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Where To Find It
Call number: Music Tools
- 1 monotribe
- 6 rechargeable AA batteries (installed)
- 1 power supply plug (optional)
How To Use
To power up the Monotribe first turn the LEVEL knob and RHYTHM knob all the way to the left, then PRESS AND HOLD the power button located on the rear of the unit. The step LEDs will illuminate indicating the remaining battery life. You may now turn the LEVEL knob and RHYTHM knob an appropriate amount to the right. Press a key on the ribbon controller to sound a note. To power down the Monotribe first turn the LEVEL knob and RHYTHM knob all the way to the left, then PRESS AND HOLD the power button until all lights have gone out. For full instructions please refer to the instruction manual under Documentation.
Analog Synth + Analog Rhythm + Step Sequencer = Analog Electribe
In a world seemingly ruled by digital, Korg created an analog sensation with the palm-sized monotron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer. Korg once again takes up the analog banner with the amazing monotribe Analog Ribbon Station; a synthesizer that packs an amazing array of features and technology into its compact body. Korg’s monotribe shares the monotron’s analog DNA, yet quickly delves deeper into the rich, organic, and often chaotic world of analog synthesis. In addition to analog synthesis, monotribe brings together intuitive ease of use and a three-part discrete analog rhythm section, plus the proven appeal of Electribe-style sequencing. Complete with built-in speakers and battery power, monotribe is self-contained and highly portable, able to deliver your ideas with style and personality.
- The powerful sound of true analog synthesis
- 3-part analog drums, using discrete analog circuitry
- Sample and Hold (S&H) function
- Popular Electribe-style sequencing
- Active Step can be specified for each part and Flux features for real time dynamic loop
- Drum Roll and Gate Time Hold function
- Advanced multi-function ribbon keyboard; Chromatic, Continuous, & Wide modes
- Self-tuning provides a stable pitch for accurate chromatic playability
- Selectable oscillator waveform, noise generator, and versatile LFO
- Uses the same VCF (filter) circuit as the classic MS-10/MS-20
- Sync In & Out jacks allow synchronized integration with multiple units
- Connected sequences allow multiple monotribe units to play in rotation
- Battery operation, built-in speaker and compact size deliver on the go groove making
- Analog signal to control monotribe from the keyboard of a KORG KingKORG Synthesizer or an analog device equipped with a CV/Gate output
True Analog Synthesis
The monotribe’s sound engine uses technology old and new, merging the powerful sound of analog synthesis with the dexterity and playability required in today’s groove making environments. Analog technology is essential for fast and responsive control, delivering the full sonic spectrum from warm and easy going to full-throttle rampage.
Classic Analog Components – VCO, LFO, VCA
The VCO offers a choice between sawtooth, triangle and square waves. White noise can be mixed into the oscillator signal in any amount desired. The Octave selector covers a broad range, from deep bass to piercing lead-lines. Three EG (Envelope Generator) presets provide the VCA with impressive versatility and dexterity. The LFO can be patched to the VCO and/or the VCF, creating impressive dynamic effects. The Range switch allows the LFO to deliver stirring cyclic changes over tens of seconds (SLOW) or superfast (FAST) audio-range FM ringing. Switching the LFO Mode to the 1-shot setting allows the LFO behave as a second envelope generator – a truly powerful addition!
Vintage MS-10/MS-20 Filter
The monotribe features the same VCF circuit that can be found on Korg's classic MS-10 and MS-20 analog semi-patchable synthesizers. Distinctively analog, this sharp and powerful filter adds dramatic change to the sound, imparting the uniquely memorable character of Korg’s early analog synthesizers. Using the audio input, any audio source can be enhanced by passing through the filter section. Process an instrument, a voice, or a complete mix from CD or MP3 and create larger than life filter effects!
Three-Part Analog Drums
The monotribe provides a three-part rhythm section powered by discrete analog circuitry; bass drum, snare, and hi-hat. These three sounds were the key elements in a generation of analog beat making, and are still in demand today. Use these powerful drum sounds to generate distinctive beats attainable only from the monotribe.
Electribe Style Groove Creation
For over a decade, Korg's Electribe Series has served as the standard tools for dance music and DJ work, and it has earned outstanding popularity, even appearing recently as a top selling iPad app. The fantastic step key interface lives on in the monotribe, with a dedicated button for each of the eight steps. This allows real time, hands-on step editing of the drum parts and also for any synth part sequence played on the ribbon keyboard.
Active Step and Flux Mode
Active Step editing lets you remove or re-insert individual steps, creating short loop-like effects or off-beat patterns that weave in and out of complex rhythms. The step buttons provide this Active Step control during playback, and also provide an instant return to the original 8-step sequence if needed. Flux Mode allows the creation of sequenced synth parts that are not rigidly tied to the step grid, providing more musical versatility. The creation and morphing of edgy beats and stuttering rhythms have never been easier.
16-Step Synth parts
As with drum parts, the synth part now provides timing information in between the steps of a sequence, allowing a pattern to achieve a total of 16 steps.
