KORG's Monologue brings powerful analog synth sounds into the consumer friendly realm.

By: Jared Boulanger (The Sour Notes) for Rock N Roll Rentals

As a “rock n roller” who’s been experimenting with synths since the late ‘90s, I was pumped to hear that Korg was releasing one of the most affordable analog synths on the market today. I’ve bought & sold so many synths over the years… some good for recording, some good for gigging… usually not both. But, after spending a day with the Korg Monologue in the studio, I can honestly say that it’s one of the most fun and useful synths I’ve ever played! Let’s face it, there is a learning curve when it comes to gear with lots of knobs & buttons and while most electronic musicians navigate these dials without hesitation… most of us just start turning and pushing things til’ it sounds cool. This uncertainty of sonic execution, on top of the fact that most analog synths often come with a hefty price tag, usually sways the curious rock musician from exploring synthesizers altogether. But, with a street price of just $299, the Korg Monologue is definitely a “gateway synth” that’s going to start a new wave of electronic musicians, simply based on it’s affordability & functionality.

Switch on the synth and it immediately “tunes” automatically in just a few seconds, before sending you to the first of many Monologue presets, which you can modify & tweak to get an idea of all that this synth can do! Right away, you’ll notice how huge this monophonic, compact-synth sounds and you’ll probably get an idea for your next song in the first 20-minutes… or at least I did. I personally prefer smaller synths like this with 25-keys for transportation reasons and in combination of other gear, and since there is an octave-switch on board, the option to expand your notes is taken care of. Also note that, the Monologue keyboard ranges from E to E, which for some reason Bassists find more useful… :)

It has an edge-y, yet tasteful Drive knob for some true grit, while offering a Filter so smooth, you’d think it could sweep Trump out into the atmosphere. One way of course! The LFO bubbles with intensity & precision and I liked how the faster LFO rates retained a lot of warmth instead of choppy-ness. For me, the sequencer is really the selling point of this synth! Unlike the older Korg Minilogue, where it was featured less prominently, the new Monologue has 16-steps, capable of recording knob-motion assignments that can be transposed on the fly by key. Amazing! It also runs on batteries to quell your fears of somebody tripping over your power supply on stage or if you ever find the need to play a synth in the forest or the back seat of a car. Korg says you can expect 6-8 hours of use from 6-AA batteries!


The Monologue is quite the “looker” too! Available in Silver, Black, Red, Dark Blue, Gold with a subtle “wood splash” surrounding the input/output section… it’s aimed to please the eye and designed for performance! If looks alone don’t get you laid, you’ve also got hipster-cred courtesy of Aphex Twin, who helped design some of the Monologue’s micro-tuning features. In addition to factory tuning, there are 12 slots available for you to save your own tunings too, you crazy mathematicians! My personal opinion is that this synth produces sounds more reminiscent of early Daft Punk than Aphex Twin though, so keep that in mind! #DualOscillator #16Step #AdjustableWaveshaping #FatFilter #BeefyLow-End

Rent the Korg Monologue Analog Synthesizer at Rock n’ Roll Rentals today: $9/weekend or $18/month

See a video about the Korg Monologue here!



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