You are now looking for an affordable analog synth; Korg Minilogue and Roland JD Xi are indeed very attractive choices. Korg Minilogue is awesome because it offers great sound quality and it is equipped with an excellent interface. And it is a four-voice polyphonic synth. In its price range, you can’t really find an alternative with the capability. On the other hand, Roland JD Xi is an awesome synth because it is a hybrid model featuring both analog and digital parts. While the analog synth is monophonic, the digital synth boasts 129-note polyphony. Continue reading below for more information about Korg Minilogue vs Roland JD Xi.
Korg Minilogue Overview
Korg Minilogue features a silver aluminum front panel that is quite thick and incredibly sturdy. The front panel has a thickness of about 2 mm and is anodized to enhance the toughness. It is also sand blasted, which creates a nice contour and texture. The chassis is made from lightweight plastic, but the chassis is quite durable, too. Meanwhile, the wooden back panel is made from the Pyinkado wood, which is known to be very strong. Overall, this synth’s future/retro vibe is cool.
At first, the slim keys may feel awkward. But they are actually quite durable. Once you get used to the keys, it is all good. Above the keyboard, you can find 14 metal paddle switches and 29 plastic dials that send or receive MIDI signals. The switches and dials have internal metal shafts which not only enhance the durability but also enable you to swap the black dials with some blingy caps.
Unlike most synths, Korg Minilogue does not have pitch and mod wheels. It features a sprung angled slider instead. You can assign it to 29 destinations, including the pitchbend, LFO, and filter. Unfortunately, it will be tricky to flip quickly between pitch and mod tasks.
On the right side of the control panel, there is an OLED display that is for displaying the parameter value, patch name, and some other controls. But you will not need to see the screen all the time because all the settings are easily accessible via the control panel. Korg Minilogue has a mono output, a mono output that can be run through the effects and filters, USB-MIDI, DIN MIDI, and Korg Sync I/O for interfacing with other compatible gear.
Korg Minilogue Performance
Korg Minilogue is powered by eight analog oscillators, two of which per voice. Every oscillator has saw, square, and triangle eaves. In the Mono Mode, there is a square wave sub-oscillator sitting about one or two octave under the Osc 1. All of the oscillators sound full and rich. You can hear the sweet difference that tells you these are real VCOs and not the controlled-sounding DCOs. Well, some people think that Korg Minilogue sounds thin, but you can actually make the sound fuller and deeper by adjusting the waves. Each wave possesses a continuous variable and modulatable shape. This synth is seriously powerful and versatile.
Korg Minilogue comes with a white noise oscillator that is very handy for creating snares and sound effects. There is also a single LFO that is capable of audio-rate modulation and MIDI sync. Sound-making with this synth is extremely enjoyable, thanks to the powerful interface which has a dial for every function. You can have an immediate access to every setting and function. The workflow is very smooth and convenient.
Roland JD Xi Overview
Perhaps the first difference between Korg Minilogue vs Roland JD Xi that people notice is that Roland JD Xi comes with pitch and mod wheels, which are placed on the left of the keyboard. Overall, Roland JD Xi appears classy and elegant. The color scheme is red and black, with metallic red sides and a glossy front panel. It has 15 sturdy knobs which send and receive MIDI signals. By the way, there is an LCD screen which is very easy and convenient to read. You will use the LCD screen quite often for controlling the parameters and accessing some of the functions. This synth requires quite a lot of cursor/button presses because there are functions and settings only accessible through the menus.
The keys feel balanced and fast. There is a large category dial which you use to select the sound type. Roland JD XI is equipped with an XLR gooseneck mic socket for vocal duties. The USB port supports DAW connection, and the synth will act as a 16-bit/44kHz audio/MIDI interface. There are two output jacks, a headphone output, and a mono input which is switchable between line and Hi-Z modes.
Roland JD Xi Performance
In choosing between Korg Minilogue vs Roland JD Xi, know that the Roland synth is four-part multitimbral with one monophonic analog part, two digital parts, and a drum part. They all have separate MIDI channels and corresponding sequencer tracks. In total, there are 64 analog presets, 256 digital presets, and 32 drum kits. The user can save up to 256 custom-made presets.
Since the digital parts are each 64-note polyphonic, Roland JD Xi is essentially a 128-note polyphonic synth. That’s an amazing feature. The sound quality is exceptional. The character is warm, hi-fi, and engaging. The analog engine is also great; it sounds modern yet unmistakably Roland.
There are only a few real-time knobs, but the manufacturer has chosen them wisely so that you can have access to the filter, LFO, pulse width, effect/amp levels, and variable amp envelope. Although you can’t detune the main analog oscillator from the sub-oscillator, the PWM is available via the LFO for adding movement or detuning.
Roland JD Xi Downsides
There are just a few downsides abut Roland JD Xi. As mentioned above, the synth may require quite a lot of button presses because not all of the functions have a dial on the control panel. In addition, the digital parts cannot be routed to the analog filter, except when sequencing. You also can’t layer the digital parts with the analog synth.
Korg Minilogue Vs Roland JD Xi
|Korg Minilogue||Roland JD Xi|
|Key features||- Flexible, powerful four-voice analog synthesizer - Fully programmable, with 200 program memories (100 sounds included)||- Warm and rich analog soundsCrytal clear digital timbresVocoder and effectsEasy programming|
|Customer Ratings*||4.4 out of 5 stars||4.6 out of 5 stars|
|Best Deal*||Save Money Please click here||Save Money Please click here|
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Both Korg Minilogue vs Roland JD Xi synths are great, and you can’t really go wrong with either. Korg Minilogue is the way to go if you prefer immediate access to the functions using the switches and dials. However, Roland JD Xi would be more suitable if you need the connectivity options, vocoder, or analog/digital sound engines.