I’m an officially retired baby boomer now doing what I want to do with my life. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m working for my home community JPUSA, the homeless in Uptown Chicago and pursuing my musical dreams. I have no talent but I do prayerfully think this electronic music journey will become of some value.
I was in junior high school when I got my first guitar, had a few garage band type skirmishes but mostly went into adulthood focused on cares of the world and survival. In the early 80’s, I got a Micromoog or some kind of Moog (sorry those were blurry days) from a friend of mine in the industrial band Ministry. They had moved into polyphonic Yamaha DX7s, past analog monophonic synths (still blurry). I played with it, loved it, but again I mostly focused on the world and survival. I don’t even remember what I did with that Moog or my Gibson SG, more blur…
About 10 years ago, I thought I really shouldn’t have breezed past my major interest in music, so I bought an acoustic guitar, and then another one, my Taylor got stolen and now I have a Breedlove Cascade Series C25/Cre. Eventually a couple electric guitars as well, I still have a G&L ASAT Classic Telecaster.
A few years ago, I got to thinking I really enjoy guitar but I love synthesizers and electronic music. I began to school myself, first I bought a M-Audio KeyStudio which I still have, and played with the Pro Tools SE software.This really whet my appetite but I also realized soft synths were not the total sum or foundation I needed. I needed hardware. I’m an information technology professional so programming and computer work are attractive to me, but I needed more feel and instant gratification, ha!
The Korg Minilogue is a great synthesizer
A couple years ago I didn’t have the financial option for more than $500, which in retrospect was a good thing. I really didn’t know enough about synths and the wide array of choices to drop thousands of dollars intelligently. At that time I hoped one day I would be able to assemble the electronic hardware of my dreams and eventually my studies led me to conclude that the Korg Minilogue would be the best first step.
The last year of tinkering with it just reinforced my decision. If your whole synthesizer environment is gonna be $500-$2000, you couldn’t ask for more. 4 voice polyphonic, 2 analog oscillators and a noise oscillator. LFO, delay, 200 presets and a polyphonic step and motion sequencer.
Who can predict what tomorrow brings but my plan is to replace it soon. The negatives for me are not really negatives. I’m giving it to a relative I think highly of rather than sell it. I’d probably keep it if it were a standalone synth. I think Korg would have been well advised to make a model without a keyboard. I do not like mini keys. I’m too clumsy, adult fingered, untalented or all that and more but I do think the 37 key keyboard would be great for teens or many women.
I do wish it had pitch and mod wheels, and could transpose sequences. Other than those facets, it can be a little thin with some settings on the bass. Otherwise, wow, it’s a great machine, even with those limitations. I heartily recommend it.
Moving forward into other options
I learned a lot from that Minilogue. I had been wishing on a Moog Subsequent 37 CV for a while but those are discontinued now. I may still get a standard version Moog Subsequent 37, I love Moog bass. Moog is a little bit inconsistent in their product offerings from my perspective. If you like monophonic/paraphonic synths, wouldn’t we all love a Moog Minimoog Voyager XL, but at $4995, it’s out of my price range this year, ha!
In the end I chose the Dave Smith Pro 2 to be the flagship of this year’s synthesizer pile. In my next post, I’ll be blogging about that. The Korg Minilogue is pulling bass duty for now and I’m not completely sure yet what I will replace it with temporarily (I have some ideas though!). I’m hoping Moog will introduce a new Subsequent 37 level synth with fuller CV connectivity, both in and out, than the Subsequent 37. Sure seems like the wise thing to do considering this is where the market now is. But hey, my world influence may not cut it so we shall see!