Minilogue or Prophet 08 or Elektron

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
penguinpajamas
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:43 pm

Minilogue or Prophet 08 or Elektron

Post by penguinpajamas » Thu May 05, 2016 10:19 pm

Hey guys, so I'm looking at buying a new piece of music gear and I could use some input. Essentially, I can't choose between the Korg Minilogue, the Prophet 08, and some Elektron product. These are obviously completely different so I'll explain my reasoning for all of them.

I'm primarily looking for an analog polyphonic synth, but some of Elektron's products are enticing too.

Minilogue - Much cheaper than the others. I've heard great things about it, and I love the included oscilloscope. The sequencer seems nice and intuitive too.

Prophet 08 - From what I gather, this is a pretty epic synthesizer, but it's much more expensive than the Minilogue. Plus, another nice aspect is that I'd also be gaining a high-quality keyboard with aftertouch that I could use to control all of my stuff via midi.

Elektron - I've been fascinated with their products for years now but have never been willing to shell the money for them. People say that the learning curve is a bit too high with them, but that really appeals to me, as I would love to have something that offers massive amounts of functionality. I like the portability of them too, in that they function as a small DAW in some ways. Also, the Overbridge addition is really appealing to me. I'm leaning towards the RYTM out of the Elektron line, but I'd be curious as to whether anybody else would recommend something else by them instead.

I understand that the two polysynths are much different from the Elektron products but I'm interested in hearing what you guys think.

I'm leaning towards the Prophet 08 but I'm curious as to whether the Minilogue has any advantages over the Prophet 08 other than the significantly lower price.

Thanks!
- Charlie

doghouse
Posts: 1427
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Minilogue or Prophet 08 or Elektron

Post by doghouse » Thu May 05, 2016 11:10 pm

I had the Minilogue for a few weeks...yeah I was one of the lucky ones who got one of the first batch, Korg has yet to ship any more so dealers are talking nothing until July, in the USA anyway 8O

It's a very basic synth architecture, the only really surprising feature is the waveshaping on the VCOs. Only one EG and one LFO severely limits your modulation options. By comparison the Prophet has four LFOs, three EGs plus a 16x4 step sequencer you can use for modulation. I found the sound good but not outstanding...it won't wow you like a Moog or Oberheim.

Where the Minilogue starts getting interesting is all the modes. Most polysynths are kind of ho-hum as monosynths, this one is almost better in mono than poly! The motion sequencer (automation) is cool because you can see it on the scope. You can't edit it though...you can erase each of the four lanes if you screw up recording, but that's it.

The step sequencer doesn't play well with MIDI, but quite nicely with Volcas. It follows MIDI clock for tempo perfectly but has no concept of bar lines. Each patch has it's own sequence so if the sequencer is running, when swithcing patches you need really good timing to not get glitching. If you're used to grooveboxes and drum machines (or even clips in Live) that politely finish one pattern before starting the next, forget it. As a Live user, you will probably not find the step sequencer very useful.

The slider is used for pitch bending...pulling it down and to the right bends up which I found counterintuitive. It may also be mapped to any knob, but it cannot be scaled. That means the full range of the slider is always the full range of the knob it is mapped to.

Every control sends MIDI so generating automation in Live is super simple. It is limited to 7 bit resolution, so you will hear stepping with some automation.

There is no sustain pedal feature.

I thought it had no way to do legato triggering (really important when using it as a monosynth) but someone figured out that if you turn portamento on but set the glide time to 0, you get legato triggering. This is one of many nonintuitive things not mentioned in the manual.

Why did I sell mine so soon? It's a great $500 synth, but compared to more expensive analogs it's nothing special. Four voices don't allow real two handed playing (you really need 8 or more) and the MIDI implementation makes playing it from a master controller difficult...move your mod wheel and the Minilogue responds by changing the level of noise in the mixer, set on your sutain pedal and the pitch of one of the VCOs jumps a few octaves...and there's no way to change that.

If you have no analog at all I would choose it over any of the monosynths in it's price range...MS20, Bass Station II, miniBrute.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Minilogue or Prophet 08 or Elektron

Post by Stromkraft » Fri May 06, 2016 10:06 am

penguinpajamas wrote: I'm primarily looking for an analog polyphonic synth, but some of Elektron's products are enticing too.

I understand that the two polysynths are much different from the Elektron products but I'm interested in hearing what you guys think.
I'm not sure I'm following you completely as Elektron has the Analog Four which is an analog polyphonic synth. It sounds superb and is why you should consider it. With it in the mix there is very little processing you need to add to the tracks with it on in my experience.

While the Rytm has great sounds too, especially kicks. I don't feel the price gives as much advantage compared to software solutions like Tremor, Heartbeat and Battery. Not that these are necessarily similar in scope, but possibly close enough.

I recently sampled all the raw waveforms of a Rytm. This gives me very few of the advantages of a dedicated unit but is good enough for me.

The Minilogue also sounds great and sit really well in a mix with little effort, but I rather view it as a versatile very usable synthesizer that doesn't directly compare to the Prophet 08 nor the Rytm or Analog Four. I think the keys are a little small. OK, but still.

Personally I haven't heard the Prophet 08 yet, but the Tempest sounds great. Hopefully the MIDI of the Prophet isn't as buggy as the Tempest though.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Fri May 06, 2016 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Make some music!

login
Posts: 1821
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:41 am

Re: Minilogue or Prophet 08 or Elektron

Post by login » Fri May 06, 2016 2:48 pm

I recentlñy got an Analog keys, I am super happy with it, my favorite synth I have owned (Not that many but some).

It is very deep and sound very good to me, it has the ability to produce a wide range of sounds.

The only think I have struggled with is incorporating its sequencer with the ableton Workflow, why? Because I keep trying to make "scenes and it just doesnt work that way.

So I ended devloping ideas on the AK, exporting to audio and finish the song with live. Or sequencing the AK with Live.

doghouse
Posts: 1427
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Minilogue or Prophet 08 or Elektron

Post by doghouse » Sun May 08, 2016 5:03 pm

The Elektron synths are all tightly coupled to their sequencers. You can of course synch the sequencer to Live, but if you plan to sequence an Elektron from Live you're not getting full use of what it can do.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Minilogue or Prophet 08 or Elektron

Post by Stromkraft » Sun May 08, 2016 7:15 pm

doghouse wrote:The Elektron synths are all tightly coupled to their sequencers. You can of course synch the sequencer to Live, but if you plan to sequence an Elektron from Live you're not getting full use of what it can do.
I totally disagree with this notion. The main reason for Elektron is great sound. If that's what you want you do get the full value using any sequencer of choice or even none at all. One could just equally valid say unless you' re playing the Elektron from great keyboard or Kit you're not getting the full value of what the instrument can do.

But I do get it. You like the sequencer possibilities. Good observation there.
Make some music!

Post Reply