New King Korg Synthesizer Combines Analog Modeling With Control Voltage Outputs

At the 2013 NAMM Show today, Korg officially introduced the new King KORG synthesizer. King Korg is an analog modeling synthesizer, that Korg says is ‘based on the design philosophy of classic Korg analog synthesizers’.

While a virtual synth, the King Korg offers many analog features, including a knob-heavy design, vacuum tube drive circuitry and control voltage + gate outputs.

Here are the details:

Product Highlights:

  • A full-fledged, 61-key analog modeling synthesizer designed for live performance
  • Oscillators that are ‘understandable to the beginner, yet satisfying for the expert’
  • Modeling filters that reproduce the sound of classic instruments
  • Three master effect sections (each with six effect types) add the finishing touch to your sound
  • Vacuum tube driver circuit adds rich overtones and powerful distortion
  • New panel layout designed for intuitive operation
  • CV/GATE OUT jack lets you control a Korg monotribe or MS-20
  • Support for librarian software that lets you manage programs

Key Features:

  • Newly designed panel layout  – the newly designed panel is organized into blocks that let you focus on the controls you need while editing. While reflecting the concept of an analog synthesizer’s signal flow, KingKORG’s front panel takes full advantage of today’s technology. For example, the oscillator section has its own dedicated display that shows the name of the currently selected algorithm. You can turn the dial located beside this display to see descriptive names, and push the dial to jump to the beginning of categories such as ANALOG or DWGS. The control knobs are assigned to the most effective and important parameters for each oscillator, letting you enjoy the unique feature of an analog synthesizer — turning the knobs to transform the sound. There are also dedicated dials for each of the three master effects, making it easy to try out different effects and hear how they modify the sound. Since a self-luminous organic EL display is used, visibility is excellent even on a dimly lit stage.
  • 61 dynamic, full-size keys, plus Korg’s X/Y Joystick – KingKORG features  five octaves of velocity-sensitive keys, whose response can be adjusted (Normal, Shallow, or Deep) to mimic that of classic instruments. Below the dedicated octave shift buttons, you’ll find a backlit X/Y joystick.
  • Favorites function for convenience in live performance -The Favorites function lets you recall frequently-used programs at a single touch. You can assign a total of 40 programs to the eight category favorite buttons for easy recall.
  • 200 built-in preset programs – KingKORG provides a diverse selection of 200 stage-ready preset programs organized into eight categories such as Synth, Lead, and Bass. There’s also selection of the staple sounds you need for live performance, including numerous PCM sounds for piano, electric piano, organ, and clavinet. There’s also a user area for you to store 100 of your own sounds.
  • CV/GATE OUT jack lets you control the monotribe or MS-20 – The CV/GATE OUT jack lets you use an analog signal to control a KORG monotribe or MS-20. A dedicated cable for the monotribe is included, allowing you to use the keyboard of KingKORG to play the monotribe.
  • Support for librarian software that lets you manage programs – You can manage programs on your computer simply by connecting KingKORG to your computer via a USB cable and using the librarian software. The librarian software can be downloaded at no charge from the Korg website or from the website of your local Korg distributor.

It’s expected to be available in Spring 2013 for $1299 street price.

28 thoughts on “New King Korg Synthesizer Combines Analog Modeling With Control Voltage Outputs

    1. Seriously, I hope they sell millions of these. After the announcement of the mini MS-20, I have nothing but goodwill towards Korg. 🙂

  1. if someone does a demo side by side with a poly six and the king korg canatch it. I’ll be interested. but the price is probably going to be phenomenal

    1. The German Korg website says, it’ll be 1427 Euro, so street price will be 1300 – 1400 Euro I think. After reading concept and features I wouldn’t call that expensive.

  2. Another one analog modeling synth…with a cute panel layout designed for intuitive operation,hmm!! and a Vacuum tube driver? circuit adds rich overtones and powerful distortion?, Oh!!!
    What you said now!! Ah!!! what a prototype news, they discovered. Ah!!!! Interesting!!!!

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  3. Well, I’m a little disappointed, but not a LOT disappointed. I’ve got a Solaris to cover these bases, but this might make a great performance keyboard for live use. Will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the current heavyweights in this category, e.g., Access and Nord.

    I guess we DID get the MS-20 out of the show, no? Of course, since I have a modular, I probably won’t get one of THOSE, either… What’s a gearhead to do!?

  4. after the MS-2000 and Radias, this really seems like a couple steps back

    i was hoping they would have updated the electribes to analog machines – i think that would be the killer device for Korg right now

  5. You gotta realize that there is a vast market of people who have no desire to get into analog. This keyboard is designed for them, not for you. Like the micro korg did for me 10 years ago, it may help people understand the concepts of analog subtractive synthesis.

  6. I’m very curious about how deeply it can be edited under the hood, despite its clear goal as a live performer. Depending on the routing options, it could also be a secret sci-fi weapon, like the wacky 3rd bank of sounds in many synths. Okay, so its modeled and not pure analog. I’ll bet it still comes very close to “pure” and the CV output covers onboard control of any analog synth you’d care to use. Korg clearly thinks it should be a new MS-20. That’s smart both musically and market-wise.

    The panel’s signal flow is a bit non-traditional, but it makes sense under the circumstances. Unless you are a lefty, having effects under your left hand, the envelope controls on the far right and waveform changes in the middle suggests a certain flow as a live-use synth. That seems like a useful alternative to the traditional MiniMoog diagram and even a bit DJ-minded.

    Its intriguing to see both Korg and Roland release mid-priced keyboards that cover several easily-accessed bases in one unit and also offer controller functions. I’m happy to see this, because it feels like a mature sort of evolution. We can argue over modeling and the like, but anything that takes one more barrier down and allows people to just “wail” freely means more of their mental resources will go into the music. I look forward to hearing what it can do that isn’t strictly dance-oriented or blatantly prog-like. It clearly doesn’t sound THIN.

  7. This is seriously one of the most uninspiring promo videos I have ever heard. It sounds like a softsynth from the early 2000’s. I’ll give ’em a pass because of the MS-20 reissue, but sheesh… Is this video supposed to excited people?!

    1. Yeah, I agree. Korg may be successful, but they are basically a dinosaur company at this point. Not as bad as Roland, but not by much.

  8. it sounds fukin awesome !! if someone buy stuff by watching promo videos then good luck, you better go buy any kid’s keyboard.. sounds like nord (but still original) , looks good, got much possibilities to creating new tones.. if you like it you buy it, if u prefem more disco or dance climates then you looking for somethin else.. and is someone doesnt see differences between kingkorg and ms 20 or radias then better keep it in secret, coze it means that you dont have ears..

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