Inside Synthesis – Korg Monotribe Review (with Mods)

April 9, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized 

“Here’s my review of the Korg Monotribe. My version has some very useful mods, but the first half of the video focuses on the basic features.”

The Monotribe recently got updated to version 2, here are the details:

System Version 2

Announcing a major update for the monotribe!
Version 2 provides many new features to take your playing to a new dimension!

Announcing a major update to the monotribe analog ribbon station — the full-fledged analog synth and rhythm unit with a step sequencer inherited from the Electribe! The monotribe Version 2 adds a plethora of new features, allowing you to create sequences that are even more elaborate, or to layer complex musical developments for extended performances.

Surely one of the most exciting additions is a new synchronized performance mode that allows for new type of performance using multiple monotribe units. Whether you’ve never touched a monotribe or whether you’re an expert who is thoroughly familiar with all of the current features, this new update guarantees that your analog groove-making will be more intense than ever before!

Highlights
Sequencer:

  • Synth part resolution has been doubled to 16 Steps
  • Volume Automation has been added to the synth part.
  • Active Step can be specified for each part.
  • Drum Roll capability has been added.
  • Gate Time Hold function has been added.

Synthesizer:

  • Sample and Hold (S&H) function added to LFO.

Sync:

  • Connected sequences allow multiple monotribe units to play in rotation.
  • Half Tempo function has been added.

Short Cut Keys:

  • Four convenient shortcuts for creating patterns quickly

16-Step Synth parts
As with drum parts, the synth part now provides timing information in between the steps in a sequence, allowing a pattern to achieve a total of 16 steps.

Synth Part Volume Automation
Volume Automation allows the synth volume to be recorded during playback to create more detailed sequences. The left side of the ribbon controller keyboard decreases the volume, and the right side increases it. This Volume Automation can even be controlled when if Flux mode is on.

Set individual Active Steps for each Part.
The Active Step function lets you specify which steps are played or jumped when playing back the step sequencer. Now, the Active Step can be set individually for each of the SYNTH, BD, SD, and HH parts. By specifying a different number of steps for each part, you can create complex polyrhythms.

Sample & Hold (S & H) added to the LFO
The newly added S&H function is indispensible for creating mysterious analog synth sound effects. The RATE knob adjusts the frequency of change, and the INT. knob adjusts the depth of change.
“What is Sample & Hold?”
Unlike traditional LFO waveshapes that provide a constantly changing signal, the Sample & Hold feature takes a “sample” of the LFO signal and holds that level for a specific duration of time. The results are the highly popular and slightly random stepped-filter effects so famously used in analog synthesizers. By using noise as the input signal, the monotribe version 2 lets you create effects that change in a distinctively random manner.

Drum Roll capability
A roll can now be added to the desired drum part. The speed of the roll can be controlled using the ribbon controller keyboard; moving toward the right will increase the number of strikes. You can also record the drum roll using the sequencer to intuitively create subtle and dynamic drum patterns.

Linked Sequences play multiple monotribes in rotation
The Link Sequence feature is a completely new sync method that vastly expands the scope of the monotribe, to deliver even more fun. When sequence playback reaches step 8, the sequence will automatically stop and the next monotribe unit will start playing. By loop-connecting the SYNC jacks, the playback can keep cycling through multiple units – in true modular fashion!

New Additions
The Gate Time Hold function lets you use the ribbon controller keyboard to play and record new pitch information while retaining the gate times recorded in the sequencer. Also new is the Half Tempo function, which cuts the tempo in half when synchronizing to an external input from the SYNC IN jack. In addition, there are now four shortcut keys that instantly initialize various types of sequence data or active step settings.

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