Korg Minilogue XD Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer
Overview by GAK
The Minilogue XD is the latest offering from Korg and put simply… it sounds incredible! It’s a four-voice polyphonic analogue/digital hybrid synthesiser with a tonne of other amazing features that demonstrate why it’s easily one of our best sellers.
The Minilogue XD straddles the gap between the first Minilogue and the flagship Korg analogue poly, the Prologue. Whilst it’s inherited the same portable form factor and voice count of its predecessor, its architecture has had a significant upgrade with a digital multi-engine oscillator per voice and 32-bit floating-point DSP (stereo!) effects. Whilst it still has two waveshapeable VCOs per voice, a 24db per octave Low Pass filter, two envelopes and one LFO, the upgrades take its sound sculpting possibilities to new horizons.
This is a massive shot in the arm for the Minilogue XD’s sound design capabilities, as you’re able to blend the rich analog VCOs with the extremely versatile digital oscillator while enhancing the overall sound with three types of stunning, studio-quality effects (modulation, delay and reverb) that can be used simultaneously. There’s a huge amount of variation in each effect category plus they’re insanely high-quality, so you don’t need to rely on outboard gear or plugins to get the synth to reach its full potential. It’s all built-in!
Versatile Digital Oscillator
The multi-engine digital oscillator offers three types of sound generation - “Noise”, “VPM” and “User”. “Noise” has four different types of noise that can have their colour shaped by the digital filter, perfect for sound effects and percussive tones. “VPM” (Variable Pulse Modulation) has sixteen different oscillators and is capable of producing two-operator FM. This sharp, overtone rich mode elevates the capabilities of the Minilogue XD far beyond that of a traditional analogue synth.
The “User” mode in the multi-engine and the effects section allows you to upload sixteen custom oscillators and effects. There’s already a vast array of fantastic oscillators/effects that you can download and if you fancy trying your hand at making your own from the sample code provided by Korg, you can use the “logue SDK” software. Korg have gone above and beyond with this feature, you can truly customise the synth’s sound to your heart’s content.
On top of this, you have a powerful sixteen step polyphonic sequencer, which can record in step-time (where notes/rests/ties are punched in one at a time) or real-time. The sixteen buttons on the panel can be used to instantly edit your sequence on the fly, a great addition for live improvisations. As if that wasn’t enough power, you’re also able to “motion sequence” the movements of up to four knobs, either smoothly (like an LFO or an envelope) or with a precise value for each step. This means you can use the Minilogue XD’s sequencer to create complex, evolving sounds that are bound to inspire you.
Whilst the original Minilogue had 200 patch memories, the Minilogue XD can store a whopping 500 programs so you’ll have plenty of slots to store your patches. If you’re an avid sound designer and find that 500 slots aren’t enough, you can use Korg’s Librarian to organise and back up your programmes with ease. This is particularly handy for arranging patches into setlists if you’re using the XD as part of a live rig.
If four voices aren’t enough for your lush pad sounds, you can poly-chain the keyboard with the module version to turn the XD into a powerhouse eight-voice polysynth!
At this price point, the Minilogue XD is by far and away one of the best synths you can buy, as it has the punchy analog sound and innovative capabilities of other keyboards that are more than twice the cost. Not only that, it has an intuitive interface which is essentially “knob-per-function”. This means it’s a great platform for beginners to get to grips with a subtractive synth and more advanced tweakers can precisely dial in their patches with ease
- Keyboard: 37-keys (Slim-key, velocity sensitive)
- Sound Generation: Analogue sound generator + Multi digital sound generator (Noise, VPM, User)
- Maximum Polyphony: 4 voices
- Programs: 500 voices (more than 200 preload, 300 user programs).Each program provides a program sort function that includes voice mode settings. Favorite function built in.
- Voice Mode: 4 (POLY, UNISON, CHORD, ARP / LATCH). The VOICE MODE DEPTH setting allows different parameters to be varied for each mode.
- Sequencer: 16-step polyphonic sequencer. Motion sequence can be used on up to four parameters.
- Main Synthesis Parameters:
- VCO1WAVE - (SAW, TRIANGLE, SQUARE), OCTAVE, PITCH, SHAPE
- VCO2WAVE - (SAW, TRIANGLE, SQUARE), OCTAVE, PITCH, SHAPE
- MODULATION - SYNC, RING, CROSS MOD DEPTH
- MULTI ENGINE - NOISE/VPM/USER, TYPE、SHAPE
- MIXER - VCO1, VCO2, MULTI
- VCF - CUTOFF, RESONANCE, DRIVE, KEYTRACK
- AMP EG - ATTACK, DECAY, SUSTAIN, RELEASE
- EG - ATTACK, DECAY, EG INT, TARGET (PITCH, PITCH2, CUTOFF)LFOWAVE (SAW, TRIANGLE, SQUARE), MODE（BPM, NORMAL, 1-SHOT), RATE, INT, TARGET (PITCH, SHAPE, CUTOFF)
- Main effect Parameters:
- EFFECT TYPE (MODULATION, REVERB, DELAY), ON/OFF (SELECT, ON, OFF), TIME, DEPTH
- MULTI ENGINE:
- Noise Generator - 4 types
- VPM oscillator - 16 types
- User oscillator - 16 slots
- MOD EFFECTS:
- CHORUS - 8 types
- ENSEMBLE - 3 types
- PHASER - 8 types
- FLANGER - 8 types
- USER - 8 types
- DELAY - 12 types
- USER - 8 slots
- REVERB - 10 types
- USER - 8 slots
- Joy stick that can modify different parameters for each program, PORTAMENTO knob
- Main - Real-time OLED oscilloscope provides visual feedback of parameter changes
- MULTI ENGINE section - 7 segments x 6 digit LED display
- Input/Output connectors:
- Headphone jack (Stereo phone jack)
- OUTPUT L/MONO, R jacks (monaural phone jack unbalanced)
- CV IN 1, CV IN 2 jacks (3.5 mm [1/8"] monoural mini jack, Input voltage: -5 V – +5 V (Modulation mode), -3V – +5 V (CV/Gate mode)SYNC IN jack (3.5 mm [1/8"] mini jack, maximum input level 20 V)
- SYNC OUT jack (3.5 mm [1/8"] mini jack, output level 5 V)
- MIDI IN jack
- MIDI OUT jack
- USB B jack
- DAMPER jack (half damper is not supported)
- Power Supply - AC adapter (DC9 V)
- Power Consumption - 8 W
- Dimensions: (W x D x H)500 mm x 300 mm x 85 mm / 19.69" x 11.81" x 3.35"
- Weight: 2.8 kg / 6.17 lbs.
- Included Items - AC adapter
A wonderful synth with great rich sounds- I am using this in my band and although it’s my first analogue I quickly managed to dial in some good patches. My only minor gripe are the narrow keys... but you get used to them
amazing sound and very compact and lightweight
Great synth! Amazing sound!
A sonic Beast well worth £500 especially when you download some SDK files for the digital oscillator.