Open Mic: What Should Korg Build Next?

Korg is looking for input from its Facebook fans:

Skys the limit: If you could add any feature to any Korg product, what would it be and why?

Great question….and they’ve already received some interesting feedback, ranging from MIDI on the Monotribe to re-releasing the MS-20.

It’s great to see that Korg is looking for input from its customers & potential customers. With that in mind – what would you like to see Korg build next? Would you rather see them tweak one of their existing products, bring back a classic or come up with something new?

99 thoughts on “Open Mic: What Should Korg Build Next?

  1. How about a ‘Korg Classics’ line of synth gear?

    I’d like to see the return of the Korg MS-20 and a modern take on the Korg SQ-10. They might not sell a bazillion of these, but they they’d make the synth fans go crazy.

  2. It’s easy. I was thinking that they might already be working on it actually…… The MicroMono…… a mix of the Monotron and the MicroKorg. 3 Octave mini keyboard, 2 real analogue oscillators, that MS20 filter, LFO and ADSR, MIDI, CV and Gate. Simple, but playable, portable and sounding great. Think Yamaha CS01 on steroids. They would sell more of ’em that the MicroKorg, and start (another) generation on their way to a synthetic life.

  3. easy. a new, poly analog synth. let the classics stay classic. I’m guessing, however, the logical first step would be an analog mono given their conservative drift back to analog.

    I also wouldn’t mind midi for the monotribe. I had been told by a friend w/ connections to Korg that such a thing was in the works before Musikmesse. Held my breath and turned blue…disappointed.

  4. An analog electribe with memory and a full featured analog monosynth in the same vein as the minibrute but with the korg flavour would be superduper

  5. Electribe ESX with 2 analog mono synth parts from the monotribe but each with 2 oscs, hi and lo pass filters from the ms20, 2 complete envs and 2 lfos each and decent mod matrix. Allow resampling of the analog parts and I’m in heaven.

  6. I wish more synth manufacturers would delve into making percussive synthesizer modules, whether tabletop or rack mounted. I’m not speaking of the Electribe type all in one modules. I suppose I’m thinking more toward the Tempest idea…….. without the Midas price tag. Give us a programmable drum module with plenty of tweakable knobs and waveforms leaning more towards building insane beats instead of ethereal pads. Cover the gamut from acoustic to glitch, with crisp highs and window breaking lows. It’s ok to give us a range of presets to get us going, but give us more options than changing pitch. Give us the ability to create a unique sound for the purpose of rhythm that no one has heard before with user banks to store our custom sounds.. Make this machine with multiple outputs and I think it may go somewhere. Plenty of DJ oriented modules out there that try to do it all. I would love to see a hardcore percussive synthesizer out in the wilds that couldn’t care less about strings. If you have to cut cost and avoid analog chips……so be it. We will survive. Conversation with the wall ends now……….

  7. I have the Korg Legacy Controller. How about Wavestation, Polysix , or an M1 version. Same thing with the Digital edition. I like the 1/8″ patch cables of the KLC but a real M2-20 would be cool. If not a MS Filter Freq box. I forgot about the SQ10.

  8. Analog monosynth keyboard. Full size synth keys, pitch and mod wheels, wood, the works. The class of a voyager with the practicality of the minibrute

  9. Kp4/ kp pro obviously
    -higher resolution touch screen (maybe with video out and fractal generator just for fun)
    -better sampling function (almost like an ESX kaoss combo)
    -internal memory (no load time)
    -usb interface for fx customization (setting x/y parameters, fx layers, fine tunings)
    -1/4 inch jacks
    -possibly plug in hosting and pressure sensing (x/y/finger circumference)
    -pad motion programing and synchronization
    -Re sampling FX to track (rather than all tracks to track)
    -FX loop for guitar pedals and rack fx

    or just a dedicated kaoss pad midi controller with auto-map like capabilities

  10. or an electribe pro

    -load drum samples
    -drum synthesis for drum part
    -user friendly song mode
    -individual FX per part
    -arp section replaced with a mini kp route able to and parameter/fx or arpeggiator (even possibly a drum arpegiator for multiple parts similar to kp3 drums)
    -step motion sequencing by knob not by mini programmer
    -1 poly synth part
    -motion sequencing for fx type, synth type and drum sample selection
    -better tubes
    -custom tuning (a432/ eastern scales/ just intonation)
    -2 LFOs
    -silver or flat black
    -programmable arp
    -transpose by midi keyboard
    -more functions for osc edit 2 (change function via program encoder)
    -hell why not encoders rather than pots (keep the feel though)
    -adsr as a modulator
    -better reverb
    -part mute (shift mute to touch parts and toggle them rather than holding down mute or hearing drums)

  11. with all these analog synths coming out i think it would be a good idea for korg to create a korg simple sequencer, or a korg midi patch recaller that you can carry in your pocket. you can carry it in your hand and you can program a patch have the midi recaller receive the midi data while you are editing the synth and then save that setting, then you can recall it later on the fly by having it reset those parameters as if you had reconfigured it yourself.

    i would like to see the emx electribe series revamped. this time with loadable samples and a wavetable option. AND FOR GOD SAKES A BETTER REVERB EFFECT! that was one of the few things i didnt like about the emx 1.

    1. or maybe even a modern take on the DSS-1 with a better interface for the additive engine, with the possibility to modulate harmonics and bezier drawing for the waveforms.

  12. I’d like to see a REALLY VERSATILE physical modeling synth (a la Logic’s Sculpture), with highly configurable filters (like resonators). Include a powerful convolution engine and spectral effects.

    I would also like to see a better quality of keyboard– better velocity response, nicer feeling action– (a la Infinite Response?).

    And finally, I would like it if the keyboard was NOT trend-specific. A creative keyboard will let you create music in changing scales, meters, and dynamics. Let music evolve!!– That’s no diss to our analog loving folk here, just saying– when they are taking requests, let’s ask for a new instrument.

    1. The mention of physical modeling caught my eye, as I use Logic’s Sculpture. At that level, the usual synthesis tools are partly set aside. It requires a different sort of thinking. You can “ruin” a good preset easily, because its using a model as complex as additive in its own way. LOTS of CPU required, too. So my personal wish would be for Korg’s version of the Roland V-Synth GT with a somewhat simpler feature set. You could do the usual ROMpler things and have an added level of detail available for truly rich solo voices like a violin’s. (Sculpture does rich pads, but it really speaks up as a mutant guitar or flute.) I love Korg gear and I can see them offering a touchscreen featuring, say, 8 key parameters for that section. I get the feeling it could be cost-effective if limited to just a FEW elastic parameters. When you can choose between a glass or wooden “string,” or something in-between, whew, nice. A Kaoss-pad-like panel with just 8 such routing options could be powerful, without a $4k price tag. Think of it as a solo or sound-design voice for anything that isn’t step-sequenced or dubsteppin’. There are tons of killer tools for those now, but a lot fewer synths with a singular voice that can compete with a guitar or a singer.

      1. With physical modeling synths, I especially like the feeling I get that there is something real vibrating. The expressiveness of the velocity response, the attack characteristics, and the complexity of the sound is more inviting and less fatiguing to me. I get more inspiration even from “pre-ruined” presets.

        1. Dedicated physical modeling synths aren’t plentiful, but to me, its a vital tool for the reasons you describe. I hit the CPU-wall using more than one or two instances at a time, but the rewards you get from freezing tracks as you go makes it well worth the effort. It adds unique depth when layered and kind of magically enhances the presence of the rest of your ‘stack.’ If anyone can turn that into decent hardware at a non-astronomical price, its Korg. Please pardon my bias. I just like their sound and approach. None of my Korgs ever died; they got sold or given to pals, still cooking away.

  13. Something we have not seen before.
    Hybrid generation of gear,
    Analog synth with konkreet performer / minority report style interface.
    Or just make something as abstract as the op1. It rocks!

  14. A better Z1, with polyphonic aftertouch, weighted keys, more polyphony and dual arpeggiators.
    And a “new” Polysix would be nice …

  15. First and foremost :

    An affordable DEEP analog bass synth one that can do sub-bass for like 3 octaves below the note played and have the syncing waveforms that the miniatur has and it must also be able to do great stuff like the yamaha cs-01 like be really fat and lift off the speaker (I think you can sacrifice midi on this but use the sync feature that the mono tribe has and have buttons or ribbon for the key board for 2 octaves) and must have booming impact. Bass is sooo important these days and good quality is hard to come by

    Then maybe…

    Something like a mini modular set of things like those audio cubes with feature set of the op-1 maybe mini oled touch screens or even knobs buttons and sliders to have a physical version of Reaktor but the sound quality of the ms-20 or monotribe where you can choose between a keyboard/ribbon and a push button sequencer for input – with this one you can go on forever

    and also

    I have been listening to the Monopoly as well and i think it is time for a reissue

    1. I once owned a MonoPoly and liked it well enough, but it had an inherent thinness, even when used as a 4-voice. Give it a broader, beefier wavetable to chew on and yeah, that’d be a great synth. Make a big-brother version with an MS-20-like patch panel on top, sell it for $1000 less than a Voyager and you’ll make a bundle. Of course, the MS2000 kind of IS a MonoPoly, sooooo….. Gear Lust vs. Practicality, as always.

  16. Korg MS-2013:
    4 voice analog

    OR an analog multitimbral polysynth, where 2 parts could be mono, and one poly part for making it as cheap as possible, but still a kind of analog work station for real time music making:
    -3 parts and drumsynth
    -Either have one row of knobs and sliders and step sequencer for each part
    -or as a cost cutting measure include a built in Kaoss Pad 3(or slot for KP4) in the middle of the fron panel, that would work as GUI, sliders for step sequencer and envelopes, and also provide effects and loop sampler. The sampler could perhaps be expanded too…or….

    A New Kaoss Pad/Synth altogether:
    -A mixture of effect processor, sampler and virtual analog.
    -Loop sampler, or perhaps even audio/midi sequencer and sampler
    -Screen would make it workable as an independent unit and work as a GUI for making music and programming sounds, but would of course be played with keyboard when available
    -Engines stipped from Kronos; at least AL-1 and MOD-7, perhaps it could be expanded with other engines from online store.

    1. Perhaps Korg could step in Apples toes, and push the Kaoss Pad series in iPads direction.

      Rugged, expandable and self sufficient touch screen module – Kind of portable multisynth workstation, but with quality audio components, in/outputs, midis, usbs and such, couple of physical knobs and sliders. They could make it open for 3rd parties to be able to submit their content to Korg’s online shop(and take a small slice of %’s from the revenue for them selves) and that open file system for making certain people really happy, and perhaps even that VST support for silencing that whining for a bit. They could exchange a bit of battery life for processing power; a musical touch pad wouldn’t absolutely necessarily have to be extremely thin or run for 10h, 5h would be plenty, as long as it has enough oomph to run everything now and have enough room for growth too.

      This will happen, the only questions are; when, and who will do that first.

  17. what I would REALLY love to see is a full
    modular system based on the monotron.
    separate VCO, VCF, LFO etc, drop the ribbon
    (could be a separate module) and put lots
    of 3.5mm plugs as ins/outs. add ADSR module,
    S&H, eg. a full modular line. plus a “master”
    module with batter and USB power, which
    does MIDI2CV via USB (optionally a more
    expensive standalone “true” MIDI2CV box
    for computerless setup). each module
    would sell for the same price of a
    monotron or even slightly less. a sort of
    toy modular, affordable but still with
    true analog sound. and lots of creative
    potential. I guess this would appeal
    a lot of synth geeks.


  18. I would love to own a unit that has all analog synthesis yet is midi controllable. It would be ideal if it could synthesize say 4 to eight 8 channels of sound with both internal sequencing and mixing of each channel. It would be ideal if the synthesis could be used to produce drum, bass and synth sounds depending on how the signal paths are modulated. It would also be amazing yet perhaps asking a bit much of the channels could accept an input signal and be able to vocode that input similar to what the Microkorg XL can do. I am envisioning something like the Roland Mc505, yet analog, with the vocoding capability of the microKORG. It maybe asking to much, yet I think a unit like this would appeal to many electronic musicians who wish to experiment with what pure analog synthesis can do, without having to completely abandoning there digital workstation.

  19. Analog Mono, Analog Polly & Analog Drum Machine. Its a good time to do it. I think people want analog………….. and we no you can do it!

  20. Anything analog with normal-sized keys and/or midi. A 2 osc monotribe with delay, a good reverb,a multimode filter and 2 decent envelopes would be great.

  21. Monotronesque modular jigsaw puzzle in a collect them all -fashion. Different analog oscillators, filters, envelopes, lfos, effects, step sequencers for making analog synth for your liking..

  22. I’d really love a set of small, affordable analog drum machines – Like the monotron, in terms of size and ease of use, and taking that step sequencer from the monotribe to make a totally new set of drum machines. Preferably for under, say, £100. Imagine that! Stick a jack output on it and you could have a new wave of drum sounds – like the 808 all over again.

    Just a suggestion. peace

  23. A groovebox with 1analog synth track, 2 polyphonic microkorg/vocoder tracks, 1 polyphonic drum track where you can use 16 of your own samples, and 2 audio in sample tracks, 64 steps, with overdub that can be saved and loaded instantly with a pattern. (like the recorders on the kaossilator pro minus the loading times when switching to the next pattern) 8 banks of 16 patterns that can be played without having to stop the music because of pattern loading times. And the microkorg xl fx, grainshifter fx, for each track.

  24. I would love to see a new Korg hardware groovebox that competes with the more high-end midi sequencers/samplers out there. Roland tried it with the MV80*0 series, Yamaha with the RS7000… I think Korg could create something very special.

    Give the device a HD so users could store samples in the unit. Make sure it chops, stretches, edits both destructive and non-destructively, and does editable motion control automation. Give it TONs of DSP for insert effects. Make sure the compressors can be side-chained.

    Do away with extraneous s*#t like the gimmicky tubes. Don’t use smart media cards. Make as much as possible “one knob per function”. Give us a large screen to work/edit on.

    Do what Roland does, and include a bunch of your old stuff to make the product more robust. I want the physical modeling section from the Z1, the drum synthesis from the wavedrum, and the effects from the kronos/ the VOX amplification stuff. Big MPC-style pads (and the ability to plug up a wave-drum style pad to the main unit)… DJ-style cross-fading…. i could go on and on and on…… lol

  25. A decent iPad dock. With midi in out and thru. Balanced input and output and all. The korg apps instantly mapped.

  26. hands down i would want a KORG PS-3300 !!!!!
    in any form VST— ipad app —or usb controller

    i would also love a SQ-10 Analog Sequencer with usb

  27. I’m probably going to be alone on this, but I personally would love to see two things:

    1. A software version of the Triton workstation with ALL of the expansion cards.
    2. A soft-synth using their MOSS technology.

  28. A true high-end Oasys-like instrument, with real analog components for MS-20/Polysix synthesis. These computer machines we see in Kronoshit doesn’t work for me at all.

  29. 1. MS-20 in rack format… maybe a 2 or 4 space rack kinda like the Moog Voyager rack…with included cv inputs and outputs or outbox/rack. And maybe an updated MIDI/USB protocol to daisy chain multiple MS-20s for endless amounts of oscillators and audio processing capabilities. Or maybe the PS3100 oscillator and filters in a rack or modular format with MIDI/USB and cv to gradually build up a system.

