Korg begins its NAMM announcements early this year with three new synths. The Volca Modular seeks to make modular synthesis more accessible, the Volca Drum adds DSP modelling to the company’s electronic percussion offering, and the minilogue receives a digital multi-engine with noise and FM, plus digital effects, and playability improvements.
Lastly, we have the minilogue xd, which represents a worthy update to the formidable and affordable minilogue four-voice analogue polysynth.
The xd makes available features that were previously only present on the flagship Prologue, released last year. The biggest of these is the addition of a digital multi-engine as a third oscillator on top of the two analogue oscillators. This has three modes: noise generator, Variable Phase Modulation (VPM)/FM, and user-definable oscillators that can be downloaded and installed.
To give those patches a more polished, production-ready sound, a digital effects engine has also been added. Modulation, reverb and delay effects can be used simultaneously and saved as user presets.
Other notable upgrades include: an updated polyphonic step sequencer – with double the original minologue’s eight – a joystick pitch/mod control rather than the diagonal pitch bend stick, microtuning options with presets from Aphex Twin, a larger oscilloscope display, a stereo output, and two CV inputs.
The Korg Volca Modular ($200/£179) is expected to be available this month, while the Volca Drum ($170/£150) and minilogue xd ($649/£565) are both set to hit stores in March. More information at korg.com.