MiniKorg 700FS

Sacred Synthesis

MiniKorg 700FS
« on: February 01, 2022, 02:24:19 PM »
Is anybody going to take the plunge with this funny little synthesizer?  It makes me laugh, because it was the very first synthesizer I ever owned.  My father bought one for me when I was about fifteen years old for $200.  And now it's back in production!  I've thought about buying one, but the price is steep for what it offers ($2,200 at Sweetwater).  But nostalgia is a stubborn thing.  Anyway, I'm much more of an ARP guy.

The MiniKorg certainly has its own character, and I could understand someone getting musically attached to it.  It had the virtue of immediacy, and now it's even programmable.  And I've never heard a synthesizer produce better bubbles.  The thing is a bubble monster. 
« Last Edit: February 01, 2022, 02:26:34 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

LPF83

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Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2022, 04:51:50 PM »
Is anybody going to take the plunge with this funny little synthesizer?  It makes me laugh, because it was the very first synthesizer I ever owned.  My father bought one for me when I was about fifteen years old for $200.  And now it's back in production!  I've thought about buying one, but the price is steep for what it offers ($2,200 at Sweetwater).  But nostalgia is a stubborn thing.  Anyway, I'm much more of an ARP guy.

The MiniKorg certainly has its own character, and I could understand someone getting musically attached to it.  It had the virtue of immediacy, and now it's even programmable.  And I've never heard a synthesizer produce better bubbles.  The thing is a bubble monster.

The price puts it off the consideration table for me, but I never owned the original and I can totally appreciate the value of nostalgia here since its the first synth you owned, and if I were mine then the price tag might not seem so bad considering the cost of vintage units.
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Sacred Synthesis

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2022, 06:14:33 PM »
The MiniKorg 700FS is just too small and basic for my taste, but it provided a good introduction to synthesis.  The Maxi-Korg would be a different matter, though.  That instrument had double the musical force to it.

The Korg overall tone seems to be the thinnest of any synthesizer I've played.  Even the MS-20, as I remember it, was quite thin-sounding. 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 05:06:13 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2022, 03:46:39 AM »
Is anybody going to take the plunge with this funny little synthesizer?  It makes me laugh, because it was the very first synthesizer I ever owned.  My father bought one for me when I was about fifteen years old for $200.  And now it's back in production!  I've thought about buying one, but the price is steep for what it offers ($2,200 at Sweetwater).  But nostalgia is a stubborn thing.  Anyway, I'm much more of an ARP guy.

The MiniKorg certainly has its own character, and I could understand someone getting musically attached to it.  It had the virtue of immediacy, and now it's even programmable.  And I've never heard a synthesizer produce better bubbles.  The thing is a bubble monster.



I put a deposit on one early on when Korg started promoting it on their website but the longer i waited and waited the more I thought of what that money could buy in the synthesizer world.
I really liked the sound but of course with so few controls the range of sounds would be limited and it was AUD$3000.
Of course I knew all these things before placing my deposit but in the end I just cancelled my order and used the deposit on a Waldorf M which I am really happy with.
Gives a nice variation  of timbres to my P08 and Tempest.   :)
Tim

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2022, 07:00:42 AM »
Is anybody going to take the plunge with this funny little synthesizer?  It makes me laugh, because it was the very first synthesizer I ever owned.  My father bought one for me when I was about fifteen years old for $200.  And now it's back in production!  I've thought about buying one, but the price is steep for what it offers ($2,200 at Sweetwater).  But nostalgia is a stubborn thing.  Anyway, I'm much more of an ARP guy.

The MiniKorg certainly has its own character, and I could understand someone getting musically attached to it.  It had the virtue of immediacy, and now it's even programmable.  And I've never heard a synthesizer produce better bubbles.  The thing is a bubble monster.

