Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Korg Monotribe

It's pretty easy to find Roland 303's in Tokyo. Only problem is they cost an arm and a leg. While there are some very good plugins that emulate them quite well, such as Audiorealism ABL2, and the "classic" Propellerhead, Rebirth for iPad, there's something cool about the tactile feel of a physical box and real knobs.

When I was at the Yokohama Music Fair, Korg showed off it's Korg Monotribe. It's a very old school analog ribbon synth, and rudimentary drum machine. I didn't get much of a chance to play with it there.

When I tried out a 606, I also tested the Monotribe. With the same spirit of the 303, I had a LOT of fun making up random bass lines, and playing around with the filter. At that time I didn't get either, but I did get that 606. Unfortunately the Korg was gone.

Checking online one day I found one for sale at a reasonable price at Sound Fiz in Takadanobaba (Astroboy's "birthplace). I hadn't been to the store before but it wasn't too far away. It was my day off too.

It uses a proprietary adapter so I am stuck with batteries for the time being. Keeping with the old school vibe, there is no midi, but it's possible to get access to using a midikit which I bought from here.

I haven't had a chance to install it yet, but from other reports it greatly enhances the unit above its seemingly toy status. Unfortunately he has retired making them for the time being. Another option is the Miditribe, but it was costing a bit more.

While it doesn't sound like a 303, I can't help but thinking if Korg can make an affordable analog bass machine, why can't Roland reissue a true analog 303?