Korg monotribe Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer

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Create fat analog synth sounds on the Monotribe's ribbon keyboard -- then sequence them into beats and grooves with the Electribe-style 16-step sequencer.
The Korg monotribe Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer is a truly portable, self-tuning analog synthesizer with multi-mode ribbon keyboard that can be played by anyone -- even if you have no keyboard experience. But the monotribe is not only a synthesizer, it's also a fully-fledged groove production station with an Electribe-style 16-step sequencer. That means you can synthesize true analog sounds using the onboard controls, and sequence them into beats anywhere in the world -- thanks to battery-powered operation and a built-in speaker and headphone jack.

Check out this demo from Korg showcasing the powerful features of the Monotribe:

Analog Synth + Analog Drum Machine/Step Sequencer

The monotribe features the combination of a full analog synthesizer with an analog drum machine and step sequencer. Synthesis is driven by one voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), one voltage-controlled filter (VCF), and a low frequency oscillator (LFO) -- the same components which grant Korg classics like the MS-10 and MS-20 their signature retro sound. Real analog drum sounds are provided by a circuit with three distinct parts: one for bass drum, one for snare drum, and one for high-hat. Combine that with the Electribe-style 16-step sequencer and you've got all the tools to generate true analog beats or even full original tracks.


- Ultra-portable analog ribbon synthesizer with Electribe-style groove creation
- 18-note multi-function ribbon controller keyboard with three input modes read more (chromatic, continuous, and wide)
- Self-tuning analog circuitry ensures chromatic stability
- Audio synthesis driven by VCO with selectable waveshape (saw, triangle, square) and selectable octave range (64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2) or by noise generator with customizable intensity
- Korg's VCF filter with cutoff and resonance control taken from the classic MS-10 and MS-20
- Amp up your sound on the VCA with adjustable decay, gate, and attack controls
- LFO section with selectable waveshape, mode, intensity, and rate controls
- Three part drum circuit with roll control
- 16 step sequencer with volume automation capability
- Active Step function lets you selectively cut specific drum on synth parts from the mix
- Stereo 1/8-inch audio input
- Stereo 1/8-inch audio output
- Stereo 1/8-inch headphone output
- Stereo 1/8-inch Sync In and Sync Out jacks provided for synchronizing with other monotron units
- Built-in speaker and battery powered for truly portable analog sound
- Powered via six alkaline or nickel-metal hydride AA batteries or via optional AC adapter (sold separately)
- Battery life of approximately 14 hours on alkaline batteries
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- Operating Temperature: 0 - +40 degrees C (non-condensing conditions)
- Keyboard: Ribbon keyboard
- Sound Generator: Analog synthesis
- VCO:
- Waveshape (Saw, Triangle, Square)
- Octave Range (64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2)
- Noise Generator (Amount)
- Key Range (Wide, Narrow, Key)
- VCF:
- 12 dB/Oct Low Pass Filter
- Cutoff (Frequency)
- Peak (Resonance)
- VCA:
- Gain knob
- EG Select (Decay, Gate, Attack)
- LFO:
- Rate (Speed)
- Intensity (Depth)
- Target Switch (VCO, VCF, VCO+VCF)
- Mode Switch (Fast, Slow, 1-Shot)
- Shape (Saw, Triangle, Square)
- Drums: 3 parts, discrete analog
- Sequencer: 8 steps
- Connectors:
- Audio In: 3.5mm / 1/8 in. stereo mini-phone jack
- Output: 6.3mm / 1/4 in. stereo phone jack (unbalanced)
- Headphones: 3.5mm / 1/8 in. stereo mini-phone jack
- Sync In Jack: 3.5mm / 1/8 in. stereo mini-phone jack
- Maximum input level: 20V
- Sync Out Jack: 3.5mm / 1/8 in. stereo mini-phone jack
- Output level: 5V
- Power Supply:
- AA/LR6 alkaline battery (x6)
- AA nickel-metal hydride battery (x6)
- Optional AC adapter (DC: 9V)
- Battery Life: Approximately 14 hours (when using alkaline batteries)
- Dimensions (W x D x H) : 207 x 145 x 70mm/8.15 x 5.71 x 2.76 inches
- Weight: 735g / 1.62 lbs. (without batteries)
- Included items:
- AA alkaline batteries for verifying operation
- Owner's Manual
For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 631-390-6800

Korg MonoTribe Analogue Ribbon Synth

Analog Synth + Analog Rhythm + Step Sequencer = Analog Electribe. The Korg monotribe Analog Ribbon Station - bringing responsive realtime control to analog groove-making.

In a world seemingly ruled by digital, Korg created an analog sensation with the palm-sized monotron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer. Korg has once again raised the analog banner with the amazing monotribe Analog Ribbon Station; a form of synthesizer that packs an amazing array of features and technology into its compact body. Korg's monotribe shares the monotron's analog DNA, yet quickly delves deeper into the rich, organic, and often chaotic world of analog synthesis. In addition to analog synthesis, monotribe brings together intuitive ease of use and a three-part discrete analog rhythm section, plus the proven appeal of Electribe-style sequencing. Complete with a built-in speaker and battery power, monotribe is self-contained and highly portable.

