I’ve recently decided that, when finances allow, I want to expand my musical equipment collection, and the first item I’d like to go for is a Korg Minilogue synthesizer.
For the best part of the last 13 years, I’ve focussed on more guitar-based music, with a raw, rock sound, but I’d like to get back into experimenting with some synth sounds again.
Around 1999, I bought a Roland MC-303 Groovebox that I enjoyed making electronic music on. However, when I moved into making more punk-style music in the early 2000s, I sold it.
Surprisingly, Roland no longer make any Grooveboxes, and there doesn’t seem to be much on the market that offers similar features, so I’ve decided to look at a straight-forward synthesizer, especially since I already have a decent drum machine.
Having mainly produced guitar-based rock music in recent years, I don’t have a fully integrated recording studio with MIDI sequencers. I use my Roland VS-2480 CD 24-track recorder as the centre of my studio, and use that to send a MIDI trigger signal and timing to my Alesis SR18 drum machine. The drums are already programmed as a song into the SR18, and the VS-2480 just triggers the song on the SR18 when I press play.
I really want a synth that can be programmed and triggered in the same way, so I was looking for one with an in-built sequencer. However, since most people tend to use separate sequencers or computer software nowadays, it’s hard to find a synthesizer with a decent in-built sequencer.
My old MC-303 Groovebox used to have a pattern sequencer, and those patterns could then be arranged into full songs that could be triggered at the press of a button (or MIDI).
The Korg Minilogue doesn’t have a song sequencer, but it does have a 16-step pattern sequencer. By triggering patterns via MIDI and recording them to the VS-2480, I’ll at least then be able to arrange them into songs on there. As long as I don’t have to play all the synth parts live whilst recording, I’ll be happy.
One of the other things I like about the Korg Minilogue is that it can be played in “chord mode”, where one key press will actually play a corresponding chord. Not being a skilled pianist or keyboard player, I’m not that good at playing chords, so it’s nice to be able to cheat with the one-key chords feature.
If all goes well with the Korg Minilogue, there’s always the possibility of expanding the electronic side of my studio at some point in the future, to include a sequencer that I can use to arrange everything prior to recording.
As I said at the start though, keen as I am to get my hands on a Korg Minilogue and start making music, I need to get the finances together first. I’ve seen great things about this synth, and I think I can do great things with it, so hopefully I’ll get my hands on one sooner rather than later.