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Korg Minilogue vs Yamaha Reface CS

Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:30 am
by Grumblepig
My girlfriend is looking for a second synth. She's got a Prophet 5, wants something to compliment/augment. She's pretty much set on a poly synth.

I'm totally smitten with the CS - I've got a CP, which I love dearly. The CS seems to be a bit like a Juno 6... doesn't do a million things, but makes incredibly gorgeous and synthy synth sounds. We tried one out in recently and both loved it.

Meanwhile, there's the Minilogue. I wasn't so thrilled the first time I played one in a shop, but after watching Marc Doty's vids, I was keen to give the synth a second chance. I was much more comfortable making my way around the panel, having seen the vids, and I spent a fair while tweaking sounds. Far more impressed this time around. It's really an enjoyable machine to mess and mess with.

Whichever synth she gets, it'd most likely be for recording, though it may get dragged onstage as well. The CS doesn't have onboard patch memory, so maybe that's a factor.

The prices between the two synths isn't that different, and both are pretty charming instruments.

Very curious for feedback from any of you. Thanks!

Re: Korg Minilogue vs Yamaha Reface CS

Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:34 pm
by meatballfulton
I owned the Minilogue for a few weeks but sold it. The 4-voice poly was extremely restricting, although if she uses a P5 she might not mind. The single best feature is the waveshaping, the rest is pretty generic and the lack of modulation options was disappointing. The MIDI implementaion is bizarre but since a P5 has no MIDI at all that may not be an issue.

I have not seen a CS in the flesh yet so can't comment beyond the fact that I don't see the rationale of modern synths with no patch memory.

I guess my take would be I wouldn't buy either one. Not sure that helps much :oops:

Re: Korg Minilogue vs Yamaha Reface CS

Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:01 pm
by Rick N Boogie
and I owned the CS Reface for almost a year, but recently sold it. For the good, I love the feel of those mini keys, and the synth engine is vast and sounds fantastic. Lack of presets is a drag, and the "shared" EG is a pain. Otherwise, I would agree with Meatball and say neither would be my choice as well.

Re: Korg Minilogue vs Yamaha Reface CS

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:42 am
by Grumblepig
Thanks for the input, guys. I went back to the music store yesterday, had another bash on the Minilogue. I wasn't as keen this time, though I admit I was also simply burned out on looking at/for synths! (Plus, Just Music has the Minilogue set up surrounded by weird/creepy red LEDs, making for a strange and slightly uncomfortable experience.)

Still, I'm charmed and intrigued by the MInilogue, same for the CS. But with so many/too many/not enough synths in my world already, no way of knowing if there's a right next one. And given that (ostensibly!) this is for my girlfriend I have to pretend to remain objective. I can hop on the U-Bahn anytime and check out a million synths in Berlin, but she's in a small town in California without instant access. As it was Mr. Doty's rave that turned me on to the Minilogue, I've certainly become a fan of YouTube demos, but hands-on in a shop or studio is still the best way to know.

If you have any other suggestions, please send. She's also curious about the Deep Mind, though sounds like that's closer to $1000 than these $500+/- guys...

Re: Korg Minilogue vs Yamaha Reface CS

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:02 pm
by Kenneth
Since she already has a legendary vintage analog, maybe you ought to look at some more obscure digital options as a way to achieve a broader sonic palette; get access to some sounds the Prophet may not be capable of. There are some lovely synthesizers in the first crop of virtual analogs that came out in the 90s and early 00s. I have the Yamaha AN1x and swear by it. It can do convincing analog strings; bass; brass; leads; pads; etc, but what I really value it for is its ability to go beyond the normal analog stuff and make really strange, complex, and evolving digital sounds. It is capable of 2 operator FM (which sounds very musical. Not glitchy.), and also has a very flexible oscillator sync function and ring modulation. Out of the 40+ synths I have owned in my life, the AN1x is my favorite. Absolutely lovely sound. There's also the MS-2000 and the JP-8000,and while you won't be breaking any sonic ground with those, they do sound fantastic and are both extremely rewarding and satisfying musical experiences in their own right. These synths are all available for considerably less than what they're worth in my opinion.

Re: Korg Minilogue vs Yamaha Reface CS

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:24 pm
by Grumblepig
Thanks for the Yamaha tip. She did end up ordering the Minilogue and has been cranking away with it since. She and I are both pretty stuck-in analogue types. I had a DX-7 wayyyy back, then a D-50 and neither of those really did it for me. Saying that, I just acquired a DSI Desktop Evolver and can hang with some of the digital sounds inside, so there's always hope!