Anyone with even the remotest interest in electronic music will doubtless be familiar with the brand Korg. They are the quintessential brand name for anyone wanting to give their songs that instant 80’s feel and it has been responsible for the current revival of synth-bands that are now packing up the airwaves.
The only downside to these masterful instruments is that they are fairly bulky to carry from gig to gig and if you are even considering any on-stage acrobatics or dancing then you can forget unless your other job is a champion weight lifter…until now. The Korg Monotron is a pocket-sized synthesizer that syncs with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and allows you to smash out the beats whilst playing the instrument on your lap. So, not only does this mean that you no longer get back ache from schlepping from gig to gig, it means that you can create complex and original tunes whilst on the go, in your bedroom or on a train (remember your headphones though, don’t be that guy…).
The design of the keyboard is actually very similar to the older, much larger keyboards except in miniature form; the keyboard is a full octave which you can shift up or down depending on how high or low you want the pitch to be when you play a note and the simple set up of the 5 knobs is pretty intuitive to get to grips with. You have an oscillator level which produces the most weird and wonderful noises with as well as a built-in ribbon keyboard which add special effects to your music by sweeping finger gestures. My favourite aspect of this keyboard is that it links directly to iTune, which means that you can edit and add effects to your tunes, before posting it as a song on your playlists; get your friends round, drop your latest tune and see what they think of it!
The tricky part of playing the Monotron is picking out melodies, seeing as the keyboard is very small; there’s no easy way around this, although I found that using a stylus to tap your tunes outs helps somewhat, sort of like an electro-xylophone! Although it can plug in to the mains, the Korg also runs off batteries, which is excellent for travel; we dare you to link it up to a couple of iPads used as a set of decks and stage your very own impromptu electro show! All together now, “Here in my car…”
Product: Korg Monotron