The Korg Kronos Music Workstation Features Nine Synthesis Engines

korg kronos workstation

At the 2011 NAMM Show, Korg introduced the Kronos Music Workstation.

Korg calls the Kronos ‘a milestone in synthesis and workstation evolution’.

Nine Engines; a Universe of Sound

KRONOS unites nine individual synthesis engines in a single instrument. Together, they represent not only the rich legacy of Korg, but ‘the history of the electronic keyboard industry itself’, according to Korg.

Features:

  • 9 Sound engines, each offering a unique sound-creation technology (see list below)
  • 16-part Combis allow all engines to function together in perfect harmony; Dynamic Voice Allocation keeps the polyphony high.
  • Available with 61, 73 or 88 keys73 and 88 key models feature Korg’s finest RH3 Graded Hammer Action 61 key model borrows the responsive synth action from the Korg M3-61
  • Comprehensive interface, based around a new large 8″ TFT TouchView™ display
  • Virtual Memory Technology (VMT), aided by a fast SSD (Solid State Disk) provides high polyphony and massive, ultra-long, and unlooped samples; offering unheard of performance from a hardware instrument
  • Smooth Sound Transition: this often-requested feature allows held or sustained notes to keep sounding when changing sounds or modes.
  • Set List mode: Organize the Programs, Combis, and Songs you need to perform your set in a single, easy-to-select screen – including performance notes!
  • Use up to 16 premium-quality effects at once; individual effects rival dedicated units
    • 12 Insert effects
    • 2 Master effects
    • 2 Total effects
  • On-board sequencer offers 16 MIDI tracks + 16 audio tracks (24-bit, 48kHz recording quality)
  • Sampling System – Instant sampling and resampling from any mode:
  • Program, Combination or Sequencer.
  • Sophisticated KARMA® technology generates infinitely variable performance-driven phrases, musical effects, and backing tracks to catalyze your creativity
  • Expanded Drum Track for play-along grooves and inspiration
  • Signature sounds created with guidance from world class musicians

The Korg Kronos is expected to be available in March. Pricing is TBA.

Check out the specs and the intro video below and let us know what you think about the new Korg Kronos!

Korg Kronos Music Workstation

Here are the official details on the Korg Kronos music workstation:

The Next-Generation Workstation for Live, Production, and Sound Design

The KRONOS Music Workstation is the single instrument designed for live performing musicians; for artists creating in a studio or computer-based production environment; and for musicians and sound designers seeking the ultimate synthesizer. In creating KRONOS, we have listened to many musicians and have heard their requests. And KRONOS delivers.

LIVE – for the performing keyboard player

KRONOS provides the absolute finest in keyboard sounds; accurate and responsive to the player’s technique. The expansive control surface offers joysticks, sliders, knobs, switches, a ribbon controller, assignable pedal inputs, and of course our improved resolution color TouchView™ display. New additions include our easy-to-use Set List mode for song-specific and gig-ready sound selection, and our Smooth Sound Transition feature. Plus, we’ve included our finest RH3 keybed on both the 73 and 88 key models for a solid performance; the 61 key enjoys the responsive action shared with the Korg M3-61.

PRODUCTION – satisfying the producer, music director, and musician

For many, the studio is where the work gets done; from laying down tracks, to building up grooves for an on-stage extravaganza, to delivering the soundtrack for today’s media rich world. For these creative leaders, Korg has equipped the KRONOS Music Workstation’s sequencer with 16-track MIDI tracks plus 16 audio tracks, our Open Sampling System, dazzling hi-fidelity effects, as well as flawless plug-in integration with many popular DAW platforms. Of course, KRONOS is equipped with phenomenal sound, dynamic drums, and an impressive array of premium sound effects. Add to that the ability to use KARMA, the Drum Track, and the sequencer’s RPPR to greatly speed up and enrich the music creation process.

SYNTHESIS – programming joy for the enthusiast and sound designer

In addition to being Korg’ premier workstation, KRONOS has it in its blood to satisfy the programmer, sound designer, and synthesizer enthusiast; the musician who dreams of turning visions of the cosmos into sound, of tweaking parameters to conjure invisible sounds from the ether. KRONOS rekindles Korg’s founding dream that is at the core of synthesis: the exhilaration and enjoyment of creating new sounds, sounds never before heard! A variety of exclusive Korg technologies drive the synth engines to provide astounding results – VMT (Virtual Memory Technology); CMT (Component Modeling Technology); Physical Modeling, Digital Synthesis, Wave Sequencing, MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis); KARMA® and more!

Nine Synthesizer Engines, United in One Instrument

KRONOS contains nine distinct synthesizer/sound engines. While each is worthy of a separate product in its own right, KRONOS brings them all together into a single, integrated musical instrument. Dynamic voice allocation and new technologies allow all sound engines to smoothly share a stable, enhanced hardware platform. The results are nothing less than spectacular.

