King Korg Synthesizer In Depth Demo

Here’s an in depth look at the new King Korg synthesizer, introduced at the 2013 NAMM Show.

The video captures Korg product specialist Luke Edwards and Nick from Sonic State digging deep into the new King Korg. Edwards discusses the King Korg’s architecture, the synths multiple filters and demos a variety of sounds. 

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

The King Korg is expected to be available in Spring 2013 for $1299 street price.

30 thoughts on “King Korg Synthesizer In Depth Demo

    1. Rather simple really. Because Analogue Modeled Synthesis can actually be superior to the “real” thing as you pout it in many different ways.

      Sonically you can replicate anything, and I mean anything that an analogue synth can do, however the matrix modulation, effects, the artifacts (whichever you choose to keep or discard) and a host of other attributes can be retained or discarded.

      It is the quality of the algorithms really, as much as it is the quality of the components used in analogue circuitry. This whole discussion about analogue vs VA is silly. If you prefer the “real” thing, then by all means vote with your pocket book.

      For me, VA is superiour. Period. And I understand the underpinning is analogue technology. Yet at some point we have to move forward. To me this is the clearest path.

      And please understand, I respect your love and loyalty to analogue synthesis.

      Cheers.

    2. I wonder how many people here who go on about how great analogue is, could really distinguish a modern VA from analogue in a recording…..

      1. I’d say that distinguishing it in a recording is a very small, and perhaps even insignificant part of the experience. For me, Analog is about control, feel, and what it sounds like in person. I have heard a lot of recordings where the drums were computerized, but that does not mean that drums are any less important. I make my finest, most original sounding tracks using my Moog Rogue because it is unstable, rowdy, and feels amazing. Even on the finest, most perfect emulation I can get of it off of a computer using a MIDI board, knobs etc. or on another synth with a similar patch like the Microkorg, it never makes the same music. To me it is flat and lifeless if my hands do not truly manipulate the voltages as I do on the Moog Rogue. I definitely make music on virtual analog synths, but it is simply different. Nothing can replace analog circuitry, but that does not mean that anything is inferior/superior to it, again, it just means that it is a different means of making music.

  1. I’ve played this already in store, i kinds liked it, but as they said right at the beginning, is has that ‘sheen’, which is sort of gives it an overall ‘plasticky’ sound,. It was nice, its smooth, but there’s something I could not put my finger on, it just lacked that ‘magic’, shame as it looks great, its quite powerful, but just didn’t give me a hard on so to speak!

    1. yeah, it seems to have the potential, but in the end it just sounds like a bunch of stuff that cleverly came out of a computer, I’m just not feeling it at all.

      it’s like the difference between a mechanical 70s car and a 90s electronic car. it’s a pain having to warm up an old car on cold mornings, lack of fuel injection etc. but the sound of the engine, the rattle of the chassis, you can really feel what you’re driving.

      1. Certainly Lu, computers are so awful, my God I wish someone would just disassemble all of them and cars from the 90’s….even more horrid.

        Yes, those wonderful 70’s pieces of crap….now that was an automobile……and who needs progress.

        This revisionist nonsense is getting more and more sad.

  2. Harlan Ellison once said “Some housewives are crapping cookies because their laundry is only dazzling white instead of super-nova white.” Similar situation here. No, its not analog, shuddup, that’s part of why it’ll control an outboard analog if you like. It certainly covers other areas decently.

    As to having a ‘plastic’ sound… I’ve heard several things from it that have real grit, in part because its effects are set up within the chain rather than being tacked on for color at the end. Does it really lack musical character or are you just being fussy? You DO program enough to put your own imprint on it, right? I suppose it loses a bit of mysticism when instead of you appearing to be the master of a stack of hardware, the same tools can reside in just 2 or 3 low-profile little boxes. I think people are looking for something glamorous and undervaluing the actual titanium balls.

    If the sound doesn’t speak to you, okay, that’s subjective and everyone’s fair to call to make for themselves. I simply think this is a pretty stout instrument slanted towards live playing, but also decently appointed for the studio. At the price, I expect to see it start popping up in a lot of rigs. Its not a Solaris, but its a pretty creditable KK.

    1. Cheers Fungo, and for the record, the Solaris is VA as well. Look it up if in doubt. It is based on Creamwares developments.

  3. I thinks it’s interesting that they only played the MS20 Mini for a brief moment and a terrible sound at that.
    There is no comparison, the MS20 Mini sounds dirtier and more raw = Real Analog even in that brief moment we heard it.

    I think the King Korg, which is a terrible name by the way, is very pretty and sounds fantastic for what it is however for about two thirds more you can have a Kronos which will take you much further and is less likely to loose value over time. I want to say that this is something that would have been great five or seven years ago however the market is lacking a little bit in current relatively affordable polyphonic VAs with full keyboards. There is a lot of other slightly more affordable VAs but they are usually eight voice.

    Synthesis side for a “digital” synth Thewholehearts comment is right on. Iv’e noticed that a lot of hardware VAs as of late seem to be lacking FM which I think is a shame especially if most plugin VA’s do.

    1. I know what you are saying, this is the third VA synth I’ve bought, I fully wanted a phatty stage but this actually made me spend more, you have to spend time with this to realise the line between D and A is blurred more than ever, with added versitality, not a one trick pony etc. FM? My blo-keys pulls that off or I can reach for fm7. All in all Korg did a crap job at launching this, timing against the ms20 mini, lack of decent demos and crappy name (it looks much better in the flesh), its what you can get out of it, a huge tweekable sonic pallet.

  4. So it can make a load of sounds we’ve already heard a million times before. Is it too much to ask for a VA with a capacity to make truly original sounds? The King Korg might be able to do this, but this demonstration certainly doesn’t showcase it in that capacity.

    1. Holy smokes, how inconsiderate of them not to READ YOUR MIND and program THE SOUNDS IN YOUR HEAD into this particular keyboard so they could demonstrate them on the Internet and impress you enough to buy it. That means you might just have to try one out and MOVE THE KNOBS YOURSELF to see if it makes the sounds you are thinking of. Jeez, what an inconsiderate company Korg is for not treating you as if you are the primary musician on the planet. Wow. That’s really dumb of them.
      OK, it’s out of my system now. Sorry.

    2. So what is a “truly original sound?” Even Bob Moog was amazed at what Wendy Carlos did with “just” a big modular, because HER sawtooth waves were used in a context no one had created before. We all know about those huge one-finger-orchestra patches, but can you really use them musically? Maybe ONCE, as a joke that tells its own punch line first thing. I think a lot of people are looking for BIG when what really cooks is SOLID, as when a lead plays against the beat and changes the whole texture. I say the real acid test is seeing if an instrument is broad enough to allow the PLAYER to decide on the context. A few keyboards have been appalling duds there, but I don’t think the KK is one of them.

  5. This must be the next advancement of their “MMT” sound engine. I used to own the Electribe MX and thought the synth parts sounded great. It really stood up well next to Analog sounds too…was nice and bright. This looks a bit boring to me because I’m not a proper keyboard player, but I reckon it has a good sound.

  6. Sounds fantastic, looks sharp. A few minor omissions, but this isn’t the Radias II. In fact, the name suugests it’s the professional full-size followup to the MicroKorg XL+, right down to a nice VA engine paired with PCM stuff like Mellotrons, piano, etc, other Korg DNA in there too.

  7. Getting more excited by this! It sounds good and the interface looks fantastic.

    About the demo sounds – synth designers always have to put in the ‘Lucky Guy’ type presets, because lots of people buy synths based on the presets.

  8. Becuase I am old these are the only riffs I ID’d.

    9:41 – Like a Virgin
    9:53 – 1999
    10:06 – Da Funk
    10:28 – Higher State of Consciousness
    10:53 – SFF
    13:38 – Born Slippy

  9. Also, he played Robin’s “Show Me Love,” (house organ) and Tiny Tempa’s “Passout” (square wave arpeggiator). This is the second demo of the KK I’ve heard. Last night I heard a Japanese one which covered more sounds. I think it sounds fantastic, and has a big sound, but I’ll reserve final judgement until I can play it in a store.

  10. Well, I tried one, with the aim if seeing if it could replace the TR61 in my rig. Answer – no. On the plus side, some great analog-sounding patches, easily alterable beyond recognition with handy, powerful, resonant filter. PCM sounds useful. On the minus side, not multitimbral, and filter was on right hand side of control surface. A silly place.

  11. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this
    blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

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