The Official Sequential/DSI Forum

KORG minilogue

Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #60 on: January 18, 2016, 10:00:15 AM »
Yamaha might know something about what other manufacturers are going to release. I agree that it doesn't need to be so much about the price alone.

With regard to the features of the minilogue, I agree with Razmo. It definitely brings nothing exciting to the table if you own a Prophet '08 or a Prophet 12 already, but then I would assume that you don't belong to the target group Korg had in mind in the first place. This is really for those who can't afford any other poly synths and like to use something highly portable. This is also going to be for those who don't necessarily put playing techniques first.

Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #61 on: January 18, 2016, 10:31:41 AM »
To complete the explanation, I'd say the popularity of these miniature synthesizers is due to 1) cost, 2) space, and 3) the phenomenon of a large number of non-musicians using synthesizers.  This latter group is having an increasing influence on synthesizer manufacturers, so that a substantial amount of R+D is now devoted to making synthesizers that many serious musicians will find useless, due entirely to their size. 

I realize there are many instruments to go around for all sides, but here and there it results in a real misfortune.  Take as an example the exciting announcement that the ARP Odyssey would be re-issued, which only turned into a huge disappointment for many of us when it appeared in a totally unsatisfactory size.  The same with the MS-20 (except for the kit), the Minilogue, and how many other decent designs to come? 

Those of us who are serious musicians, but who don't have a lot of money to spend on instruments, find ourselves in the strange dilemma of seeing a growing number of desirable and affordable small instruments being produced in a shrunken format.  So, what are we to do?  Where are the new full-sized affordable synthesizers for less than $1500 that meet our needs?  Most of the bargains are now going in the minisynth direction.  Thank God for DSI, yet even they are retiring the smaller instruments.   
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 10:52:52 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2016, 11:05:27 AM »
3) the phenomenon of a large number of non-musicians using synthesizers.

I suspect that the number of non-musicians using synthesizers is very close to zero. Non-keyboardist musicians maybe? Or non-professional musicians?

Quote
I realize there are many instruments to go around for all sides, but here and there it results in a real misfortune.  Take as an example the exciting announcement that the ARP Odyssey would be re-issued, which only turned into a huge disappointment for many of us when it appeared in a totally unsatisfactory size.  The same with the MS-20 (except for the kit), the Minilogue, and how many other decent designs to come?

The Odyssey, I think, is an odd duck. I don't think it was miniaturized to target the mass market, but rather to avoid upsetting the vintage market. "Having mini keys" plus "aimed at niche market" equals "poor sales," which is apparently the case for the Odyssey.

For those instruments that are aimed at the mass market, consider that they're there, in part, to finance the development of a small subset of instruments that you will be interested in. I would not be surprised if Korg's analog technology winds up in a flagship keyboard within a year. Korg likes to cram multiple synthesis engines into one box.
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2016, 11:13:35 AM »
I think Sacred Synthesis was referring to the term "non-musician" in the way that Brian Eno once coined it by using it for himself, i.e. not being interested in traditional playing techniques, etc. Think VCS3 or Buchla vs. Minimoog or Prophet-5.

Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2016, 11:30:18 AM »
By "non-musicians" I rather imprecisely include both literal non-musicians as well as any person who dabbles in music, without applying themselves too seriously to developing their knowledge, ability, and technique.  Even if you don't sit at a piano for hours playing scales and arpeggios, still, playing pieces/songs for hours can develop your ability, and I would certainly call this "applying" oneself to music. 

There's nothing wrong with dabbling in music and leaving it at that.  Music can remain a fun hobby and a quaint companion all through life, without ever becoming a serious pursuit.  I was such a "non-musician" for years myself.  My point is, it seems unique that such persons should have such a segment of the synthesizer market directed at them.  Yes, money is the name of the game.  But I find myself rolling my eyes and saying yet again, "Oh well; there goes another one."  Meaning, there goes another synthesizer that might have served me well, if only it had been full-sized.  I do find the frequency of this to be strange.

If Korg does this with an ARP 2600 re-issue, then my eyes are going to roll right out of their sockets.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 11:44:41 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2016, 12:09:49 PM »
If Korg does this with an ARP 2600 re-issue, then my eyes are going to roll right out of their sockets.