    2. Frankenstein 4 KP3 and padKontrol in a see through case.

  30. I think it would be awsome to see a hardware clip launcher with an internal multitembral synth and drum machine based off analog synths of Korg’s past. Im kinda weird and like to step away from my computer for writing music but I love ableton…. So a hardware equivalent would make my day. :3

  31. A new drum machine would be cool, even if it’s something like Maschine and MPC Ren. The more the merrier. A better version of the Trigger Finger or Kontrol 49.

    1. Better version of the Trigger Finger? That wasn’t even a korg product. Screw usb midi controllers. Build a modern up to date beefed up Electribe with 1 narly analog synth, and 4 or 5 digital synth instances to back it up. Lots of modern FX (Kaoss type) and processing. And put it in a sturdy steel case like the EMX-1.

    1. itsashowtime / Funny and contrarian reeivw here. Honest question though, what do you think of the ESX-1 SD itself as just a sampler? I’m looking to buy a sampler that can allow me to quickly prototype beats/tracks in live situations (i.e. as opposed to those truly superior studio-based AKAI MPC’s). Alot of your gripes about the sound seem directed more towards the EMX-1 SD, which is an actual synthesizer, and the disposable patterns that come with the ESX-1 SD; I’m going to be sampling from the real world anyways. It’s between this and a KP3, but I feel the KP3 is more for someone who already owns a sampler. I’m keen on knowing your opinions. Thanks in advance.

  32. A new Electribe with poly synth engine, sampling, kaoss style controller for recording parts or automation and WIST so it syncs with iPad. An iPad app to fine tune synth patches on this dream box or something would also be wicked.

    1. Sweetness! Just read this note.Is yours a newer model? My Korg is outdated i think, but still a good one.Arpeggiators are fun, as are sliedr bars, does yours have multi track recording?Gimme the juicy details man!God bless,j.smith

  33. A polytron. Ideally under $500, for 2 reasons:
    1. It wouldn’t have to compete with DSI instruments.
    2. More affordable for the masses
    obviously the low price point would mean significant cutbacks but that’s the point, if we want excellent poly-analog-synths will go vintage, polychain synths, or get a DSI. This would be for entry level musicians, voices of analog goodness, and a fair amount of routing.

  34. I love the MicroMono idea – maybe an idea would be an optional patch bay extension using mini jacks.

    Also, iPad gets iMS20 – give iPhone users the iMS10! The DS10 was awesome but with the midi capabilities of the iPhone it would be properly useful (even if you need to use a stylus)

  35. I’d like to see a microkorg size keyboard which is basically a monotribe and all three monotrons combined. Decent inputs/outputs.

  36. A great build like a rock and rugged solid and reliable stage keyboard with the kronos EP engine.
    BUT i said RELIABLE please!

  37. I think if you look at all the classic Korg gear (or any classic gear), the common thread is this: simple machines that create powerful results. And, not state of the art ephemeral technologies! No offence, but we’re not going to look back in 20-30 years and remember a Korg iPad dock, iPhone MS10 app, some dubstep-oriented drum machine/synth, or anything that is too overtly in the moment. I just hope Korg doesn’t follow what’s currently hot for a buck. Even the monotron is a step in the right direction, but I feel that it’s just treated as a fun toy to put on your desk. I own a PolySix and a rev1 MS20 and I am constantly coming back to the MS20 for the raw, gritty, and amazing sound it creates. I have delays and reverb. We have plug-ins. Create a simple machine that gives us big and memorable results that are useful to the everyday musician. Korg, please don’t create a new product that in 20 years will look like what the Zack Morris bulky cell phone looks like to us now. I think we will eventually laugh off overly feature-laden products if they only address the consumer at the time. Give us products we can grow up with! My parents bought us a Juno 106 in 1989 to practice piano on. Even though it was bought for an entirely different purpose, that is one instrument that has grown with me up until this day.

