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Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth

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Product 430847
$000
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Analog synths were once massive, temperamental monsters, but the Korg monotron proves that big things now come in small packages. The true analog mon...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Palm-sized, battery-powered, ribbon-controlled analog synth with expressive effects and popular Korg filters.

Analog synths were once massive, temperamental monsters, but the Korg monotron proves that big things now come in small packages. The true analog monotron synthesizer fits in your pocket and makes it possible for you to play anytime, anyplace.

Although it is small enough to hold in one hand, the Korg monotron synth delivers enormous, dazzling sounds. The controls have been streamlined for ease of use”concentrating on the most important sound parameters, the panel contains only five knobs and one switch. With this level of simplicity, now anyone can easily enjoy the world of analog synthesizers. It's simply a blast to play.

Ribbon controller keyboard offers easy expression
Borrowing the enjoyment of performing with a simple touch from Korg's wildly popular KAOSS products, the monotron synth's ribbon controller keyboard takes this ease of use even farther. Simple finger gestures can produce expressive effects such as vibrato and glide.

1VCO, 1VCF, 1LFO - Modular synthesis building blocks
The Korg monotron's circuit is radically simple: one voltage-controlled oscillator, one voltage-controlled filter, and one low frequency oscillator. As a result, the process of sound creation is intuitive, and instantly understandable. And it's tons of fun. This Korg synth provides the joy of sonic creativity that's at the heart of analog synthesis.

The famous Korg filter
This Korg synthesizer starts with the same highly acclaimed VCF circuit as KORG's classic MS-10 and original MS-20 semi-modular synths, and adds extra oomph to the resonance. Originally released over 30 years ago, these synthesizers are still coveted today for their aggressive, dynamic filters. The VCF Cutoff knob sets the frequency or tone of the filter; the VCF Peak (resonance) knob adds emphasis.

Semi modular satisfaction
Just as on the original MS-20, the monotron's filter can be patched into, allowing any external audio source to be processed by the monotron's filter. The input jack (AUX input) built into the Korg synthesizer's compact body inserts the AUX input into the signal path right before the VCF. This provides a great way to connect a KAOSSILATOR, a keyboard, a guitar, a digital audio player or even an unmixed track to the Korg monotron synth and enjoy tone-bending filter effects.

Versatile LFO provides audio and visual excitement
The LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) can affect either the oscillator pitch or the filter cutoff. Both the speed and the intensity are individually adjustable, so you can create anything from a gentle vibrato to swooping tone changes of galactic proportions. As you turn the LFO Rate knob”featuring an embedded LED”the speed of the modulation effect and the speed of the blinking LED will change in tandem.

Listen anywhere”alone or with friends
The ultimate in compactness, the Korg monotron synth includes a built-in miniature speaker. Along with the battery operation, this feature allows you to enjoy the monotron everywhere. There's also a headphone output that you can use when creating sounds at home, for recording, or for connecting to an amplifier or PA system. When used, it cuts off the speaker so you get personal monitoring or so that you get the full effect of your larger speaker system.

FEATURES
Korg synth features the same classic analog filter found in the legendary Korg MS-10 & MS-20
Filter any external source using the audio input jack
Inspiring, easy-to-play ribbon keyboard
Intuitive, fun-to-tweak controls
Full-fledged, true analog synthesizer: VCO, VCF, LFO
LFO can modulate either pitch or filter cutoff
LFO Rate knob features cool LED visual indicator
Battery operation and palmtop size equals true portability
Internal speaker/headphone jack lets you enjoy the sound anywhere” alone or with friends

Have fun on the run with the monotron. Order yours today!

