KORG Minilogue XD Desktop Module

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KVRAF
7665 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Post Fri May 21, 2021 11:39 pm

I was not very impressed with the original Minilogue either (as in it didn't add anything I didn't already have) and never bought one. The XD is a completely different synth in my opinion...more Prologue (and in my opinion is someway better) and I think worth listening to as a totally new synth not an update.

The XD is a hybrid synth (analog and digital multi-engine) and that takes it in to new territory. 3 oscillators (one that can be any sort of oscillator imaginable) versus just 2 analogue only in the original. This and the new multi-stereo effects which are truly outstanding (and again, new fx can be loaded and even be a second filter etc) and the completely new (and in my opinion improved) filter with 3 stage pre drive make it a totally new synth in my opinion.

Tons of other improvements, Stores 500 patches (from 200), joystick (up and down can modulate /step different parameters etc) and the 16 button 'electron like' motion sequencer with performance modes (2 displays and the main screen larger display that shows modulation lanes etc), cross modulation, noise and VPM oscillator, CV in, damper pedal in and 'stereo' output etc.. All this for about 50 quid more than the original!

Image

(PS- just found it has an easter egg space invaders game built in that you can play whilst its tuning! :tu: )
Last edited by SLiC on Sat May 22, 2021 2:42 am, edited 4 times in total.
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KVRAF
7665 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Post Sat May 22, 2021 1:18 am

BONES wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 5:19 pm
SLiC wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 5:00 am
ultimately I like the sheer amount of 'one knob per function' control (well spaced out for a small synth)
Which knob behaviour do you use? I f**king hated the knobs on Mini/Monologue because they were always in the wrong position. At least Skulpt and Craft 2.0 have endless encoders, so their knobs are actually useful (even if you can't read the labels).
The XD has 3 knob modes, jump, catch and scale...'scale' is most like an encoder (increase or decrease from the programmed value)

I like pots so when starting from an 'init' I just use jump and I can see exactly where everything is without a screen! WYSIWYG. I chose my prophet P8 to have pots over encoders for this reason.

If I was playing live then 'scale' probably makes the most sense for 'tweaks' without major changes- catch would probably also work....

Pots are rock solid, metal plate mounted- clearly labelled and in the usual logical order! I like having direct access to shape, x mod, filter stuff, envelopes, lFO, fx stuff (depth and time) etc etc without any menu diving or switching. Its a pleasure to make new patches on and the step sequencer is very easy to use as well, especially if you are familiar with Elektron, having 16 buttons is really great- press step, move knob- done!

https://youtu.be/ZcDDpm1WllM
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11903 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sat May 22, 2021 5:04 pm

SLiC wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 1:18 am
I like pots so when starting from an 'init' I just use jump and I can see exactly where everything is without a screen! WYSIWYG.
That's arse-backwards, though, because you aren't initialising the values, just making them match the current pot positions, and as soon as you change patches, it's all gone.
I chose my prophet P8 to have pots over encoders for this reason.
Wow, that's an extra level of stubbornness, right there. Do you never actually use your synths to do anything, beyond making sounds for them?
If I was playing live then 'scale' probably makes the most sense for 'tweaks' without major changes- catch would probably also work....
The problem with scale is that if the knob is fully left or right, which happens more than you'd think, you're screwed. Catch (pass-through) is definitely the best setting for live, especially on something like Minilogue or Uno, where you can see the value as soon as you touch the pot. But encoders work much, much better in my experience (Ultranova, MicroMonsta, Skulpt, Craft 2.0). I also prefer catch for general work.
I like having direct access to shape, x mod, filter stuff, envelopes, lFO, fx stuff (depth and time) etc etc without any menu diving or switching.
That's why you can't beat software. Because when that makes a big difference is when you first select a patch and you want to see what's going on. Once you've been working on it for a few minutes, all that stuff is in your head so you don't need to see it all any more. Yesterday, for example, I was updating Skulpt and Craft 2.0 and got suckered into playing with them for a while. There wasn't even a question in my mind as to how I would do that. Even with the TypeCover removed from my Surface and the synth sat right in front of me, it was Modal App and mouse all the way. (For the record, it confirmed my decision to sell them. Honestly, I listen to Skulpt now and I can't understand why I bought it. Craft isn't so bad, I just don't really need it.)
Its a pleasure to make new patches on and the step sequencer is very easy to use as well, especially if you are familiar with Elektron, having 16 buttons is really great- press step, move knob- done!
Sounds like they updated it to be like the Monologue's, which I found much better than the original Minilogue sequencer. I preferred Monologue's sound, too, but it was just that tiny bit too basic to be of much use in the end.
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KVRAF
7665 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Post Sun May 23, 2021 12:16 am

Pots vs encoders is a matter of personal preference, but certainly on the Prophet the encoders were not very good....skipping, having to turn filter encoders dozens of turns to get a full sweep....the PE edition was considered the way to go...

