The synth is mainly used within a DAW/studio environment directly connected to a mixer/audio interface.
Build quality is of a high standard, with firm knobs, buttons and switches and a really nice front panel which feels robust. Mini keys are… mini keys, hate them or love them these keys are not bad. The screen is always a nice touch, values are shown depending on knob tweaks and of course it becomes an oscilloscope, which sometimes feels satisfying looking at it and sometimes it’s just helpful to “see” the sound. Presets are ok to get to know the synth and there are plenty of slots to make your own patches. The panel is pretty straight forward and all basic functions have a dedicated knob / switch.
The VCOs sound as they supposed to sound, but the digital oscillator adds really something to it. Some of the Korg oscillators sound really, really good plus user wavetables can be added. Still need to exploit more this part of the synth but there are lots of wavetables and effects available (both paid and free). The effects are ok, some of them are great sounding, some of them are just ok. All matter of taste. Again, the option to expand the engine with user effects is promising. Filter sounds nice but the overdrive is a bit limited (0, 50%, 100% overdrive values, nothing in between).
Modulations are also a bit limited but you can get decent results. Especially in accordance with the motion sequencer where you can add motion by recording motion movements. The sequencer is quite deep, intuitive and most of all fun to play with.
One setback, this synth is not able to properly communicate with a windows 7 pc. At least in my case Korg win7 drivers where not working properly, device not recognized no matter what, despite extensive troubleshooting. Fortunately XD works fine with a win10 pc. Just a note to those who use older Windows OS. There are some other issues for those who want to check, that hopefully can be overcome with a bit of help from the forums and YT. Speaking of pc connectivity, the librarian is quite useful to load and save patches, user wavetables and effects.
Despite this, the XD is a no-brainer synthesizer. Easy and fun to make patches, fair value, doesn't take too much space and most importantly great sounding, with the option to expand with more wavetables and effects.
+ Great sounding synth
+ Good value
+ Knob per function for basic controls
+ Powerful sequencer
+ Ability to load user wavetables and effects.
- Korg drivers can be tricky