Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiny box of sweet analogue noises.
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...
Published on 8 April 2011 by imusthaveanickname

versus
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Words of caution from a shovel-thumbed man-beast...
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...
Published on 20 Aug 2012 by Lutz Svensson


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiny box of sweet analogue noises., 8 April 2011
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant toy, surprisingly usable as an instrument too, 24 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
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...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun to play with, 4 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
Really fun to play with, i'm new to analogue Synthesis so i thought a small analogue synth like this would be a good choice as i'd know if it'd be worth buying a full size synthesizer.

When i first got it, i have to say the first creditable thing was the packaging, i thought it was going to be one of the stupid plastic wrapping which are stupendously hard to get into, but actually, it's just a piece of tape holding it all together, genius! I then fired it up, the filter is so smooth and the resonance or "peak" as it's called hear goes way up into the hearing range so you can create all sorts of weird and wacky sound. The LFO is also really cool because that also goes up into the hearing range, i managed to make some really weird "robotic" style sounds that i might actually sample :P

i have found a few things that i wish would come with the Monotron but i suppose i could live without them (or even mod the heck out of this thing). My main point is, there is no wave shape selector, it's constantly triangle, which is annoying but i suppose for this price i can get over it. I would of also liked to see wave shapes for the LFO as well as then i could make more weird and wonderful sounds. An envelope would of been nice to as it would really begin to open up a new door of sounds that you can create. My biggest point would be the fact that this thing has no midi, it's kind of silly, with midi this would be so much more joyful to play with but for an extra 25 you can buy a kit that you can install so it has midi in.

All in all it's a really cool device and i'm enjoying it. I can only say a few bad bits but for what the price is, you can probably just over look them. To be honest with you, being someone who has reason and ableton i think i'm just spoilt with the choices of digital synthesis but nether the less, this is a really fun thing to have and the filter on it is so amazing, it's like nothing i've ever heard before.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Words of caution from a shovel-thumbed man-beast..., 20 Aug 2012
By 
Lutz Svensson (Deptford, London, UK.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sophisticated little beast, 28 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic value for what it is!, 2 Jun 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars great introductuon to analog synthesis, 18 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
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 !!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant gizmo , low price, 10 Dec 2013
By 
John (Leicester , England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
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 .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars we-wo, 8 May 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
a small box but what sounds does it make.....its dead good nolonger guitar solo's but monotron solos......good price and zen
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars underestimated, 22 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Korg MONOTRON Analog Ribbon Synth with Built-in Speaker (Electronics)
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews