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, 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 be well advised to push your budget to $619. The new Minilogue XD is well worth the extra $100 over current Minilogue pricing of $519. I’d be surprised if in short time, the Minilogue didn’t drop down to the $419 price range and that might make for easier decisions for the budget conscious or first time synth owner.
I wholeheartedly recommend the Minilogue and Minilogue XD. If you need to spend $400-$600-ish, get a Minilogue or Minilogue XD. They have a little bit of everything.
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This page is a living document, subject to update and expansion. Last edited – 1/19/2019
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