I'm really confused by the price.  Even with a spring reverb and all analog audio path, the components just aren't so expensive that it needs to be over $2k USD.  I like that it does have an audio in, and I could see it being useful to a certain kind of producer who wants that reverb and just needs nice quality simple leads and basses.  But it doesn't move the needle for me, and for that price you could get any number of top tier monos and one or two reverbs and have an equal quality setup with a lot more flexibility.   My guess is it's going to appeal more to collectors than actual producers, or maybe as a conversation piece in a pro studio.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2022, 07:08:06 AM »
I agree.  For the same price, you could get a Rev2!  Someone would have to be a MiniKorg devotee to justify such a price tag.  But I think the charm of it would wear off quickly as its extreme sonic limitations became an issue.  It's mostly about nostalgia, I'd guess.  Yet I do like seeing another familiar "face" out in the synthesizer world.  Watching a year-after-year endless procession of brand-new instruments that attempt to re-invent the wheel is wearisome, even boring.  I find an occasional re-issue to be a breath of fresh air.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 05:07:07 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

LPF83

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Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2022, 08:15:58 AM »
I'm really confused by the price.  Even with a spring reverb and all analog audio path, the components just aren't so expensive that it needs to be over $2k USD.  I like that it does have an audio in, and I could see it being useful to a certain kind of producer who wants that reverb and just needs nice quality simple leads and basses.  But it doesn't move the needle for me, and for that price you could get any number of top tier monos and one or two reverbs and have an equal quality setup with a lot more flexibility.   My guess is it's going to appeal more to collectors than actual producers, or maybe as a conversation piece in a pro studio.

The original was designed to be a lead-oriented supplemental instrument that sat on top of an organ (thus the slim-front panel control placement), so I think if someone has this particular player-use scenario, wants top notch build quality and experience (including the case), and assuming they truly replicated the sound of the original vintage units (I have no way of knowing whether they did until I hear some good comparison vids), then I can see how it has a certain value proposition for a certain buyer audience.  I do not think the value is there for anyone who just wants to have every new synth that emerges or is attracted to it simply because its a reissue. 

I'm one of those that's a big believer in using the right tool for the job, and very few musicians do *every* job... therefore no single musician needs every variety of synth available, and even if they do they are spending too much resources and focus on tech and not enough on the actual music creation process.

So for me it's not the right tool for the job, but I'm fairly sure it will be for some.
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chysn

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Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2022, 11:47:46 AM »
If nothing else, it makes me appreciate the instrument a bit more. I never knew too much about it. It gives you a lot of sound design options, but doesn't let you be terribly fussy. You get "some resonance" or "some filter envelope." But it sounds great.
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jg666

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Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2022, 12:07:02 AM »
I agree that it's nice to see old gear like this again and that it does sound great from what I've heard.... but.... it's a lot of money for what really is a one trick pony once the joy of owning a nostalgic synth has worn off :)
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6, Yamaha MODX6, Yamaha Montage6

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2022, 08:51:49 AM »
The MiniKorg 700FS is just too small and basic for my taste, but it was a good introduction to synthesis.  The Maxi-Korg would be a different matter, though.  That instrument had double the musical force to it.

The Korg overall tone seems to be the thinnest of any synthesizer I've ever played.  Even the MS-20, as I remember it, was unusually thin.  It's one reason I would never choose a Prologue over a Rev2.

My only experience was with a Korg R-1.  It was pretty thin sounding
Sequential/DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop,   Pro-2, Pro-3, OB6, P-12,
 

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Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2022, 11:44:07 AM »
The MiniKorg 700FS is just too small and basic for my taste, but it was a good introduction to synthesis.  The Maxi-Korg would be a different matter, though.  That instrument had double the musical force to it.

The Korg overall tone seems to be the thinnest of any synthesizer I've ever played.  Even the MS-20, as I remember it, was unusually thin.  It's one reason I would never choose a Prologue over a Rev2.

I think this is a lovely reissue and I'd be tempted if not for the price. I don't think I've ever played the original, unless maybe for 5 minutes in a music shop, so there isn't a personal nostalgic pull. I really don't mind "limitations," and might even say I find limitation sexy. The Eno notion of "Why don't they make a synth with three great, usable sounds?" has always rung a bell in my brain. My Telecaster, like almost any Telecaster, only does what it does. But I can other things to it or with it etc. So, a "great-sounding but limited" synth certainly has appeal. Plus, it looks fab.

My PolySix was on the sonically thin side if the Ensemble wasn't on, but my MS-20 is scratching its fairly thick head. It ain't Moog PHAT (I've never before typed that word!!), but it's far more solid than thin, to my ear anyway. No idea why I'm convinced you should someday become a Prologue fellow, but that's a gorgeous-sounding instrument. It does sit a bit thin, but in a way that compliments my P5 and P6. Maybe what I'm saying here is that "thin is in" in some cases? No idea!