SGX-1 Premium Piano – Piano sound engine

You’ve never heard pianos like this on any workstation. To accurately capture the rich character of a concert piano, Korg abandoned working within the limitations of existing sampling methods and took advantage Virtual Memory Technology (VMT), able to play large samples directly from the internal high-capacity Solid State Disk (SSD). The SGX-1 Premium Piano sound engine offers two distinctive grand pianos; a rich German D piano, and a robust Japanese C model. Each uses superb, un-looped stereo samples sampled at eight velocity levels for each and every key. Thoughtful attention to detail preserves the realism and warmth of the piano sound; this extends even to sampling and reproducing the body resonances of the grand piano, as well as the mechanical noise that occurs when the keys are played, or the damper pedal is pressed and released. The foundation of any keyboard instrument is the piano; the SGX-1 engine allows KRONOS to confidently deliver on this sonic ideal.

EP-1 MDS Electric Piano – Electric piano sound engine

Our new EP-1 sound engine is dedicated to faithfully recreating six of the most popular classic electric pianos. The MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis) technology eliminates the transitions between velocity-switched samples, and does away with the unnatural behavior of looped samples. It also provides the user with unique control over the tines, reeds, and noise elements that make up the essential character of these timeless and coveted electromechanical instruments. The MDS sounds respond smoothly to the subtleties of the player’s keyboard touch. This technology also delivers an astounding dynamic range – far superior to what one might expect from digital technology – so that the energy of climactic passages is accurately preserved. Each of the six electric piano models provides realistic simulations of the period amp, cabinet, speaker, and even the hard-to-find vintage effects that gave the original instruments their distinctive sound. From the sounds, to the touch, to the effects; every element has been coordinated in a single package to create the ultimate electric piano experience.

CX-3 Tonewheel Organ – Tonewheel organ sound engine

The original Korg CX-3 combo organ went on sale in 1980. Loved by musicians around the world, this classic organ reappeared in 2000 as a new product with the same name, but using the latest technology of the time to faithfully model the tonewheel organ sound. In KRONOS, the CX-3 engine precisely models this classic tonewheel instrument. Proprietary Korg technology has been used to perfectly reproduce the vacuum tube amp, and effects such as Vibrato/Chorus and the “must-have” rotary speaker. Even the instability, fold-back, leakage, and noise of the tonewheels have been obsessively analyzed and recreated. Take full advantage of Korg’s exclusive EX mode and switch from 9 to 18 drawbars (13 footages plus 5 to define the percussion) and generate even richer and more detailed sounds. The organ sounds heard in legendary performances – some recreated here by the original artists – are now yours for the playing. Go ahead and experience these classic organ sounds, reborn for the present day.

HD-1 High Definition Synthesizer – Flagship PCM, sampling and Wave Sequencing sound engine

We named the HD-1“High Definition” because of its superior sound, starting with Korg’s proprietary low-aliasing sample playback oscillators, full?bandwidth multimode resonant filters, and extraordinarily fast & smooth envelopes and LFOs. Once again, our SSD and Virtual Memory Technology (VMT) gives the HD-1 access to a larger sample set – gigabytes in size – than could be normally stored using internal memory. The HD-1 covers all of the essential sounds in exquisite detail, from orchestral to classic rock to hip-hop, all instantly available. The extensive array of samples provided by KRONOS is unparalleled by previous hardware synthesizers or samplers, and is a superb fit for film, video and sound effect work.

Wave Sequencing

First introduced on the Korg WAVESTATION, and used here as part of the HD-1, Wave Sequences play a series of samples over time, creating distinctive rhythmic timbres or smooth, complex evolving sounds. Additionally, step-sequencer modulation outputs allow Wave Sequences to control any modulate-able Program parameter.

Ambient Drums

The HD-1 sound engine also includes our “Ambient Drums.” Take advantage of this rich sample content to create incredibly realistic drum parts. The Ambient Drums feature two kits. Each provides three different mic’ing positions, capturing the whole kit, (with the snare on and off), plus the individual hits. The HD-1 voice architecture allows the custom blending of the drum’s direct sound and ambient sound layer, adding a finished quality to the track.

AL-1 Analog Synthesizer – High-fidelity analog modeling sound engine

Feature-packed, the AL-1 is the same premium analog modeling sound engine that was first featured on the Korg OASYS, the Open Architecture Synthesis Studio back in 2005. Its patented ultra?low?aliasing oscillators (using completely different technology than the HD?1) recreate all the power and glory of true analog synthesis— without the artifacts that can plague lesser instruments. Morphing waveforms allow you to change the oscillator shapes in real?time. Resonance modeling lets you choose between classic filter sounds, and the extraordinarily flexible MultiFilter lets you create your own hybrid filter shapes. Hard sync, analog?style FM, drive, low?boost, and ring modulation offer plenty of tone-twisting power.