Synth Part Volume Automation
Volume Automation allows the synth volume to be recorded during playback to create more detailed sequences. The left side of the ribbon controller keyboard decreases the volume, and the right side increases it. This Volume Automation can even be controlled if Flux mode is on.
Set individual Active Steps for each Part
The Active Step function lets you specify which steps are played or jumped when the step sequencer is playing back. Now, the Active Step can be set individually for each of the SYNTH, BD, SD, and HH parts. By specifying a different number of steps for each part, you can create complex polyrhythms.
Sample & Hold (S & H) added to the LFO
Unlike traditional LFO waveshapes that provide a constantly changing signal, the Sample & Hold feature takes a “sample” of the LFO signal and holds that level for a specific duration of time. The results are the highly popular and slightly random stepped-filter effects so famously used in analog synthesizers. By using noise as the input signal, the monotribe version 2 lets you create effects that change in a distinctively random manner.
The S&H function is indispensable for creating mysterious analog synth sound effects. The RATE knob adjusts the frequency of change, and the INT. knob adjusts the depth of change.
Drum Roll capability
A roll can now be added to the desired drum part. The speed of the roll can be controlled using the ribbon controller keyboard; moving toward the right will increase the number of strikes. You can also record the drum roll by using the sequencer to intuitively create subtle and dynamic drum patterns.
Linked Sequences play multiple monotribes in rotation
The Link Sequence feature is a sync method that vastly expands the scope of the monotribe, to deliver even more fun. 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 keep cycling through multiple units – in true modular fashion!
Analog synthesizers of yesteryear were prone to drift in pitch. But no more! The monotribe’s self-tuning circuitry provides stable chromatic playability, and will not go out of tune. This self-tuning technology also means no warm-up time, no servicing for pitch calibration, and no sensitivity to temperature changes – just the great sound of an analog VCO.
Multi-Mode Ribbon Keyboard
The ribbon controller keyboard provides three selectable playing modes/ranges. The chromatic mode (KEY) is ideal for playing melodies and bass lines, and stepping smoothly from note to note. Switch to the continuous mode (NARROW) for glides and bends - just as on the monotron. Also available is the wide continuous mode (WIDE) with a six-fold pitch range for dramatic synth zaps and screams. In addition, pressing the Gate Time button will allow the gate time to be sequenced as the ribbon controller keyboard is played.
The Gate Time Hold function lets you use the ribbon controller keyboard to play and record new pitch information while retaining the gate times that are recorded in the sequencer. The Half Tempo function cuts the tempo in half when synchronizing to an external input from the SYNC IN jack. In addition, there are now four shortcut keys that instantly initialize various types of sequence data or active step settings.
Sync Jacks: A Return To Modular
The monotribe provides both Sync In and Sync Out jacks, empowering multiple monotribe units to play and work together for a synchronized performance. Not just other monotribes either. Audio line level pulses can trigger the Sync Input so that the monotribe can be synchronized to a DAW system, for example. In addition, the polarity of the pulse waveform can be changed for both the input and output, so you can enjoy synchronized performances with a variety of equipment with Sync connections.
Sync In Jack supports CV/Gate Input
The Sync In jack allows the monotribe to be controlled via the keyboard of a KORG KingKORG, or any analog device that has a CV/Gate Output jack.
- Keyboard: Ribbon controller keyboard
- Sound Generator: Analog synthesis
- VCO: Waveshape (Saw, Triangle, Square,); Octave Range (64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2,); Noise Generator (Amount); Key Range (Wide, Narrow, Key)
- VCF: 12 dB/Oct Low Pass Filter; Cutoff (Frequency); Peak (Resonance)
- VCA: Gain knob: EG Select (Decay, Gate, Attack)
- LFO: Rate (Speed); Intensity (Depth); Target Switch (VCO, VCF, VCO+VCF); Mode Switch (Fast, Slow, 1-Shot); Shape (Saw, Triangle, Square, Sample&Hold)
- Drums: 3 parts, discrete analog, drum roll
- Sequencer: 16 steps; Volume Automation capability added to the synth part; Active Step can be set for each part; Link Sequence function
- Audio Input: 3.5mm / 1/8 inch stereo mini-phone jack
- Audio Output: 6.3mm / 1/4 inch stereo phone jack (unbalanced)
- Headphones: 3.5mm / 1/8 inch stereo mini-phone jack
- Sync In Jack: 3.5mm / 1/8 inch stereo mini-phone jack
- Maximum Input Level: 20v
- Sync Out Jack: 3.5mm / 1/8 inch stereo mini-phone jack
- Output Level: 5v
- Power Supply: AA/LR6 alkaline battery (x6); AA nickel-metal hydride battery (x6); Optional AC adapter (DC: 9V)
View Instructions (PDF)
Fun, and not hard to get started with (though a look at the manual will probably help!).
(Also, note: if you also check out the Bliptronic 5000, and have a couple cables with male miniplug cables on both ends, you can try to sync the two. I could only get it to work well with the monotron set at an extremely low tempo and the Bliptronic at one of its highest. But the results could be kinda fun.)
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