Korg Kronos Synthesizer Workstation

2011 NAMM Show: Hispasonic, a Spanish music site, has published details on the new Korg Kronos synthesizer workstation.

Here’s the Googlish version:

We have the first data and images of Kronos, the new workstation Korg. The Japanese brand has pulled the house out the window, bringing to market a synth with more than 12 GB SSD hard disk samples, 9 synthesis engines together, 16 units of effects and KARMA technology.

Features in detail

There are 9 synthesis engines on a single workstation, available in 61, 76 and 88 keys.

The engines are:

  • SGX-1 Premium Piano: German piano with more than 4 GB in samples. 8 layers and the choice of opening angle of the tail of the piano.
  • MDS EP-1 Electric Piano, electric pianos (with sound “signature” by George Duke, Herbie Hancock Rodan Rudess or others)
  • Tonewheel CX-3 Organ: integrating technology famed CX-3 in the Kronos. Drawbars controllable from its faders. Leslie Posilibidad to adjust the joystick, from speed to the position you just rotate.
  • MS20-EX Legacy Analog Collection : emulaciรณn del sinte vintage Korg MS20.ย 
  • EX Polysix Legacy Analog Collection: Polysix emulation.
  • AL-1 Analog Synthesizer
  • NOD-7 Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer
  • STR-1 Plucked String Synthesizer: a new generation of modeling. You can choose from the material of the rope, until the tension, the execution (if pick, rub with your finger …)
  • HD-1 High Definition Synthesizer: A portion of all types of samples.

We’ll bring you the full details on the new Korg Kronos synth workstation once they are officially announced.

66 thoughts on “Korg Kronos Synthesizer Workstation

  1. it is amazing, honestly!!!! I have heard Kronos and there is nothing that can touch it in way of sound and spec-unless there are more announcements at NAMM today from other companies

  2. It'll have to either be really cheap, or REALLY amazing to be something i'd consider. Workstations. I have a DAW. Why do i need a keyboard workstation? I prepared to be amazed and…. i was hyperbolised instead.

  3. Until we hear it, we really will just be speculating.

    Nothing wrong with bringing Oasys tech to a lower price point. Yamaha have upgunned the Motif and Roland has discontinued the Fantom G (to release the Fantom XYZ -900 at this NAMM?). This Kronos could be an Uber-Synth.

    The big question is- will Rodan Rudess attack Tokyo?

  4. Solid State Drive FTW O_o
    I'm not into strings but the Plucked Strings Synthesizer sounds like a really unique idea if it ends up being integrated as well as it's claimed. And will be very interested to hear how this AL-1 analog synth goes, pity it doesn't pack a set of russian tubes like the Electribe EMX/ESX or Triton Extreme ๐Ÿ™

  5. It'd be awesome if they catered to those who weren't trust fund kiddies ๐Ÿ™ unfortunately Korg are quite renowned for having their flagship items of kit costing more than GDP of a small african nation…

  6. Looks like they're going retro with the look, it kinda harkens back to the old black M1 but sexified with what looks like an Oasys like touch panel and wayyyy more pots, sliders and knobs ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Seems there comes a New Generation of Keyboards and Synthesizers
    based on the fast and large SSD Drives, I think this is the beginning of another Revolution !!!
    I will wait until Yamaha bring's out the next machine,
    but maybe that could take quite a while !?

  8. there is nothing new here, except the ssd. Korg just pulled a Roland… integrating their last 10 years of tech into a product and claiming that it is revolutionary. It might be nice to have a mini-oasys with a built-in legacy collection, but that's all it is.

    In an age where I can get the ms-20 on my ipad AND buy a computer workstation with better quality sound (most likely for less money), i'm not amazed. Korg, thanks for wasting my damn time.

  9. Oops, I pressed thumbs down accidentaly. ๐Ÿ™ SRY. I meant to agree with you.

    Miss the pads though(perhaps I could add midi pads though), and I guess I prepared too hard to be amazed, as nothing is really new, it sounds very familiar in (rompler)places, and I was hoping something I couldn't have dreamed of…well Still, limited amount of reseach/developement might make this more affordably, than we were expecting, which would raise this into instabuy -class. I would take loan immediately and go for Kronos.

    I am very intrigued.

  10. I dont see what the amazement was suppose to be? okay its an upgrade way overdue, its like they're trying to hang in there with all the daw competition, how about more midi tracks and a visiual step sequencer, korg its a progress but not in the right direction…….not gonna be a huge success specially with this economy…….hahaha who needs 9 synth engines when you have a billion softsound/samplers out there, they should have focused on userability, like a better sequencer……i'll rather get a motif xf

  11. errrmm….I just thought, that it was especially Motif didn't have anything interesting to offer, after Kronos came at the same price but with couple of tons of more features.

    Normal Workstation priced and updated Oasys, not a thing that needed preparation to be amazed?

  12. However, I do like the fact they are putting some nice VA models alongside some more traditional instrument modelling like piano and strings.

    If the rest of the keyboard has some awesome knobtopia controllerism happening to edit all of these things it could be good. I'm expecting touchscreen menu hell though.

  13. As an Oasys owner, I can tell you that the Kronos sounds like it offers far more power than the Oasys had at less than half the price. More onboard wave data, more built-in soft synths, more voices, more everything.

    If this keyboard sounds as good as it looks, it may be time for my Oasys to retire.

  14. Yes, Korg have definitely pulled the house out of the window with this one. Plus, I have always been an enormous fan of Leslie Posilibidad.

  15. I'm hoping that the internal 30 gig HD is expandable as it was on the Triton Studio. I replaced the Triton Studio's 5 gig hard drive with a 320 gig hard drive. Because of the huge amount of sequencing I turn sequences in to 2 track audio files, delete the midi events and stream the audio files off the hard drive. I'm hoping the Kronos will allow one to play a sequence while streaming audio file off the internal HD or an external hard drive. If so, I'm in..definitely in.

  16. would've been better to come out with something someone needs – wants – or can afford –

    something to compete with moog voyager, even the roland sh-01 or mopho –

    how about an MS3000

    and i still don't understand why korg, roland, kurzweil, or yamaha don't make one of these with 37 or 49 keys

  17. To me it looks more like the wavestation. Very simple and sleek. Seems like all the same controls you see upon the Oasys except only smaller. Why they would skimp on the pads though???? no idea.

  18. True. now here is the big question…

    No doubt the Oasys can handle the new Piano and Electric Piano models… but will they offer it to the owners? And how about updating the Oasys to utilize an SSD to draw the sounds from in this manner? Should be just an OS update yes?

  19. I see the differences… the ability to draw sounds straight from the SSD and the 2 new models… Piano and Electric Piano. But… You would think they could update the Oasys to do the same yes?

  20. i think that korg is probably playing a game with itself and loosing at it.Game changing ?
    not one interesting sound, so many endorsements from the usual boring fellows and for what ?
    4gb of piano, so ?
    Also i find these touch displays ridiculous if what they actually depict is bad renderings of older synths.

  21. 'Some' people DO indeed play live. 'They' take analogue synths out and connect things together via MIDI and CV. They get to manipulate sounds in real time and make each gig a different experience for the audience…..

    My point was that the Kronos is another workstation – a 'Do everything fairly well' tool that, given the availability of much cheaper software to do the same thing, isn't going to win any prizes for originality or value for money. The Kronos might mean that some people don't need to take out some much kit to do the same thing, but it's a Walmart solution – everything under one roof – which is practical, but not inspiring. A company like Korg could be innovating and producing much more tactile, technically and aurally challenging and original instruments. This isn't anything new, it's a consolidation of existing technology. And a not very amazing one in my opinion.

  22. Yeah its a workstation alright … with just a bunch of VSTs ,,, boooo!
    at least it beats the motif and fantom out of the water.,..

  23. I’ve looked on the “Arms” race with the top three synths with some bewilderment. Then I also realize something. Korg along with its colleagues in the arms race aren’t in the business of creating soft synths,vsti’s,RTAS or AU. They’re in the business of making Synth/Workstations folks.

    With that unknown fact out of the way,let’s focus on what they’ve created/reannimated. The Korg Kronos is no doubt a serious piece of kit. There’s no Synth/workstation hardware based machine which offers the magnitude of what machine like this offers.

    What does this mean for composers like myself ? Well for one the chance to actually play a real life synth with real keys,spitting out nice polished sounds ready to go into Cubase 5 (yes I do Steinberg) nice and hot.

    All my editing is done within the machine, I work with its limits,I actually become creative, instead on depending on over bloated flash in the pan sampled soft synth/vsti’s.

    A couple composers I chat with now and then actually use hardware synths like these everyday. Hans Zimmer still uses his modulars and CS-80.

    It would be great if I saw cross synth programing capabilities (ie the filter of the AN-1 ported into the LFO of the MOD-7 etc). But since its not the indicated case so what, work with what you’ve got. I think its still good within the current cloned softsynth/sampled instrument market to find a synth you can sit and play and appreciate the work which has gone into making, anyone with a good enough mike can sample and edit and spit out “DVD’s claiming to be the film composers’ saviour on a tight deadline.

    Wheter or not it’s a regurgitation of the OASYS hardly matters when you turn it on,program,or find that one unique sound which lends that subtle flair of electronic paint on the canvas of your blacnk DAW as the deadline draws near, and palms of producers get sweaty.

    Kudos to Korg again.