True Analog Synthesis

The monotribe's sound engine uses technology old and modern, merging the powerful sound of analog synthesis with the dexterity and playability required in today's groove making environments. Analog technology is essential for fast and responsive control, and delivers the full sonic spectrum from warm and easy-going to full-throttle rampage.

Three-Part Analog Drums

The monotribe provides a three-part rhythm section powered by discrete analog circuitry; bass drum, snare, and hi-hat. These three sounds were the key elements in a generation of analog beat making, and are still in demand today. Use these powerful drum sounds to generate distinctive beats attainable only from the monotribe.

Electribe-Style Groove Creation

For over a decade, Korg's Electribe Series has served as the standard tools for dance music and DJ work, and has earned outstanding popularity, even appearing recently as top-selling iPad app. The fantastic step key interface lives on in monotribe, with a dedicated button for each of the eight steps. This allows realtime, hands-on step editing of not only the drum parts, but also for any synth part sequence played on the ribbon keyboard.

Active Step and Flux Mode

Active Step editing lets you remove or re-insert individual steps, creating short loop-like effects or off-beat patterns that weave in and out of complex rhythms. The step buttons provide this Active Step control during playback, and also provide an instant return to the original 8-step sequence if needed. Flux Mode allows the creation of sequenced synth parts that are not rigidly tied to the step grid, providing more musical versatility. The creation and morphing of edgy beats and stuttering rhythms has never been easier.

Multi-Mode Ribbon Keyboard

The ribbon controller keyboard provides three selectable playing modes/ranges. The chromatic mode (KEY) is ideal for playing melodies and bass lines, and stepping smoothly from note to note. Switch to the continuous mode (NARROW) for glides and bends - just as on the monotron. Also available is the wide continuous mode (WIDE) with a six-fold pitch range for dramatic synth zaps and screams. In addition, pressing the Gate Time button will allow the gate time to be sequenced as the ribbon controller keyboard is played.

Self-Tuning Analog

Analog synthesizers of yesteryear were prone to drift in pitch. But no more! The monotribe's self-tuning circuitry provides stable chromatic playability, and will not go out of tune. This self-tuning technology also means no warm-up time, no servicing for pitch calibration, no sensitivity to temperature changes - just the great sound of analog VCO.

Classic Analog Components - VCO, LFO, VCA

The VCO offers a choice between sawtooth, triangle and square wave. White noise can mixed in to the oscillator signal in any amount. The Octave selector covers a broad range, from deep bass to piercing lead-lines. Three EG (Envelope Generator) presets provide the VCA with impressive versatility and dexterity. The LFO can be patched to the VCO and/or the VCF, creating impressive dynamic effects. The Range switch allows the LFO to deliver stirring cyclic changes over tens of seconds (SLOW) or superfast (FAST) audio-range FM ringing. Switching the LFO Mode to the 1-shot setting allows the LFO behave as a second envelope generator - a truly powerful addition!

Vintage MS-10/MS-20 Filter

The monotribe features the same VCF circuit found on Korg's classic MS-10 and MS-20 analog semi-patchable synthesizers. Distinctively analog, this sharp and powerful filter adds dramatic change to the sound, imparting the uniquely memorable character of Korg's early analog synthesizers. Using the audio input, any audio source can be enhanced by passing through the filter section. Process an instrument, a voice, or a complete mix form CD or MP3 and create larger than life filter effects!

Sync Jacks: A Return to Modular

The monotribe provides both Sync In and Sync Out jacks, empowering multiple monotribe units to play and work together for a synchronized performance. Not just other monotribes, either. Audio line level pulses can trigger the Sync Input so the monotribe can be synchronized to a DAW system, for example. In addition, the polarity of the pulse waveform can be changed for both the input and output, so you can enjoy synchronized performance with a variety of equipment equipped with Sync connections.

On-The-Go Groove Making

Light, compact, and portable, monotribe is great on the go. Equipped with a built-in speaker and powered by six AA batteries, it is completely self-contained and ready to deliver hours of enjoyment wherever you take it.
(2 ratings)
Submitted October 25, 2011 by a customer from gmail.com
"No MIDI and I love it!"
If you like to get creative, this thing has serious lasting appeal. You'll keep picking it up again and again.
Fat analogue sound that is infinitely tweakable.
No, it doesn't have MIDI. But it does have a sync port and works well with the SyncKontrol software for iOS devices. Honestly, this little box feels kind of personal in a way that Yet-Another-Midi-Device doesn't.
Ease of Use
Turn it on and get busy. It's that easy.
Seems durable enough for a portable device.
The monotribe would be a steal if it were $189. But I still feel that its current price of $249 is a bit steep.
Manufacturer Support
They provide the schematics online. DIY til ya die.
The Wow Factor
When people see (and hear) you with this it always turns a few heads. It's definitely not another 'App'.
Musical Background:
Musical Style:
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No longer available at zZounds

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