Two of the top Korg analog synths lined up side by side, which do you go for? We have the latest release in the shape of the Minilogue XD and the high-end Prologue which has proven to be a big hit since its release in 2018. A tough decision for those looking to part with their money and who want some of that top-rated Korg synthesis action. The Minilogue XD has borrowed some of the design and features from the Prologue itself so the big question is this… is the Prologue worth the extra money now that the XD has arrived?
We can see that both synths are packed with features and even the experienced synth players will find longevity in each of these instruments. The one underlying difference between the two is the size. The Prologue features a full keyboard and depending on how and where you use your synth could be key when making your final decision between these two excellent Korg synthesizers. Let’s take a closer look at the two synths side by side and see how they match up.
|Sound Engine Type(s):||Hybrid (Analog and Digital)||Hybrid (Analog and Digital)|
|Number of Keys:||37||61|
|Type of Keys:||Mini-key, velocity-sensitive||Natural touch synth action, Velocity-sensitive|
|Polyphony:||4 voices||16 voices|
|Number of Presets:||200 factory, 300 user||250 factory, 250 user|
|Oscillators||2 x Analog VCO (sawtooth, triangle, square), 1 x Digital (noise, vpm, user), 1 x LFO||2 x Analog VCO (sawtooth, triangle, square), 1 x Digital FM/wavetable VCO, 1 x LFO|
|Filters||1 x Sharp Two-pole||1 x Sharp Two-pole|
|Effects||Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Delay, Reverb, Ensemble||Chorus, Flange, Phase, Ensemble, Delay, Reverb|
|Audio Inputs:||1 x 1/8″ (sync in)||2 x 1/4″ (L/mono, R)|
|Audio Outputs:||2 x 1/4″ (L/Mono, R), 1 x 1/8″ (sync out)||1 x 1/4″ (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|
|Power Supply:||9V DC power supply||Standard IEC AC cable|
|Weight:||6.17 lbs.||20.06 lbs.|
The Prologue is one of Korg’s high-end analog synths so you can expect the very best in this design. The spec screams out power and customization meaning that this synth will give you everything you can think of and more. The Prologue is a creative’s dream – if you can afford it.
The Prologue is more expensive but what do you get for that extra cost? It has 16 voices with three oscillators per voice (two analog and one digital) and four voice modes. This gives you lots of potential for experimenting and you have 500 storage spaces in which to save your work.
The Minilogue XD is a 4-voice polyphonic synth with three oscillators per voice (two analog, one digital). So yes, fewer voices, but the three oscillator-per-voice design feature has been carried over from the Prologue, giving you that superior sound control for a fraction of the price.
The Prologue is perfectly designed for studio work. The sonic potential and power available from the circuitry design and on-board features is more than enough for most producers. It’s almost too advanced for beginners and home studios but if you have the room and budget then why not?
The latest mini-sized synth design from Korg is a culmination of previous successes. All of the much-loved features from the Minilogue, Monologue, and Prologue have been combined to create a synth that is not only powerful but one that comes with a great price tag as well.
The hybrid, 4-voice synthesizer contains two analog oscillators with an extra digital oscillator available as well. The digital effects engine puts a lot of sonic possibility into reach with the likes of modulation, delay, and reverb to hand and the filter design has a drive circuit for added bite.
A polyphonic step-sequencer is on-board along with a motion sequencer giving you the ability to either program step sequences and/or use the real-time recording. The oscilloscope and visual motion display is a big hit with recent Korg designs and it reappears again on the Minilogue XD.
Korg has tried to pile in as many features as possible whilst keeping the price tag low. We think they’ve done a great job. Plus, the fact that you’ve got 23 presets programmed by Aphex Twin and Dorian Concept means you’ve got some amazing sounds to work with straight away.
The full size (61-key) Prologue synthesizer is a music producers dream. The 16-voice design gives you everything you need to start layering complex sounds. Polyphonic, chord, unison, and monophonic voice modes are available to keep you entertained and your creativity flowing.
You’ve got the three oscillators per voice (two analog and one digital for FM/Wavetable) and a dual effects section with reverb, delay, and modulation at your fingertips. The analog circuitry has been designed to keep the highs rich and low-ends powerful with no compromise at all.
With 500 storage spaces you can save as many ideas and recall them instantly. The Prologue is built to enhance your workflow and it would make a perfect addition in any studio. The Sync I/O allows you to expand and connect to Volca modules, drum machines, and other Korg gear.
The Korg Prologue is a high-end synth packed full of features. However, it’s the sound that defines the true value of a synthesizer and the Prologue does not disappoint. It’s capable of dialing in a wide range of music styles and the level of customization is truly remarkable.
Before the Minilogue XD arrived we would have always pointed towards the Prologue if money was no object, however, Korg’s announcement at the start of 2019 brought us the new and improved Minilogue XD. It grabbed our attention. The XD is a winning combination of all of the previous ‘Logue series, pulling together all of the best bits from each of the original Minilogue, Monologue, and Prologue. It’s a hybrid polyphonic synth that oozes style and versatility. All of the popular features are included and that Korg sound is there in all its glory.
The Prologue, most would say, is the professional option. The full-sized keyboard is a lot more playable and there is a lot more hands-on control available. However, the fact that that the Minilogue XD has taken some of the popular features from the Prologue makes deciding between the two a difficult decision. One big feature lacking in the Prologue is the sequencer so if this is something you require then you’ll be needing to connect up to an external sequencer. Not a huge issue but it’s an additional cost. The XD comes with the step sequencer and motion sequencer, they both work well and this could be the deciding factor for many of you.
The great thing that Korg is introducing to their most recent designs is the open platform option. The open SDK and programming environment means that you add extra “plugin” sounds from Korg and third-party developers. This opens up an even bigger world of sonic potential. So, as you can see, both the XD and Prologue are high-spec synths. The XD is extremely versatile and comes with that classic analog Korg tone. The Prologue is less versatile but what it does give you is raw power through 16 voices and a full-sized, playable keyboard.
At the end of the day, apart from the sequencer, the number of voices available, and the keyboard size, these two synths are quite similar. It’s the price tag that pulls us towards the Minilogue XD and that’s not just because it’s cheaper, but for most people, the versatility of the XD is going to be a lot more useful. Portable, loaded with features, quality presets, and a very reasonable price tag when you read through the full spec list. The Prologue is a great synth and will sit nicely in a fully-working studio but this is not what most of us are after. The Minilogue XD is a serious yet intuitive piece of kit that both beginners and experienced users will get a lot of enjoyment out of. The XD will take Korg into the next decade in a very strong position. We are looking forward to seeing how they improve on both of these great synths over the next few years. But for now, we are siding with the Minilogue XD for its versatility and great price.