MS-20EX Legacy Analog Collection – Analog modeling sound engine

Debuting in 1978, the MS-20 unified a 37-note keyboard with a vertically oriented control panel, and was easily obtainable by those smitten by expensive and gigantic furniture-sized synthesizers. With a thick and solid sound, aggressive filters, and patching that opened up limitless potential for creating sounds, the MS-20’s rich personality captivated countless synth freaks. Using Korg’s CMT (Component Modeling Technology) the MS-20EX faithfully reproduces the MS-20 while dramatically expanding its patch panel functionality. Modulate filters with audio-rate oscillators; turn audio inputs into control signals; control all of the original knobs with mod sources including additional envelopes, LFOs, and real?time controllers. It’s a tweaker’s dream, but even without the patch panel, the MS-20EX would make waves with its unique, aggressive tone—due in large part to its signature filters, which are completely different from those in either the AL-1 or the PolysixEX. And of course the KRONOS version is now majorly polyphonic.

PolysixEX Legacy Analog Collection – Analog modeling sound engine

The Polysix first appeared in 1981, offering six-voice polyphony, program memory, and a surprisingly competitive price tag. With its self-oscillating four-pole filter, smooth analog oscillator and sub-oscillator, plus a lush Chorus/Ensemble effect, the PolysixEX extends the abilities of the original in many creative ways. The strings and pads that were such a major feature of the Polysix will be invaluable when you need the sounds of the early ’80s. The classic arpeggiator built into the original Polysix is also provided. We’ve added modulation of every control on the front panel, for a world of sounds impossible on the original. It’s also very well-suited to hands-on control via the KRONOS’ Tone Adjust; with a knob, slider, or switch for almost all of the original Polysix controls. As a bonus, it’s also capable of extremely high polyphony.

MOD-7 Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer – VPM/Waveshaping/PCM processing sound engine

Combine Variable Phase Modulation (VPM), wave-shaping, ring modulation, samples, and subtractive synthesis, plus a modular patch?panel system, and you have the MOD-7. Exceptionally versatile, it offers everything from classic FM keyboards, bells and basses (including the ability to import sounds from vintage DX synths) to rhythmic soundscapes and sparkling, epic pads. “Vast” sample?mangling capabilities, with incredible flexibility and power, let you create intensely rich processing environments: combine multiple stages of filtering, waveshaping, and ring modulation – even use samples as FM modulators – all patched together however you like.

STR-1 Plucked String Synthesizer – Physical modeling sound engine

Based on the physical modeling know-how Korg developed over the course of many years, this struck/plucked-string physical modeling sound engine takes advantage of cutting-edge technology. The STR-1 begins with highly playable sounds whose tone responds to your touch in ways that are difficult for a PCM sound engine to replicate. These include acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harpsichord, clavinet, harps, bells, and ethnic instruments. Then the STR-1 goes beyond, allowing the creation of sounds that obey physical laws, but that don’t exist in reality. Play harmonics on a metal bar “plucked” by a piano or sing into a guitar string; with the STR-1, it’s all possible. You can also process samples and live audio input through the physical model—including audio feedback from any of the KRONOS effects! While some of the KRONOS engines look back in time, this a sound engine of the future, one that allows the synthesizer programmer to construct truly new sounds.

Premier Artist Contributions

In order to take full advantage of these nine sound engines, Korg called on respected musicians to guide our sound design team towards their individual ideals. Responding positively, numerous world-class players contributed their time, energy, and critical listening to help us zero in on making the sound respond the way they hear it! Certain artist signature sounds were tested, judged and tweaked by the likes of Jordan Rudess, Russ Ferrante, Lyle Mays, George Duke, Tom Coster, Jeff Lorber, Frank McComb, John Novello and several other artists known for their serious love of sound and for their critical, demanding ears.

Korg’s Rock-Solid Workstation Integration Puts it all Together

Packed with unlimited sound potential, KRONOS is much more than a synthesizer. KRONOS comes complete with all of the extras required of a modern workstation, plus so much more. From music production to live performance, the KRONOS Music Workstation integrates a world-class list of tools into a single, reliable instrument. Under the hood, all nine engines share the same hardware, with no separate cards to manage or polyphony barriers between them—and no “CPU overs” to worry about. KRONOS dynamically allocates power between the engines as you play, automatically and in real time, providing an integrated experience no PC can match. In addition, KRONOS smoothly functions as a plug-in with many popular DAWs, providing your studio with native, unprecedented sonic power.

KARMA

First appearing on Korg’s Karma Music Workstation in 2001, this revolutionary algorithmic music technology instantly produces sophisticated phrases, drum grooves and full-blown backing tracks. Based on the notes and chords you play and the intuitive operations you perform with the knobs, sliders, and switches, you’ll easily produce musical effects that exceed anything you imagined. Now in its greatly-enhanced second generation and offering features like KARMA Wave-Sequencing, Note Mapping and 8 scenes per layer, KARMA is standard equipment on your new KRONOS. It will expand your conception of a song, and will be an enormous asset to your live performances.

