Hack Turns Korg Electribe Music Production Station Into An Electribe Sampler

At Korg Forums and on the Korg Electribe 2 & Sampler Facebook Public Group, reader Robin Domingo, a.k.a Rowf the Beat Bender, shared his experience turning a Korg Electribe Music Station into an Electribe Sampler.

Not only do the two devices look very similar on the outside – they are apparently so similar internally that you can swap firmware to turn your device from one into the other.

The hack, detailed at the Korg Forums site, requires a computer, an SD Card and an Electribe Music Production Station.

NOTE: This is an unofficial hack, so, as Domingo notes, ‘Do this at your own risk.’

38 thoughts on “Hack Turns Korg Electribe Music Production Station Into An Electribe Sampler

  1. Needless to say, Korg does NOT advocate modifying the operating systems – one error in the hex code edit will give you a $399 paperweight.

    Plus, Korg’s developers may be working on a some kind of update that will make this hack moot. (Hardly a hack, a tiny edit of a few bytes of header data in the OS file.) And James Pullen is totally unamused by all this DIY cowboying.

    Having said that, I installed the modified OS, it works beautifully. Hats off to the hack master – fortune favors the bold! But it might be wise for e2 users who have not tried it out to wait for Korg to officially react and/or make the next move.

    1. the hack may come from Korg itself…..to hype the product and sell more at a point where the sells are probably recessing after the rush following the product’s release ….see..you got 2 machines for the price of one…..tempting…….

        1. Well, chances are they didn’t “do” this hack – but they did release 2 units with 100% identical hardware. If the OS was a bicycle, Korg “locked” it to a post with a strand of tooth floss.

          The buzz is putting the new electribes back into focus. Will Korg lock these down in the new update? Will there even be a new update? Will they themselves give you a dual boot/unified OS?

          The days of top down total control are gone. People jailbreak iPhones, they mod and hack and DIY and explore and share what they have learned. This hack is really only good early adopters who bought the e2, who could only afford 1 machine, but who want to try the sampler. I doubt it represents a single lost sale.

          1. Still, E2 is 50€ cheaper than E2S here… and it’s more abundant and even cheaper on the second hand market.

            And for existing owners… who doesn’t like a free 16 tracks sampler?

  2. If they just added the E2 filter selection to the E2S it would rock my world.

    Along with, of course, the bug fixes and basic editing functions that are missing like a phantom limb.

  3. Yeah guys, I wanna thank all the people from the FB group, and from the Korg forums for helping me do this.
    Si necesitais ayuda en español dirigiros al grupo de FB Cacharraje o a Hispasonic.com y os echo una mano.

    1. Will the real James Pullen please stand up?

      Real James Pullen should tell Korg to communicate to the consumer. That’d be SWAG.

  4. The problem is, the swap is only beneficial from E2 to E2S. The only disadvantage you get are some few slots you shouldn’t load samples to (but no real deal if you do anyway, they just duplicate).
    On the other hand swapping from E2S to E2 – while it works – doesn’t give a fully functional E2.
    Owners of the Sampler version are totally left out. The sampler has become obsolete. There’s now no incentive to buy it if I would get both with the E2 (for the “same” prize).

    1. They’re $399.

      They offer sequencing of 16 poly channels (take that, BeatStep!), mono and paraphonic virtual analog synthesis, sampling or PCM/deeper synthesis, audio input and thru, effects, X/Y Kaoss Pad control, native Ableton Live projects and wav stems, MIDI over USB, knobs, pads, fun.

      Not too expensive for what it offers.

      1. still pretty expensive for something so ugly sounding. you better get something really creative like an op 1. this Esx is only interesting for non musical people. i have tried it and its workflow is terrible of course you can make great music with a couple of pans and a turd but i prefer to work in my studio with gear of good quality and sound and this isn’t that for instance playing guitar with a squires or a gibson its both a guitar but if you can’t hear the difference you should stick to the pans and the turd.

    2. Used as a hardware sequencer alone it’s probably one of the best made. BSP is cool too but you can do some really useful creative things with the new ‘tribes. I’ve got both and despite the lackadaisical nature of BSP bug fixes you’ll have to pry them both from my cold dead fingers.

