In advance of the 32nd annual NAMM TEC Awards, being held Saturday, January 21 in Anahein, Korg USA, Inc.’s Minilogue synth is nominated for Outstanding Technical Achievement in the category of Musical Instrument Hardware.
Minilogue is something new that I see as a future classic. Considering all of the reissues in the analog synth market it must have been tough to move forward and away from the old towards the new. What was the inspiration for Minilogue?
Reissues are important for keeping legendary synths relevant today and that’s a very important part of our work and the concept of developing a completely new synth is very different to that of conservation. For the minilogue to hold its own among so many other great synths, both old and new, we had to redesign all the synth circuits from scratch. This meant that we had to rethink how every part should sound because we weren’t borrowing circuits from known synths. From the oscillators to the modulation to the filter – everything had to undergo the test of “is this sound relevant to musicians today?”. So you could say that starting from a clean slate was the inspiration. I hope the minilogue gets reissued in 30 years’ time!
There were initial reports of clicking envelopes depending on who you asked about it. Some said it was just a snappy envelope and others said there was a defect. What was really going on there?
There was an enormous amount of confusion regarding the envelopes.
1. fast attack time
2. EG reset when voice stealing
3. actual clicks at the start of the EG
All of the above were getting mixed up. 1 and 2 are the way the synth was intended to sound. 3 was fixed in update version 1.10. In the fix we improved stability of voice trigger control for a cleaner note on.
Minilogue has a digital delay that sounds great but why not use an analogue delay?
Because the one we decided on sounds great!
We’re keeping a close eye on market response and considering our options.
Well, there’s something magical about the simplicity of a monophonic synth that I wanted to explore and there’s more room to be a bit more adventurous in the design. We don’t have to worry about overcrowding the spectrum when you layer voices, so the filter is more aggressive, the LFO goes to audio range, the drive adds extra harmonics as well as beefing up the low end. There’s more scope for cutting leads, huge basses and rhythm. Also the monologue is more focused on sequencing than the minilogue which is more for playing. The new interface was designed to make your sequencing experience faster, more spontaneous and more intuitive.
About NAMM TEC Awards
Presented annually by the NAMM Foundation at The NAMM Show, the NAMM TEC Awards recognizes the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and other media. Award categories span 25 Technical Achievement Categories and 8 Creative Achievement Categories. Two new categories were added this year, Audio Education Technology, and DJ Production Technology.