Drum Tracks

KRONOS also borrows the Drum Track feature from the M3 and M50 Music Workstations. Drum Tracks can create everything from a simple reference beat to an outline rhythm track on up to a full-blown drum track for your music productions. KRONOS now includes professional drum performances from artists such as Ricky Lawson, able to generate grooves reproducing the distinctive feel of a pro drummer. Applications and extras have been unstintingly poured into this single feature. The Drum Track can go beyond rhythm machines, and is fully capable of standing on its own.

Open Sampling System

No matter whether you’re in Program, Combination, or Sequencer mode, you can always use KRONOS to sample an external audio source, or to resample the performance of the KRONOS itself. User samples can be edited using operations such as truncate, normalize, time stretch, or time slice. Edited samples can also be exported in AIFF or WAVE format. You can also load external samples in AIFF, WAVE, SoundFont 2.0, and AKAI S1000/3000 formats via USB memory. By loading samples that you’ve previously created on other instruments or on a PC, you can set up your music production system on the KRONOS – no additional equipment required.

16-track MIDI sequencer / 16-track audio recorder

KRONOS features a sequencer/recording section that offers both 16 MIDI tracks plus 16 audio tracks; a great resource for putting together a dazzling performance or a brilliant production. MIDI sequencing makes it easy to capture ideas, inspiration, and pro-quality phrases using the KARMA, Drum Track, or RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) functions. The 16-track audio recorder simultaneously captures up to four tracks of 16-bit/24-bit uncompressed data at a sampling rate of 48 kHz. Play along with recorded tracks, add effects, and then resample the KRONOS itself and place the resampled WAVE files directly in a track. When polishing your tracks, feel free to use mixer automation and editing functions such as copy, paste, and normalize to get the results you want. Plug in a USB CD-burner and assemble your album right from the TouchView display!

Premium-quality effects suite – use up to 16 simultaneously

KRONOS provides 16 internal effects to add impact to your sonic creations. Each of the 12 Insert effects can be applied to individual or multiple timbres in a combination, or to individual or multiple tracks of the sequencer. In addition, two Master effects can be applied to sends 1/2, and two Total effects can be applied to all tracks at the final stage of the sound. Each effect offers 185 distinct effect types, covering every possible sound-shaping need. Examples include a high-resolution reverb, chorus, delay, guitar amp and cabinet modeling, even vocoding. Each effect provides up to 72 adjustable parameters, as well as numerous realtime modulation possibilities, delivering outstanding versatility. A separate three-band EQ is provided for every timbre, for every sequencer track, and for every audio track for adjusting subtle tonal balances or for creatively modifying the overall sound.

New Performance Power!

In creating KRONOS, we listened to many musicians from around the world. Our goal was to change the way musicians interacted with their instrument to provide a more fluid, expressive, and natural experience. At one level, this meant providing a comprehensive yet intuitive control surface. But with KRONOS, we wanted to take these ideas even further, creating an instrument ideally suited to the way musicians play.

Set List screen provides single-touch selection, regardless of mode

The new Set List screen lets you instantly recall your favorite programs, combinations, or song data with a single touch, regardless of mode. There are 128 Set List locations, and each one can have 128 slots. Sixteen of these slots appear at a time as buttons in the TouchView display, color-coded to ensure easy visibility even in dim lighting. This is a great convenience during a live performance or in the production workplace. You can also leave notes for yourself using the Set List page, to remember the key of a song, for example. The Set List also provides a stereo graphic EQ at the final stage of the main audio output, which can be used to compensate for the acoustical character of the performance venue.

Smooth Sound Transition eliminates dropouts when changing sounds

KRONOS features our new Smooth Sound Transition technology. This powerful new addition is designed to maintain any currently held, played, or sustaining notes (with their effects), helping to prevent drop-outs from occurring when you switch sounds or change from Program mode to Combi mode. A high level of technology has been applied to finally bring this sought-after ability to reality, fulfilling the requests of many musicians.

Enhanced, color TouchView display

Korg’s TouchView graphical user interface is based on a new large, color 8-inch (800 x 600 pixel) touch screen. The TouchView display is the centerpiece of Korg’s intuitive design, providing easy-to-view information and simple touch control. In developing KRONOS, we also incorporated numerous images of actual instruments and their respective controls into the display, to ensure that the musician enjoys the feeling of playing an instrument – rather than controlling a machine.