  5. just shows how cheap korg really is, they updated the old electribes with SD cards simply because they had over produced the parts and could no longer sell them with the smart card version. So hey presto they put the SD card in, announced it with a fanfare like it was a new product and sold off their excess stock. They also updated kosillator to a + or something via a os update.
    The volca beats, ms20 mini, the odyssey, great ideas but the cost of development must have been minimal. Hard times have created some great cost saving lateral thinking especially in Japan were the country has been stagnating for 20 years.

    Cheap, cheerfull or both?

    1. you could add: main design goal is the most common taste.
      from ipad like looks and bars restrictions, there could have EASILY
      been implemented really creative features. EASILY !!

      But as long as the marketing buro makes decisions based on stats,
      this won’t happen.

      So still in 2015 there is not ONE all incl groovebox that 100% makes sense.
      From no company, not from Roland, not from Korg, not from Yamaha.
      And not from Elektron.

      The new electribes are not bad. But…

      1. You’re so true. It’s just pissing me off when i see all those underdeveloped “grooveboxes” with tons of ridiculous limitations. Seriously, it’s 2015, we’re in the damn future! Why my yamaha rm1x which is probably 15 years old can handle 16 tracks with unlimited polyphony, unlimited length, can send out any CC, polypressure or even raw midi data (not mentioning midi effects, decent drumkits, fx, pattern chains and song mode), while neither of modern devices is capable of even a half of that? Why 4bars? Why 270 seconds of mono sampling memory? Why no song mode or playlist? Why on earth they quit producing something really useful? Ahhhr:[

        1. Because each of this companys developed their own “trademark” sequencer approach. Yamaha’s going as far as QY 10 (88′), maybe even earlier. Want cool sequencer? Get QY700. Not really suitable for 4×4 stuff? Thats yammys, buddy!
          They know that if they drop unlimited sampling time + modern sequencer + modern technology they will kill the market they’ve been honing for years, decades. It also would be closer to laptop or ipad, which is a saturated niche already.
          As for vintage sequencers, i’d like to see alesis mmt8 reissue, with ENOUGH MEMORY TO HOLD AT LEAST ONE SET! and FUCKING STABLE TEMPO!! In digital device! MIDI!!! WTF!!! But interface was a thing of a beauty – working rec+play, never skipping more than a countdown. Greatest beats were made on that thing. Unfortunately it often resets with memory lost. Hate thate bitch…
          Using QY22 now. It has its quirks. Sometimes its stupidly wonderful. Other times dull and tedious. But i always use my ears, unlike beat-grid of you-name-it-daw.

      2. Have you tried op1 it comes very close to what you desire and though it looks like a toy its very powerful. Also roland mv8800 if you like samplers is a great machine although a little outdated now its sampler is the best I’ve ever heard.

  6. I gotta say, as an EMX and ESX user, I was disappointed when, in 2014, they still released two versions of the electribe. There’s no need for there to have separate synthesis and sampling devices these days.

  7. This hack does work but from my experience it seems that the e2 can only read about 30 samples before you get an error saying your memory is full.

  8. I really really wanted to buy the Electribe Sampler, but..
    i was waiting for month.. release was shifted back more than once..
    In the end i was sick of waiting and bought Elelectibe 2 but still want the sampler.
    So when i now think about using this hack its you fault, Korg, cause of bad communication…

  9. If Korg were a bit honest, they would have come out with a single Electribe that does what both new Electribes are doing now separately. Now it’s like having to drive 2 cars. One to go to the left and the other to go to the right. WTF

    1. They’ve had separate Electribe devices for the sampler and workstation since the original Electribes. They’ve been doing this for something like 15-20 years ago.

      There are legit reasons for making these separate devices – mainly that the Electribes have always been designed to be hands-on and easy to tweak vs offering super deep features.

      If they packed all the features of both of these into one, they’d either have to make it a lot bigger, or add more menus and make it a lot less fun to work with.

      1. Well its just some extra oscillator types and filter types in the electribe2 that have been dropped in the electric sampler2 to distinguish it, there would not be extra interface depth required to have both units as one, nice simple to use units though 🙂

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