Sacred Synthesis

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2022, 11:52:06 AM »
I'm admittedly going by old memories of the Minikorg and MS-20.  At the time I loved them both, but was soon drawn to other things, such as the CAT, Odyssey, and Model D.  So, I don't mean to be overly critical of the Korg sound, nor of your tastes in synthesizers.  And I nearly bought the Prologue 8-voice as a controller for my Odysseys.  It still intrigues me.  I do somewhat share your opinions of Korg.  My favorite sound, however, is in between Korg and Moog - right around DSI/Sequential.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 05:26:30 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

LPF83

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Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2022, 11:52:31 AM »
The MiniKorg 700FS is just too small and basic for my taste, but it was a good introduction to synthesis.  The Maxi-Korg would be a different matter, though.  That instrument had double the musical force to it.

The Korg overall tone seems to be the thinnest of any synthesizer I've ever played.  Even the MS-20, as I remember it, was unusually thin.  It's one reason I would never choose a Prologue over a Rev2.

I think this is a lovely reissue and I'd be tempted if not for the price. I don't think I've ever played the original, unless maybe for 5 minutes in a music shop, so there isn't a personal nostalgic pull. I really don't mind "limitations," and might even say I find limitation sexy. The Eno notion of "Why don't they make a synth with three great, usable sounds?" has always rung a bell in my brain. My Telecaster, like almost any Telecaster, only does what it does. But I can other things to it or with it etc. So, a "great-sounding but limited" synth certainly has appeal. Plus, it looks fab.

My PolySix was on the sonically thin side if the Ensemble wasn't on, but my MS-20 is scratching its fairly thick head. It ain't Moog PHAT (I've never before typed that word!!), but it's far more solid than thin, to my ear anyway. No idea why I'm convinced you should someday become a Prologue fellow, but that's a gorgeous-sounding instrument. It does sit a bit thin, but in a way that compliments my P5 and P6. Maybe what I'm saying here is that "thin is in" in some cases? No idea!

I've heard, from multiple sources, that historically pop-music in various Asian cultures tends to favor synthesizers with a thinner, more precise sound than the preference for warmer/fatter that western ears tend to have.   I'm not sure if that's a chicken or the egg thing... like whether the preference for thinner sound led rise of thinner sounding the synths, or if it happened the other way around.
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Sacred Synthesis

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2022, 11:55:37 AM »
I've read the same, and it seemed to be confirmed when I compared side-by-side the Minilogue XD's sawtooth to that of the Odyssey and Prophet '08.  Definitely thinner, but also different in timbre.

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2022, 12:30:46 PM »
I'm admittedly going by old memories of the Minikorg and MS-20.  At the time I loved them both, but was soon drawn to other things, such as the Odyssey and Model D.  So I don't mean to be overly critical of the Korg sound, nor of your tastes in synthesizers.  And I nearly bought the Prologue 8-voice as a controller for my Odysseys.  It still intrigues me.  So I do somewhat share your opinions of Korg.  My favorite sound, however, is in between Korg and Moog - right around DSI/Sequential.

Funny, but I've always been a Sequential-then-Korg guy, according to the synths I've owned. I love how some synths pair up with each other... my Pro One misses its pal, the Micromoog. The Prologue, as I suggested earlier, compliments the Prophets. I got my Grandmother not long after my Prophet 5 arrived and for a (very) brief spell, those were the only synths in my studio. Those guys love each other, sound-wise. The Moog does generally command attention, but that's probably as much how I choose to use it in a track. If I want subtle, I'll probably look elsewhere. My Korg monos - MS-10 and MS-20 - are wonderfully flexible... they can be bold or gentle, musical or noisy. We could suggest that that's the nature of synths, to cover so much ground, but really, I don't push my P5 towards "weird" when I have a Lyra nearby! I certainly felt not a drop of criticism about my taste in synths, by the way. Opinions are like opinions etc! I'm more than happy to see how other folks push and pull themselves through the world of synths. Meanwhile, it's exciting to be excited about the instruments that bring us all together in this forum.

