Korg goes back to its roots with the miniKorg 700FS, a new version of its first analogue synth

GEAR 2021: Released in 1973, the miniKorg 700 was Korg’s first mass-produced analogue synth, and now, almost 50 years later, it’s back. The new miniKorg 700FS is actually a revival of the MiniKorg 700S, which came out in 1974 and added more functionality, but make no mistake: this is Korg going right back to its synth roots.

The miniKorg 700 was a simple and slightly unusual instrument, and the same could be said of this new version, which was designed in collaboration with Fumio Mieda, the creator of the original. A good number of the controls are positioned below the keyboard on the front panel, the theory being that this makes them easy to access when the synth is positioned on top of a main keyboard such as an organ or electric piano.

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This is because the miniKorg 700 was originally conceived as a sub keyboard - one that might be used for additional lead or bass sounds during a performance. The FS can be used in the same way.

While the original miniKorg 700 was a single oscillator monosynth, the S model added a second oscillator, and this is included in the FS version as well. As such, you can create even phatter, detuned sounds. Like the S, the FS has a ring modulator, too.

Features that are completely new to the FS include a spring reverb effect, a joystick for pitchbend and modulation, and aftertouch on the 37-note keyboard. An arpeggiator is here, too, while connectivity includes a USB port, MIDI IN and a CV/Gate In jack. A memory button, meanwhile, enables you to store your favourite patches.

You might already be familiar with the filter circuit from the miniKorg 700, as it was included in the Volca Keys and Volca Bass. The filter can be tweaked using the unique Traveler controller; this consists of two sliders sitting below the keyboard for adjusting the cutoff frequency. The upper one controls the low-pass filter and the lower one takes care of the high-pass filter.

Befitting its ‘vintage’ look and feel, the miniKorg 700FS comes with a luxurious looking hard case, so you can keep it safe when it’s out on the road.

Find out more on the Korg website. A price and release date are still to be confirmed.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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