Given its name, you might suspect that Korg's Monologue is simply a one-voice version of the company's Minilogue synth, which we reckon is one of the best affordable hardware synths on the market. But although the two are said to share the same 'spirit', Korg is keen to stress that the Monologue has a voice that's "all its own".
This new 25-note monophonic analogue instrument offers a redesigned envelope section, modulation routing and a filter "with powerful low-end punch". There's a drive circuit to add overtones and distortion, while the LFO can be adjusted into an "ultra-high-speed range" for all-out craziness or switched to one-shot mode so that it's akin to an additional envelope.
The Monologue offers 100 preset locations. 80 programs come supplied - some of these are artist presets that were created by, among others, Aphex Twin - and you have 20 user locations to work with.
To give life to these sounds, there's an enhanced step sequencer, which enables you to record in real or step time. 16 physical buttons are designed for quick editing and improvisation, while the movements of up to four knobs can be captured with the motion sequence function. These can be varied for each step, enabling you to create continously changing sequences. Other sequencer enhancements include key trigger and slide (portamento) functions.
On a more esoteric level, there's support for microtuning. There are factory tunings and 12 user slots for your own; again, Aphex Twin has been involved - he served as an advisor on the microtuning implementation and created some of the preset scales.
Other notable features include an oscilloscope (via an OLED display), a battery powering option, and support for Korg's Audio Sync technology. The Monologue will be available in five colours - silver, black, red, dark blue and gold .
Find out more on the Korg website. The Monologue looks like it'll cost £299/$300 and should ship in January 2017.
Korg Monologue features
- Analog synthesizer with all-new synthesis structure optimized for amazing monophonic sounds and sequences
- Fully programmable, with 100 program memories (80 presets included)
- 16-step sequencer with extensive motion sequence technology to make your sound move
- Microtuning lets you freely create scales and alternate tonalities
- Oscilloscope function helps visualize the waveform in real time
- Battery-powered for portability
- Rugged and stylish with aluminum top panel, chassis-mounted pots, rubber-coated knobs, and real wood back panel
- MIDI, USB MIDI, and Audio Sync for all types of in-studio and live connectivity, including direct sync with minilogue, SQ1, volca, electribe, and more
- Five color variations that will shine on stage or in the studio