LPF83

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Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2022, 03:20:43 PM »
I've read the same, and it seemed to be confirmed when I compared side-by-side the Minilogue XD's sawtooth to that of the Odyssey and Prophet '08.  Definitely thinner, but also different in timbre.

The Minilogue XD I think is an amazing value.  The timbral quality you refer to may be at least in part what I call "downmarket-signal-path-syndrome", which I do hear in the Minilogue as well as other synths that are in affordable pricing category, and even to some extent in pricier synths.  It's a hard thing to describe but I feel like it comes from either the quality of the components in the signal path or the design of it or both, moreso than the raw tone of the oscillators.  Sort of thin and slightly harsh at the same time.  The best way I can describe it would be "artifacted harmonic distortion".   It almost sounds to me like digital components getting in the way of a pure analog signal path, even if the culprit is not that at all.  I even hear it sometimes on videos of the Pro3 and Take5, one reason I haven't taken an interest in either.   And, having that quality doesn't mean a synth always sounds bad to me... I mean the Minilogue can sound great... it just means that on synths which have this "syndrome", I feel the range of sweet spots for which that synth sounds great (to my ears) are more limited, and they tend to put out a certain sonic vibe that makes me want to relegate the instrument to a duty that is not first and foremost in the mix as much as a backing instrument (for example I often use the digital oscillator of the Minilogue in combination with the sequencer for background movement).

I haven't quite heard that "downmarket vibe" in the MiniKorg 700fs vids I've watched, the overall tone seems pretty pure in most cases, but then again I have not really payed it a great deal of attention, simply because of the price and the fact that the control placement (which I think is fantastic for what it was originally designed for, resting atop a larger instrument like an organ) does not work for my particular setup.  It looks fun, but probably not versatile enough for me to justify 2 grand.

Back to the Minilogue XD, I'm sorry to say that I may end up selling mine soon.  The sequencer has always been one of the more compelling features for me, but my Keystep Pro gives me the ability to do everything the Minilogue does and more (in terms of sequencing) with any of my other instruments.  The real reason I haven't let it go yet is because the custom oscillator capabilities are interesting, and may be reason enough to justify keeping it.

In terms of Asian synth production, I've often wondered if Roland/Korg synths preferred to keep the oscillators more precise and thin sounding, and fill the basic tone in with FX such as chorus.  It's kind of a valid strategy, sometimes thinner core sound sources end up better once run through FX.  The first analog I ever owned (Juno 106), ironically enough, stands out in my mind as a "fat synth", but admittedly a lot of that was from the Chorus, it was after all a single oscillator DCO synth.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2022, 03:24:08 PM by LPF83 »
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Sacred Synthesis

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2022, 07:22:37 PM »
Putting aside all artifacts, distortion, and even "thinness," the Korg oscillator character is different from other synthesizers.  That's not to imply that a person couldn't get used to it and even attached to it by use.  I wouldn't be able to pass a final personal judgment on it until I had two Minilogue XD Modules set to identical patches and panned.  For me, that's the only way to assess a synthesizer's voice.  In the mono field, a synthesizer always sounds choked to me, or like it's emanating from an underground pipe.

When you sit alone with an XD for some time, the sound grows on you and your ears adapt to it.  The "thinness" disappears.  It's only when you turn to another instrument that you recognize the "thinness" by comparison.  An XD PWM brass patch can sound fabulous...until you play the identical patch on, say, a Prophet '08.  It's then that you appreciate the quality of DSI/Sequential instruments.  But I agree that the XD, in its own universe, is an excellent synthesizer.  Although I do think they got the VCA/VCF envelope arrangement backwards.  That stands out as a constant problem when designing sounds.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 05:28:46 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Sacred Synthesis

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2022, 01:00:33 PM »
Anything - anything - can sound great with enough high-quality reverb.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9Sc1M0Kciw

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2022, 01:58:40 PM »
Anything - anything - can sound great with enough high-quality reverb.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9Sc1M0Kciw

Maybe it's me, but I could never groove like that to an arpeggio. I mean, I couldn't even slightly sway. I admire people for whom etc. On the up side, the video didn't sell me on the MiniKorg, so...

Sacred Synthesis

Re: MiniKorg 700FS
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2022, 03:14:34 PM »