Korg MonoTron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer

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Get classic analog filtering technology at a reasonable price with the Korg MonoTron synthesizer, a pint-sized synth that packs in big sound.
Analog synthesis returns, in the legendary Korg tradition
Korg is no newcomer to the joys of analog synthesis. Back in the 1970s, our astounding fully polyphonic PS-3000 Series and our affordable semi modular MS Series set the bar for creative musicians around the globe. Surely one of the most popular of Korg's analog synthesizers was the coveted MS-20, famous for its dynamic sound creation capabilities and its fat, snarly, expressive filter. Kept popular by dance and electronic artists, this legendary MS-20 filter came back to life using the Component Modeling Technology in Korg's Legacy software collections. Now you can experience the glorious, evocative MS-20 filter along with true analog synthesis in Korg's new monotron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer!!

Analog on the go!

Powered by two alkaline AAA batteries, the compact monotron can be held in one hand. Although small enough to easily carry with you, the amazing monotron is packed with Korg's legendary analog technology, generating thick and powerful sounds. Concentrating on the most important sound parameters, the controls have been streamlined as much as possible. The panel contains only five knobs and one switch. With this level of simplicity, now anyone can easily enjoy the world of analog synthesizers.


- Full-fledged, true analog synthesizer: VCO, VCF, LFO
- Inspiring, easy-to-play ribbon keyboard
- Intuitive, fun-to-tweak controls
- Features the same classic analog filter found in the legendary Korg read more
- Filter any external source using the audio input jack
- LFO can modulate either pitch of filter cutoff
- LFO Rate knob features cool LED visual indicator.
- Battery operation and palmtop size equals true portability
- Internal speaker/headphone jack lets you enjoy the sound anywhere - alone or with friends!

Ribbon controller keyboard offers easy expression

Borrowing the enjoyment of performing with a simple touch from Korg's wildly popular Kaoss products, the monotron's ribbon controller keyboard takes this ease of use even farther. Simple finger gestures can produce expressive effects such as vibrato and glide.

1VCO, 1VCF, 1LFO - Modular synthesis building blocks

The monotron's circuit is radically simple: one voltage-controlled oscillator, one voltage-controlled filter, and one low frequency oscillator. Since each knob directly applies a specific change to the sound, the process of sound creation is intuitive, and instantly understandable. The monotron encourages exploration and experimentation, and provides the joy of sonic creativity that's at the heart of analog synthesis.

The famous Korg filter

The monotron uses the same highly acclaimed VCF circuit as Korg's classic MS-10 and MS-20 semi modular synthesizers. Originally released over 30 years ago, these instruments are still coveted today for their aggressive, dynamic filters. The VCF Cutoff knob sets the frequency or tone of the filter; the VCF Peak knob adds emphasis. A powerful filter is an essential aspect of any analog synthesizer, applying dramatic tonal changes to the sound, and projecting an intense personality that will stand out in any live performance.

Semi modular satisfaction

Just as on the original MS-20, the monotron's filter can be "patched into," allowing any external audio source to be processed by the monotron's filter. The input jack (Aux input) built into the monotron's compact body inserts the Aux input into the signal path right before the VCF. This provides a great way to connect a Kaossilator, a keyboard, a guitar, a digital audio player or even an un-mixed track to the monotron and enjoy tone-bending filter effects.

Versatile LFO provides audio - and visual - excitement!

You can switch the LFO to control either the oscillator pitch or the filter cutoff frequency. Both LFO Rate and LFO Intensity knobs are provided. As you turn the LFO Rate knob - featuring an embedded LED - the speed of the modulation effect and the speed of the blinking LED will change in tandem. Turning this knob can add another level of impact to the sound.

Listen anywhere - alone or with friends

A miniature speaker is built into the monotron. Along with the battery operation and compact size, this feature allows you to enjoy the monotron anywhere, at any time. The ultimate in compactness, this system brings you new possibilities for performance. There's also a headphone output that you can use when creating sounds at home, for recording, or for connecting to an amplifier or PA system.
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- Audio Path: VCO, VCF, LFO
- Knobs: VCO Pitch; LFO Rate; LFO Intensity; VCF Cutoff; VCF Peak
- LFO Switch: Assignable to Oscillator Pitch or Filter Cutoff
- Controller: Ribbon Controller
- Volume: Headphone Volume
- Aux Input: 1/8-inch Stereo Jack
- Headphone Output: 1/8-inch Stereo Jack
- Speaker: Miniature internal; Disabled when headphones are in use.
- Power Supply: AAA Alkalines (x2)
- Dimensions: 120 mm (W) x 72 mm (D) x 28 mm (H) / 4.72" (W) x 2.83" (D) x 1.10" (H)
- Weight: 95g / 3.35 oz. (without batteries)
For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 631-390-6800
(13 ratings)
Submitted November 15, 2010 by a customer from marvindog.com
"Looks like a toy but doesn't sound like one."
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Don't let the little sound from the built-in speaker fool you. And don't let the abundance of screechy sound effect demos fool you either— it can be very musical in the right hands, from techno-style bass lines to Keith Emerson portamento-type leads.
Unbelievably thick sounds out of this little box. The only drawback is a bit of headphone amp noise when routed through proper sound gear.
Not a lot a features per se. But that's its charm.
Ease of Use
Twiddle a couple of knobs and you're going from deep bass drums to screeching ray guns to synth arps.
Seems a bit toyish, but that's its appeal. And like a toy, it's hard to put down.
Holy carp I can't believe how cheap this is. This probably has the highest fun-to-price ratio of any piece of gear in my studio.
Musical Background:
Active Musician
Musical Style:
Electro Jazz
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