2007 Winter NAMM Show: Korg introduced two new mixers, the ZERO4 Live Control Mixer and ZERO8 Live Control Console, designed for musicians incorporating real-time mixing, MIDI control and dynamic effects manipulation into their computer-based production and performance.
The mixers are an interesting new take on the idea of a computer-oriented mixer, offering a great deal of flexibility on how inputs are used, the role the mixer will play and even how each control and input is used.
The ZERO Live Control products act as an all-in-one “core station,” integrating a digital mixer, FireWire audio interface with support for up to 24-bit/192 kHz audio, MIDI control surface and effect processor in a single unit. A variety of input types allow the user to integrate their favorite tools with their laptop/computer, or digital/analog instruments via FireWire connection, delivering powerful and flexible performance options.
The Matrix Input Selector enables each channel to be switched between a variety of sources (turntable, CD, mic, audio from a computer, guitar), to act as a MIDI control surface, or as a combination MIDI controller + audio channel. All controller knobs feature two-color illumination that indicates whether the controller is processing analog or digital audio/MIDI, for precise control on stage or in dim lighting.
A selection of EQ types helps users optimize EQ responses and curves for a variety of musical styles, from corrective equalization to bold, creative sound-shaping. It includes emulations of various EQ characteristics from famous mixers, isolator functionality, and can even act as a filter. This is offered globally on the 4-channel ZERO4, and available per channel on the 8-channel ZERO8.
Each channel on the ZERO4 has a dedicated Insert effect (8 types). In addition, there’s a Master effect and a BPM-based loop sampler (one-shot mode also provided). The ZERO8 offers three effects processors, Insert (8 types), Send and Master (11 types each), all controlled via a Touch-display screen with KAOSS-style real-time manipulation.
A FireWire connection lets users process or mix audio sources from a PC in the digital domain — as well as transmit MIDI — all on a single cable. In FireWire audio + MIDI mode, a single channel can be used for audio processing such as EQ and level at the same time it’s being used for MIDI control.
As a control surface, the ZERO4 offers 32 knobs, four switches, 12 buttons and four sliders. The ZERO8 offers 64 knobs, 8 encoders, four switches, six buttons and eight sliders. Dedicated “ZERO Edit” software lets users freely assign MIDI messages to the faders, knobs, incremental/push encoders, buttons, toggle switches and X-Y pads.
Top quality, low impedance mic preamps were designed by Peter Watts, a veteran designer of professional mixers at UK-based Trident Corporation and at Mackie Designs in the USA. Each mixer features a durable, compact design that emphasizes mobility. The universal power supply (90V-260V) operates globally, and the internal ±18V power supply delivers plenty of headroom and high quality audio.
The Korg ZERO4 Live Control Mixer and ZERO8 Live Control Console will be available in May 2007 with pricing TBA.