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'Here you have it, nowhere else' is unfortunately about as far from the truth as it gets. There are at least a half dozen other contenders for Best Software Minimoog Clone these days: Robertson Audio's RA Mawg, Minimogue, MinimogueVA, MinimoogVA-TD (the latest version with something sounding very much like a zero-delay feedback filter), OhmForce's Minimonsta, and finally, perhaps the best of this bunch, Arturia's version of the Minimoog, starting with the Bob Moog-authorized Minimoog V Original onward and now renamed the 'Mini V'. There is no denying that Monark, offered at the very affordable price of $99 for a top synth, is a steal. But what needs to be remembered is the cost and need for some Native Instruments 'housing' framework such as Reaktor just to run it. If you don't currently own any NI gear, you are looking at anywhere from a couple of hundred to many hundreds of added dollars in order to enjoy this synth! The very fact that Monark must reside in this clunky framework is another huge detractor to some, including this user. Otherwise, there is no debating what a beautifully attractive and functional look the synth has. It is well-layed-out and looks quite solemn and serious. Of course, since the sound itself is infinitely more important, do be aware that Monark captures the true Minimoog sound about as well as any. This is something that must be stated plainly, because one of Monark's biggest faults is without question the rotten selection of factory presets. Perhaps only 1 in 5 show off this synth's 'Moog-ness', with the other presets mainly taking up space on the list and most sounding anywhere from goofy to bad. If you buy this synth, you'll want to start building your own preset sounds probably from Day One to make up for this serious shortfall. What usually comes up the most when Monark gets mention is the extensive threads dealing with which synth does the true Minimoog sound the best. Unfortunately, the ones doing the most talking and insisting in one synth over the other are painfully unaware that no two hardware Minimoogs ever sounded alike. Therefore, just what exactly is the insistent speaker insisting about? Many have never been anywhere near a real Moog; half weren't even born at Moog's best early days! I've compared Monark extensively against the Minimoog V Original, which I also own, and a couple of others, the best of the rest being the latest Minimogue -- the VA-TD version. They all tend to sound quite close, but I gave the top spot clearly to Arturia's Minimoog V Original. It overwhelmingly has the finest and largest collection of presets, almost all very Moog-sounding and better arranged. Further, although not original spec and true-to-vintage, the V comes with added FX that can really beef up a good preset, whereas the Monark has none and one would need to add them after. Both of these synths, however, did the throaty and rich Moog bass lines. For higher-pitched lead sounds, I gave a slight edge to the V. In addition, the V has a control panel that is a bit truer to the classic Moog layout. No matter, though, as Monark's design is stunning in its simplicity. I'll prefer to call it a draw in the end, but the mere fact that the Arturia has the added polyphony (also offered in the Minimonsta and the Minmogue series) makes it the clear winner.
Reviewed By Megabite on 15th October 2013 OS: Version: 7. Last edited by Megabite on 15th October 2013.
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Well...... 99 Euros for a 3 Osc monofonic synth.... that must be a joke, ore a damned good machine. It is a damned good machine. This little beast is sounding like a hardware minimoog. exactly. You now can go and order your plugin-lib and throw everything away that has soimething to do with Moog. Here you have it, nowhere else.