MicroKorg (XL) vs Novation Mininova ? Inputs appreciated

Hi everyone, sorry to come up with a Non-MI-related topic, but the community here is the best I know as far as synths are concerned

Looking for a more compact solution to replace my 49 keys Midi keyboard, I realized I could go for one of these little synths : they have 37 micro keys which pretty much what i’m looking for + they have a vocoder (yummy) and make sounds on their own + they are easy to find as second hand bargains as they are very popular (at least the MicroKorg)…

I’m curious about your experiences with these two machines :slight_smile:

Thx in advance,


Keep in mind 4 example Akai Miniak,
even that I own a microkorg XL,
that might be the better deal. The Korg is anyway fun,
but the keys are “delicious”. ( Alesis Micron ?)

XL gets my vote. An excellent little piece of kit. Howard Scarr uses two.

I’m not so convinced by the Miniak, It has bigger keys and is more “plastic” sounding/looking… + I remember the Alesis Micron to be a bit of a pain to program…

Heh. I just watched a video on this last night.

I had a Micron for a little while. The Micron/Miniak have a more robust synth engine and nice (for digital) filters, but editing was a bit tedious, and the Micron buttons are super stiff tact switches with tiny buttons.

Sorry, no real opinion about the two synths under discussion.

The Miniak is a pain to program, though there are third party VST editors… It does however feel like a absolute tank when picked up… :slight_smile:

Havent tried a microkorg, so no experience there, I can however vouch for the Mininova’s sound engine being excellent - Although I would go with a ultranova, unless you have to have the small scale version… More epic knobs than the mininova…

I used a microkorg for a year while playing bass on a pop-rock band, didn’t remember if I edit a lot as a just need basic bass and leads sounds, they also can get easy in second hand market.

don’t know why but I really like more the layout of the Mininova, recently selled an Ultranova and like it a lot, great sounds and the vst was nice, but at the end doesn’t fit on my studio/workflow

@Fresh pants
I saw that video today as well a bunch of others and I guess I agree with the comment that says :

"MiniNova = Better Features

MicroKorg XL = Better Sound"

That’s just an impression from Youtube demos but overall the Microkorg seems more “organic” (at least for a VA) while the Mininova looks and sounds like a badass-wannabee with Dubstep presets.
Some features seem really nice indeed but they are a bit more expansive and harder to catch on the second hand market…

MicroKorg definitely has its share of garbage presets but I will say that the time I played a XL I had a ton of fun. I thought it sounded better than my old regular MicroKorg as well.

I just got a microSampler and depending on what exactly you have in mind it is also a VERY fun thing to use. Like a Casio SK-5 mixed with a late 80s workstation with its sequencer.

Thank you very much for bringing that up actually, I kind of miss something in my setup for computerless live looping. Also it is cheaper than the others. :slight_smile:

@dubtoms I got mine for less than $200USD eBay like new, and it’s great! Creating loops on the fly with your samples is easy and feels pretty natural to me, including resampling and chopping loops live, and there are some workarounds to be able to live loop external sources too, like this.

the built in effects are better than I expected, also!

there are loads of Patches available for the XL Patches

and XL patches

Thanks for sharing the video, looping from external sources would be a real plus.

It seems that I’m going for Korg. Unless someone says the Novation totally beats the XL.

And I think the MS would be nice because I’m told someone will soon be releasing a compact polyphonic VA synth kit hence I have to buy it instead of the MK right ?

That synth looks interesting to say the least…

Yep and this is another French project

Go France! Nice that there’s more creative stuff coming :slight_smile: Does the guy have other web presence than Twitter yet? Gonna go search…

Not much trace really apart from a few forum posts and an empty sounclound account :confused:

Hi all,

I registered a few days ago. First post for me here :wink:
I am the “French dude” dubtoms talked about (what a surprise someone talking about my project on MI forums…).

It’s true I have been very silent on this project because I didn’t want to announce anything too much in advance, I am currently only posting small stuff on my Twitter account.
I won’t go into too much details here because I definitely do not want to hijack this thread nor Olivier’s forum but I just wanted to say “hello” and thank dubtoms for posting about the synth project, he’s the first guy that showed some interest on this polysynth diy project.

To stay in the subject, I also have a Korg Microkorg and while this is a great little compact digital polysynth, I find it a pain in the ### to edit. And IMO the keyboard is not that good.


Welcome to the ShruthiVersum™!

@fcd72 Thanks Frank!