Korg OPSIX Review

In his latest Sonic Lab video, host Nick Batt takes an in-depth look at the Korg Opsix, a new keyboard that they call an “altered” six-operator FM synthesizer, because its sound engine goes far beyond traditional FM synth capabilities.

Topics covered:

00:00 Overview
07:15 Sounds demo 1
14:45 Synth engines
16:38 Filter
18:20 Envelopes and LFOS
20:25 More sounds
23:20 FX
28:05 Bass patch
30:35: DX7 patches
33:48 Sequencer
35:35 More Sounds
39:50 Summary

Check it out and let us know what you think of the Korg Opsix!

12 thoughts on “Korg OPSIX Review

  1. Another great review from Nick Batt.

    I was extra good this year and was expecting that Santa would get me an Opsix and a Wavestate for Christmas. Somehow, I ended up with an Instant Pot and a Bob Ross chia head, neither of which have MIDI.

    Merry Christmas fellow synthheads!!!! I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re going to see some great new synth gear in 2021.

  2. the fact that so many synths lack multitimbral capability these days seems far more like some kind of bullshit marketing angle considering how many much less technologically advanced synths have had it for many decades

    sounds paranoid until you find out how true it is

    yadda yadda limitations – make sure it has it working from day one IMHO

    1. Sir, that is my exact argument. I call the monotimbral synths I had “one trick ponies” and I sold them all for a new multitimbral workstation…a Fantom. Way, way more productivity and possibilities with a beast like that, as opposed to those novelty synths a let go of. How come my MODX could have all 16 parts be 8-operator FM ‘modules’ if I choose to? With my current setup of four 16 part multitimbral workstations, what couldn’t I accomplish where I would sorely need my former one trick ponies. The most discouraging of my formers is the Ultranova…such a bitchingly powerful/flexible synth ruined by one part timbrality. Shit, 2 parts on the thing would have made me keep it.
      Merry Christmas to all Synthtopia participants

      1. The opsix engine seems pretty much the same as the MOD-7 engine. So if you want a multitimbral version you can get a Kronos/Nautilus/Oasys (and have been able to for ~15 years).

  3. Made me smile when Nick auditioned the libraries in dexed. He very carefully avoided the idea “maybe I’ll just stick with playing them in Dexed”.

    I get that it’s nice to use hardware, focus on that and avoid the distractions of your laptop. And the knobs/faders here are much nicer than the DX7 or the kronos. But when you’re in dexed you think to yourself “would I really find it easier to use the opsix 20 knob interface instead of the dexed one with 114 knobs”? The opsix interface still seems fiddly for envelopes, velocity sensitivity etc., which are a key part of FM.

    That said I do hope this does well and Korg invest more in synth-focused digital synths, and maybe release a standalone STR-1 at some point.

    Season’s greetings to all synthtopians!

    1. Dexed doesn’t have FilterFM, Ring Modulation, Wave Folding and FM per operator, nor does it have a filter stage. The timbre possibilities of OPSix go far beyond Dexed. I get that it’s free and that DX7 purists believe FM can only and should only be done with a 1:1 DX7 architecture, but really, Dexed doesn’t have anything on the new machine.

      1. You’re quite right. My point was more that this is touted as a much better programming interface for FM, but to understand whether the knobs and faders on this are really anywhere near enough, I’d be interested to know whether anyone prefers it to a gui like dexed or FM8, at least as far as DX7-esque FM goes. I don’t know since I haven’t tried it.

        Someone asked Nick Batt why he didn’t just program in the 4op lately bass if he couldn’t import it. He said he had no idea how to do that. And he’s not a novice.

  4. This thing really needs an “aphex mode” , ie: you should be able to give each key on the keyboard its own voice assignment, so that you can use it for things other than musical chords. on digital machines like this there is really no excuse for not having a per-step or per-key voice assignment.

  5. I took up DEXED, but I have DAW effects & MIDI utilities that can do part of what Opsix does. It becomes multi-timbral by default when I simply add another track. The synth may not be perfect, what is, but FM is a bitch to program from an Init point on. If this gives someone part of that world in a more sane form, how is that bad? I’d like to see a larger, more solid Opsix & Wavestate offering more Stuff™, but I’d like a flying saucer, too. What they’re missing matters less than what they give you up front.

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