Korg Monotron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer From Korg's press release 2010 Liam Howlett of The Prodigy is set to use the Korg Monotron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer at a large festival date. The synth was shown to him just 10 minutes before stepping on to the stage at this years Southside Festival in Neuhausen, Germany. Playing to an audience of over 4,000 fans, Howlett reportedly “got carried away with playing on it”. One day later, he used it again during their set at the Hurricane Festival in Scheessel, Germany. The Prodigy are currently touring Europe and are due to play to 65,000-strong crowd at the Milton Keynes Bowl next month. Powered by two alkaline AAA batteries, the compact monotron can be held in one hand. Although small enough to easily carry with you, the amazing monotron is packed with KORG’s legendary analog technology, generating thick and powerful sounds. Concentrating on the most important sound parameters, the controls have been streamlined as much as possible. The panel contains only five knobs and one switch. With this level of simplicity, now anyone can easily enjoy the world of analog synthesizers. 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. monotron key features: VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator VCF with Cutoff and Peak Control LFO can be applied to the Pitch (VCO) or Filter(VCF) Ribbon controller keyboard Original Analog (VCF) Filter taken from the classic MS-10 & MS-20 Aux input jack lets you apply filter to any audio source Built-in speaker and battery power for Go Anywhere Analog sound Headphone jack for private usemore
Korg circuitry VCF, LFO, and VCO. Totally portable with internal speaker and battery power. It even has an input in case you'd like to apply another audio signal to those Korg circuitry Oscillators and Filter. Ribbon keyboard makes for cool sounding "slide while knob twisting" noises. I gave one of these to a young cousin who saw me playing with one. That was three years ago, before he had ever heard of a synth of any kind. He just filled his second modular rack last month and is trying to decide on either a third or one large rack to incorporate his dozens of synth modules. Everyone starts someplace.
I own all three monotrons but I have to in terms of making synth growl noises with all three of them I think the original would be the most appropriate for making those sorts of sounds because this synthesizer allows you to modulate the pitch and cutoff really well.
It's fun to mess around and make chaotic noise with, but where I think it shines the most is as an external filter for a different synth. There's an awesome YouTube video of someone running a Kawai K1 through it that inspired me to get it in the first place. Really cheap to pick up (even though this classic version (which is the best one IMO) isn't made anymore) and a fun way to get an MS-20 filter sound. It's noisy but for <$50 what do you expect? The MS-20 is noisy.