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Korg monotron Reviews

4.0 stars based on 6 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Bart Good

    The Korg monotron is a must-have for anyone who's interested in having a good time. I know that may sound like a funny statment, but I really mean it. The monotron has that much broad appeal. Put on some headphones and find yourself lost in analog synth fun for hours. Perfect for road trips, airports, or anywhere else you might find yourself inspired to make some noise.

  • Mike Harris

    A battery powered, true analog synth featuring the same filters used in the MS-20 and MS-10 synthesizer? Amazing! This is the ultimate gift for the music lover in your life!

  • Customer
    from June 6, 2011

    Impressive Synth Gadget!

    Really impressive item from Korg... there are many options with the cutoff filters and LFO modulation. For a really affordable price, the Monotron has a lot to offer. I recommend playing it with a Nintendo DS stylus for the keypad on the ribbon controller. Very good analog sound from this neat synth.

  • Dan Gallagher
    from Plattsburgh/ Montreal corridor September 26, 2010Music Background:
    lifelong synth fan

    Getting Mono is fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is one of the most fun pieces of gear I've even encountered!

    It generates sound via electronic means (rather than sampled means) and it's smaller than a cell phone. Many key enthusiasts desrcibe how a unit works "out of the box"- this wonderful piece of machinery was making Logan's Run/Devo: Hardcore/Axis: Bold As Love sounds in about ninety seconds. The Monotron makes oscilloscopes" dance" with a wonderful spectrum of old school blips, bleeps and sounds that transcend adjectives.

    This is a real analog synth- it is very similar to old modular synths hundreds of times larger in regards to tone (and learning curve). Key Cadets-please don't expect an Emersonian do-it-all machine. It's not really a 'doe ray mee' tool; rather, it's a great noisemaker that will provide you with rad Mark Mothersbaugh style sonic decorations. The painted keyboard is counter-intuitive- 'C' isn't 'C' unless you tweek very patiently.

    On that important note- it's hard to dial up a good chromatic scale on this wonder. I've seen home movies online of some cats playing "Amazing Grace" and Geddy's "Tom Sawyer" lead, but I must admit it takes a lot of patience if you'd like to use this melodically. In classic Korg fashion, incredible sounds come with tiny, tiny keys!

    You deserve this machine.

    Friends- we became keyboard players because of fun electronic noises- buy this and a holster so that you can serenade loved ones and cheering crowds anywhere!!!!!!!

  • Djembe Records
    from Dallas, TX September 22, 2010Music Background:
    Project Studio Engineer / Musician


    It's very small and a lot of fun! Sounds interesting and the filter is indeed great. It runs on two AAA cells and has 3.5 mm jacks for input (thru the filter) and output). The user interface is good. There will be a lot of "hacks" for this little device. The ribbon controller is small but fine. You are probably not going to use this to play specific notes, like a keyboard. But with some practice you could. It is made in Japan (not China) and seems to be well made. This and a DAW on your laptop and you can make some music! It's very innovative!

    joel in Dallas

  • Drew Wheeler
    from Indianapolis, IN March 16, 2012Music Background:
    Independent Composer/Producer

    Mostly awesome

    This thing is pretty slick, the day I got it I spent hours just playing with the built in oscillator. The filter is amazing, and I had a blast running some of my own audio through it.

    However there is a fairly prominent and ever-present white noise/hum which makes it a little less practical for studio use, for me anyway. Hopefully the Duo/Delay models will improve on this.

    Pretty nifty little gadget overall, and not outrageously priced.

  • Jim
    from Massachusetts January 9, 2012Music Background:
    Play out occasionally, mostly play at parties or for fun.

    Fun but not practical

    The "keyboard" is kinda silly. The notes are too close together and aren't a real scale. But the synth controls are kinda cool. It makes some interesting star wars R2D2 type noises.

    Haven't run a guitar or keyboard through it yet.

  • JB and the Groove
    from St. Louis, MO November 3, 2011Music Background:
    Pro musician

    A cool introduction to the world of analog synthesis

    The monotron is a fun way to discover how voltage controlled oscillators and filters work. The fun begins when you tune the pitch of the VCO, dial in the rate and intensity of the LFO, and experiment with the cutoff and peak resonance of the filter. I was surprised how accurate the ribbon keyboard is to A440 pitch...it takes very little time to find cool pitch effects and glissiandos that warp and warble your sounds. With the 1/8th inch input, you can apply the filter to any external source. The major drawback to this unit (besides the toyish look) is the small internal speaker...there is not enough size or amplification to hear most low-end sounds, requiring an external speaker for true monitoring. When first intitiating a sound, there is a slight attack, similar to the click artifact found on a Hammond, that can become slightly annoying when using the unit through an amplifier. For the money, this unit is a good starting point for people interested in analog synthesizers...for serious analog fanatics, bump yourself up to a Kaossilator.

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