Well tbh the ARP2600 didn't have a keyboard by default, so that is actually one synthesizer I wouldn't mind seeing @ 86%.

This was made as a very ambitious DIY project by The Human Comparator. A friend of mine built one, and it's really good. Sadly it's now discontinued.

« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 12:16:36 PM by eXode »

Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2016, 12:12:07 PM »
I think we're dealing with a combination of things here. First of all, I have nothing against products that are aimed at not super wealthy customers and beginners, no matter what their take on music is.
What became a new old ingredient ever since the 'all things analog' revival, is clearly the element of nostalgia. We see a lot of affordable instruments that are paired with that. To some degree it's even part of products like the Volcas (and their lo-fi charme as some might say), but more so, of course, in the case of the reissues. It reminds me a bit of model car collections with the difference that you can actually "drive" these synth models. Still, they somehow appear souvenir sized and just like souvenirs they are collected as surrogates for a missed opportunity (aka "When I was a kid, I always saw this magic ARP in a local music store; now I can finally afford it thanks to Korg."). In a way a lot of the current gear market has to do with collecting. There's not only the annualy returning aim of trying to get the latest or newest piece, there is also a tendency of hoarding stuff, especially due to the highly portable size, which of course leads to a paradox. While the Eurorack market does probably represent something like the sophisticated end of that, it also applies to the numerous pieces that are aimed at people with a less geeky appeal. One indicator is the occurance of the many series that emerged over the past couple of years: Volca, Aira, Boutique, Reface, etc.

Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2016, 01:32:21 PM »
The ARP 2600 did have a wonderful four-octave keyboard with additional parameters to the left, but it was separate from the panel.
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2016, 01:44:06 PM »
The return to analog synth trend is a sense of nostalgia becoming a new fashion, I believe. Just like a pair of old looking denim jeans becoming a fashion for us all who have no experience of living back in 19th century when it was used commonly as a clothe for labour, we even stone wash them before waring them. Likewise, many of the analog synth users are younger generation who were born after the DX7 was launched. They don't know vintage analog synth in realtime, yet they sense a certain nostalgia that is transformed into a new fashion of their own. So it's cool to use analog synth, and also majority of them don't have playing technique so much but can create music in very interesting way like synchronizing multiple step sequencers etc. Hence, mini-keys and 4 voice polyphony, for not just cost and space but also for letting them feel invited to play even they don't have skilled playing technique.
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2016, 01:48:13 PM »
I think we're dealing with a combination of things here. First of all, I have nothing against products that are aimed at not super wealthy customers and beginners, no matter what their take on music is.
What became a new old ingredient ever since the 'all things analog' revival, is clearly the element of nostalgia. We see a lot of affordable instruments that are paired with that. To some degree it's even part of products like the Volcas (and their lo-fi charme as some might say), but more so, of course, in the case of the reissues. It reminds me a bit of model car collections with the difference that you can actually "drive" these synth models. Still, they somehow appear souvenir sized and just like souvenirs they are collected as surrogates for a missed opportunity (aka "When I was a kid, I always saw this magic ARP in a local music store; now I can finally afford it thanks to Korg."). In a way a lot of the current gear market has to do with collecting. There's not only the annualy returning aim of trying to get the latest or newest piece, there is also a tendency of hoarding stuff, especially due to the highly portable size, which of course leads to a paradox. While the Eurorack market does probably represent something like the sophisticated end of that, it also applies to the numerous pieces that are aimed at people with a less geeky appeal. One indicator is the occurance of the many series that emerged over the past couple of years: Volca, Aira, Boutique, Reface, etc.

Yes, that's some times the case - nostalgia - but often it's not.  As a rule, I don't permit myself to indulge in nostalgia.  I don't think it's emotionally healthy to "put your hand to the plow and look back".  Hence, I have no vintage instrument and no re-issue.  In fact, I sold a beautiful Hammond XK 3c organ specifically because it sounded too much like the seventies and eighties. 

