There is a little keyboard-looking device out there, ladies and gentlemen, that goes by the name of Monotron, is made by KORG, and will either drive your parents absolutely up the wall or will play the part in your ultra-professional mobile electronic band like no product you’ve ever used before. The KORG Monotron is what’s called an analogue ribbon synthesizer and has just enough knobs, output ports, and volume to make you a musical masterpiece sit comfortably in your pocket. Watch as your humble narrator stumbles through the original electronic beat Popcorn and judge for yourself whether or not you want the cutest magic music machine in the world for yourself.
This classic KORG Monotron is one of three different models you can get, the others going by the same name but with the word Duo or Delay after them, Teach offers a slightly different experience and set of options, and I recommend getting all three if you’re a completist or simply want a different set of colors for whatever your daily musical occasion. As it stands here, we’ve got the original, black and white with a lovely red light along the Rate, showing us how fast our ins and outs will be going, a keyboard graphic across the one strip where our finger will be our guide to electro-sound-awesomeness or total nonsense.
What you’re actually using here is two things: one voltage-controlled oscillator and one voltage-controlled filter. Power comes from the two triple-A batteries you’ve got in the back of the device and jams sound out through either the built-in speaker or a jack in the back of the device which you can hook up to your headphones or a gigantic speaker, whatever you like! The sound is controlled then by the filter which brings you sounds so wacky that only your Chemical Brothers know for sure. And you can run audio IN as well through the AUX input jack – play your electric guitar while your partner flips it out with the switches, or turn the knobs yourself and let your sound be an exacting tweak of electro-zaps.
I’ve found myself inspired to make brand new sound combinations that I’m currently working into future intro videos for my own sites as well as here on SlashGear – we’ll see how plausible they seem in the coming weeks. Meanwhile do yourself a favor if you’re at all musically inclined and never had the cash to invest in a gigantic sound board that cost thousands of dollars. Here you can pick a professional-grade beast of simplicity for just $59.99 from KORG. Ask for one to stuff your stockings this holiday season, and pick up the other two when you find out which one you’re getting.
BONUS: between now and the 31st of December 2011, you can head down to the KORG deals page and get a [$20 rebate on any Monotron]. What a freaking deal!
Chris Burns is currently head editor for SlashGear and executive editor for Android Community. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he's responsible for editorial decisions made for the USA-based day-team of SG and AC and he uses an iPad 3 as a VCR. Follow him @ t_chrisburns and inside Google+ at http://chrisburns.co/+ for tech, gadget, and design news galore.