Comprehensive Control

In addition to the parameters accessible directly from the TouchView display, KRONOS also offers a wealth of realtime controllers to enhance any performance and to aid navigation. A four-way joystick, ribbon controller, and two assignable switches are located to the left of the keyboard. An additional Vector joystick is nearby. Above the keyboard, nine sliders, eight knobs and a number of switches provide realtime interaction with features at the heart of the KRONOS’ impressive sound. The damper pedal input supports half-damping, providing another level of piano realism. In addition to the damper pedal jack, there are also two assignable pedal inputs, one footpedal type and one footswitch style.

Korg’s Finest Keyboard Actions

The 61-key version features the same great-feeling, responsive semi-weighted keybed found in the M3-61 Music Workstation. Acclaimed for their solid feel and tactile response, these keys provide a seamless, expressive connection to the many forms of synthesis KRONOS provides.

The 88-key model of the KRONOS features the same RH3 real weighted hammer action keyboard used on Korg’s upper-end piano models and on the SV-1. The hammer weighting is graded, providing a heavier feel in the lower register and a lighter feel in the upper register, just as on a grand piano, offering superb playability. Boldly, the 73-key model also features this same RH3 keyboard, creating a more compact and transportable instrument that still provides superior piano and electric piano sounds teamed with an authentic piano touch. KRONOS is notable for its slim design, showing an integration of function and design.

Computer Connectivity

KRONOS can send MIDI signals to and from your computer via USB. Using the KRONOS Editor software (free download), sounds and settings can be edited directly from your computer. The KRONOS Plug-in Editor (free download) lets you use KRONOS from within many popular DAW systems, as if it were a plug-in instrument. KRONOS can also be used as an audio I/O for your computer, sending and receiving two channels of audio via USB. In a music production system using your KRONOS and a computer, there is no need to purchase any additional hardware, creating the simplest possible set-up.

Versatile Array of Audio Inputs and Outputs

The KRONOS provides a total of six channels of audio input: 2 analog channels, 2 digital channels (S/P DIF optical, 48 kHz/24-bit), and 2 USB channels. As audio outputs, you have the 2 main channels (L/MONO, R) as well as four independent audio outputs, 2 digital channels (S/P DIF optical, 48 kHz/24-bit), and 2 USB channels (note: the 2 digital channels and 2 USB channels output the same signal as the main L/R output). All analog inputs and outputs support TRS balanced connections. The analog inputs provide a MIC/LINE select switch and an independent level control for each channel, offering the flexibility to meet any situation. In addition to the type-B USB connector used for communicating with your computer, there are two type-A USB 2.0 ports for use with external storage media such as flash memory, hard drives, or CD-R/RW and DVD drives. The output of the KRONOS can be resampled to a USB storage device such as a hard drive, or connected to USB CD-R/RW drive to create audio CDs.

38 thoughts on “The Korg Kronos Music Workstation Features Nine Synthesis Engines

  1. Very cool machine indeed.. Looks very appealing; also looks very expensive.

    Still, this got me thinking about a previous post; which I deemed kinda silly, I'll be fair, but nonetheless; the "is the DAW dead?". Stuff like this (note: within the context that this isn't the first time we've seen a keyboard which heavily utilizes software) really makes me wonder if the DAW concept isn't simply being sucked right into our workstations eventually..

    A bit of "The DAW is dead, all hail the DAW".

    That patching part for example; that's exactly why I grabbed Reason. The multiple sound engines; that's exactly why I started diving into Max using M4L and the Max runtime (I wanted to test/use diversity in sound engines). I think many producers are following up to one of my favorite remarks: "Overspecialize, and you bread in weakness". iow; Try going broad instead of focusing.

    Alas… this may sound odd but although I really like seeing and hearing this critter simply looking at all this makes me appreciate my current gear even more. Many (small) different bits and pieces (reason, max, NI elements) all combined within one environment (Live).

    I strongly felt that such diversity was a good thing to aim for last year (I started out with my hobby last year) and stories like these give me some re-assurance on that part.

    Ok; enough blabbering 😉

    In the end this is indeed a great looking machine, really liking what I see here!

  2. Not so sure about Kronos….

    $3000 sounds a very high… especially when you factor in that:

    one of the sound engines exists for $15 on the ipad, another exists as sub-$100 software,

    VL-1 is over-5-years-old technology, same with the z1 stuff, an even older cx-3 engine, ie. nothing really new except some VOX fx modeling (that will NOT sound like a real VOX wah)

    no-one (in their right mind) will use the hard disk recorder to produce a full song (that's what DAWs are for).

    Karma is cool, but is cheating… it's like band-in-a-box for people who take themselves too seriously.

    The touchscreen is cool, until it starts not responding (like my trinity and last 2 tritons)

    The weighted key action (same as the m3) feels like crap, even compared to a first gen motif.

    the ssd drive is cool compared to other workstations, but not if the people at korg can't competitively program better sounds. A Motif XF has less than 1/10 the samples, and still sounds awesome (due to the meticulous programmers/sound designers). If Korg needs 3 more gigabytes of samples (than yamaha) just to create a decent piano….

  3. Where do they get those demo guys that always play the weird proggy-jazz stuff that always makes any keyboard patch sound cheap and nasty?

    I like how they spent all of 30 seconds on all three virtual analog engines.

    It looks impressive, but I don't think I prepared for amazement enough, because i wasn't amazed. It's basically the logical evolution of the Triton series.

    I do like the touch screen MS20 patching though. cute. Also like the screen with the 'favorite patches' grid. Though they had that in the Triton as well, from memory.

    Not bad, but not amazing.

    By the way, am I the only one who isn't keen on the massive keys they have on upper tier keyboards. I know they are supposed to be like playing a piano, but the action on those keys makes playing synth stuff much harder.

  4. Agree. These 'workstations' are designed mainly for an industry that has the money to spend $3k+ on them… churches. I have watched many of the vids from Roland and others and rarely do you see some dude pounding out trance on one of these machines. Instead you hear piano and organs mixed with some level of analog synth sounds. In contrast look at the new m-audio synth $599 msrp and you see a different demographic.

    Another thought. Have they finally broken the 'packed with 128 MBs of samples at your finger tips' barrier? Now that we are blessed (no pun) with gigs worth in many soft-synths you would think these workstations would follow. A buddy has one of the new Alesis drum kits and it has 100+ patches using only 128 MBs. I have a single plugin that uses about a gig for a single acoustic kit…

  5. Why not? SSDs are much more robust these days than using mechanical hard drive tech like korg were for their workstations, especially when gigging. Also faster seek and read times, generally.

  6. These workstations are usually built for one of the biggest customers Korg or Roland has… churches. They have the coin to pay for these. That is why the demos for these feature piano and organs. They skip past the analog elements as that is not who buys the things.

  7. Could I please have a cheaper version minus the %$#@! piano, organ and ep sections?
    EPs that nicely reach about 85% of "real" are a dime a thousand; workstation samples are plenty for those of us who only use organ as a seasoning much of the time; and pianos are clearly best left to software versions, for the most part.
    If you can resample its output, you can easily build a fine piano through some careful layering. I developed a very usable grand in an 01W by adding some bass guitar on the low end and very light strings to fake a touch of body resonance. It really stood out then. There's programming from scratch like an Eric Persing (I tip my hat) and then there's simply knowing how sound works so you can SHAPE well.
    I could easily do without the KARMA aspect as well. Surely that would bring it down to $2k, at which point I could consider a workstation upgrade. I could also see it as a well-muscled brother to a Roland V-Synth rack. Korg has always been good about "trickling down" their new instrument's tech where you can pick the version that best suits your situation. Look for a Kronos Jr. of some kind within 6-9 months. Korg makes my synth-world better, yeh boy!

  8. I'm an M3 player and KARMA is an amazing thing (and NOT cheating or Band-in-a-Box). I like the aesthetic and physical structure of my M3 so won't be moving to the Kronos. This seems like a well spec'd workstation and to my ears the piano sounds very nice as well as the Hammond simulation.

    I think multi-gig sample libraries are great, but there's nothing more immediate and inspirational than just firing up a keyboard and sitting down to play without bothering with a computer.

  9. Each time Korg, Yamaha or Roland come out with the NEXT GEN workstation, I immediately become skeptical.
    There isn't really much new technology in here.
    Polysix is old technology and one of the worst Korg ever made.
    Karma, i'm sure people are sick of hearing these same old arpeggios.
    The buttons look the same as on the M1. Try find an M1 that still has all buttons.
    Talking about the M1, I can't help hearing an M1 each time Korg release a new workstation.
    Someone at Korg must run it through some cheap device to give it that same flavour.
    It's hard to define, but somehow each sound has that same chorused effect.
    The Rhodes still sounds fake and Korg didn't do themselves a favour getting Tom Coster to play it on a synth action keyboard. What marketing people are behind this?
    The touch screen also doesn't seem to respond well at times.
    It's just another "How Can We Cram As Much Crap Into One Keyboard" revisited.
    The Oasys should have tought us a lesson about Korg.
    Open Ended, with the emphases on Ended, because the Oasys is now dead and buried technology.

  10. Wow – I want that Kronos now! It seems the perfect all in one solution I've been waiting for as a live and studio musician. To me the price mentioned seems very reasonable considering all the wonderful creative features it offers. From now on my future rig will consist of a Kronos, a pair of quality active PA-speakers, a headset mic, and an inear system. That's it. No need for an unstable laptop DAW, soundcard, controller, USB-keyboard etc. at gigs. During the years I've owned Korg Trinitys, Tritons and even a Korg M50, all with touchscreens and they have never failed or crashed. Soundvice my audience can't tell what equipment being used, it's the performance that counts not the equipment. If my customers are satisfied I'm a happy musician earning some money 🙂

  11. I am skeptical. I got burned with the Oasys. What really pissed me off with the Oasys was not that they didn't continue making new additional features after EX3, but that they never fixed the bugs of the core machine. While it sounded magnificent, this thing had some serious bugs even after the last OS revision. The machine locked up all the time. It had no normalizing off volume between patches. You'd have some that would cut your head off and others that were to soft to be heard. Considering it takes about 3 minutes to reboot, I pretty much gave up on using it to gig with. They are supposed to be presenting this at a store near by in early April. I went back to VAST. The new XS series is looking like the path I'll choose next.

