Korg’s Monotron pocket synth has been getting a lot of buzz among hand held music fans, circuit benders, and analog synth enthusiasts. This updated take on the stylophone from days of old features a velocity controlled oscillator, a velocity controlled filter, and a low frequency oscillator that can mod either the pitch of the oscillator or the cutoff of the filter. If that sounds like a foreign language to you never fear, the Monotron is an easy and fun way to get familiar with what these basic circuits do. The “keyboard” is a ribbon controller that’s very responsive to touch with either your finger or a pointed object like the tip of a pen cap. The on board speaker and battery power make this unit a fun take anywhere noise maker. What excites synth fanatics most about this unit though is the eighth inch input that lets you pass any audio source through the Monotron’s filter. According to Korg they use the same filter in this unit that’s in their classic MS-20 synthesizer meaning you can add that classic filter to any sound.
Check out our video above to see the Monotron and it’s oscillators and filter in action in the street and in our warehouse. Many people have taken to moding and circuit bending their Monotrons. Check out the clip below to see Korg’s showcase of some Japanese benders fun with the Monotron: