Among a slew of new Korg products introduced at the Musikmesse trade show in Germany are three new keyboard synths, one of them being a Stylophone-style real analog monosynth. Didn't see that coming...
Korg offers every musician the ability to enjoy analog synthesis with the all-new monotron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer. Powered by two AAA alkaline batteries, the compact monotron can be held in one hand. Although small enough to be easily carried, the monotron is packed with Korg’s legendary analog technology to generate thick and powerful sounds, plus a true analog filter with audio input.
The unique ribbon controller keyboard borrows from the enjoyment of performing with Korg’s popular KAOSS products. Simple finger motions can produce expressive effects such as vibrato and glide. When used in a band, the monotron can harmonize with another instrument – or take center stage for a monotron solo.
The monotron’s circuit is radically simple: one voltage-controlled oscillator, one voltage-controlled filter and one low frequency oscillator. The controls have been streamlined greatly – the panel contains only five knobs and one switch. Each knob controls a single function, so the process of sound creation is intuitive and instantly understandable. The LFO knob is even equipped with an LED that blinks at the same rate as the LFO, offering a convenient visual cue. With this level of simplicity, anyone can easily enjoy the world of analog synthesizers.
The monotron uses the same highly acclaimed VCF circuit as Korg’s classic MS-10 and MS-20 semi modular synthesizers. Originally released over 30 years ago, these instruments are still coveted today for their aggressive, dynamic filters. Just as on the original MS-20, the monotron's filter can be “patched into,” allowing any external audio source to be processed by the monotron’s filter. This provides a great way to connect a KAOSSILATOR, guitar or digital audio player to the monotron and enjoy tone-bending filter effects.
The Korg monotron is an ideal choice for anyone who is new to synthesizers, or for musicians who want to expand their sonic palette. It will be available August 2010 with an MSRP of $85.00.
Korg has introduced the PS60 Performance Synthesizer, a new breed of “live-music oriented” keyboard instrument. Designed for gigging and soon-to-be-gigging musicians, the PS60 delivers premium sounds and professional effects in an easy-to-use performance package. Lightweight, stylish and compact, it travels comfortably from home, to rehearsal, to center stage.
The PS60 keeps the needs of the on-stage musician front and center, offering dedicated control over the most essential functions, and a new approach to immediate sound selection. The intuitive, realtime controls, along with the sounds themselves, were created with the performer in mind, and have been optimized for the unique challenges and immediacy of playing live.
Focused on the fundamental sounds for keyboard playing, the PS60 delivers 440 spot-on sounds created using Korg’s EDS-i (Enhanced Definition Synthesis – integrated) sound engine. The sounds are organized into six Categories: Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Strings, Brass and Synth. Each category offers dedicated controls, making it easy to find just the right sound. The intuitive interface allows the performer to instantly layer up to six sounds, or make split settings at the touch of a button, creating sophisticated keyboard textures with ease. Up to 20 split/layered Performance settings can be created and saved for instant recall.
Any of 63 effects – including dynamics-type effects and amp modeling powered by Korg’s proprietary REMS technology – can be assigned to an individual sound using one of the five insert effects. In addition, two master effects can be applied to the overall sound: a modulation-style effect offering four effect types, and a reverb/delay effect also with four effect types. A three-band EQ adds the final touch. The master effects and final EQ are selected and modified via dedicated hardware controls.
The PS60 uses Korg’s expressive new Natural Touch keyboard, providing 61 full size semi-weighted keys to accommodate both the piano player and synthesist alike. Additional performance controls include a four-way joystick, octave up/down and transpose buttons, and a pair of footswitch/footpedal inputs for hands-free operation.
Sounds can be edited in greater detail by using the free PS60 Editor software. The PS60 can hold 512 Programs (440 are preloaded) and 20 Performance Settings (splits, layers, etc.). The Plug-In Editor offers all the same features, and allows the PS60 to be used as a plug-in synth from within any VST, Audio Units or RTAS-format DAW software system. As a librarian program, the software allows users to build up an enormous stash of sounds that have been created on a computer.
The Korg PS60 will be available soon with pricing TBA.
Korg once again re-defines the creative songwriting process with its new microSTATION. At a size and price usually reserved for performance synthesizers, the microSTATION also includes the additional benefits of a quick and intuitive onboard sequencer. Compact and portable, the microSTATION features Korg’s 61-key Natural Touch mini keyboard, numerous effects, dual arpeggiators and 16 tracks of MIDI recording power to transform musical ideas into polished productions.
The microSTATION is an ideal first keyboard, plus a welcome addition to any studio or keyboard rig. To benefit novice sequencer users, new features such as easily accessible Loop Recording and Visual Grid Sequencing have been added to jump-start any type of music production.
The 61-key Natural Touch Mini-Keyboard has been acclaimed for its ease of playing. The proportion of the black keys and white keys has been adjusted so that chords are comfortable to play, and the feel is designed to allow rapid phrases to be performed with ease; the waterfall-style keys make glissandos easy to play.
The microSTATION features the new EDS-i (Enhanced Definition Synthesis – integrated) engine, derived from the EDS system found on Korg’s acclaimed M3 XPanded and M50 professional instruments. The effect section adds up to five Insert effects (including Korg’s proprietary “REMS” amp modeling technology) two Master effects and one Total effect.
Korg’s world-class programming is second to none. In addition to the 480 Programs and 25 Drum kits, the microSTATION provides 256 Combinations, each of which combines up to sixteen programs as layers, splits or velocity-switched elements. Finding the right sound is easy. The 383 audition riffs play a repeating phrase so the selected sound can be heard in context. Every sound can be edited, tweaked and re-written, with plenty of room for saving custom Programs, Combinations and Drum kits. For compatibility with other MIDI instruments, there is also a full GM2 compatible sound set. The microSTATION provides an SD card slot, allowing users to save their Programs, Combinations and song data directly onto an SD/SDHC card.
The microSTATION’s knobs and controllers are located for easy use. Frequently used parameters can be assigned to the four realtime control knobs for convenient sound editing or for performing with the arpeggiator. With the External switch on, these four knobs can be used to control an external MIDI device. A joystick is provided for even more expressive potential.
For detailed editing of Programs, Combinations, Drum kits and Arpeggio patterns, the microSTATION is bundled with the “microSTATION Editor” and “microSTATION Plug-In Editor” software. The “microSTATION Editor” is a stand-alone program, while the “microSTATION Plug-In Editor” allows the microSTATION to be used as a VST, AU or RTAS plug-in instrument inside a DAW or other host application on a personal computer.
The Korg microSTATION will be available July 2010 with an MSRP of $850.00.