The Korg microKORG Synthesizer & Vocoder

Korg has released a new intro video for their microKorg synthesizer.

Korg microKORG Synthesizer/Vocoder Features:

  • 128 user-rewritable programs
  • 37-key mini keyboard
  • Powerful synthesis
  • Classic vocoding
  • A full range of effects
  • Great sounds and expression
  • Flexible arpeggiator (6 types)
  • Clear control and classic looks
  • Can serve as a compact MIDI controller

While the Korg microKorg has been out for a couple of years, it still offers a good compromise between power, price and portability. If you don’t mind the mini synthesizer keyboard, it’s a lot of synth.

If you’ve used the microKorg, leave a comment with your thoughts!

24 thoughts on “The Korg microKORG Synthesizer & Vocoder

  1. It was great in 2002 but its showing its age now. The sound is very good indeed, the pre-sets so-so, the keyboard a bit bouncy and naff, and the PC/Mac app very clunky especially the Mac version.

    The vocoder works OK but is a bit basic. Time and VSTs have not been entirely kind to the microKorg. I sold mine two years ago and didn’t regret it.

  2. It may not be analog but I sure do love my microkorg (Great for programming drum sounds)! Who Knows maybe they”ll produce it for another 9 years. It makes me wonder what commercial synth had the longest continuous production run.

  3. the keys are abysmal, it sounds worse than most vsts and isn’t very tweak-friendly. In my experience it’s almost always a ‘my first synth’ preset machine for emo bands and is definitely showing it’s age. Having said that it’s sold insane numbers, been a gateway drug to proper synths for many people, has a wicked form factor and a neat vocoder. The r3 is a better board but it’s basically the same thing that oddly feels cheaper (I bought one on a whim for the vocoder but now it hides in a corner or gets used as a midi keyboard only as a key broke on it on it’s first gig….)

  4. The Microkorg XL is actually pretty good, for not much more cash. You can have all the presets from the original mk on it too, but it sounds better and is a bit tweatable. And because the keys on the XL have to hit the bottom of the bed to trigger, it feels ok as well.

    1. Agreed. I had the XL version and I loved it… The vocoder is better and it’s easier to navigate through sounds. Great playability. Perfect for just past beginners & people who don’t need much in a live setting, like a rock band…

  5. It would be better to ask how many there are who NOT used microKorg.

    What bothers me is that I’d wish Korg to make synth in the same price range as microKorg, but fully analogue. Something like new MS-10 or PolySix. And if there is need to promote microKorg, then prospect of new cheap analogue has less substance.

    Or maybe they want to clear the stock before new portable analogue monster kills interest in VA? Dreams, dreams… I just can’t believe that Monotribe was the the ultimate goal of revival.

  6. Nah. The MicroKorg has since been upstaged by the DSI Mopho Keyboard. This is just Korg’s slaphappy attempt to pull a marketing equivalent of Republican politiking.

  7. Mopho and Microkorg are two different animals, and there’s also a $300 difference if we’re talking about the keyboard version of the mopho. I also disagree that the r3 is basically the same thing as the microkorg. They use different synth engines, and the r3 has more features. However, I think all three are great synths when considering the cost and portability of each.

    I do find this commercial really, really odd, though. Why now? To Itchy’s point, I would absolutely love it if Korg released a small, battery powered analog synth. That would rock.

  8. Fork up the extra hundred dollars for a MS2000, it’s older, but the same synthesis engine with a tremendous amount of knobs. If you want something newer and still portable, go with a micron. Similar number of knobs, but it’s got fantastic sequencing, and the menu navigation is better.

    In my opinion, the MicroKorg is a jack of all trades and master of none.

  9. For it’s price is a very nice synth with great sound. I really love how it looks… has a vintage style.

    For such a small unit with few knobs changing parameters is pretty easy. Connectivity is ok and the vocoder mode is fun. You can also use external mic/line and run through the effects any source.

  10. For what its worth, I bought a microKorg about 3 years ago, and have since sold it and bought a MoPho keyboard, a Polysix, and am working on a 22U dotcom. ‘gateway synth’ to be sure.

  11. I once had a friend who brought his over, I played it for about 5 minutes, got bored, switched back to my gear. Not hatin, just statin.

  12. The microkorg is really a fantastic little board for the price. True, you can find VSTs that sound better, but good luck finding a hardware machine for the price that will do more. Practically everyone just keeps the presets on this machine, because it’s the easiest mistake to make. Really, though, you’re dealing with a four-oscillator synth (if you use two timbre layers) that, if was expanded into a modular system complete with attenuators, multiples, and other basic utility modules that the digital format bypasses, would have well over five hundred adjustable parameters.
    It’s a powerful instrument disguised as a commercial piece of junk. I am a collegiate electronic composer who deals daily with modular instruments and all manner of computer applications but I will never sell my microkorg.

  13. I bought the Microkorg for its vocoder and have performed live vocoder-vocals many a time, accompanied by self-produced, original, instrumental CDs. (I’m not a born singer and the vocoder keeps me on key.) I have been told my lyrics are not very clear and I am far from tapping the Microkorg’s full potential. Now that I have midi and several DAWS (FL, Cool Edit, and other free downloads), I’m hoping to produce something trance-y and space-age to back live vocoder-vocals. But it’s taking a lot of time and tutorials for my brain to catch up with digital audio-production. I just posted my very first digital instrumental “Waiting For You” on Facebook via an INDABA widget (under Sharon Kathleen Johnson). It’s basic as heck but I composed it in three different keys (Bb to C to D) to slowly uplift the listener. I don’t know if that worked or not. Please comment!

  14. If you’re not a rocket scientist and terms like oscullator, envelope, sawtooth, LFO, and parameter intimidate you, Microkorg is a good starter synth. Are you saying one must have
    a PhD in physics in order to make good music? Microkorg brings it down to the layperson’s level for right-brain thinkers like myself. And greater original complexity can blossom as one learns more and more. (I love the “retro” presets, by the way.)

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