What I liked in the ARP synthesizer was its sound - the best to my ears of any other synthesizer, new or old - as well as its superb and immediate interface.  When I listen to a video of a Quadra or an Odyssey, I think, "Ah, beautiful and powerful all at once."  So, when I say I'd like to have a re-issued 2600 (or even a full-sized Odyssey), I'm not thinking about bringing back the good old days.  God forbid!  The last thing I want is to revive those "good" old days.  I'm simply considering all the available synthesizers and concluding that I like the ARP sound best of all.  If some one else will produce a brand new synthesizer with a brand new design and a sound that strikes my ear as preferable to the others, then I'm all for it; I'll happily buy their instruments.  I mean, I am the Evolver enthusiast on this forum.  I wouldn't exactly call the Evolvers nostalgic re-issues for balding middle-aged beer-bellied men who now want to play the Doors like they did in their teens.

Please don't over-simplify the vintage re-issue matter to mere nostalgia.  It's much deeper than that.  It has to do with experienced musical preferences and a dissatisfaction with modern instrument design and tone, together with the prudence not to fall for the "if-it's-newer-it-must-be-better" hysteria.  There's much to be said for an instrument that has withstood the test of time, versus the latest one that is being glamorously NAMMed today and tomorrow.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 05:46:54 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2016, 02:02:17 PM »
What I liked in the ARP synthesizer was its sound - the best to my ears of any other synthesizer, new or old.  When I listen to a video of a Quadra or an Odyssey

Semi O/T: Do you need a keyboard or could you make do with a desktop module? If you'd consider controlling a monophonic solo synth from one of your other keyboards I'd really recommend you to check out the Boomstar 4075. They have a fantastic sound. I haven't tried the 4075 in particular so I can't comment on it's likeness to an actual ARP, but if you have the possibility to try it out in a shop or similar, do it!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 02:06:18 PM by eXode »

Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2016, 02:07:14 PM »
Please don't over-simplify the vintage re-issue matter to mere nostalgia.  It's much deeper than that.  It has to do with experienced musical preferences and a dissatisfaction with modern instrument design.

I didn't mean to oversimplify, but there is a strong collector's trend that goes hand in hand (not exclusively) with the exploitation of nostalgia. The classic performing and composing musician would be more practical minded. What I mean by the latter is that there were quite a few musicians (especially touring ones) from the 1970s and 1980s that were happy to choose one workstation or one rather comprehensive synth over four to six different synths and whatnot. Instead, you often see people collecting a lot of little bits and ending up with a sort of patchwork of instruments - from actual beginner's devices to basically Eurorack.

Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2016, 02:15:54 PM »
What I liked in the ARP synthesizer was its sound - the best to my ears of any other synthesizer, new or old.  When I listen to a video of a Quadra or an Odyssey

Semi O/T: Do you need a keyboard or could you make do with a desktop module? If you'd consider controlling a monophonic solo synth from one of your other keyboards I'd really recommend you to check out the Boomstar 4075. They have a fantastic sound. I haven't tried the 4075 in particular so I can't comment on it's likeness to an actual ARP, but if you have the possibility to try it out in a shop or similar, do it!

Yes, that's a good suggestion, Exode.  I have considered the 4075 for that very reason.  I'm also considering a SEM.  And these would be controlled by one of my Prophet '08s or perhaps another synthesizer.
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2016, 02:30:15 PM »
What I liked in the ARP synthesizer was its sound - the best to my ears of any other synthesizer, new or old.  When I listen to a video of a Quadra or an Odyssey

Semi O/T: Do you need a keyboard or could you make do with a desktop module? If you'd consider controlling a monophonic solo synth from one of your other keyboards I'd really recommend you to check out the Boomstar 4075. They have a fantastic sound. I haven't tried the 4075 in particular so I can't comment on it's likeness to an actual ARP, but if you have the possibility to try it out in a shop or similar, do it!

Yes, that's a good suggestion, Exode.  I have considered the 4075 for that very reason.  I'm also considering a SEM.  And these would be controlled by one of my Prophet '08s or perhaps another synthesizer.

