO to deliver stirring cyclic changes over tens of seconds (SLOW) or superfast (FAST) audio-range FM ringing. Switching the LFO Mode to the 1-shot setting allows the LFO behave as a second envelope generator – a truly powerful addition!
Vintage MS-10/MS-20 Filter
The monotribe features the same VCF circuit found on Korg’s classic MS-10 and MS-20 analog semi-patchable synthesizers. Distinctively analog, this sharp and powerful filter adds dramatic change to the sound, imparting the uniquely memorable character of Korg’s early analog synthesizers. Using the audio input, any audio source can be enhanced by passing through the filter section. Process an instrument, a voice, or a complete mix form CD or MP3 and create larger than life filter effects!
Sync Jacks: A Return to Modular
The monotribe provides both Sync In and Sync Out jacks, empowering multiple monotribe units to play and work together for a synchronized performance. Not just other monotribes, either. Audio line level pulses can trigger the Sync Input so the monotribe can be synchronized to a DAW system, for example. In addition, the polarity of the pulse waveform can be changed for both the input and output, so you can enjoy synchronized performance with a variety of equipment equipped with Sync connections.