Korg Kronos Debuts At NAMM 2015


Korg has debuted the new Kronos, the most powerful version of its flagship synthesizer to date, at the 2015 NAMM Show.

“The new Kronos features the unrivaled 9-engine structure from previous versions, with numerous improvements to both sound capability and overall functionality. Truly, the most powerful synthesizer on the planet just got more powerful” James Sajeva, Brand Manager for Korg products.

The New Korg Kronos

korg-kronos-workstationSajeva explains what’s been updated in the new Kronos: “Our SGX piano engine, already revered for its German and Japanese grands, now also includes a 9GB Berlin grand with dedicated una corda (soft pedal) samples, plus sympathetic string resonance that works on all the SGX pianos” he continued. “It’s truly an amazing piano experience. There are new banks of sounds based on famous song titles for our cover players and those looking for ‘that’ sound for their recordings, plus a ‘best of’ bank from KaPro, who has created numerous libraries for the Kronos line.”

Other new features include system-wide Touch/Drag via the Kronos’ color TouchView screen; allowing the user to edit onscreen parameters faster than ever.

An evolved Set List mode provides the capability to resize their custom text per set list entry, and enter text via either an onscreen QWERTY or external USB ASCII keyboard. Entries can also be color-coded for better organization and visibility, and users can even decide how many set list entries appear on the screen at time, allowing for more (and larger) onscreen text to remind you of lyrics, changes, or other notes.

An improved search function helps users to find the perfect sound faster than ever.

Other improvements include onscreen metering in Combination and Sequencer modes, along with the ability to edit Programs within a Combination to hear the edits in context with other parts.

The improvements don’t end with the software, either; the new Kronos also boasts natural wood side panels, easier-to-read silkscreened text and gold-plated audio I/O jacks.

Korg Kronos synth engines:

  • SGX-2 Premium Piano
  • EP-1 MDS Electric Piano
  • CX-3 Tonewheel Organ
  • HD-1 High Definition PCM Synthesize
  • MS-20EX & PolySixEX Legacy Analog Modeling
  • AL-1 High-Fidelity Analog Modeling
  • MOD-7 Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer
  • STR-1 Plucked Strings Physical Modeling

Other features include one-cable USB DAW integration for MIDI and Audio, powerful effects processing with up to 16 effects at a time, a 16 MIDI/16 Audio track sequencer, 16-part Combinations, a tremendous assortment of real time controllers, KARMA phrase generating technology, vector control and more.

Here’s the official intro video for the new Korg Kronos:

Here’s the new Korg Kronos video manual:

The new Korg Kronos will be available in three versions:

  • KRONOS-61:$3750
  • KRONOS -73: $4200
  • KRONOS-88: $4650

Availability is to be announced. See the Korg site for more info. .

18 thoughts on “Korg Kronos Debuts At NAMM 2015

  1. This is the greatest workstation to date. The previous Kronos was already great but this has more power specially in the data department. And I just love the wood panels. Time to make my wallet thinner 😉

    1. Great because of the greater processing power of the processors? Korg may release every year a new Kronos because it incorporates more processing power. So it looks more to a special purpose computer than a musical instrument to me.

      1. No… the hardware in the Kronos 2 is unchanged as far as I know. The only thing that makes this one physically different from the original (which I own) and the Kronos X – is the OS and the wood panels and a revamped patch list, and the upgrade to the SGX piano sound engine.

        I upgraded my original Kronos several times before this OS came out – I added a very large 180GB hard drive to it as a secondary, so my Kronos beats the factory models by a huge margin for storage – I have 210GB where the factory models have 62GB, I also upgraded the RAM to 3GB (pending a final upgrade to 4GB when I get a memory board the Kronos likes better:) )

        And then when the OS3.0 came out, I upgraded my synth with this. So, I have the SGX2 engine now, but I have yet to buy the new patch library. However, as it is, the SGX2 is magnificent on my existing pianos – the Sympathetic resonance is very realistic and Una Corda will be available when I get the new patches.