I had the 5089 (Moog ladder filter) and it was great. Really excellent tone that I felt that few new analogs can match. Imho you'd probably need to go for an expensive modular to top that sound. Studio Electronics also did a great job in the amount of features they managed to put into it despite it's relatively small foot print. It's also built like a tank!


eXode

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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2016, 02:30:50 PM »
Sorry for the sidetrack! :)

Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #75 on: January 18, 2016, 02:37:25 PM »
Thanks for the information.
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #76 on: January 18, 2016, 03:25:33 PM »
The Japanese miniaturization trend is IMHO a manifestation of the belief that their strongest brand statements lie in the past, and must be protected against the commoditization that is a part of the ever-changing valuations of vintage gear within the market. Therefore, we get dollhouse versions of their most famous products, all the while dodging the question as to whether they still have what it takes to release a killer, all-new-concept product into the market.

To their credit, Roland has some nice ASICs for digital sound generation and processing that drive their AIRA Modular and Boutique re-issues, so they're able to keep the costs low enough to make new product variations worthwhile - I'm not so sure that Korg and Yamaha have the same assets available to them.
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #77 on: January 18, 2016, 03:46:12 PM »
The Japanese miniaturization trend is IMHO a manifestation of the belief that their strongest brand statements lie in the past, and must be protected against the commoditization that is a part of the ever-changing valuations of vintage gear within the market.

That's sort of a harsh assessment of the Japanese brands and their current offerings. And it doesn't explain the Odyssey, which was an American instrument by an American manufacturer. If what you say is true, Korg would be re-issuing the M1. Well, okay, they sort of did reissue the M1. But still, I think it's just as accurate to speculate that the Japanese like tiny little things because they're isolated on an island and put a premium on space.
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #78 on: January 18, 2016, 04:41:45 PM »
The Odyssey, I think, is an odd duck. I don't think it was miniaturized to target the mass market, but rather to avoid upsetting the vintage market. "Having mini keys" plus "aimed at niche market" equals "poor sales," which is apparently the case for the Odyssey.

I've long thought this was a poor decision on Korg's part - making the Odyssey anything less than full-sized.  If they were expecting it to follow on the success of the MS-20 Mini, then they obviously didn't understand that the Odyssey was in an entirely different class.  The relative failure of this 86% version only proves the point.  Just look at vintage Odyssey prices on Ebay - $2,000-$4,000 for a scratched up 35-year old instrument with who knows how many internal problems.  Did Korg actually doubt that the very same people who gamble on Ebay would gladly pay $1,600 for a brand spanking new Odyssey with a full warranty and a suitcase?  It dazes me.  If they try the same with a 2600, I predict the same failure. 

Personally, I would willingly exchange a Poly Evolver in mint condition for a new 2600 - keyboard and all.  But for a shrunken 2600, I wouldn't give an old sneaker.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 06:15:32 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: KORG minilogue
« Reply #79 on: January 18, 2016, 09:08:10 PM »
I've long thought this was an unusually idiotic decision on Korg's part - making the Odyssey anything less than full-sized.  If they were expecting it to follow on the success of the MS-20 Mini, then they obviously didn't understand that the Odyssey was in an entirely different class.  The relative failure of this 86% version only proves the point.  Just look at vintage Odyssey prices on Ebay - $2,000-$4,000 for a scratched up 35-year old instrument with who knows how many internal problems.  Did Korg actually doubt that the very same people who gamble on Ebay would gladly pay $1,600 for a brand spanking new Odyssey with a full warranty and a suitcase?  It dazes me.  If they try the same with a 2600, I predict the same failure.

To be honest, I don't know of too many, who would have spend about $1,600 on a full-sized Odyssey reissue. That would have been an even greater disaster, because that way the Odyssey would have landed right in between the Sub 37 and the Pro 2. Without nostalgia, no one could justify that price. Keep in mind that you can also still get the full-sized MS-20 kit. The 1,000 exemplars were definitely not more popular than the more affordable mini version.

That the Odyssey is not a big hit everywhere may have to do with its uncommon architecture, or rather how it is represented on the front panel. In the beginning, I've read of many users having similar basic issues, because they just weren't used to the ARP layout.