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miniKorg 700 & 700s-K2

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Korg followed up on their miniKORG 700 single oscillator synthesizer with the 700S which added a second oscillator making it a two oscillator synthesizer.

The MiniKorg-700S is a very cool and simple monophonic analog keyboard from Korg. It is a dual-oscillator synth related to Korgs first monosynth, the single oscillator Mini-Korg-700.

Most of the controls are located in an odd place beneath the keyboard so as to make room above the keyboard for a sheet-music stand. Some controls have bizarre names like Bender, Traveler and Expand for the auto-bend, filter and envelope, respectively.


It has two ring modulators for some strange sounds and noises. Sometimes a decent bass sound for techno music can be achieved using the Mini-Korg's hi-pass and low-pass filters.

The two oscillators can be de-tuned and they offer triangle, sawtooth and square waveforms.

There are some strange analog effects built-in as well such as portamento, a rudimentary repeat-delay, auto-bend (bender), vibrato and Chorus and Noise waveforms.

This limited and quirky little synth is a nice collectors item but rarely seen or used anymore. It has relatively no performance controls like pitch/mod, this synth is quite stable and reliable.
It is still quite capable of generating a very analog bass sound, thud, thump, growl or squeal.
The wood side-panels and large primary colored knobs and sliders are a sure sign of Vintage status.

Taking many of the concepts from the 1970 organ prototype, they broke numerous unwritten rules that decreed that synths should have multiple oscillators, self-oscillating filters, and variable parameters for all the functions on the panel.
Instead, the 700 offered oscillator settings such as 'chorus I' and 'chorus II' (which produced rich, swirling tones), and its strange percussion/singing controls created envelopes quite unlike those of the competition.
But the little synth's greatest strength was its 'Traveler', a low-pass/high-pass filter section that proved to be extremely intuitive and manageable.
Sure, there were limitations, but to concentrate on these was to miss the point entirely. The 700 was stable, it was affordable and, most important of all, it sounded great, eventually numbering players as respected as Kitaro and Vangelis among its users.

Major Product Launches

Minikorg 700S monophonic synth (Univox K2).
Keio Electronic soon had worldwide distribution for the Korg 700, and its success enabled the company to develop an improved version, the 700S. Superficially similar to the 700, this was far more powerful, thanks to a second control panel called the 'Effects Section'.
This added a second oscillator, white and pink noise sources, filter modulation (which Keio Electronic called Travel Vibrato) and a 'Sustain Long' switch that multiplied the envelope times by a factor of 10.
Most impressively, the Effects Section added three modes of ring modulation. Two of these tracked the keyboard, and were ideal for aggressive lead and bass sounds, whereas the third did not track, so each key produced a different timbre.

It has been used by The Cure, Coma-Teens, Kitaro, Human League, N-Trance, Vangelis, the Normal, Stevie Wonder, The Cars and Paul Hardcastle.

Polyphony - Monophonic
Oscillators - 2 VCOs (sawtooth triangle, square)
LFO - Yes
Effects - 3 Ring modulators, Portamento, auto-bender, Vibrato, Repeat, Chorus, Noise
Filter - High-pass and Low-pass filters
Keyboard - 37 keys
Memory - None
Control - None
Date Produced - 1974

The controls mounted in the front is cool, for use with organs or to put on top of a piano or other gear.
These have a unique sound and good features
for it's time.. way before midi came out..and came out around the same time as minimoog.