  38. What about that Aussie invention, where not only do have touch and after touch on the keyboard. But you are able to push the keys in a 3 dimensional way, to achieve some fantastic bens (no need for a joystick) , but also because the keyboard moves as it does, it accentuates better realistic sounds, because the keyboard accentuates the feel of the player, and the nuance of the sounds. Very cool, and is definitely the future of at least the keyboard. I have lost the link, but it shouldn’t,t be too hard to find it

  39. – An digitally-controlled analog modular mono/poly-synth which can be expanded by Monotribe-Sized modules(inc. osc, filter, arp, efx ect).
    – It would include all modern day features like an OS that can detect the modules installed and patching would be done via an ipad/computer editor(the hardware patching would similar to SSL’s Patch Rack).
    – It would have 2 keyboard options: either a keyboard with an assignable ribbon controller or a hakken-continuum/buchla synth style controller.
    – The keyboard will come with an inclinable empty frame (moog voyager) where modules would be fitted with a slip and lock system.
    – korg could create different ‘bundles’ depending on the budget and even develop a VST/ AU/ AAX or Reason Rack Extension Editor for it!
    – Korg could provide Rackable frames for bigger setups.
    – It would have a sound that would make many, many, many of us do in our pants on hearing just one note coming from it!

  40. Yamaha cs80 was the last great synth not because of its synth engine but because of its polyphonic after touch keyboard and long pitch ribbon.

    Yamaha EX5 did a lot of what the kronos does today but with limited cpu power..

    korg make fantastic synths but please get back to people who can actually play and not just press buttons to trigger sounds.

    its great to see korg going back to analog synths.

    No other synth like my old ARP 2600 (with I sold to underworld) can move air and brake speakers like that machine.

    Come on Korg do something Yamaha had but lost,make a great playable synthesisers and let our fingers do the talking again.


  41. I own the Korg Electribe MX-1 SD and the full Korg Kaossilator series. I wish Korg to release a new ” Ultra-tribe” or something called like that. It should have:
    -25 Drumparts, 15 Synthparts
    -real drum trigger pads
    -a lot of FX for the parts
    -easy songmaking functions
    – A inbuilt Kaossilator/Kaosspad for playing the parts and doing some effects on the fly
    -Sample-function, and some buttons to fire Oneshots
    -A colorful bigger screen in the middle on a 45° angle
    -endless and more precious knobs, enough of them like on the access virus TI2 desktop.
    -a 25-key or button(could be on the trigger pads) keyboard, polyphonic
    -should be the size of the mc 505 or bigger, weight is not relevant
    -enough inputs,outputs, midi, maybe cv, sd card, usb, maybe battery powered too

  42. A cheap analog drum-machine in the spirit of the monotron series. For making fast retro beats to jam along with.

  43. I would love to see the korg prophecy, the electribe series and of coarse the legacy analog series as RE rack extensions. Followed up by a kp-4, which combines the features of the quad and the kp-3. Wouldn’t mind seeing a nano-xl USB controler with cv connections…and finally what everybody wants a revamp of the ms-series in some form. I figure if arturia can make a sh-101 on steroids for cheap, then korg can really go all out on a analog mono synth with all those lovely features of the past, and new features that will make it shine. With the success of their monotribe/ monotron series, it’s only logical for them to continue down that road…which you might say is that the waters been tested and it’s time for them to jump all the way in. Korgs been able to dominate the 500.00 below market for so long, but new bloods coming up strong, it’s time for korg to step up the game again and show everyone why korg really is the last of the great synth manufactures.

  44. I love the analog Lego-style modular idea! This is something I’ve been wanting to see for some time…small modules and then maybe three large modules (for sequencer, efxs

  45. 1. A patchable analog synth, inspired by the MS-20 or MS-30.

    2. Korg Kaoss 4 (presuming the “quadra” wasn’t intended as #4). It could have user assignable effect for the X and Y. Wouldn’t a D-beam be cool, to give a Z-axis? And an open architecture and SDK would be cutting edge, for 3rd party effect programming.

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