23 thoughts on “Korg King Korg vs SCI Prophet 5, Oberheim SEM & Moog Filters

  1. Nice! The KingKorg keeps up pretty good!
    It would have been nice to hear all of the filters using the same oscillator for each, and maybe a few seconds with a simple arp running and a bit of tweaking going on (for each synth).
    Still, that was a great, straight to the point test!
    Thanks! 😉

  2. I think it’s interesting to compare the aliasing jumps as he sweeps the cutoff when the resonance is cranked up. All of the original synths have a good bit of aliasing. It seems though that Korg only recreated that with the SEM. I think that’s a good thing, the SEM is the only one that I think the aliasing is pleasant on. I’m impressed with the King Korg, it seems pretty nice. I will say that my Bubblesound SEM20 Eurorack module recreates the original much more faithfully (and has the knob to sweep between LP and HP mode) but, as he says, 19 filters ought to keep you happy. Personally, I’ll keep feeding my Eurorack addiction.

    1. Aliasing? On an analog synth?
      I think what you are referring to is the passage from one harmonic to the next. Indeed it seems to be more pronounced on the analog synths vs the digital emulation, particularly with the synthesizer.com moog type filter. At any rate, the KingKorg emulations ate very impressive and warm sounding.

      1. I think the mistake can be forgiven in this digital age, given the phenominalogically similar nature of shifting harmonics and aliasing (minus the latter’s nonrelation to the natural harmonic series) and lack of a catchy one-word equivalent to aliasing in analog terms. I was pleasantly surprised at the king korg’s performance and think its sort of a miracle that Korg is able to both model analog systems well and dominate the comeback of affordable analog gear simultaneously. It’s gonna be a pretty fun summer I think.

        1. Oh, yes, old CPU-controlled analog synths can step as well. I’m quite sure the stepping heard in this particular video is due to the limited CPU used on the Prophet. All the knobs need to go through the CPU in order for the user to be able to store the sound in memory, i.e. the knob movement is digitised/sampled. A low resolution sampling will cause stepping.

        2. And it’s gonna be really amazing when they start combining them in one synth! 🙂 Mod-7 from the Kronos with analog filters, oh yeah.

          Still, for these prices, pick up a king korg and mini MS20. Use the KK to sequence the MS20, run the MS20 into the vocoder in/external in/ run the KK into the ESP, the filters, etc. Have a blast!

      2. There is a definite “zipper” sound on some old analogue synths, such as the Juno 106 – both from the envelopes and the frequency sliders. It’s because the sliders and EG are digital, and are hooked up to a CPU, which controls the frequency of the filter. It’s a problem on any synth that uses a digital patch storage system. Modern analogue synths have very high resolution encoders and more powerful processors, so the stepping is much much less noticeable.

    2. I don’t think Korg’s point of this synth is to replace your Eurorack… or even your MS20 Mini/Reissue they hope you have or will buy. The beauty of the Kingkorg is that you can do great pads and have instant recall without having to touch a potentiometer or patch cable. I bought a Kingkorg to replace a Prophet 08r and I’m happy with it. I still get that DSI sound from a MoPho, but I now have a pad machine that gives me a ton more options.

  3. Well, you can definitely hear the difference, but its bloody good representation anyway 😉
    ipad comparisons please 😉

  4. He says, around 11:30, that he hasn’t seen any synth that replicates the SEM continuously variable filter. Well, krismkelly mentioned one above, and my Arturia Origin also has a SEM emulation that does the multimode filter fairly well.

  5. Although the king korg does passable emulations, you could tell it doesn’t have the richness, or depth of sound or the ‘fuzzyness’ of analog, I mean its not bad, but still has a quality I just don’t really like, to me it doesn’t sound ‘warm’ enough. I’ve played one, it was nice, I wish i had bonded with, but for me it lacked that ‘something’ I cannot put my finger on. Prophet 12 for me, a much bigger fuller sound, yes its got digital oscillators but it can ‘move air’

    1. If you played a random sound on any one of these synths, nobody could tell if it was the Korg or the original.

      But that’s missing the point of the King Korg, isn’t it? It allows you to do things you couldn’t do with 70’s synths. Andd it’s affordable!

    2. “I wish i had bonded with, but for me it lacked that ‘something’ I cannot put my finger on.”

      Understood. I’ve played pianos that sounded like dried planks and some that were so dynamic, I felt almost intimidated at a few points, or perhaps finally sufficiently challenged. I played a 6′ Baldwin baby grand that spoke with authority and bumped me up a couple of notches. The same goes for synths. I can devise a hefty CS80 sound, but partly because I got to dig into the real thing and feel all of the parameters swirling around. You probably *shouldn’t* try to put your finger on it. That “it” is part of what makes you sound like you.

      That Prophet emulation is more than enough to show how serious the thing really is. I think the KK will hit a sweet spot with people who really crave a solid vintage tool chest. There are many soft-options, but having virtually “All of it” in one box is a winner.

      1. There is an “all of it” software VA called Diva that gets quite close. Not as warm sounding as the Kingkorg, but in many ways easier to program and it can sound great.

    3. anything that makes noise will “move air”…

      that is the definition of sound itself – vibration of air molecules

  6. I really wish it still had step sequencer and 2 filters(and variable too) and more knobs. The samples would also have been much more useful if there was sample memory for users to smear their own samples.

    I would have bought it in a heart beat, if it was more expensive. Now I’m not sure.

  7. Sample importing is a huge selling point for me in things, too. That’s why I finally settled on a good software sampler. I feel chagrined to be “bored” with traditional synth sounds alone. I still hear and sometimes even build good patches with them, but the squee leads and resonant sweeps are almost like museum pieces to my ear. My passion is to make acoustic and electronic sounds coexist in a mutually enhancing fashion. That’s why your idea gets my nod. A stacked or acoustic sample can blow the roof off, just like adding reverb to a MiniMoog.

    If the KK sells well, I’d love to see Korg advance it a bit. I’m indifferent about an onboard step-sequencer; that function can be had in several ways. But a couple of gb of user RAM? Add that to the base samples and it would really amplify the main goal of a live performance synth. The KK is like a great vintage library with keys attached. Imagine being able to get some more detailed Mellotron in there, or a big-event patch you built with three outside instruments. Meanwhile, its sure been Korg’s year. Its as if savvy designers and wild-haired musicians meet in the middle and hit one sweet spot after another. I’m ready to buy a Jack Hotop t-shirt!

  8. The Prophet 5 seems to have a lot of stepping, while the Korg is smoother.
    The Korg’s emulation has a lot of aliasing at the top, while the Propet sounds great.

    The SEM lowpass has no stepping to speak of – it’s actually smoother than the Korg, and sounds beautiful and spacious.
    The Korg emulation is noticeably inferior – it sounds smaller and more like a mediocre bandpass filter.

    The Korg sounds a lot better with resonance cranked up!
    But I had no idea how good the SEM really is.

    I still have to give a lot of credit to Korg though – the King Korg seems to be a good decent subtractive digital synth that gives you a lot of flexibility, not to mention unison/supersaw waveforms and sampled sounds (though user samples are a surprising omission) which should sound pretty good through the various filter options. I’d also like to hear it compared against something like the Virus or Nord Lead.

  9. Interesting comparison, but man that Dotcom… so beautiful. That osc… :LOVE:

    Still, I picked up a Kingkorg and man, in terms of value it’s fantastic and blows away most of the software VAs.

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