SPECIFICATIONS
Audio Path: VCO, VCF, LFO
Knobs: VCO Pitch; LFO Rate; LFO Intensity; VCF Cutoff; VCF Peak
LFO switch: Assignable to Oscillator Pitch or Filter Cutoff
Controller: Ribbon controller
Volume: Headphone volume
Aux Input: 1/8" stereo jack
Headphone Output: 1/8" stereo jack
Speaker: Miniature internal (disabled when headphones are in use)
Power Supply: AAA Alkalines (x2)
Dimensions: (WxDxH): 4.72" x 2.83" x 1.10"
Weight: 3.35oz. (without batteries)
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
KorgMonotron Analog Ribbon Synth
 
4.1

(based on 22 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Portable (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses

Most Liked Positive Review

 

a handy little thing...

When I saw the box that this piece of gear came it I was shocked. I had no idea it was as small as it is, but it packs some interesting things into it's...Read complete review

When I saw the box that this piece of gear came it I was shocked. I had no idea it was as small as it is, but it packs some interesting things into it's size. If your a fan of old school analog synths this is certainly a must. It is limiting in the sense that there is no MIDI and there are only an eigth inch aux imput and a eigth inch head phone output. The ribbon controller is fun but only for a little while. It has a look and style of the old stylaphones. For as little as it is you can get some really awesome low end sounds and hi end leads. Not much in the mid range, it's there but gets a little flat. I do recommend it though.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Useless piece of plastic gibberish

No midi I/O, one headphone output. Even worse than the kaossilator. I'm telling you this, go to your store, ask someone to take it out of the box and play around...Read complete review

No midi I/O, one headphone output. Even worse than the kaossilator. I'm telling you this, go to your store, ask someone to take it out of the box and play around for 5 minutes, you, yourself will realize how useless this thing is. This purchase will not only not bring you any profit for your track but will be considered as "the" most useless musical purchase you have ever done. Not buying this is your best decision.

Reviewed by 22 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

a handy little thing...

By Pierce-v2W_T

from Boston, MA

See all my reviews

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

When I saw the box that this piece of gear came it I was shocked. I had no idea it was as small as it is, but it packs some interesting things into it's size. If your a fan of old school analog synths this is certainly a must. It is limiting in the sense that there is no MIDI and there are only an eigth inch aux imput and a eigth inch head phone output. The ribbon controller is fun but only for a little while. It has a look and style of the old stylaphones. For as little as it is you can get some really awesome low end sounds and hi end leads. Not much in the mid range, it's there but gets a little flat. I do recommend it though.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

analog madness

By Happydog

from New Orleans, LA

See all my reviews

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

If you want MIDI and modern features, you won't get it from this little beastie. What it IS, is a real, old-fashioned, ANALOG synthesizer. Like the orginal UniVox Mini-Korg, which this is a close relative of. If you want something that will make a dance track for you, or something that you can hook up to GarageBand and create the next Katy Perry hit, this ain't it, brother, so move along.HOWEVER. If you are an old school psychedelic warlord who remembers when men were men and there were no presets, and the twist of a mere knob could bring you either horrible chaos or fabulous glory, then this machine will light your imagination. Furthermore, it is superb bang for the buck, even if you only use it as a noise toy and don't dig into it and challenge yourself. But if you have the cojones - and the low price - you can get the same contact high that your grandpa did when he plugged into his old Mini-Korg and blew out the speakers. It's that much fun.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

An Interesting Toy

By SparkyTheGreat

from Golden, CO

See all my reviews

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

Overall, this is a neat toy to experiment with, although the possibilities seem somewhat limited.
It has a good amount of tweaking you can do with the knobs and the aux in is useful if you want to apply the Monotrons filtering to another sound source.
This is the second Monotron I've had and I can say that both were noisy, both through the built-in speaker and using nice headphones. The build quality of the unit feels ok, not great.
This is a good value if you can pick one up on sale, with a rebate, or if you have a real use for it. I bought one just to play with because the price was right.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

awesome!

By jimmy doom

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

this thing is great!!! i was looking for a synthesizer to do some creepy sounds with. for a good price. when it showed up to my house i was shocked at how small it was i take it every where! if you get the settings just right you can get some pretty awesome sounds!!!

