NAMM: Korg Debuts Kontrol49 Control Keyboard

At the recent 2005 Winter NAMM Show, Korg introduced the Kontrol49 MIDI Studio Controller, which combines 49 full-size keys with a unique array of pads, encoders, sliders and multiple displays for unprecedented control and expression. Designed for intuitive operation, it offers a new level of musical integration with digital audio workstations, MIDI modules and soft-synths. In addition, it comes bundled with a CD-ROM containing demo versions of many of today’s most popular software titles.

Korg Kontrol49

The Kontrol49 offers all the tools a computer musician needs for performance, recording and sound design. Its velocity-sensitive keys offer the same quality touch as Korg’s professional workstations and synthesizers. An abundant 40 assignable performance elements include traditional Pitch and Mod wheels, a Vector Joystick for simultaneous control of two separate parameters, plus a pair of assignable switches. Eight pairs of assignable sliders and rotary encoders feature individual color-coded backlit LCD displays that show each controller’s user-defined function name and parameter value. The main encoder adjacent to the master display can be used to send bank and tempo information. A unique native mode allows external software to set assignments and write custom text to all the displays, enabling the Kontrol49 to be fully integrated with the application. This mode is currently supported by the Korg Legacy Collection and Version 3.0 of Propellerhead’s Reason software.

16 illuminated velocity-sensitive trigger pads can perform a wide range of MIDI functions, from triggering loops and samples, selecting sounds, toggling or switching parameters and sending MIDI messages, to acting as transport controls for a computer-based sequencer. The pads can also be used to recall any of the 12 “scenes” (complete controller assignments) stored in the keyboard.

The back panel provides foot pedal and footswitch inputs for hands-free performance possibilities, along with a MIDI input and two MIDI outputs (one of which can be configured as a MIDI Thru). A USB port is supplied for direct computer connection and bus-powered operation when the included AC adapter is not being used. This arrangement also allows the Kontrol49 to function as a USB/MIDI interface.

Editor/librarian (Mac/PC) software is included for creating, editing and saving custom scenes, and it contains template scenes for many popular software titles. In addition, the free CD-ROM bundle offers demo versions of the acclaimed Korg Legacy Collection, Lounge Lizard EP-2 by Applied Acoustic Systems, Sample Tank 2 Korg Edition from I.K. Multimedia, Native Instruments VOKATOR and Reason 2.5 from Propellerhead Software.

More information is available at the Korg site.

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