An analog pot or sliders has physical limits and simplicity, it seems to work for an analog synth. I have encoders on my Hydrasynth and they are fabulous (with mini lcd displays under so you get a value readout) which is actually the same on the XD, the analogue parts have pots, the digital parts (3rd osc etc) has encoders.
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11903 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun May 23, 2021 2:41 am

Yeah, Uno Pro has one encoder, which you can use on whichever parameter is currently displayed on the screen, plus a whole heap of stuff you can't get to any other way, which means anything at all. I mostly use it for fiddly things like mod assignments but it's nice anywhere yo need to be very precise.

It's interesting, looking at the filter controls on the XD they seem to have taken away more than they have added. The 2 Pole/4 Pole option is gone, as is the Velocity switch, and the Filter Envelope is only AD. Still, I'd take those omissions for the DRIVE circuit from Monologue, so the compromise seems reasonable. Of course, having it all in Uno Pro, and plenty more besides, is better still. Fundamentals have always been way more important to me than all the fancy extras but I can certainly see the attraction of what the XD has to offer, too.
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KVRAF
7665 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Post Sun May 23, 2021 3:14 am

Yes, the analogue filter is a simple 2 pole (with 0, 50 or 100% drive option) but it's a really good filter- good bass even at high resonance and get creamy or screamy with the drive options...you can always add a much more flexible digital filter in one of the FX slots.... something like https://www.sinevibes.com/korgsvf/

This is my first Korg 'logue so I guess I don't know what I am missing from other versions, but they seem to have taken some of the best bits from the range to make the XD...I am seriously impressed, if they ever did a 'proplogue 16 XD' I would probably get rid of my Prophet 8 and DM12 to get it!

PS- I know you are a guy who plays live BONES, the XD would certainly be worth considering for that- being able to program a sequence (even chords) and then transpose it (with latch) live is pretty cool...I am enjoying it just for jamming/song writing!
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KVRian
821 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Sun May 23, 2021 12:58 pm

BONES wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 5:19 pm
_leras wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 7:53 am
I think the minilogue/prologue are great sounding synths. Perhaps a lot of 'vanilla', but a lot of sweet spot too. Maybe not for extreme leads, but certainly very nice pads and usable bass. This version without the minikeys is a really great idea imo. Honestly, it's up with the UDO 6 in terms of a useable poly - maybe not 'quite' as good, but not far off...
Maybe Minilogue XD but I didn't think my original Minilogue was even as good as Skulpt. Easier to use, for sure, but the sound was far too generic. I wouldn't have thought to use it for basslines in a million years.
On reflection I think I may have sounded too harsh on this. I think it sounds great. And whilst it may not be 'identifiable' everything it does seems to sounds really pretty good.

So I think saying 'vanilla' is actually a bit unfair. I think it's actually just a great sounding synth.

I haven't played one - but love this vid:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V72Ue5otJ4

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KVRian
821 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Sun May 23, 2021 1:22 pm

BONES wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 7:07 pm
_leras wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 7:50 am
Autotune
Blech! Not much use with synths
Supersaw
Supersaw is just a shortcut to Unison, which has existed for well over 40 years.
Formant Filters
Blech! At best an incremental thing, not the game changer the DX7 was.
Dubstep LFO wobbles
For my money, the greatest innovation of the last 20 years has been with things like Kontakt - vast sample libraries that are able to capture and reproduce all manner of subtlety and nuance in a performance and then to take that stuff and twist it in ways you wouldn't normally think to use them. A good example is Heavyocity's Novo Strings which, apart from what you'd expect, has an amazing rhythmic side to it that makes it so much more useful than you'd think. Still, that's just incremental improvement, not game changing stuff. It's all theme and variation these days, broadening our horizons a tiny bit at a time.
:hihi: well I was mostly pulling your leg - but there is a point in there that new synth sounds, or synth sounds with added fx, are being created all the time. Many times they don't stick, but sometimes they do and they come part of the wider known synth vocabulary.

Anyway, this xd maybe isn't 'groundbreaking' but the custom digital Oscillator is a really nice addition for 'newer' textures.

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11903 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun May 23, 2021 4:29 pm

XD is definitely great, it was the original Minilogue I was being critical of. The XD stuff is probably exactly what it needed and the modest price bump makes me wonder why they still bother with the original.
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