Korg Monotribe Version 2

The Korg Monotribe is a pretty remarkable groove box: monophonic analog synthesizer – small drum machine – step sequencer … all in one.

Korg released a major update (Version 2) of the Monotribe Operating System a few months ago. The new features are very useful, even if they probably won’t “take your playing to a new dimension“, as Korg claims. A yellow overlay is available that maps out the new features found in the V2 upgrade, and a self-printable version of the overlay is for download at the Korg website.

Korg Monotribe Version 2

Korg Monotribe Version 2

Some of the new key features are:

  • The sequencer alloted to the synthesizer has been doubled to 16 steps
  • Active Step can now be individually specified for each part (allowing for poly rhythmical patterns)
  • Gate Time Hold function has been added
  • LFO now contains sample & hold
  • Also new is the Half Tempo function, which cuts the tempo in half when synchronizing to an external input from the SYNC IN jack
  • Daisy chain: linking two or more Monotribes. When sequence playback reaches step 8, the sequence will automatically stop and the next Monotribe unit will start playing. By loop-connecting the SYNC jacks, the playback can be kept cycling through multiple units!
Korg Monotribe Version 2

Korg Monotribe Version 2

Upgrade procedure is easy and pretty much old-school (just like the Monotribe itself). First, download the system data (sort of audio WAV file) from Korg’s website. Second, play back the file using a WAV file player (like Windows Media Player), directly in to the Monotribe’s SYNC IN jack. And that’s it.

(Warning: do not playback the system update file on any speaker or headphone system as this could damage the equipment and/or lead to hearing loss.)

Downloads and further information:

Korg Monotribe Version 2

Korg Monotribe Version 2

Attached are 4 Monotribe sound examples:

  • Sequence 1 Basic Demo shows the general sound character of the Monotribe
  • Sequence 2 Multiple Arpeggios is a layering of various Monotribe sequences, making it sound like multiple arpeggios
  • Sequence 3 Poly Rhythm is a drum-pattern with a simple poly rhythm (bass, snare and hi-hat have different pattern lengths)
  • Sequence 4 Sample & Hold starts with a sample & hold effect, and it impresses with a beautiful, rough bass sound
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“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman, Synthesizers.com, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Synthesizers.com, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.