Korg Announces ‘KR mini’ Rhythm Machine

korg_kr_miniToday Korg announced its new KR mini rhythm machine.

Designed for the musician looking for easy rhythm accompaniment, it features “nostalgic” looks and a simple design and easy, push-button control. The KR mini is also lightweight, can run on batteries and has a built-in speaker for portability.


All of the KR mini’s controls are on the top of the device. A total of 60 rhythm patterns are available in a wide range of genres, such as 8-beat, 16-beat, rock and pop, with six patterns for each genre. Alternatively, users can tap in their own beats via a simple recording function. There are also eight song patterns containing drum parts that are several measures in length. Finally, a chain function allows the ability to arrange favorite rhythm patterns and fill-ins to create complete songs.

KRmini_top-viewAn optional pedal switch is availble for functions such as start/stop or for triggering fill-ins, providing smooth control over the KR mini in a performance environment. For added power, the KR mini contains a headphone/speaker output to connect to a PA system or used with a guitar amp.

Here’s a preview of the KR mini in action:

Pricing and Availability. The KR mini will be available for purchase in November, for a US street price of $79.99. Additional product information is available on the Korg website.

29 thoughts on “Korg Announces ‘KR mini’ Rhythm Machine

  1. You’ve go to love Korg. They keep coming up with the goods! I miss my old BOSS DR660, making all my beats in Logic these days, but this little drum machine is priced perfectly to indulge in some hardware beat making! 🙂

  2. Man I miss these simple little drum machines. Just start a beat and improvise on keys/guitar instead of endless hours tweaking a piano roll. Cheap enough to be in the impulse buy territory too? Nice.

  3. It can be exciting when a lot of power & functionality is packed into a small and affordable package. But this AIN’T it.

    Nothing ground breaking here. On the contrary, I don’t see anything unique about it (except maybe the size & built in speaker). Only 6 user patterns (54 factory presets- that’s pretty good), and only 8 songs (!), no velocity for the pads (but for the price/size, that’s not surprising). It has 2W of power for the audio. Those little golf-ball sized external speakers (with the accordion pop-up feature) for $18 have 3W power.

    Though it is step-up from their metronomes, it is not much of a drum machine, IMO.

    Do you have a smartphone or tablet? Do you have one of those little external speakers? (I got the newer version of the AYL from Amazon and they are good). Do you have a good drum-machine app? Why not settle for that?

  4. Fills. I love little preset fills. I wish modern drum machines had a little switch for adding fills every 4,8 bars, whatever, rather than needing to program chains. Having that easy little switch on my cr68 leads to more disciplined jamming (song structure, verses) vs endless techno flow on my elektron gear. I’m going to go learn about chains now.

    1. Your reply is amusing? what is the rabbit reference? Is it something you like to use on yourself?
      Lemmings might me be the word you where looking for. Was this a freudian slip.
      If people like budget cheap gear , whats the crime?

  5. I love the idea of just turning on some adequate beat and jamming… if only I had a way to so before this device… oh yeah, I do! My iPhone. With any number of ludicrously cheap apps. I suppose there is a market for this device, but I image that non phone-owning musicians are pretty rare these days. Maybe the educational market? Leave one of these laying around in every lesson room?

  6. A worthy enough little box, but by the time you add up a couple of Volcas, a mixer and maybe a Kaoss pad or two, you’ve spent enough to have bought (or come very close to) a much better synth or even a DAW. Buy what suits your needs, but also make sure its a real need and not just GAS. $80 will buy you a couple of good patch sets or maybe one-fourth of a used Electribe.

    On the plus side, teeny drum boxes can be useful. I had a CR78 for a few years and got good use from it. As with arpeggiators, its even more inspiring to see what can happen if you speed them way up or slow them way down. It takes you to new places, so you’ll miss 2/3 of the goodness if you leave those unexplored. I admit to my bias, as I am really Logic-centric now, but sometimes simple and knobby are the ticket.

  7. Please kids, don’t buy this thinking you should use it on a gig. Yes, put it in your instrument case. Yes, use it to help your time while you practice. But for gosh sakes, don’t make your audience listen to it. Soap box- disengaged.

    Korg’s website does say that it has velocity-sensitive pads (but did not mention it on the Specifications page)– I stand corrected.

    I guess where Korg read the demographic tea-leaves right is the price-point. However, for folks with smart devices, there are so many better options than this.

    I usually don’t mind this kind of thing, but for some reason, I’m just frustrated that Korg didn’t build a little more power into this device. It seems like for not much more design work, they could have provided more features (more user pattern presets, more song slots, etc.)

    1. add $50 and you get a volca beat with all the features you want and more. this is something different, much like an old minipops is not a tr808. I don’t see a reason for frustration 🙂


    2. it’s a bedroom design. nothing wrong with that. cool and compliatedness-free. i hate my iphone for some reason, probably the same reason I like this thing. things get overcomplicated too easily. design and complication, adding things, are completely separate concepts. i like this because it’s simple.

  8. Would have been really nice to have a small display just to set the bpm in time with other gear. It’s cool, it’s just for the price of a cheaper ipod touch, and the purchase of a drum machine app, you’re nearly in the same price range.

  9. Korg is on fire 🙂
    While I’m not very interested in this rhythm machine, I am very curious about it’s hackability.

  10. Wait! Let me get this straight. It doesn’t have MIDI, I can’t play Minecraft PE on it, and it costs the same as one month of my data plan. Useless.

  11. Thanks Korg. I used to have one of your fairly simple to use drum machines in the 70s and it eventully died and have desperately tried to get something like it, that a senior in his mid 70s can understand and use. The kr mini rhythm seems to be the answer. Hope it has the old fashioned tangos and waltzes that I do not have to add. Too old for that. When will it be available in Australia.

  12. to: Korg;
    I have very low vision so I have a hard time with displays. The machine I use now has a simple display and I have learned how to use it as a simple drum machine. Your mini seems to be right for me but I am into Classic Country and maybe a bit of classic R & R. I am not good at creating my own beats, so I would like to see a machine like this one with lots of presets for country music, and maybe bluegrass…… Seems like manufacturers forget about us country music lovers…….

  13. Just grabbed this today. I think a lot of people here aren’t realizing who this is for. It is a practice tool for musicians. I will be using it with piano students as I don’t travel to piano lessons with my main gear. It is not meant to be an elektron or even a volca. It is meant to be a little more fun than a metronome. And yes I have an iPhone. This is much more convenient. I also use a real metronome over an iPhone app. The preset beats are perfect for my teaching uses. However I have issues with programming it. There are no English videos explaining how to program it. The manual is kind of weak and it is surprisingly very unintuitive.

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