What the Minilogue xd lacks, and why you must own one

For quite a while Korg is constantly stressing the market of electronic musical instruments with its innovative products. Wavedrum, Kronos, Volcas, *logues, you name it. As the Prologue was released, I got very exited, especially due to its programmable user oscillators (and nevertheless I did resist the temptation to get one).

Recently I got the SDK up and running. As a consequence, I got interested in the Minilogue xd so as to be able to eventually work on some home grown user oscillator. Surprisingly, it turned out to be one of the very rare instruments that blow you away the very first time you touch its keybed.

But first things first, the Minilogue xd is rather limited:

  • I’m used to play keyboard instruments with two hands. Thus mini keys and a three octave keybed are completely out of question.
  • For the very same reason, four voices only are out of question as well. No chance to play jazzy chords or sounds with some release time.
  • Just one LFO. I’m used to have vibrato mapped to the lever, so there’s no second for further modulations.
  • The filter envelope only consists of AD, lacking SR.
  • Limited modulation capabilities. No modulation matrix, no patch panel.
  • Limited velocity capability, just amp and filter EG.
  • Compared to its elder sibling, only one filter mode.

If it didn’t have that cool user oscillator, I’d never considered even touching it. Meanwhile I’m glad I did. Why? To put it simple: Its impressive sound. Even without its user oscillator or effects engaged, the machine sounds fantastic. I even compared it to the Prologue in the trumpet store. The latter one left the impression of being rather smooth, the Minilogue xd providing much more character. One VCO alone in conjunction with its VCF are a pleasure to touch. Now consider you have that cool additional Multi engine. I’m completely overwhelmed.

So what about the abovementioned limitations? As Sebastian “Kebu” Teir put it during his TEDx talk: »Having limited options boosts creativity«. IMO it’s actually nowaday’s Minimoog. Excellent sound, easy to understand and use, and very portable. A must have for every synth addict.