The perfect starter synth?
In the beginning of 2016, I bought a Korg Minilogue. It was my first hardware synth since the early cloudy 1980’s when I had a small Moog of some sort, which I didn’t really understand or play much.
My interest in synthesizers was high. I expected to become obsessive about it, but I really didn’t know what I was doing. I knew I needed a starter synth to learn and decide what features were important to me before I laid down thousands of dollars. The Korg Minilogue did what it was supposed to do admirably.
For me personally, with hindsight since I have had both now, I’d rather start with a Novation Bass Station II for $399. A mono/paraphonic synth turned out to be more useful than I thought compared to Minilogue’s 4 voice polyphony, factoring in my distaste for mini/slim keys as well.
The mini/slim keys are a controversial subject. Many like me, hate mini keys as I discussed in my post Size Matters. An equal amount of people love them, some even prefer them over full size keys. Studio space and portability can also be deciding factors. Either way, 25 or 37 key synths are going to be bass, lead, trigger, sound effect or 2-4 note chord machines, not something a piano/organ person is gonna go for.
Fast forward 3 years to 2019, if the Minilogue format is for you, I think you may be well advised to push your budget some. The new Minilogue XD is well worth the extra $150 over current Minilogue pricing of $499.99. Even better, buy the new Minilogue XD Module for $549.99 and supply your own MIDI controller. Especially with the XD Module out now, I’d be surprised if the Minilogue didn’t either continue dropping down through the $4xx price range or get discontinued by Christmas 2019. That might make for easier decisions for the budget conscious or first time synth owner. We’ll see… I was wrong the last time I predicted a Minilogue price drop, ha!
I wholeheartedly recommend the Minilogue lineup. If you need to spend $400-$600-ish, get a Minilogue, Minilogue XD or Minilogue XD Module. They have a little bit of everything.
Product support, downloads
Facebook user groups
Be sure to join the Uptown Oscillators Facebook Group!
This page is a living document, subject to update and expansion. Last edited – 6/1/2019
If you have any content you think should be added, or would like to help author gear pages/posts, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook group.