  12. i come from the days of 8 voices in a sampler and a hardware FOUR track sequencer and NO AUDIO unless you owned a Tascam DA-38 etc….now Korg has released a "dreaded workstation" and all folks can do is complain. it has HUNDREDS of voices of polyphony. it has Non-aliasing synth models and folks Poo Poo because its digital. blah blah blah. i have toured for years, have songs on billboard and movie soundtracks so i do have some experience in this kind of thing.
    ITS A GREAT INSTRUMENT NO MATTER HOW YOU MEASURE IT.
    DAW integration. NO LOADING TIMES.
    SAMPLER, THREE GREAT SYNTH MODELS, Giant Pianos that you usually find only in REAL PIANOS OR COMPUTERS.
    all in ONE unit with a very easy to navigate Touchscreen.. FOR THREE GRAND!
    if you gotta complain about such a thing then you are most likely a HOBBYIST or some HOTHOUSE FLOWER who likes to drag his big bones out onstage and show everyone how COOL and ANALOG you are…..ITS ALL PLUGGED INTO THE WALL GUYS!!!
    if you were a real purist then you would only play REAL INSTRUMENTS that have STRINGS that vibrate or REEDS that are hammered or plucked.
    or you could just SING and get REALLY ANALOG!!!
    what a bunch of bitches.

  13. SO GENE….when did you play the Kronos? you MUST HAVE PLAYED IT to have said any of this . or are you in the habit of offering up your critique having never TOUCHED it?
    and as for ENDED or DEAD AND BURIED TECHNOLOGY……ITS ALL GOING TO DIE no matter how fantastic it is. BIG BAND MUSIC is a form of ARRANGEMENT technology and its NOT DEAD its just not MARKETED. the M1 Workstation actually CHANGED the music industry whether you approve of the buttons or NOT…..and YEAH, the buttons break! its 25 fucking years oLD! are you still driving the same car from 1987?
    the m1 put DEMOS in the hands of artists allowing them to DEMO thier IDEAS to labels without geting development Deals so they could afford STUDIO TIME to get thier ideas in the most PRESENTABLE FORMS TO THE LABELS. I was on a major label and i will tell you this right now, JUST TRY SENDING YOUR ACCOUSTIC DEMO…YOU AND A PIANO OR GUITAR singing your song. if your A&R guy had enough imagination to HEAR IT then you were the luckiest man in the industry or waking up from a Great Dream where ART is pure and NON-subjective.
    THE M1 was a TOOL. a very PRODUCTIVE TOOL that got USED AND USED AND USED AND USED. so GENE, how many songs have you published…how many Records?
    GET BUSY…its JUST A TOOL!!!!!

  14. GO AHEAD AND ADD YOUR BASS AND STRINGS TO YOUR SORT-OF PIANO.
    GO AHEAD AND DRAG YOUR RHODES TO THE GIG.
    KARMA DOES NOT ADD A THOUSAND DOLLARS TO A PHYSICAL OBJECT WITH A TOUCHSCREEN…that is SOFTWARE and it wasnt DEVELOPED for this instrument.
    the COST IS IN THE STATIC MEMORY! THE COST IS IN THE SCREEN!
    maybe you should wait for the JR version.
    you can program a good piano out of a shitty piano all day if you like.
    what a HUGE WASTE OF TIME!!!!
    why dont you sell your car and get a covered wagon!!!
    IF YOU FEED YOUR HORSES REDBULL YOU CAN GET A FEW MORE MPH OUT OF THEM!!! what a CRYBABY~
    if you want to BITCH about something then bitch about religion or Glen Beck or FOX

  15. "one of the biggest customers Korg or Roland has"….
    lord…where to you live where there are so many CHURCHES…i will surely avoid that part of the country! how many workstations do you think they SELL each year?
    there are NOT THAT MANY CHURCHES ON THIS PLANET to keep a large synth company alive.
    if you dont like the sound of CHURCH ORGANS then DONT USE THAT PATCH!!!!!!!!!!!
    oh and by the way, I AM NOT INTO CHURCH ORGANS but I own LOGIC audio (organs)
    i own a yamaha S-90 (organs).
    i make electronic music but occasionally i get paid to do studio work and GOD HELP ME sometimes its the dreaded ORGAN. ….I personally HATE that sound…it sounds like a skating rink!
    but its ALL TOO EASY TO SKIP PAST the ORGAN patches.
    so LUX….how many CDs have you released?
    how many TOURS have you done?
    workstations come in REAL HANDY in those hotel rooms…
    ive written 2 songs on workstations that ended up on the radio and in a few movie soundtracks………
    ITS A GODDAMN TOOL LUX!
    a shovel can move dirt for a new tree or DIG A HOLE SIX FOOT DEEP….

