In this Golden Age of synthesizers, we’ve seen amazing re-creations of vintage beasts, as well as modules and boxes that make analog accessible. This year’s standout is the Korg minilogue, a 4-voice polysynth that impressed us with its affordability and mobility on top of a unique signature sound and feature-set. Instead of imitating something from the past, Korg built the minilogue largely from scratch, with new circuitry and an eye toward both studio production and performance.
Each of the minilogue’s four voices has two oscillators, an analog filter, and flexible LFOs and modulation. The eight voice-allocation modes—including Poly, Duo, Unison, Mono, Chord, and Arp modes—help you wield those voices in powerful ways. Moreover, the instrument includes a 16-step sequencer that records notes and controller moves. If the 100 dance-oriented presets aren’t enough, it’s easy to create and save your own to the 100 user-memory slots. The Korg minilogue is fun all around and a real breakthrough in the world of analog keys.