2009 Winter NAMM Show update: Korg announced that the M3 Expanded was getting an expanded sound library.
The M3 XPanded features updated internal PCM, plus 412 MB of free sample expansion. New piano and classic keyboard samples — including three acoustic pianos, 3-way tine and reed electric pianos and four velocity-switched clavs, plus vintage tape-playback strings and flutes — have been added to the internal ROM, along with 160 new Programs and 32 new Combinations, bringing the total to 1,215 (EDS) onboard Programs and 416 Combinations available for use.
Three sample expansion libraries have been included on a USB memory stick for loading into sample RAM.
The first two collections, EX-USB-PCM01/02 (128 MB each), adapt and customize the EXs3 “Brass and Woodwinds” sample library (first developed for Korg’s OASYS music workstation) for the M3’s EDS synthesis engine, delivering natural brass and woodwind sounds.
The third library, EX-USB-PCM03 features a stereo grand piano lavishly sampled at four velocities plus ambient damper resonance to realistically deliver the richness and natural spaciousness of a top-level full concert grand.
Finally, the recently released EX-USB-PCM04, featuring the original Stereo Piano PCM and Program data from the M3 Version 1 system is now available for download, bringing the PCM total to 668 MB*, over two and a half times that of the original M3. (*Loading more than one library at a time requires the addition of the optional EXB-M256 memory expansion).
An expanded Sequencer mode adds new screens and functions, including a much-requested Piano Roll edit screen which shows event data, such as notes, velocities and control changes, in an intuitive, graphical way. Touch-drag operation can now be used to edit, delete or create note events or control events.
A Track View page shows an overview of each track’s events and provides additional intuitive touch-drag operation. Full MIDI system exclusive data editing has also been added to the Sequencer mode, allowing users to easily record, view, control and edit every aspect of the M3’s synthesis, effects and mixing structures in the everyday parameter names, rather than complex hex coding.
The KARMA function, which generates unique, interactive phrases, has been expanded to Version 2.2, with many new features, including 1,024 locations for user GEs (Generated Effects) when used with exclusive KARMA M3 software from Karma-Lab. Users are now able to switch GEs in real time while KARMA is playing, with seamless transitions.
Other updated features include 700 effect presets voiced to provide instant production-ready settings, 149 newly added drum patterns and an improved TouchView user interface, which allows users to operate knobs or sliders by touch-drag operation onscreen, plus visual metering of timbre and track levels in Combi and Sequencer modes.
The new M3 XPanded upgrade is available for free in the box with all new M3 purchases, with a USB memory stick included containing the new OS and 640 MB of PCM (USB-PCM-04 is available for download only). The complete M3 XPanded upgrade is also available for download for existing users.