Customer Reviews

22
4.5 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2011
It's a small sturdy box with a touch sensitive strip - those keys are just printed on it as a guide. The five pots (knobs) are small but turn smoothly and feel solid. Remaining are a volume dial, a three way switch and two 3.5mm ipod size audio jacks, one for aux audio in and one for headphones out, there's also a speaker. In black and white with some curved and some square edges it looks very stylish and a bit retro.

It's a simple analogue synth. A continuous sawtooth tone is generated when you press on the strip - the strip covers an octave and a bit and can be adjusted over a wide range of frequencies using the pitch pot. The tone is fed into a low pass filter, it's cutoff point adjustable with one of the pots and the aggressiveness of it's resonance with another. This filter is also applied to any sound coming in from the aux in, although when using an aux a high filter resonance will lead to hissing.

Lastly there's a low frequency sawtooth oscillator which can be used to affect the filter cutoff point or the tone pitch, the LFO rate and intensity are adjusted with the final two pots - there's a red led that pulses warmly each time the LFO ticks over.

This is my first analogue synth or filter and it's different from any software synth or filter I've used - richer and far more interesting to tweak around. It makes Forbidden Planet style sounds from sonorous sci-fi engine to resonant howling. The LFO also makes for lovely pulsing bass and even kick drum noises.

It isn't a great way to make a melody, it is possible to get the right pitch using a stylus (not included) as the width of the keys is less than half the width of a finger and you must hit the centre of each key. There's no way to fix the LFO to a BPM and it's retriggered each time you press the keyboard strip so don't expect to be able to accurately synchronise it with any external tempo.

If you are adventurous with a soldering iron there are a few people out there who have published guides to allow the unit to be controlled by an external voltage - there's even one to add midi support. I've not tried them.

I loved the kaossilator (Korg Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer - Yellow Case) and while the monotron isn't quite as engrossing is it small, fun, cheap...ish at 1/2 the price of the kaossilator and of high build quality - I'm finding it a fascinating introduction to analogue synths.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2011
Bought at Amazons suggestion when searching for a replacement for my Theremin, I was sort of expecting a stylophone with knobs on (literally), but was pleasantly surprised to get all that and more.

As the description says it's a basic oscillator circuit with an LFO that can be switched to either the pitch control or the filter. The note is controlled by a touchpad which is nice for smooth glissandos but makes actually staying in tune without a stylus (I use a plectrum) and a steady hand nigh impossible (much like a theremin I suppose).

For all its simplicity the range of sounds available is amazing, from simple beepy-boopy sounds to surprisingly complex, sweeping textures. Going way past the "useful" ranges of the LFO and filter produces some really amazing (and some amazingly bad) weird harmonics and overtones too.

Plugging in a sound source lets you use the filter (either with or without the LFO) to modify other sounds (simple synth loops work best, but you get interesting effects from drums and other more complex sounds too).

All in all - if you like your old-school sounds, or just like having knobs to twiddle, this is a brilliant little toy that you might even find some use for as a serious tool...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2012
Hmmmmm... a distinctly tricky one, this. Essentially, there's nothing *wrong* with this tiny wee gizmo... which might lead some to think my 2-star review is a bit churlish... but even at the giveaway price, I just wonder whether it'll ever find a usable niche in anyone's serious music-making.

For a start, I'd urge anyone considering buying one of these to have a look at the dimensions. It's 15cm long. Which isn't very long at all (it's about the same size as, say, a scientific calculator). This means that the internal speaker is tiny, the 'ribbon' is minuscule, and the rotary controls are even smaller. Being the shovel-thumbed man-beast that I am, this made adjusting anything accurately almost impossible for me... while actually trying to use the ribbon strip melodically (or even trying to isolate an individual note with any accuracy of intonation) was a frustrating waste of time. Forget that fact that this has a piano keyboard printed on it; you'll never, ever coax a TUNE out of the swine (even using, say, a stylus from a PDA).

And secondly... lord, it's a flimsy bit of kit. 'Kinder Surprise' build quality, really (and I'm talking about the chocolate egg, here - not the toy inside...).

So while it *does* do everything it says it will, the limitations in the execution render this device - for my purposes, anyway (adding some nice, chewy analogue synth lines to some lo-fi bedroom indiepop) - a complete non-starter.

Forewarned is forearmed and all that.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2011
There two ways to look at the Korg Monotron.

On one hand, you could get a true analogue synthesizer (with VCO, LFO, VCF control) that fits in your backpack easily for £40+. But on the other, £40+ is a lot of money to get a small little box that generates sounds. Some people call it a toy, but this is a very sophisticated one. A well trained ear may find the Analogue synth to have a fatter, richer sound than a digital one, but personally, I only care about the sounds it makes to satisfy my fetish for synthesized noise.

Also, this is my first synthesizer and I feel the Korg Monotron is a great introduction for me to learn how to manipulate the waveform to my liking. The keys are just their for aesthetics, it is pretty difficult to play a tune with it.

Another feature the Monotron has is the ability to be used as a filter. Just simply plug in a sound source into the Monotron and you can manipulate and bend the sound via the knobs. This such feature is enough to be considered as a tool for the creative musicians.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 10 December 2013
This is a basic but genuine retro monophonic (ie: it only plays one note at a time , no chords ) synth at an amazingly low price , considering the usual price of analogue synthesizers . You can plug a keyboard or guitar into it and use it as an effects box ; thus turning your ordinary electronic keyboard (for example ) into a bigger monophonic synth capable of pulsating disco noises etc... . Used on multi-track recordings this type of setup can stand in for a real polyphonic synth (with no need for midi connectivity). A fun creative tool at a good price .
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 22 January 2013
if you have decent headphones and understand basic analogue synthesis you can create immensely deep strange and out right weird sounds with this, also being able to use the filter on sounds made by other instruments is amazing, if you don't want to play on the tiny ribbon keys then plug in a full size keyboard or any audio form any device for that matter with a simple line in cable, i.e. headphone jack either end, and start playing around with the filters, its great fun, and a lot of variety
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 2 June 2014
Really handy little synth - I dismantled mine and I'm using it in my modular system, with VCO and VCF and Gate CV control, VCO and LFO outs as well as the audio out and in to the filter - All the mod points are marked on the board, so this is incredibly simple for someone like me, with no electronics knowledge!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 22 February 2015
Too much fun!! I switched in on to add some nice sounds as an extra track in a tune I was working on but found myself just twiddling knobs and playing with the thing all night. It really does sounds great, especially hooked up to some external speakers.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 18 May 2014
Excellent fun, well made and capable of making a huge range of sounds, try using to filter an external sound source, used with my guitar for some weird effects !!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 14 November 2012
Bought for my husband who loves it. Don't be fooled it's not a very small keyboard! Excellent piece of equipment. Very much appreciated by those in the know.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.