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Korg Minilogue XD  | demo + sounds


 

 


  
 

BUYING AND LOADING MY SOUNDS / PATCHES:

Please send 26 (Euro) to this paypal address: [wcologarb at tlen.pl] writing "minilogue xd sounds" in the title. I will send the sounds to your email after I get notified about your payment. You will receive all the sounds from both parts of my demo (part 1 & 2) plus extra sounds that are not included in the demos (over 300 sounds alltogether).

My library will come to you in two files: sysex format and official Korg format, you can choose whichever you prefer.

I did not use additional FX in the demo, no layers, no loopers, etc. All the delays and reverbs are part of the XD engine. This is a standard factory unit with standard oscillators on board.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I was eyeing it timidly from time to time. But each next time I looked at it, the more it seemed to me like a no-brainer. The amount of features, the sound, the UI, the price and the size seemed to create a mixture that equals recipe for success (even though I'm not a fan of the recent miniaturization trend; WhyTF is everything being scaled down to ridiculous sizes? Oh I know, it's because people want to be more mobile. Or wait, it's because the space of the average flat is getting smaller and smaller with each decade, even though we're getting richer? Damn, I don't know:) At least the XD is not as small as, say, Arturia Microfreak, so it's ok. It's comfortable. Synths for the people! Not for dwarfs.

To tell the truth, when I saw that the XD was released together with the Prologue, of course I wanted to buy the Prologue, as I assumed it's a proper-size XD with more voices (polyphony). Well, you can always prove yourself an idiot, full of assumptions and stereotypes, regardless of your age and experience. The Prologue DOES NOT have the sequencer. I thought, WTF. When I learned this, I clicked "buy now" on the Minilogue XD page and never gave a second thought to the Prologue.

The XD arrived, and even though it proved to break the cycle of "it sounds like crap out of the box, I hate it", because it sounded good, my first big disappointment was the discovery of the fact that its sequencer is not transposable. I thought JEEEEEEEESUS, it's 2020, why are you guys still doing this? Thank God 2 or 3 weeks later Korg released a firmware upgrade which solved that. Tell me, do you really need a year of research & development or several angry users send you emails to come up with the realization that a sequncer should be transposable? Of course if we indulge in "slowly evolving ambient soundscapes" then I guess it's redundant. But if we're trying to make a little bit more structured music, I'd say it's pretty reasonable to have a transposable sequencer.

Coming back to the UI - I would have never programmed these sequences on any other synth that I know of, because the UI just isn't there. It would be too much of a pain. Hold the sequencer step button, twist a knob. Just brilliant. Wait... forget about the knobs. You can even associate the sequencer step with switches! That's a big deal. I'll repeat, because the idea might not be fully appreciated at first sight: let's say you create a 16-step sequence. Choose a switch, for example "Reverb On/Off". Pick a step, for example number 7. Now, when you play the sequence, step 7 has reverb in it, but all the other steps stay dry. Can you now imagine the dynamic possibilities?

One more rant: show me the genius at Korg in charge of the design. There are 16 buttons on the panel which are responsible for the sequencer steps and all the various pages hidden in the menu, yet they are not labeled with numbers? That's very... original... eccentric... innovative... modern... I'm not sure. I am too traditional. I had to cut a strap of paper, write numbers from 1 to 16 with a pencil and glue it under the row of buttons.

All in all I'd say this is a great instrument - just because it inspires new melodies and allows to create new "tricks" that would otherwise be possible only with rack effects / pedal boxes / etc. The envelopes are not the best in the world and the limited modulation options (just one LFO and one Envelope Generator) sometimes let you down, but Korg has always managed to make up in musicality and character for what it lacks in the features. When I made over 300 sounds across the span of several weeks, I quickly forgot about my disappointment with its curbed modulation, it just wasn't an issue. Plus the sound of the XD has this nice blend of synthiness and plasticity. When the sound of a synth is "synthy" (clasically analog) it seems cool and exciting at the beginning, but at the end of the day it might get "samey". On the other hand, when the sound of any given synth is too plastic / ambiguous, it might make you uninspired, because that is not the way synths are supposed to sound, but this kind of sound is more malleable and exhibits more tolerance to be tweaked in various new ways.

The XD is a perfect balance between any imaginable set of criteria: cost / features, tool / instrument, technical limitations / plasticity of the timbre, etc. IMO they again delivered a classic that will be talked about and used throughout the next decade. Also, this is a perfect starter synth for beginners.

 

 
 

 

 

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