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fun for the money, good for bass drops

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

So i bought this just so i could have something to mess around with at school, and at first, i hated it. It's fun, but not that fun. After a while it became a little bit more fun, but you really have to appreciate analogs to like it. If you want a cheap, live, and LOW bass drop, it can come in handy with an EQ. I hooked it up and turned the bass up, and the high down (it was really noisy) and it worked very well. Try one, you'll see.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

May be cheap, but it's amazing

By Rabbit: [912292]

from Mesa, AZ

See all my reviews

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

I got this little guy a couple months back and it's been an amazing piece of equipment. It took me awhile to get the right cable for it so I could plug into my amp, but that didn't stop me from running it into my headphones. I've gotten some amazing kick drum sounds, a few fat bass sounds, and some crazy leads. It doesn't have any presets, but I love that. I find it more entertaining to actually make my own sounds as opposed to using one somebody else made. This piece will find a permanent home in my rig, and my guitarist is even debating getting one for himself. Also this piece can be a serious tool if you know what you're doing, and aren't going to let it's lack of MIDI or presets get in your way.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Totally awesome!

By Works for me

from Ohio

See all my reviews

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

This thing is amazing given how small and limited it is.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

So dirty, so lovely

By porkbrains

from Low Oregon

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

If you don't understand synthesis, this is a great device to learn with. I have been able to explain the concept of LFO and VCF with this little guy in my hand to people whose eyes glaze over at the first mention of Voltage.The guy who hated it wanted more from it than it promises. It only offers a few resistors, transistors and capacitors (maybe a diode or two), but through that tiny window you can explore infinite worlds.The fact that you can route anything you want through its analog filter is worth of the price of admission by itself. If you are the type that wants your instruments to make music for you, don't bother... If, however, you'd like a hand to hold as you dive deep into the abyss of analog crunch and squeal, this little guy will be your friend to the end.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Analogtastic!!!

By Korgtastic

from MO-town, California

See all my reviews

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

I know it's not the most versatile or useful synth ever, but considering that, it's probably one of the funest synths around. It's got a great filter, and the ribbon controller is pretty amusing.. I like to tune it to a keyboard so I can jam a little too. And if you work with it a little it makes some great bass drum or hi hat noises. Overall lots o fun

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

It's analog, not digital

By JudeJaded

from Redlands, CA

See all my reviews

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

If your main beef w/this synthesizer is that it has no midi, you are totally missing the boat, and the acronym. The 'd' in 'midi' stands for 'digital', this is an analog machine. Read the specs folks; it does what they say it does, and the price is right. I've tried it, and I'll be buying two.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Looks Are Deceiving

By JazzMan-X1KSz

from Chicago

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

Don't be deceived by screechy demos or the sound from the built-in speaker. This little bugger can be very musical in the right hands. Not much in the way of features, but that's its charm. Twiddle the knobs a bit and you can go from screaming leads to deep bass drums to techno-arps.

 
5.0

It can do more than make noise

By audionectar

from Iowa

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Portable

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Electronic Music
  • Recording

Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

Works great! just record a sound from the monotron using a audio interface into your DAW and wa-la, I was able to get a decent sound out of it,although it can do noise very well. I don't write dance beats, I write some kind of fast paced music like a guitarist shredding.
It's cheap in price and great for anyone, its not a toy if you know how to use this synth and it is very portable. I have small fingers but I still need one of those pens to make a rhythm. and last, I customized mine by spray painting it!

 
5.0

I like it

By micro

from idaho

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Portable
  • Realistic Sound

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

      Excellent introduction to analog synth. Built in speaker sucks but hook it up to an amp and it really grinds. Lots of sounds can be created. Ribbon keys are somewhat lame but functional (just don't expect keyboard playability). The mod potential and sound is where the Korg is worth the reasonable price. I was hesitant, but really glad I bought the monotron.

      (0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Noise maker

      By CSquared

      from Wisconsin

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Portable

      Cons

      • Poor Action

      Best Uses

        Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

        It is a remarkably powerful synth for the tiny package and price, but the pathetically bad ribbon controller limits it to nothing more than a noise maker. It is not possible to play even a very simple melody. If you just want to fool around, make some dubstep, or use the filter as an effect, it will work well. But you can't make music with it.