  24. I have been looking for an "all in one" board to gig with instead of bringing multiple boards to the stage. Having a CX-1 engine along with some serious piano, ep, strings, horns and orchestral instruments all in one package is pretty sweet. I don't trust computers and software live and neither do many of my friends who play out. Quite frankly, I don't need all of the Frankenstein sounds from the analogue synths but could have fun fooling around with them. In the past, a board might have a good grand but a weak Rhodes and a terrible Hammond. Finding a good board which which has a solid Hammond, ep's and pianos in one package is sweet.. Heretofore, you really had to have a separate Hammond clone if you were doing classic rock in any serious way.

  25. They should have released it in silver like a Trinity rather than in black like an M1.

    They should have inclined the display so that you can read it when the instrument lies in the bottom tier of a keyboard stand.

  26. They should have inclined the display. The black is ugly. I need pads on my board and drumming on a touch screen is asking to break it. Ton's of hype then regurgitated technologies. I'm a Korg fan but I would by an Oasis or an M3 even a Karma instead of this.

  27. Here another Oasys owner, if you look carefully inside the specifications on both machines you will see that the Oasys still offers more voices on the VA then Kronos does. If you're not a live player I would wait until Korg offers a software update to bring the Oasys to the Kronos level. It doesn't make sense to sell the Oasys for a Kronos right now… you would loose too much…

  28. I CAN TELL NONE OF YOU GIG!, THIS WILL BE A COOL RIG FOR LIVE WORK,I USE FANTOM G AT THE MO BUT CAN SEE THIS IS A LOT BETTER.

    mIKE

  29. I'm in the market for the next big thang and have been looking in the range. This is the first I've heard of it. It's not due out unitl April/May- at least that's true for the 76/88 key versions. I've been trying to compare with similarly-priced outfitted w/s. The Fantom G8 hasn't been getting great reviews. The Yamaha XF8 has been getting great reviews. I like to record and play live. I've always been impressed with the guitar sounds and nuance-impressions. I used to have a Triton- as a matter of fact- I've always been a Korg owner- and Korg has never had great sounding piano or guitar. This sounds different. Unless the Kronos really wows out the gate, I'll be going with the Motif XF-8. I especially like the smooth transitions feature. I used to curse the Triton for this missing feature.

  30. I'm in the market for the next big thang and have been looking in the range. This is the first I've heard of it. It's not due out unitl April/May- at least that's true for the 76/88 key versions. I've been trying to compare with similarly-priced outfitted w/s. The Fantom G8 hasn't been getting great reviews. The Yamaha XF8 has been getting great reviews. I like to record and play live. I've always been impressed with the guitar sounds and nuance-impressions of the Yamahas. I used to have a Triton- as a matter of fact- I've always been a Korg owner- and Korg has never had great sounding piano or guitar. This sounds different. Unless the Kronos really wows out the gate, I'll be going with the Motif XF-8. I especially like the smooth transitions feature. I used to curse the Triton for this missing feature.

  31. Some people will never be happy. I've been playing keys for a long time and have worked at a music store for several years. I personally own or have owned Roland and Nord stage pianos & Kurzweil, Korg and Yamaha workstations. I've never been a fan of Korg pianos but over the past year they have been getting better. A lot better. The SV1 has some good acoustic pianos and probably the best EPs out there. The Kronos boasts an impressive 4.7 gigs just for the acoustic pianos! That's far far more than ANY keyboard on the market. From what little I've heard this thing will even give the Nord pianos ( as wonderful as they are ) a run for it's money. That's not to even mention all the other sound engines. Who really needs more than 16 tracks of Midi? If you really need more than yes, use a DAW. But don't think you can buy a controller and just use a computer. Workstations aren't meant for doing a complete project from start to finish. I don't know of anyone that does that. Everyone eventually records their final piece in to a DAW. Workstations are designed for creativity. Its fact that work flow is way faster on a workstation then a computer. I've known to many people that think they can do everything on a computer and get frustrated because it's just slow. Yes a computer can have more detailed sounds. Ivory 2 proved that. 77 gigs for 3 pianos. The closest I've ever heard to the real thing. But again that's 77 gigs of hard drive space! Then you have to wire the keyboard to your computer… computer to an interface.. interface to speakers. For me latency & polyphony was a huge issue for virtual instruments. I do believe everyone should give the Kronos a chance before criticizing it. I personally can't wait to get my hands on this board and if it's as good as I think it will be I'll most likely be selling my Nord Piano & Yamaha Motif.

    If anyone is interested in purchasing a Kronos or any other board or have any questions shoot me an email.

    [email protected]

    Korg, Kurzweil, Nord, Roland, Yamaha, Avid ( Digidesign ), Focusrite, Presonus, Audio Technica, Rode, KRK, Mackie, Tannoy, Waves & lots lots more!

