Korg Intros Kronos 88LS Light-Touch Keyboard

Korg today introduced the Kronos 88LS – a ‘Light-Touch keyboard’ version of their flagship performance synth keyboard.

Equipped with nine versatile sound engines, up to 16 simultaneous effects, and 16 part combinations, the Kronos LS offers everything it’s fully-weighted counterparts do, but with lighter keyboard feel that some players prefer.

Kronos LS also ships with the most recent operating system, offering new Quick Layer/Split via the large, color Touchscreen. Splits and Layers can also be saved on the spot into a Combination, saving players considerable editing time and providing more flexibility for live situations.

“The new Light-Touch key bed is incredibly responsive, and allows for gestures that might be difficult or uncomfortable on a fully-weighted action,” exclaims James Sajeva, Director of Technology Brands at Korg USA. “It also brings the weight of an 88-note Kronos down considerably. ”

The Kronos LS touts a new dark umber brushed aluminum panel and two-tone burst wood side panels.

Pricing and Availability

The Kronos 88LS will be available in April 2017 for $3499.99. See the Korg site for details.

11 thoughts on “Korg Intros Kronos 88LS Light-Touch Keyboard

  1. The Krome is a beast, with the touch screen and the effects and features. My first workstation. But the price tag on this is up there and probably very similar in sound and capabilities from what I’ve seen.

    1. The Kronos has a lot of improvements over the Krome. It has setlists, no interruption of sounds from one patch to the other, it can play samples from the keyboard in play or combi mode and it has “sound engines”, not only presets. For playing live is muuuuch better than the Krome. I have the Krome and I agree it is a beast, however I would like to get the Krome.

  2. I have a Kronos X 88, and I love it, but with all the awesome midi controller boards available these days (that can also provide a more “synth” feel versus weighted keys) I think Korg should have released a rack version of the Kronos instead of this light key version keyboard. JMO

    1. The problem is that if they release the Korg Kronos as a rack, then they will lose the whole surface control, hands on deck kind of workflow… and then, it won’t be much different from any “computer in a rack”, which will be even cheaper…. because the heart of the Kronos is a computer. What’s make it interesting and more acting like older hardware keyboard, is the whole workflow and ergonomics that behave just like the old keyboards we know. Once this workflow is broken, the rack is no different from a “computer”.

      That’s pretty much why there’s almost no digital rack anymore. The last ones were the Yam Motif XF Rack and the Roland Integra-7 (which was more like a melting pot of their previous technologies). Digital racks don’t sell anymore, because for the price of a rack, we can easily have a very powerful computer (also in rack), that runs software that will sound just as good… with a similar workflow since we will have to use a “keyboard controller” and then use the whole midi control, etc…

      As a guy that only like racks (because I don’t want to have dozen of keyboards in my studio, I like it clean and simple, all I need is a 88 keys for piano touch, a 76 keys for playing synth and a small 49 keys for programming/sequencing); so I would love to see plenty of rack versions, for both Analog and Digital stuff; and I thought a lot about that, but that’s why I came to this conclusion.

      The only solution would be to release a “Kronos Controller keyboard”, which is pretty much like a Kronos to have all control (or even better, more like the Oasys), to have faders, V-Pot, Pads, all buttons and menus to control the “power box”… and then to release the “power box” that could be the rack (or even tablet or whatever) that would contain the whole computer system to run the Korg environment and software. By doing so, they could also upgrade the whole “power box” without changing the whole controller keyboard. Let’s be honest, I had the Oasys 88, and it would still be a great surface control and could perfectly control the Kronos “box”. To me, it was even better because of the Vu-Meter on the fader, the V-Pot, the Pads and the tilted Display.

      That’s probably the direction Korg will take in the future… with an updated “controller keyboard” that will look very similar to a workstation, but without all electronics and computer stuff. And then, the whole computer stuff could pretty soon just run on a tablet (that could also be used as the touch-display for the controller keyboard).

      If they don’t do it, Native, Akai, Novation, or other will do it… but then, it won’t work with the proprietary environment and software from Korg, but with any software that run on computer (including VST/AU/NKS plugins and all Kontakt sample banks… which would beat them on a long run).

      Long story short, Korg need to really evaluate where they want to take their all platform to… Otherwise, just like we saw all digital expanders disappeared (because it was not viable in comparison to computers), we will also see all workstation keyboard disappear (for the exact same reason). That’s why most of new digital keyboards now are not workstation anymore, but more like Stage and Synth keyboard: Roland Jupiter-80, Yamaha Montage, Kurzweil Forte, etc… Just like computers took over expanders, and took over DJ stations, and took over lately drum machines (with Maschine and MPC Renaissance, etc…), if hardware manufacturers like Korg don’t react, they will lose on the workstation market too, that will be taken over by the Native, Akai, Ableton, Novation guys…

      This is not a matter of personal preferences, but more like market and technologies analysis. And I have no doubt that Korg know it well. They main reason there’s probably no real update in the Kronos line is because they’re probably working to port this whole environment to a future platform. Their whole involvement in tablets/computers with Gadgets and such, is probably not for nothing.

      My 2¢

  3. I’d rather have a light overall 88 key Kronos so I could actually stop going to the chiropractor from moving around heavy gear. Maybe make the Kronos out of carbon fiber with carbon fiber for the mechanisms of the action as well .. hmmmm

  4. I’m kind of surprised we haven’t seen any adjustable-weighting keyboards around, maybe using some sort of electromagnetic setup; wouldn’t be cheap, but would be interesting, and entirely achievable.

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