Korg Acknowledges Tuning Problem With Flagship Prologue Synthesizer, Promises Firmware Fix

Korg Product Specialist Nick Kwas today shared an official statement on Prologue tuning, acknowledging pitch tuning problems that some users have encountered with the company’s new flagship synthesizer, and promising a firmware fix later this year.

Here’s the official statement:

Korg has recently received reports of a slight detuning on a small and isolated range of keys on our Prologue8 and Prologue16 synthesizers.

We have since been investigating the source of the behavior extensively, and believe the issue is present within the software responsible for tuning stabilization. Once the problem presents itself the behavior does not become worse over time. In fact, performing manual tuning may improve performance.

We take this matter very seriously, and assure Prologue dealers and end users that we are committed to correcting this issue with a user-installable software update by the end of 2018.

Our ongoing commitment is to deliver the very highest-quality musical instruments. We apologize for any problems this issue may cause, and thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

Some users have reported that when they play a noted repeatedly on the keyboard, the pitches can vary as much as 15 cents (there are 100 cents difference between pitches a semi-tone apart).

Kwas added that their firmware team is currently working on tuning issues related to tuning in lower octaves. For Prologues that encounter unusual fluctuations in tuning, he recommends running a manual tune procedure (shift+exit) to retune.

29 thoughts on “Korg Acknowledges Tuning Problem With Flagship Prologue Synthesizer, Promises Firmware Fix

  1. I have this exact problem. The device is supposed to tune itself when an oscillator is idle. Mine tunes on boot but hangs for ever on manual retuning. I thought it might be a software issue but I’m doing a warranty return anyway!

  2. Korg needs to get this figured out fast, and then actually demo what the open oscillator can do. They talked up its potential, but people want to see what it can do.

  3. Imagine how Apple would react in the same situation. Probably like ” You the User are doing something wrong with the equipment” then few months and a few thousand times getting sued ” We offer free repair because we are a good company” Apple has become …. But lets stay on topic. Nice move from Korg.

    1. They didn’t react for months and didn’t acknowledge the problem. They just shipped you a new faulty unit. Just like they did with the Kronos keybed desaster in 2011.
      How is Apple related to this anyway? Pointing your finger into other directions dosen’t help a bit.

      1. Because apple replaced my motherboard 3 times , each time telling me “it`s a revised board on which the graphics chip problem is adressed”. Korg took time to pinpoint the problem and now reacts. Apple reacted after getting sued in numbers they simple could not ignore. And still till this day they won`t admit that it`s a design flaw. It is related because it is a thought of the moment. how different companies do different things. One admiting publicaly there is a problem while the other still claims all is good as if they do you a favor ,,, I am not pointing anything. It is a realisation. Well those who understand do and those who don`t won`t. It`s not that important

        1. I got six logic board replacements for the same issue and every time they had ”fixed the graphics chip problems”. Never another Apple laptop as long as I live. In fact, I’m pretty much done with laptops altogether. I hope Korg actually fixes this.

  4. This is the reason why companies like Clavia and Moog makes stress test on their devices before they leave the assemble factory!

    1. Wish they’d done that on the Memorymoog.
      “New tuning board/mod” bla bla bla is all I heard for 9 months…till I got rid of it.
      Still reluctant to buy their gear 37 years later.

  5. The present Korg Japan management has completely dropped the ball on this. Of 6 units I tested, all 6 had this tuning jumps issue, which is making the synth practically unuseable for live play and recording. I have bought my third Prologue after having had to return two others, and this third one has the same issue, only slightly less than the others. Korg is aware of the issue since 5-6 months and has just kept on keeping loads of faulty units in the stores. They wasted TONS of energy and time from users and reseller service staff, seeking advice and help for their faulty units, ever since. In all this time their contempt for their buyers went as far, as not posting one single official comment in their news section, and no roadmap whatsoever for masses of concerned users. They behaved like a third class backyard garage company selling faulty cars in this matter. I have been a longtime faithful Korg user, but they lost my trust completely misbehaving like that!

    1. I think “unusable” is a bit strong, there are literally 100s of users playing live and recording with Prologue, including myself, how are they managing? If you want to experience bad tuning try an OBXa!

      Speaking to a German friend recently, he hadn’t even heard of the problem which completely took me by surprise. That alone suggest that mainly English speaking circles are making the most noise because of the original source

      Ultimately it’s being fixed so I’m happy.

  6. How could tuning jumps (not classical analog drift) of altogether 20 cents ever be in the “useable” range, either live or for recording??? The 6 faulty devices I tested have all been sold in Germany, by the way! And I still regard my present no. 7 unit with ~15 cent jumps as hardly useable. The Prologue is a synth I like very much. But Korg Japan’s behavior towards paying customers in this matter has been far off anything remotely accetable IMO!
    They still have not left a single word on any official Korg news page about it until now! It needed a far off Reddit post, now circling around by user help and online platforms, to make that heavily overdue statement halfway well known. I’m glad it has at least been concrete in a) informing about a planned software fix (which has been completely uncertain up to now, for all users concerned) and b) naming a rough time frame. Still, I won’t ever accept companies dealing with heavy issues in complete silence, leaving customers alone with a massive problem over many months. I say that as a long term faithful Korg user, actually playing a Kronos as my main keyboard, a Microkorg XL+, using a SDD 3000 and other gear from Korg besides the Prologue. If they want to drive me away as a customer, they did a good job with their Prologue behavior!

  7. I bought an early KORG Prologue 16 in Feb 2018 – it had many problems:

    – Tuning: impossible to play in tune over the 5-octave keyboard, high F/F# particularly jarring, and I don’t even have perfect pitch! The problem is further exacerbated if you mix in the digital oscillator as this is perfectly in tune and so beats noticeably against the analogue oscillators.

    – Noisy compressor: fluttering noise in the left channel only when the synth was silent.

    – Digital oscillator aliases horribly in the upper registers if you increase the buzziness of the waveform. I’m astonished that KORG didn’t do a better job, aliasing is a fundamental basic issue of DSP.

    I sent the synth back as defective.

    This was a big let-down for me, I’d been waiting for months for this modern & exciting synth. As a developer I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the digital oscillator too. All in all, I think KORG cut too many corners on this synth, and released a buggy untested product.

  8. I think they should recall them and release a complete redesign with more LFO’s and the sequencing the monologue has.

  9. No wonder so many didn’t detect this problem, because they LOVE disharmonic garbage sounds.
    Just go on YT and hear what many synth freaks produce with their dozens of instruments. The noisier and out of tune the better. lmao

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