  16. well damn…..your music must be INCREDIBLE and FILLED with SYNTH OPTION SOUNDS!!!!
    what kind of BUTTONS would you like….LOADS OF COLOR!!!! maybe you should take your decorating skills to KORG and helped them out.
    if they added COLOR you would have said "it looks like a toy designed by a hairdresser".
    UNIMPRESSED BY THE SYNTH OPTIONS?
    GODDAMN….IT HAS THE MS-20! i cant imagine what a FANTASTIC SYNTH COLLECTION YOU MUST HAVE!~!! not to mention the big burly Roadies to carry all that stuff to the gigs.
    i wish i was you

  17. MY you must have TINY LITTLE FINGERS.
    tell you what, i will get the Kronos and you get the OP-1. THEN using ONLY OUR NEW TOYS we send each other our results on a CD.
    GOOD LUCK!
    YOU CANNOT IN ANY WAY IN ANY UNIVERSE COMPARE THESE TWO INSTRUMENTS.
    a BETTER comparrison would have been a MICRO KORG and OP-1.
    posting a comment like that should have given you the munchies because it read to me as though you are DAMN SURE HIGH

  18. I AGREE…FINALLY SOMEONE I AGREE WITH ON THIS BITCH FEST.
    i am so tired of watching the Factory Video Demos with these Jan Hammer impersonators.
    THE KORG STAFF IS PACKED FULL OF SERIOUSLY TALENTED FOLKS WHO CAN PLAY THE SHIT OUT OF THESE GREAT INSTRUMENTS…..but I cant afford to BUY JACK HOTOP!!!
    I WANT THE SYNTH!!!!
    SHOW HOW THE PROGRAMMING WORKS.
    PLAY A PATCH AND HOLD IT!
    and the next time i see one of the EXCELLENT PLAYERS try to pull off an accoustic guitar on one of these things im gonna pull out my nosehair with a forklift!
    and your right…THEY PICK A GREAT PATCH AND PLAY ALL THE WRONG RIFFS!!!
    IT RUINS IT~~~~~
    get some GEEK who cant play and let him PROGRAM IT.
    then post a few mp3s to hear a great piano sequence.
    by the way, JUST WAIT TILL YOU SPEND TIME WITH THE KRONOS and you will FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW THEY HAVE ACTUALLY MOVED FORWARD in a way that korg hasnt done since the M1.
    its a real move forward for workstations.
    AND BY THE WAY, ITS A WORKSTATION.
    IF YOU WANT A GREAT ANALOG SYNTH THEN GET AN ANDROMEDA.
    FORMIDABLE!

  19. funny thing, i know a few korg touchscreen owners and they are still pumping along.
    the new touchscreen is a new TYPE. Karma is an OPTION that is EASILY AVOIDED and it hardly added too much cost to the unit.
    the VL-1 tech is NOT what is offered in the korg.
    that was 8 bit.
    this is 16.
    as for the PROGRAMMING of the patches….is that all these things are? a big batch of ready made patches? YOU CAN PROGRAM YOUR OWN!!!! go figure
    I LOVE MY YAMAHA S90es. the pianos are GREATNESS and the RHODES and HORNS etc etc. I LOVE IT.
    but buddy, i heard the KRONOS and it is NOT THE SAME!!!! NOT NOT NOT NOT.
    NO LOOPS AT ALL.
    EIGHT LAYERS. not 3.
    I LOVE my s-90 and really have not been into KORGS but this is NOT AN OLD KORG REHASHED. it is NOT.
    and the keybed is NOT exactly the same as the M3 and i know guys who prefer IT over MOTIF.
    its called SUBJECTIVE.
    dont write this off so easily.
    its a HUGE step forward bridging the gap between PORTABLE and DESKTOP.

  20. Couldn't have said it better myself. A bunch of pre-madonnas sitting at home complaining about a piece of technology they themselves will never be able to create.

    Seriously, just be happy we have so much to choose from. When I was 18, I had a minitmoog (yes, add the "t" in there…. it really does exist), a polymoog, and a Roland RS-09. Twenty-five years later I have in one instrument, 100X more sound potential and processing power than even LeStudio had in the eighties. We live in wonder times. Let's not get so out of touch that we can't appreciate what we have, or what these manufacturers have created.

  21. Laughing my butt off.

    I wonder how the Kronos will compare side by side with the new Jupiter-80? Can't wait to try them both!

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