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Useless piece of plastic gibberish

        By Dr_apocalipsis

        from RH, canada

        Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

        No midi I/O, one headphone output. Even worse than the kaossilator. I'm telling you this, go to your store, ask someone to take it out of the box and play around for 5 minutes, you, yourself will realize how useless this thing is. This purchase will not only not bring you any profit for your track but will be considered as "the" most useless musical purchase you have ever done. Not buying this is your best decision.

         
        4.0

        Great little gadget

        By mr.martin

        from iceland

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

        This is a great little synth with a real nice analog sound. The ribbon control isn't really useable although you can play some bass/lead lines, especially with the help of programs like autotune to fine tune your pitch, but you can forget playing melodies with this thing.It's mostly usable as a badass filter effect. It adds a real nice analog distortion to your soft synths. It has a few flaws. I wish it had 1/4 inch jacks, it be a little bigger but it would be worth it and it would reduce cable clutter.The speaker is absolutely useless and makes it look more like a toy. Korg should have dropped the speaker which would have made room for more i/o or the option to make the ribbon larger.It has a pretty weak plastic housing and you get a lot of hiss when recording from it.Overall though it's a great gadget and an incredible value. It's something anybody who is interested in recording should have, just as a filter if that's what your looking for. But you can record simple lines form it as well and some kick drum and crazy effect sounds also.In some hands the monotron may seam like a toy but in the right hands, it's definitely not.

         
        5.0

        Keeping it old skool!

        By Jonny boy

        from Flower Mound, TX

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

        Korg has never let me down yet!!! I just bought this today and played with a lot now and I have to say I'm very impressed by it over all. I love the how they put in the same filters from the ms10/ms20 and I love how it looks by and by I am liking it I'm thinking about buying another. This is a very old school synth!!!

         
        5.0

        Amazing for processing audio

        By thegreatdestroyer

        from SL UT

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

        Pure analog awesomeness. Put some headphones on and you'll hear exactly how rich the bass on this can be, and you can even get some psuedo-arp basslines if you get the osc set just right.Where this thing shines though is for processing external audio. I've been bouncing audio from an ipod into this and just going to town with manipulating either beats with the filter, or to mangle up vox or gtr with the osc. Really great for just mangling audio. It also distorts nicely if you drive the input a bit harder, so great way to crunch up some tracks.Of course a stereo version would be ideal, as any the audio input sums down to mono - but for the price why not just by two?

         
        2.0

        It's A Toy

        By Guitarzan-xhiwC

        from N. Calif

        Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

        I was surprised by how tiny this thing is-about the size of a cassette. It has a cheap, plastic feel to it, too. The in/outs are 1/8", so for studio you will need the right adapter cord. It was fun to play with for about 5 minutes. There may be some uses for the filter, to modify external sources, but by itself, it's pretty one-dimensional. For what it is, half the price would seem about right.

         
        5.0

        A serious

        By Solo

        from Detroit Area, MI

        Comments about Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth:

        It's incredible that, not so very long ago, top of they line analog synths had fewer features and capabilities than this pocket sized machine. Anyway...I'm calling it a toy, with all respect. It doesn't do anything for you. It has a ribbon "keyboard," so the pitch that comes out of it depends on where you put your finger on the ribbon. If you want to play in tune, you have to listen and do the work yourself.No presets either. You have to figure out what the controls do and create the sound you want yourself.DJ type synth players will have trouble figuring out how to work this thing to any usable degree. Musicians and keyboardists will probably have fun.There are several demonstrations of this device being used on YouTube. My favorite combines the two items described by another reviewer as the two worst possible purchase decisions - the Monotron and the Kaossilator. It's by Brett Domino. If you're creative you can do incredible things with this little sucker. Or, at the least, it's fun to be able to carry around an old-school analog synth in your backpack.

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