Welcome to our write up on the Korg Minilogue vs Korg Minilogue XD, updated for 2021!
I tested both of these synths for nearly 30+ hours, tried all of the presets, and even recorded some ideas for songs.
While both of these synths are solid, one really stood out.
In this review, I’ll cover:
Trust me, you don’t want to spend your hard earned money on the wrong synth. Always better to get it right the first time, eh? Else you will be fighting with the synth to get that sound that you really wanted.
So, is it worth the extra few hundred dollars? What has it got that the original lacks?
The results are quite clear. Let’s take a closer look at the two synths side by side.
|Sound Engine Type(s):||Hybrid (Analog and Digital)||Analog|
|Number of Keys:||37||37|
|Type of Keys:||Mini-key, velocity-sensitive||Slim-keys, velocity sensitive|
|Polyphony:||4 voices||4 voices|
|Number of Presets:||200 factory, 300 user||100 factory, 100 user|
|Oscillators||2 x Analog VCO (sawtooth, triangle, square), 1 x Digital (noise, vpm, user), 1 x LFO||2 x Analog VCO (square, triangle, sawtooth), 1 x LFO|
|Filters||1 x Sharp Two-pole||1x 2-/4-pole low pass filter|
|Effects||Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Delay, Reverb, Ensemble||Analog Drive distortion, Delay|
|Sequencer:||16-step polyphonic||16-step polyphonic|
|Audio Inputs:||1 x 1/8″ (sync in)||1 x 1/4″ TRS (audio in), 1 x 1/8″ (sync in)|
|Audio Outputs:||2 x 1/4″ (L/Mono, R), 1 x 1/8″ (sync out)||1 x 1/4″ TRS (audio out), 1 x 1/8″ (sync out)|
|Headphones:||1 x 1/4″||1 x 1/4″|
|USB:||1 x Type B||1 x Type B|
|Other||Micro Tuning, OLED oscilloscope screen, Joystick||Micro Tuning, OLED oscilloscope screen, Pitchbend|
|Power Supply:||9V DC power supply||9V DC power supply|
|Weight:||6.17 lbs.||6.17 lbs.|
The look and feel of Minilogue and Minilogue XD are very similar. The metal front and wooden back panel remain on the XD. The intuitive layout is still apparent and makes for an enjoyable experience. Both come with 37 slim-sized keys and the real-time oscilloscope display.
So it’s clear by looking at the two synths that a lot of the aesthetic features remain, as do some of the features. It’s underneath that we start to really see the difference between the two. The XD has the higher price tag and we feel the power and potential does justify the extra money.
The XD and original Mini both offer two analog oscillators. However, due to the addition of the Prologue’s digital multi-engine, the XD comes with an extra third oscillator. This opens up more potential with various Noise options and Variable Phase Modulation. The XD holds the power.
Furthermore, the XD has taken advantage of advancing technology and comes with a refined sequencer and a newly designed filter. Plus, the addition of the stereo-effects section is a big bonus and was definitely lacking in the original Minilogue. The XD is the natural progression of the Minilogue.
The Minilogue has enjoyed a lot of success since it was released in 2016. It’s widely regarded as one of the best analog synths around the $500 mark. Due to the analog sound engine and the polyphonic power, it’s a perfect synth for beginners who want to get some hands-on experience.
The reasons why the Minilogue has become so popular is down to the quality of the sound engine and onboard features. The twin VCOs and fully resonant filter are capable of creating some huge analog sounds. The eight different voice modes give you a huge range of potential.
The arpeggiator and step sequencer are both useful in their own right. The 100 presets and intuitive layout of the interface is a great starting point for any beginner looking to find their way in analog synthesis. Making music is made easy with the large knobs and easy to use controls.
The Korg Minilogue is a strong and sturdy unit, not only that, it looks really stylish as well. We’re not surprised that beginners and experienced users have often chosen this as their first analog synth. It’s a versatile instrument that can easily be used in the studio, at home or live on stage.
The Minilogue XD is the latest model of the ‘Logue series from Korg. Their design team decided to release this new and improved version and it turned out to be an excellent decision on their part. The XD is a hybrid beast and is built upon the success of the recent Mini and Mono synths.
Korg took all of the top features of the original Minilogue, the Monologue, and the Prologue, and created a hybrid beast. It’s packed to the seams with features and sonic potential. The XD is an analog, 4-voice polysynth with an extra load of digital power built in to create serious music.
The standout features include the third oscillator with various mod options. The filter has been specifically re-voiced and designed to give a more refined sound. The multi-stereo effects are a huge addition that gives the XD more versatility and makes it more welcoming to beginners.
The overall build is exactly what you would expect from Korg. They’ve got the design nailed down now. It looks stylish and it feels sturdy in your hands. The knobs and switches are durable and the keys, although slim, respond well and offer an enjoyable playing experience.
The Minilogue XD has taken all of the best parts of the Mini, Mono, and even the upmarket Prologue. By doing this, Korg has created a hybrid synth that is full of features which they know their customers love.
Korg has made the decision easier with its latest release. The XD is an all-in-one option that is packed full all of the best parts of the previous models!
A common dilemma was that users were torn between the Monologue and the original Minilogue. The two synths were similar in ways but they did have their own character with the sound and a few distinguishable features.
The original Minilogue is a tried and tested product. It’s often the synth of choice for beginners and experienced users looking for a mini analog instrument. It does have its limitations, but you can’t expect everything for a synth priced at around $500.
The main downside about the Mini is the lack of effects, especially for a polysynth. So, the arrival of the effects in the XD will be a huge deal breaker for many people. The XD is the new and improved Minilogue, so it’s naturally going to be the better synth of the two. The question comes down to if you have the budget to reach out for the XD?
Overall, the XD is a lot more versatile and gives the user a more rounded experience when it comes to analog synthesis. The effects and refined sound engine adds to the potential of the sounds you can create. The original Minilogue is no slouch though and it’s still an excellent synth.
Our opinion? The bottom line is that if your budget allows for the Minilogue XD, you should go for it. It brings together all the best features from Korg over the last couple of years. You will not be disappointed.
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