        I would LOVE to see some sort of hardware upgrade – but it would be really about expanding two things – one would be to extend – perhaps double – the polyphony across the board, though as it is, the Kronos is VERY generous on this matter already. I would like to see a much larger RAM capacity, capable of loading many more extension libraries without bank swapping. This is probably the only issue that the synth has – for if you have say, one sound from each of many extension packs, you may run out of RAM before you get all the packs loaded. The easy workaround is to make your own library and combine and save it, though.

        Other than this thought, the only real improvement I could ever ask for my Kronos is to have… another Kronos! This is really the first synth workstation I have owned that fully makes me happy on all levels with everything it does. I find no limits to the work I can do with this instrument. And I have owned other workstations in the past and always suffered limitations.

        For anyone that is curious, the nearest synth to Kronos in terms of capability is the Alesis Fusion HD series. It was sonically a bomb, but that was only because the sound designers made a terrible choice in piano patches. But this monster has four synth engines – Sample playback, VA, reed and pipe physical modeling, and it has a 32 track sequencer and huge hard drive space. Mine has 80GB. This synth needs good reprogramming on its’ patches in some case, but it is very capable.

  2. Of course “powerful” is a completely subjective term in this context. Some might claim the new Moog Modular 55 is the most powerful synthesizer on the planet and their opinion would be just as indisputable. Others could say the same of the latest Kurzweil or certain VST synthesizers. Power…to do what? Everyone will have a different opinion. A sales rep can say anything as long as it isn’t legally binding.

    1. Of course anything is relative, such as comparing a 3500$ workstation with a 50000$ analog monster that very few people can afford.

    2. I think the case can EASILY be made that the Kronos is more powerful than a Moog Modular. “Power…to what?” Really? Power to make a variety of sounds. Sure the analog synthesis section may not be able to make every bleep and snort that a Moog Modular can make, but don’t discount the modular capabilities of the MS20, that is a part of this workstation. Considering all the polyphony and sound the Kronos has, any sound the Moog Modular can make that the Kronos cannot, is probably not musically useful.

  3. I’ve got a feeling I’ve read the same news already some time in the past… if I was to buy Kronos now, I would not be sure if this is really the latest bestest one. 🙂 Looking OK, that’s for sure.

  4. I hope they’ve got rid of the internal fan, dealbreaker for me. I ordered the 88-key version, returned it, then the 61-key, returned it.

    Until there’s no fan, I’ll stick with my PC3X! 🙂

  5. @Jyoti: there is a hope. I suppose the reason for those two generations (X and this one) is the processor and chipset is no longer produced by Intel. Power envelope can be reduced by this.

  6. I continue to believe that Workstation Keyboards are important and relevant musical tools.

    The ability to have the widest possible range of quality sounds – for performance and for sequencing — provides raw-material for lots of different types of work and workflows. Having a very powerful and flexible sequencer is also essential.

    The Kronos may or may not rival a good controller with a DAW and an arsenal of VI’s & FX plugs, but it does seem like it would be a worthy beast for lots of different kinds of projects.

    I wish they would do more innovation with sound creation– a la Reaktor. Perhaps down the road, we’ll see more of that kind of envelope pushing hidden in deeper editors from these mainstream beasts.

  7. Looksreally impressive, I may get one, but I really wish that Korg would release something that has more sampling/sound-experimentation capabilities (like the V-synth), not all of us need danceteria sounds and imitation acoustic sounds…

  8. There is no information about what else has improved over KronosX other than wood side panels, some cosmetics, new sounds and a new piano.

    I borrowed a KoronosX and like it a lot, inspires the creation of beautiful music, thinking about getting one of these new ones

    “It just got more powerful”…. i wish they would tell us whats changed hardware wise inside the box.

    New CPU?

    Is the LCD improved?, is it capacitive instead of resistive, can it be viewed clearly at wider angles? is the screen more forward facing?

    Can the unit stream more audio channels for daw integration?

    Can it mount as a disk?

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