BUYING MY SOUNDBANK / PATCHES:
Via Paypal: Please
€ 26,00 (Euro) to this paypal address: [wcologarb at tlen.pl]
writing "minilogue xd sounds"
and your email in the title.
I will send the presets 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).
Via credit card: Send me an email letting me
know you'd like to have your card charged - I will send you a payment request
and it will be processed by my Paypal (you don't have to own a Paypal account,
your card is enough).
All my patches come under the name "WCOG" in a
library available as two files: sysex
format and official Korg format - you can use whichever you prefer.
I did not use any external 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.
I was eyeing it timidly from time to time. But the
more 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 and
play their synths on the beach while they're on vacation in Bora-Bora. 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 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 the 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. Blip, blap, blop - everybody is already asleep and unaware of
the sequencer reaching its limit and looping. 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 (whaddya think?
let me know in the comments below:D)
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 (maybe I'll set up a business selling these addons for
your XDs for just $5 a piece).
To sum up, 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 you have to realize that this kind of sound is more malleable and
exhibits more tolerance to be tweaked in various new ways. So in my book that's a huge advantage
and something to strive for.
The XD is a perfect balance between any
imaginable set of criteria: cost / features, tool / instrument, technical
limitations / plasticity of the timbre, etc. IMO Korg again managed to deliver a classic that will be
talked about and used throughout the next decade. Also, this is a perfect
starter synth for beginners. Easy, cheap, fun to play.