Korg MicrKorg vs. MicroKorg XL: A Detailed Comparison (for 2019)

Turn Up the Volume and close eyes. Let the music take over the soul because where words leave off, music begins. Synthesizers are one such electrical music instruments that are capable of generating sound.

This sound may or may not be an imitation of the sound produced from traditional musical instruments like piano.

Microkorg and MicroKorg XL are analog modeling synthesizers that give vocoder functionality along with the real enjoyment of synthesis.

In simple words, Microkorg is a compressed synthesizer consisting of 37 keys. On the other hand, Microkorg XL is a faux-vintage synthesizer that has a stylish look.

Korg MicroKorg vs. MicroKorg XL

A Microkorg provides all the sample sound’s facility. It has four voices and boasts with the dual-oscillator DSP synthesis engine. Among a big selection of waveforms that it provides to its users, there are some traditional waveforms like sine, pulse, noise, and saw. It also supports additional waveforms like Cross, vox, etc.

Besides, a selection from around seventy waveforms, these instruments can give a broad range of timbers and sounds that can be modified in concurrent.

A Microkorg XL has a stylish look. The structure of the keyboard is attractive. Although the editing of sound provided by this instrument is better than that provided by the original Microkorg, it is a little bit inferior. It comes with many banks to create and store the many sounds and also provides the user’s fully programmable synthesizing facility.

Comparison of MicroKorg and MicroKorg XL

Besides the attractive looks, it is the quality keyboards that shall make them more attractive. In simple words, quality is all about the functionality, portability, usage, and simplicity. Here is a comparison between the two.

MicroKorg vs. MicroKorg XL

Portability

Portability plays an important role when it comes to playing outdoors. Minikorg is a bearer of synth-modeling technology that shares many features of the company’s well-respected MS2000 or MS 2000R. It arrives in cute packaging and can be operated with six AA batteries. Like most people prefer, this mini keyboard is light and compact that makes it a portable option especially when space is limited.

Microkorg XL weighs merely 2 kilograms. In case the goal is to make the smallest self-contained synth around.  Although an instrument of this size would also mean a challenge in playing the keyboard, it is a choice that most prefer when playing it outdoors. 

Keys

Besides the portability, the keyboard must meet certain minimum benchmarks for its performance. While the primary function of a keyboard is to produce sound, the keyboard of Microkorg is a typical 37-key C-C type that incorporates velocity response. However, it lacks aftertouch sensitivity. It comprises mini-keys that are often dismayed by serious players. The large knobs help to click around a questionable series of genre titles.

Microkorg XL has 37 small keys that are chunky and square that are referred to as ‘natural touch.’ The black notes are squeezed slightly to donate a fraction of the available width to their white brethren. The keyboard action is very light. Instead, it is lighter than the mini keys of many other synthesizers. However, if a player can adapt to this, there are three full octaves in a package.

Sound

The sound is a matter of taste. There are some good sounds in Microkorg. There are also some turkeys that can be overwritten. There aren’t many pads and programming some of new shall reveal slightly cold results. There is not enough edge in many of the lead sounds to cut the densest of the mixes. On the other hand, basses are superbly fat.

With 128 patches on board, it is hard to imagine any user getting lost on the Microkorg XL. New or old user can select from the two large knobs that are; Program Genre and Category. In total it has eight genres to offers and a full range of patches. 

Connectivity

Every synth may not be an ideal instrument and often its connectivity may help the user to make the right decision. Today’s synth normally uses the MIDI, CV, Bluetooth over MIDI connectivity. This is essential as the advanced connectivity interfaces easily with a computer or with other devices.

In Microkorg, there are no sockets for pedals and footswitches for connectivity. However, a glance reveals that it consists an output of 3.5mm for Headphones, 3.5 mm left or right line outputs, a trio of MIDI connectors; In, out, and thru, Two sets of audio inputs, a power switch, and a connector for external power supply.

Similar to the Microkorg, Microkorg XL does not have any pedal inputs. The remaining connections are simpler. All the audio connections are handled with a quarter-inch jack, stereo output jacks, an external input, and a headphone socket.

Adjacent to the same is a switch to determine whether XLR mic is the external source being used. There is also a USB socket that shall directly connect with the computer interface and MIDI that is catered for two sockets; In and Out.

Usage

Microkorg has essential usage features because of the top class synthesis engine it possesses. A mini-sized keyboard and vocoder are its biggest assets regarding usage. This striking feature makes synthesists feel that there is enough scope for flexibility and depth.

