Korg Brings Back The Keytar With RK-100S


2014 NAMM Show: Korg has announced that it is bringing back the keytar, with the Korg RK-100S.

The original RK-100 Remote Keyboard was introduced in 1984, and was designed to free keyboardists from standing behind a stack of gear.

korg-rk-100s-keytarThirty years later, the new RK-100S improves on the original with new features and functions, including two ribbon controllers, an arpeggiator, and a vocoder. There are also ‘favorite’ buttons that allow you to register frequently-used sounds for one-touch selection.

The RK-100S also offers a built-in sound engine, not found on the original RK. Its MMT sound engine provides not only the standard analog synthesizer waveforms such as sawtooth and square, but also additional oscillator algorithms such as formant waveforms, noise, and PCM, which power two hundred programs

Here’s the official intro video:


  • A keyboard that sets you free to perform
  • Wooden body with a beautifully lustrous finish in your choice of three colors
  • Two hundred analog-modeled programs are built-in
  • 37-note slim keyboard that’s lightweight and easy to play
  • Two ribbon controllers, one short and one long
  • Mic/audio (dual-purpose) input jack, also usable with the vocoder function
  • Operates on six AA alkaline batteries
  • MIDI output jack lets you perform using an external sound module
  • Use the PC editor for detailed sound program editing

Pricing and availability are to be announced.

25 thoughts on “Korg Brings Back The Keytar With RK-100S

  1. Another win for Korg! Wooden body!
    I recently got the original, wich is the same age as me. I call her Sandy, and let her control my sub phatty and a bunch of guitar pedals, so I can be at the front of the stage with the guitarist and look cool.
    Before tha bashing of slimmer keys on this remake begins, let me tell ya that I would actually have preferred it, and those ribbons look absolutely epic, a feature that’s not there on the original. That said, I couldn’t trade Sandy in for someone younger and slimmer. She is a very rare find.

    1. We have it easy these days. I all but broke my back playing a Moog Liberation once. A lot of synths seem to have too light a build for something you’re gonna pound on, but these 7-pound+ beauties are still welcome to someone who once had to haul a boat-anchor of a Yamaha e-piano around. The old Roland S-50 sampler literally had a couple of metal bars glued in the bottom because the ONE actual circuit board that WAS the sampler only weighed a few ounces. I’d welcome an addition like that for a more stable heft. There’s a nice median possible between portability and solidity.

  2. I have a KX5 – I consider it to be the best keytar ever – other keytars have always seemed too light and plasticky. The wooden body on this is interesting and a good move IMHO as it would add stability during a performance.

  3. whats with the bird on roller skates? what the f00k has she got to do with keytars, probably the easiest way to seriously injure your self playing an instrument whilst on roller skates. got to be a health and safety issue.

    1. I thought the same thing about the girl. I’d much rather see Jordan Rudess hawking this thing in roller skates. And a wizard outfit. At least that way they’d be keeping it real. It’s as if they think most musicians are essentially nothing more than horny guys trying to get laid or something. So not true. We’re all gay, so Jordan is the perfect choice every time

    2. Yeah, I always go skating with a keytar when I need to work out a gnarly compositional conundrum. You can make real breakthroughs by colliding with someone or doing a header onto the tarmac with the synth under you. Mmm, road burn with a side order of synth burn!

      1. I have an original, and I do recall a few times in 1987, hopping on my bicycle, with me RK-100 slung over my back to head to band practice… so maybe she was on her way to jam, and just needed a rest. 😉

  4. ….every day.. more and more ..what to by now…what to buy later… esp. This Company..
    This is Madness….. … ..well played, Korg. well played

  5. I’m all for innovation and new tweaks, so as a Korg user, I rather “like” anything they do because the design creativity is generally high. This is a lovely and well-appointed synth overall. My only issue is the small keys. I use a Korg NanoPad and a CME XKey myself, so I like alternate controllers, too. What keeps bugging me is that I am always drawn back to my full-sized keys and playing experience. There’s no replacing sufficient practice and our natural physical dynamics.

    There are many “valid” ways to make sound, but that doesn’t always mean its musical. If that sounds old-fashioned or uppity, tough! 😀 Its neither, nor do I mean it so narrowly. I’d simply like to hear what *I* define as enough sweat to make the music stick to my mental ribs. All in all, a lot of that seems to come from people who play at least one acoustic instrument, too. William Orbit is a good example.

    I know its a keytar and on the fly, smaller keys may be the wiser choice for that job. I can adapt and so can you. Its called synthesis! The only thing I want to learn is how it feels to someone who wants to shred on it. Otherwise, its a wearable 2nd-gen MicroKorg with nice trimmings. Nothin’ bad about that at all.

    1. Sure, and it’s great that you are concerned for her, but imagine how much worse it would be if she were stuck down there without her keytar….

  6. I’ve always had a hard time taking keytars seriously, but this looks pretty slick!
    I like that it has an on-board sound engine too instead of just being a controller, my interest is piqued.

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