Korg MicroKorg Video Tutorials

This set of video tutorials looks at Korg’s modern synth hit – the MicroKorg

The first video takes a look at programming a 70’s style ‘wow’ synth patch on the MicroKorg. The next video explores the range of sounds possible on the MicroKorg.

The remaining videos are an 8-part tutorial on creating synth patches on the Korg MicroKorg.

19 thoughts on “Korg MicroKorg Video Tutorials

  1. Such an amazing little synth. I would have killed for something like this in early 1990s, and at that price point! Man…new musicians have it so good right now. Probably the best $250 a new synthesist can spend. I’ll never be without a MicroKorg.

    1. If you can’t get good sounds out of the microKorg, you don’t know what you’re doing programming it – it can sound fantastic, if you create your own patches.

      The built-in effects are weak, which is probably a lot of what you’re hearing and objecting to. Run the sound out dry, like you would with any vintage synth, and add external effects and the microKorg can sound like a beast!

      Nothing you can do about the keys except accept that it’s a dirt-cheap synth and you get what you pay for. You can always treat it as a module and play it via a master keyboard.

      1. Yep. I’ve had people ask me what Moog I used for a certain bass patch….felt good to tell them that the Moog I used was the MicroKorg.

        Last time I played it live, people were blown away by the sound coming out of that little beast.

        Also, nothing beats throwing some batteries in it, tossing it in a bag, and taking it out into the woods for synth jamming in nature.

        Try doing that with your Jupiter 8!

        I’ll take a MK over vintage analog any old day. Well, actually….I’ll take the Jupiter 8, sell it, and then buy a MK and put the remaining $5,750 in the bank. 🙂

        Recently I started working on my second all MK album. Should be finished by the end of this summer.

  2. I second the module idea. A lot of synths come with laughably bad keyboards, or mini-keys that are only useful as event triggers. It doesn’t matter much if you’re not planning to become more of a keyboard PLAYER, but either way, the modern “fix” is to pay up for a solid main controller or a high-end synth that has a good keybed. Its good for straight-ahead playing, but also desireable for zoning and layering.

    I love my Korgs and this is a fairly good one, IF you use the software editor. The hardware UI is fine if you’re just noodling, but yeah, doing some programming and assigning it better effects sounds smart. Its a budget synth in build, but those are some pretty broad sounds from a decent architecture. Don’t dismiss how much it can do if coaxed a little. I’ve heard some rich solo sounds from it, but I’m even more impressed with its potential as a layer for adding beef to a sound. That’s a more subtle aspect of the deal, but its important.

  3. has anyone ever used the downloads of the “new” presets they offer? I knot this is about customization but just curious if anyone has tried the additional content.

    Updated Sound Set Now Available!

    These 128 custom sounds from Korg USA are truly a “micro makeover,” pushing the powerful microKORG analog modeling engine to deliver a fresh and wild collection of leads, basses, atmospheric textures, arpeggiations, motions synths, rhythmic grooves and much, much more to explore. Take your microKORG and your music to new levels with this exciting new sound set! Download now!
    – See more at: http://i.korg.com/microKORG#sthash.C65acBhL.dpuf

    1. I downloaded them but they were all blank. I then downloaded the sysex and had to use an MS2000 loader (can’t remember the name) and finally got them to work. They sound OK, 10 or so nice patches in the lot for my taste. I ended up buying some patches off a bloke named glowstyx for some inspiration and had a lot more luck.

  4. Want to get an ‘analog’ sound out of the MicroKorg? Very easy to do if you think about what’s going on in an analog synth.

    For example – vintage oscillators drift a little, which makes them sound ‘warmer’ or more animated. Use the mod matrix to patch a random lfo to the pitch of oscillator 2 and dial it in so that it adds a tiny bit of drift. You can also put a very slow lfo on the overall pitch, which you can use to recreate the slight imperfections of tuning on old synths.

    Combine noise set to 1 or 2, oscillator detuning, almost imperceptible pitch modulation, some drift on oscillator 2 and maybe a little subtle chorus and sounds get really lively quick.

    +1 on what Chiante said about the effects.

    The microKorg delay is pretty good, but in general you have to use them fairly carefully or they’ll add a sort of ‘metallic’ sound to patches.

    1. You can get a decent “2 oscillators gently frequency beating against each other” sound very easy on the MicroKorg. You can also do this on every VA ever produced.

      However, one thing you can’t do on a MicroKorg is get the filter to sound halfway analog. Crank that res and play with the cutoff – steppy fake self-oscillation that causes the o/c signal to duck in an unconvincing way.

      The MS-2000/MicroKorg had an excellent architecture for thier time, but the low poly count and low-resolution of the encoders will forever be a drawback. And it does not do anything special compared to every single VA that ever existed. It was outclassed by the Alesis Ion/Micron a full decade ago.

      1. You get that same effect on vintage analogs like the Sequential Six-Trak. You’re hearing the limitation of encoders capturing 128 discrete MIDI values (or less on some vintage synths).

        You won’t hear that in normal playing, but is definitely a flaw in how some synths, both analog and digital, deal with encoders.

        1. Yes, that stepping behavior does show up on some 80’s analogs. There were plenty of solutions to this even in the 80s (slew, interpolation, doubled-up MIDI messages, etc) but few synth makers implemented them.

          But beyond the digital staircase, the filter itself is clearly not analog. It has a relatively low and audible top frequency, aliasing, and very flat response. It betrays itself as an early digital filter. Fine for lots of sounds and basses, but it’s not going to confuse anyone in a Moog/Korg taste test.

          Still a great little synth despite its limitations.

    1. They are completely different synth architectures. The XL isn’t really an improved MK.

      The microKorg is based on the MS-2000 engine, while the mciroKorg XL is based on the Radias engine.

    2. I don’t like the XL at all. Completely different synth engine than the MK, more menu diving, and fewer direct controls. Also, it lacks the character that the MK has.

  5. after years playing, tweaking, buying-selling synths of any kind…last month I bought a second hand-mint condition mk1…and I´m loving it everyday more and more. I wish I had buy it before. can´t imagine the same synth with vco and cv options: would be my fav synth by far. loving its simplicity!!

  6. I wish Korg made an updated version of MicroKorg which has 12 voices and banch of mod matrix source and destination (like Ion/micron) and buttons but dials for quicker menu selection and recent much improved mini-keyboard with retained same retro design.

  7. Can anyone tell me how to recreate the synth sound on Stereophonics’ Dakota – sounds like two oscillators about a fifth apart and phase on one of them, but I’m not sure where to start on my (new) microkorg

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