The Microkorg XL is a true workhorse synth. It might be small, but of all the hardware synths I own it's the one I always go back to. I often use it with batteries as a portable MIDI controller for Reason or Mainstage, but I don't forget the powerful synthesizer engine that it has. Each timbre has two oscillators, two filters, two LFOs, three envelope generators, six modulation routes, an Equaliser and a noise shaper. There are two timbres, an arpeggiator, two effects units and a 16 band vocoder. Not bad for something that size.
Here's a patch I programmed that takes advantage of the arpeggiator and portamento functions. If you want to give it a try there are two things you need to know. Firstly, the Arp switch needs to be switched on. Secondly, the filter cutoff, gate time and portamento time can be controlled using the three assignable knobs. The arpeggiator is set to latch, so you can hold down a chord and then leave it and play another synth or make changes to the knobs.
The Mac/PC editor is very powerful, it lets you access every part of the synth very quickly. It also acts as a patch library, so you can swap your patches and back them up. The editor is free to download from the Korg website, along with the factory presets should you wish to restore them. It is a class compliant device in Mac OSX, so you need no extra drivers, but if you have a PC you will need the Korg USB driver.
|Microkorg XL Editor|