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MiniNova vs. MicroKorg?


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I am GASsing for a VA mini synth with a vocoder - the MiniNova and MicroKorg both seem to fit the bill - both are the same price.

 

I am mainly looking for a nice hardware vocoder and an affordable entry-level VA synth.

 

Any opinions from those who have tried both? Is the vocoder much better on one? Any other synth I should be looking at?

 

Thanks guys! :)

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I've not had hands on with either of these but am gassing bad for the UltraNova. Before that one came along the Microkorg was nearly mine a couple times, but rational thought won out every time. I've watched a ton of U-Toob on all of these...Novation's probably got the nod for my tastes.
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I've not had hands on with either of these but am gassing bad for the UltraNova. Before that one came along the Microkorg was nearly mine a couple times, but rational thought won out every time. I've watched a ton of U-Toob on all of these...Novation's probably got the nod for my tastes.

 

The UltraNova is really nice, too. Same engine in both, just different keys and controllers. Any particular reason(s) why you prefer the Novation?

 

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When I was VA shopping a couple of years ago, I compared the MK with an UltraNova. Going in I thought the Nova would win out - on paper it seemed so much better. May be I didn't quite figure it out on the store, but I found the MicroKorg a lot more intuitive and fun.

 

It's all personal taste in the end. You probably can't go wrong with either.

My blog

Nord Electro 2 | microKorg | Casiotone MT-65 | Hammond XB-2 | Korg Electribe-R ER-1

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Any other synth I should be looking at?

 

Yes, (if used) this:

 

http://www.sonicftp.com/news/images/korg_radias.jpg

 

I've had mine for several years now. It's a keeper. :laugh:

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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FWIW, I think the vocoder in the Microkorg is way better (in any Microkorg, including the xl).

 

Can you expand on this a little? The vocoder will be a big part of what I use one of these for... What makes Korg vocoder so much better? As always, thanks guys for all your tips!

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I don't really know what makes it sound better, to my ears it just does. It sounds warmer, fuller and funkier. Dunno why, but I always thought the Korgs had the best vocoders.

 

Cool, thanks.... I am going to hit up the local stores.. hopefully I will find some to demo. I will bring some phones and pay close attention to the differences in the vocoders.

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I've not had hands on with either of these but am gassing bad for the UltraNova. Before that one came along the Microkorg was nearly mine a couple times, but rational thought won out every time. I've watched a ton of U-Toob on all of these...Novation's probably got the nod for my tastes.

 

The UltraNova is really nice, too. Same engine in both, just different keys and controllers. Any particular reason(s) why you prefer the Novation?

Mostly the color and backlighting, I guess. Yes, I'm shallow like that sometimes. Also, I've had a couple of Korgs and still twiddle knobs on an MS2000r. Novation is something new to me and may not have the "better" tones or "best" interface...maybe it is just more of a departure from what I already have? Your scenario may be completely different.

How'd your trip to the store turn out? Are you too busy with a new toy to post? :D

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I don't really know what makes it sound better, to my ears it just does. It sounds warmer, fuller and funkier.

 

Yep, the MicroKorg has that high end roll-off, to give it a vintage vibe. The presets sound good and punchy. The Novas are a little more full spectrum and fizzy. You may be able to dial in that mid-rangy vibe with some eq, though it means getting under the hood. You are choosing between fun and fun. :thu:

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the input, guys. I ended up going with the MiniNova. Trust me, I hemmed and hawed over this as they are both great little synths.. but here's what made me choose the MiniNova over the microKorg or the microKorg XL+:

 

- Mini Nova has more polyphony

 

- Animate and arp buttons on the MiniNova. Very fun and easy to tweak sounds and patterns in real-time.

 

- Looks. Yeah I know - it really is about the sound, but the MiniNova is really... well.. SEXY! :blush: The back light pitch and mod wheels and the pads change colors based on their current function. It just looks cool.

 

- Price: So the MiniNova is usually $499, versus $399 for the MK and $499 for the MK XL. But...... Novation has a $100 instant rebate until the end of the month. Also came with a Gator gig bag as part of the package.

 

I did give up a better vocoder on the Korg, but the MiniNova's is really good and also has a vocal tune feature that is really fun to play with. Also, the Korg can be powered by AA's.. but you can power the MiniNova with a USB battery pack.

 

So how does it sound? Wow. This thing is a little screamer. Very big sounds and a nice effects unit. Lots of options for routing external audio into the filters, effects, vocoder, etc.

 

Looking forward to exploring this guy. Very easy to haul from room to room and take with. :)

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Congratulations, Scott! (That's code for "I'm quite jealous but really happy for you.")

 

I saw that very tempting price on the mininova this week and can hardly contain myself. A certain online distributor has 24 month interest free financing to boot. I'm gonna go spin some knobs on my MS2000r to try and shake the urge to buy.

 

Be sure to let us know how much fun you have. And for Pete's sake, please let us know of any shortcomings or "wish it did this".

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:laugh:

 

Well the mini keys take some getting used to.. aftertouch of course would be nice.. but I knew going in what I was getting.

 

Hey, if it makes you feel better I will probably only have it for a couple more months. When my son gets back from his summer vacation he will probably steal it from me. He will not be able to resist the vocoder.

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I like the Keyboard review of the Korg MicroX, which called it a module with a courtesy keyboard. (2 octaves.) That's the basic reality of any mini-instrument. I wouldn't buy a hardware synth that didn't come with a software editor now. I appreciate their inclusion, but its also a company's understandable hedge against losing money building a bigger, pricier hardware synth whose market success is less assured. If minikeys and no aftertouch bother you, pick your main playing 'board as a controller. A lot of great features like AT appear that way which can't be accessed from the host hardware. I played a Roland Juno-1 as a slave unit and was able to tap velocity sensing readily. Besides, I always sit and work up 2 or 3 sound sets for any new synth. Its the best way to learn your way around and bring out the hidden strengths. Bundled editors are a welcome leap past the 80s shoeboxes full of floppies. Just close your eyes and remember that you now have a Nova pedigree before ya. That's a great place to be.

 

 

 

"Weaponized kindness" is my new
    ambient drone band name.
       ~ Rob Neschizza

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Just close your eyes and remember that you now have a Nova pedigree before ya. That's a great place to be.

 

Indeed it is! :) Very cool I can use UltraNova patches with the Mini.. I have already downloaded the UN presets and the data editor. :thu:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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