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When the Minilogue came out, I thought it was cool, but wasn't immediately sold. The Prologues came out and I barely paid attention. Then the Minilogue XD came out and got my interest, so I sprung for it at the risk of running into its limitations. Ultimately I was more impressed by it than I expected to be, but found myself frustrated with the mini keys, limited polyphony, and design choices like the filter knob being the same size as all the others and placed in a spot that would have made it easy to grab the wrong knob on a dark stage. Also, while neither the Minilogue XD or Prologue series have a high-pass filter, the Prologue at least has a low cut switch, which makes me feel better about not muddying up the mix in a live context. So, with all these considerations, I sold some pedals and returned the XD to put toward a Prologue 8, and boy am I glad I did! Dare I say it sounds even better than the XD, and the construction is solid and really impressive. I have barely spent any time with it, but am really excited to dive in! Side note: I knew I would miss the XD's sequencer, so I snagged the SQ-1 to go with the Prologue too. We'll see how that arrangement works out!
very solid synthesizer and a huge bang for buck
I got this well below retail as a black Friday deal. I don't always use sweetwater, but my sweetwater rep really looked out for me this holiday season. Shoutout to Jim Black!
First off, I wish I had gotten the bigger 16 voice. The couple extra features like the compressor I don't miss, however, voice stacking is kinda weak when you go down to 4 voices. For the jump in price though I really wish Korg had added a fully variable high pass and that burned me on sending the $400 extra for the big one.
On to the synth. The main engine is a bread and butter early 80s poly. It falls a bit short of the Jupiter8 having only 1 fitler mode (12db/oct) and 1 LFO. it schools it with wave shaping on each VCO and a nice ring mod in addition to the hard sync option. To my ear the fitler character is Japanese at lower resonance settings, very Yamaha-ish (does a good cs80 impersonation) and as resonance creepy toward 50% it gets oberheimy. This synth has very primitive routing capabilities. Its backward looking in a cool way (most of the time). The analo engine architecture makes me think OBX. Not the OBXA with extra features, but the original OBX. The sound is right there in OB/CS turf. Preset 1 is blade runner brass and its actually really good. Most Vangelis based presets suck. This does not. The synth has THAT sound.
This thing wouldn't have been worth the asking price to me if it weren't for the array of digital options. The user oscillator is genius, although the limited modulation routings mean that each oscillator type is only as good as the internal modulation capabilities programmed by the developer be that Korg or a third party like Mutable Instruments. All that said, the ability to load wavetables (!), various TX81Z like FM oscillators of varying complexity, additive modules and physically modeled plucks etc eally expands the versatility. And you always have that ebating analog heart of the VCOs, filter and VCA to reinforce all that. This is a true hybrid. The stock waveshapes are really analog and the digital oscillator is as versatile as all get out assuming you're willing to drop a few bucks for add-ons that go beyond the freeware options. I have got a lot of cool stuff in my user oscillator right now. Of course, if you need a plain old saw so you can tune one VCO as a sub and detune the other an octave up? The user oscillator can do that. Its a digital saw, but surrounded by all that VCO goodness? Its okay!
The digital effects sound stunning overall and if you want a more analog sound there are 3rd party addons that can provide that. There'ssoem good choruses out there as well as a fixed frequency rng mod, comb filters, you name it. Of course, any digital effect without a mic control is fully digitizing your analog synth, but the conversion is great to my ear and we're all digitizing our stuff when we record into a computer anyway, right?
This synth needs another LFO. Period. It also needs a few more routings for the envelopes. This could be achieved with the shift key. Hopefuly now that all the bugs are worked out in firmware 2.0 korg will see fit to add these features. I'm still docking it a star for the limiting architecture. Limits are good, but a little more deep editing would help me a lot in patch creation. Sorry Prologue, you have a great sound, but when I'm trying to realize a sound I'm imagining using your more modern features I'm wishing the whole time I was using a Peak. Maybe if I buy a Summit I'll be happier with this synth as-is. Its not an apples to apples comparison so I shouldn't make it.
The other reason I dock it a star is because I like windows at home and the midi drivers and patch librarian (which controls transfer of oscillator and effects as well as patches) is very wn10 unfriendly at this time. Its a frustrating process getting it to work and every other time you try to use the USB you wind up having to start from scratch and reinstall, reassign midi ports. I'm sure its better on mac. I'll try it eventually. Then again, macs aren't so USB friendly these days LOL Korg needs to get their shit together in this regard because we all know Microsoft won't. Work AROUND win10 guys... they won't work with you.
The prologue also has a really fast and comfortable keyboard with modern sharp edges to the black keys. You really know what key you're hitting when you perform live on this thing. Like my DSI Mopho, this synth has the modern placement for its pitch and mod wheels and that annoys me, but now that I'm using 2 synths with this arrangement I'm getting used to the wheels being up by the synth engine editing knobbies. It'll cease to bother me in by summer '20 I'm sure.
Al in all I'm really fond of this synthesizer. Out of my current production synths its totally unique. Even used only as an analog poly it really has a totally different voice than my DCO based DSI. Is it a Prophet6 or OB6 killer? No, but neither do those synths beat on this one. They're all nice. Up against the Mopho its softer and more lush, darker, mysterious.... capable of very Japanese sounds from Yamaha to roland that my Mopho struggles with because it has so much presence and punch. Patch creation is a breeze compared to the mopho that ahs layers deep editing if you want it. I would recommend this synth to anyone. Even a beginner can easily start with an init patch and build a great sound with no hassle and minimal shift/menu use. Its a fast synth in every way that is geared towards playing. I would not sell it unless it was to get a 16 voice one.
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