Microkorg XL has commonly used parameters, a quality layout, and construction. It has more features regarding sound handling. Due to the huge quantity of knobs and buttons, it makes it quite easy to play sounds through the digital audio workplace. All this makes it a better option regarding the usage.

Additional Features

While playing, both these synthesizers have numerous features to offer and benefit its users. They have different functionalities that may appear to be similar. Although both are virtual analog subtractive synthesizers, a Microkorg XL is more effective regarding features. However, a Microkorg original has some pleasing characteristics.

Here is a deeper look into the additional features of both the instruments.

Microkorg has a noise generator and two oscillators as the primary source of the sound. With 37 keys, it has velocity sensitive mini keyboard, an LED display of 8 sections, 1 line x 3 characters, and128 presets in number. To produce sound, it works on the analog modeling synthesis. It is equipped with Multi Timbral dual mode synthesizer program.

It has some great sound effects like three types delay (L/R, stereo, and cross), two band equalizer, and three types of modulation effects (chorus, ensemble, and phaser). There are six types of Arpeggiator. Filters include LFO x2, o virtual patch filter, EG x2, and multimode filters. It has two edit knobs and five additional knobs that help in programming. There is availability for four voices and four voices vocoder program.

Among facilities, Midi- In, Out, and Thru are the best. Besides, audio in 1 &2 input is there. An output for Headphones is available with MONO/L, R outputs, a Line or MIC level switch, an AC adapter of 600 mA, 9 V DC and a condenser microphone are the choicest blessings.

With a total weight of 4.85 lbs and a dimension of 20.63×9.02×2.8 (inches), it is capable of working on a power supply of DC 9 volts and also on 6 AA batteries.

MicroKorg XL is an instrument that comes with a 16 band vocoder and eight-voice synthesizer that is inbuilt. It consists of 17 algorithms for a wide range of effects and two master effects. It has better visibility that is a navigable backlit LCD. Pan and level are separately adaptable according to the band. Besides, there are MIDI- clock synchronizable delays. Using the editing software, the USB connection is provided for the MIDI.

MMI engine enables the user to produce sound, just as R3 and Radias do. Facilities include the provision of 128 sounds, Gooseneck microphone, and editing software that is compatible with Microkorg as well as MS-200 programs. It has PCM ROM for device simulation. Besides the various format shifts, there are hold buttons that are available to control voice pitch.

Who should buy a Microkorg synthesizer?

Microkorg is a common 37 keys C-C type keyboards that are composed of mini-keys. While the serious players often dismay it, non-players are also not happy either. Despite this, synthesists feel that there is plenty of scope for flexibility and depth.

It has a large number of positive aspects and ready to use microphones that are flexible. There are numerous synths and similar functionalities to Microkorg XL. For those who want to enjoy music outdoors, the battery option shall work well. Also, the affordable price attracts many new players.

Who should buy a Microkorg XL synthesizer?

It is quite perplexing that such a small and light keyboard has capabilities to produce a wide range of quality tones. It is simple to use and portable. Therefore, when its popularity is matched with Microkorg, it seems to be much better. The level of inputs is displayed in a simple graphical manner that is easy to understand and simple to adjust.

Especially popular among travelers, the vocoder is a major plus. In addition to this, there are useable microphones that produce highly intelligible and twisted results that are also out of the box. All this has made Microkorg XL the world’s best-selling synth since the past few years.

Final Words

Microkorg includes a vocoder. This helps to provide the facility to freeze and capture voice formats and then play them with the keyboard. Further, it shifts the pitch of the voice to make it like a female, male, or child.

It has a lot of functions. All the parameters are placed on the panel so that the functions are easily accessible. The buttons are illuminated by the LED lights. This makes them look beautiful and enlighted for easier program selection even in a dark place.

Microkorg XL comes with an updated set of rich vintage sounds and an endowed set of classical sounds. Compact in size, it runs on batteries. It can be carried out easily, and one can enjoy music everywhere. All this makes it the ‘Big Brother’ of Microkorg.

Both these synthesizers are designed well. As it satisfies the needs of the users, they attract all the music lovers and make them comfortable in the rein of music.

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Vijay
Hi, I'm Vijay. I love music, so I keep learning new musical instruments that help me to generate music that makes me feel good. Here, I provide everything you'll need to become a better musician than you were before.

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