  32. I own 3 Motif's for stage work and there great……..except… The piano sounds Ok. Oaysis I think blows them away. Greg Philganous( sp?) showed me that on Toto's tours. Way back when my Kurzweil K-1000 used to hold the sound even when switching to another like the Kronos does. Never understood why Yamaha Motif never does. The Clavinova does. It would make live playing easier.
    Only other thing on my wish list is a board that can really do horn sounds well. Kinda looks like it can't be done or is very rare. I'm interested down the line to buy a Kronos. Any advice for piano or horn sounds would be helpful. J.T.

  33. On a personal basis,we have to decide what our needs and wants are,and if you have a taste for digital,new gear,and physical workstations,the Kronos might be your cupoftea.It looks like something you will need to spend time with to get deeply into,and that seems more efficient and cerebral than just being cynical and complaining…

  34. Hi there! I'll just say I'm not a Korg fan, but this Kronos doens't seem bad. I don't do studio stuff (yet), I'm just a live performer and for this purpose I believe the Kronos will do a good job, especially because of all the different sound engines, smooth transitions etc. But looking at its price (3 -4k) I don't even consider buying one. Sure, it's half the price of the Oasys, but the Oasys was far too expensive in the first place. And for all live performers out there I have just one recommendation – Kurzweil PC3. For the price (1,5k) you get a lot out of it. It has some weak points (the Hammond /KB3/ emulation needs to be perfected …) but for a live performance you couldn't wish for a better synth -16 zones (layers/splits), a great deal of FX processing power (FX chains etc.), analog synth engine (VA-1), great as a master MIDI controller, overall great sounds (OK, pianos are a delicate thing, but I prefer them over Nord pianos and I never liked Korg's pianos, not even on Kronos from what I heard in videos), a 16-track sequencer with riffs in programs/setups etc.

    I mean if you compare the price/performace ratio, it's pretty obvious who earns the first place. But I would prefer Kronos over any Roland or Nord (sorry Stage, great sounds, but a bit weak in the functionality aspect). I think only Yamaha S-90ES and Motif XF would be in the same league with it.
    I'm talking about live performance here, don't know how well it does in the studio.

  35. it looks like it would do any job you asked of it but 3 thousand dollars for the 61 keys? i am guessing the new MEMORY is costly so i will relax my critique. I wish Apple would come out with an ISynth. the Synth and workstation world could use a swift kick in the #*&%^ and Apple could certainly do it. how about a 3 foot wide IPad? yeah!

  36. OOOPS…..i glanced at the Kronos and posted my earlier post. THEN i went to soundonsound and watched the NAMM video and did some more LOOKING INTO……i have to say that this is quite a step forward for Korg. the Piano alone being 4 GIG. the USB PLUGIN WITH YOUR DAW OF CHOICE…if that works WITH LOGIC AND NO BUGGING THEN I AM GONNA SELL A FEW BOARDS TO GET INTO THIS. it is NOT a repackage of old tech and if it IS then they have damn sure put a new dress on those old Ideas. i have to say, i am a Yamaha fan. and if my S-90 ES doesnt whistle at me in the morning i might have a new love in my life with Korg. its damn sure tempting. the MS-20 and Polysix Legacy Synths ON BOARD? wow. worth the price of admition with the Touchscreen added to that mix.
    i really do think that korg has something worth spending a few extra bucks. having this ONE THE ROAD IN THE HOTEL is a HUGE TOOL!
    i look forward to hearing it in person but i can bet its gonna be sexy

  37. I just wonder if all these claims that they have reproduced the old sought after analouge sounds from the M1 and O1/WFD 61???

    I have been told by experts that for korg to do this; they nned to re create the old ossiclattor technology which is and would be too expensive!!!

    I belive after the trinity Korg lost theri direction I brough a Triton the first that arrived in QLD Australia and spent 2 years playing with the set up and adjustmnets trying to capture the big old full sound when I realised that those sounds are just TOOO dijital I mean there is nothing in them so 4 me personally I agrre with the commnet anotehr digital keyboard – To support this we dont see here any keyboard players selling threir M1 or O1/WFD 61- Those keyboards will always be the best and stand the teset of time

  38. I heard the samples online. Pianos are nice but most of the other sounds still had decidedly 'synthy' quality you don't want when you are trying to replicate actual instruments. Some day maybe they will finally overcome that lousy weather channel soundtrack quality. Otherwise seems like a really solid, but pricey synth. But the sounds have me kind've unmoved to drop 3-4 grand on a new keyboard.

  39. I had a chance to spend 2 hours with the Kronos a couple of weeks ago, it's awesome! Most of the sounds are very realistic similar to the Roland X or G (which is my main keyboards right now) , but the real power comes from it's layering and Karma capabilities. I believe the new Juno from Roland will offer some ground breaking features but being a Roland and Korg man, I doubt if they can match the Kronos.

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