Korg Keystage Control Keyboard Offers MIDI 2.0, Polyphonic Aftertouch

Korg today introduced Keystage, a new MIDI keyboard controller that features MIDI 2.0 and Polyphonic Aftertouch.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“As the first keyboard to adopt the MIDI 2.0 Property Exchange, Keystage puts unparalleled integration and control at your fingertips, taking your music-making experience to a whole new level.

Featuring a new keybed design with outstanding touch response, Polyphonic / Channel Aftertouch and MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) compatibility, Keystage offers hands-on control and instant visual feedback through its parameter-dedicated OLED screens. It features a powerful arpeggiator, an array of chord modes, integrated audio outputs, and official integration with Ableton Live.”

Korg Keystage Poly Aftertouch Controller Overview:

Pricing and Availability:

Korg Keystage is available now, priced at $599.99 USD for the 49-key model and $699.99 for the 61-key model.

10 thoughts on “Korg Keystage Control Keyboard Offers MIDI 2.0, Polyphonic Aftertouch

  1. Nice one. Pre ordered straight away. Just hope that PolyTouch keybed sourced from ASM is as good and playable as my current NI Fatar on KK MK1…

  2. Integrating an audio interface is a clever touch. You play software instruments from a laptop or smart device and then audio out to the mixer/amp/monitor. 44,1000Hz and 16 bit for the audio outs, which isn’t so impressive.

    I can’t tell if those keys look short. I don’t think they’re full sized vertically, but maybe horizontally.

    Too bad there’s no boasting about high-res velocity or other fun MIDI 2.0 features that would require higher precision hardware.

    Another tricky thing is having full velocity range & resolution without false triggering of aftertouch which is a tricky bit of compromise-laden engineering.

  3. I’ll remain skeptical for a while yet. There’s a lot to like here, but its also early in the dedicated MPE > keyboard < race. I want to hear from people who use it and end up screaming like eagles because it has three or five major flaws. It already smells like a firmware update is waiting to elevate a couple of key areas. The first gen always has the most warts that need to be sanded off. Sorry, gross imagery, but its true. I want to see it take off, because all of my Korg gear has delivered the goods.

    1. I agree. I’ve relatively good experiences with Korg. In my experience Yamaha has good hardware, but “difficult” UI’s. Roland has good hardware, and sometimes lots of power under the hood in terms of depth of editing and flexibility. I’ve not had great experience with anything Akai, but that feels more like a personal preference thing.

      The Kontrol S keyboard from NI is direct competition here. Seems like it is a more premium build. However, NI focused so much on integration with their software, and they neglected external MIDI configuration capability to an almost criminal degree.

      It’s been on my mind because at some point I want a good 61 key controller with REALLY GOOD velocity response. I want that more that PolyAT, but that would be a plus.

  4. I’m surprised they didn’t use endless encoders. It doesn’t make much sense to use absolute encoders when you have an oled display showing the current value for each knob.

    1. Yea, it’s a good point, but there is at least one big advantage to actual pots— fast response, also some tactile advantage.

  5. Well, after reading and watching few reviews, I’ve decorated, I’ve canceled my order.
    I’ll stick around with my old and trusted KK S41 MK1

  6. It seems like 2024 may shape up to be the year polyphonic aftertouch becomes a requirement for flagship synthesizers.

    Korg needs to do an update to the Prologue to add polyphonic aftertouch and address a few gaps and then it would the true flagship that they positioned it as, and a real dream synth with the combination of expandable synthesis options and high-end expressive control.

    1. Over the decades we’ve seen workhorse polyAT controllers, a couple Ensoniq keyboards, then nothing for a long time, then a cloth-covered sponge, a tiny flat thing with no key-throw, and then — BOOM: Hydra, Osmose, Iridium, Kontrol S Mk3, Keystage…

      What we need is to couple these with excellent feel and velocity response– and reviewers never analyze or report on this very thoroughly. And we also need synth designers to include poly AT in their mod source lists (as well as release velocity).

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