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  • korg KONTROL (non-micro)

    today on a visit to GC i noticed that the microcontrol had an 8 character 3 segment LCD display above each rotary/slider combo!!! not to mention a JOYSTICK!! along with 16 pads??? wow.

    for some reason (probably the minikeys deturing me from further research) the fact this puppy had dedicated 8 character LCDs had never been brought to my attention.

    SO!! what are the chances of korg releasing a KONTROL keyboard controller?!?! making everything about this piece of kit BIGGER and slightly more 'pro'.. with 49 (or 61) fullsize keys [[main qualm, preferably fatar]] -- fullsize joystick [[or maybe even 2!?]] -- longer sliders -- taller rubbier knobbies [[ala waldorf/ion]].. maybe 16 knobs/sliders??

    oof. i would pay some pretty decent dollars for a kb controller with these features!@!!

    makes me wonder why they went straight for the 'micro' in the microKONTROL..

  • #2
    flukeworm - what they don't mention to you in large flashing letters is that those LCD displays are basically hard-coded and NOT modifyable/programmable by the user to display any custom text other than what Korg set them to. In one very special circumstance (right now only with the Korg Legacy Collection plugins) can the labels on those displays read anything other than their generic text. Those LCDs were the biggest reason I wanted the board, and I figured the pads would be a very cool addition also. Major disappointment on both fronts...

    The pads work, but seem like they are quantized to read in at very "preset" levels. I have bever been able to get mine to read in at anything less than a velocity of 21, and they skip up from there to other higher levels, but not in any kind of a smooth way. The keys aren't horrible, but they are pretty small and spongy.

    Korg did also just up the ante for purchasing one by throwing in a software bundle (Live 4 SE, etc.). The biggest perk of that bundle is the effects plugins that come with the Legacy Collection. Unfortunately, they didn't extend this offer (or any other kind of gesture) to the people who bought this board right when it came out - not stellar policy with respect to their existing loyal customers. Apparently, the sales of this board are not very good and they felt they needed something to prop things up. If I had it to do over again, I would not have purchased it and would have insted gotten the Novation ReMOTE25. Instead, I ended up getting the ReMOTE25 a few weeks ago anyway

    Not to sound like a commercial for Novation, but the ReMOTE series really does deliver what they promised after their latest OS update. It does let you put in whatever you want for the LCD display, has a boatload more controls than the Korg and more flexibility to program them, has real keys with aftertouch, has the joystick (and an XY pad) and is constructed a lot better IMHO. I just finished programming mine to act as a programmer for my MKS-80 and it works beautifully. I can actually see what I am doing and know exactly what parameter I am changing by reading the LCD. This is what I *thought* I would be able to do with the microKONTROL...

    Novation does make both 49 and 61 key versions of these controller boards so that might be something you want to take a closer look at. For the pads, just get an Akai MPD-16 and be done with it. Same pads as the MPC boxes so you know they work well and they are a lot bigger, they feel better, and are easier to use than the Korg. That little puppy is next on my list of gear purchases...

    Anyway sorry for the rambling, but I'd stay far away from the microKONTROL unless you want a half-baked product. Again, just my opinion, and YMMV...



    • #3
      I think the MicroKontrol is ok for a portable controller. However, none of these are really adequate for studio use. In that setting you are better off using a mixing control board like a HUI, Mackie, Yamaha, etc. I use a Radikal SAC 2.2 that is multipurpose along with a separate 88 key keyboard. Generally you're better off with the best keyboard you can own and a separate controller.


      • #4
        thanx for the advices and info dugman and cybermooks.

        dugman - fistly, about the microKONTROL. thanx for the heads up. i wasnt planning on purchasing the mK as is i would def wait till they came out with a new revision.. but that thing about not being able to program the LCD readouts. MAJOR bummer.

        the reMOTE has looked great to me in the past. didnt know they came in 49/61 key versions though. little/no documentation of that on the novation site. i tried searching for 'reMOTE 61' and came up with a bunch of 'plan to' and 'no longer available' pages.. whats the dealio?

        also. the main thing that caught my attention about the korg - the LCD readouts above the knobbies - ala nord mod G2! this is what i am specifically looking for in a controller! --- so how does the LCD work on the reMOTE? do you have to budge a knob/slider before the parameter reads out on the main LCD? i suspect this to be the case. which is a little bit

        one more thing. DAMN theyre a little pricey!!! for my $$ id rather pick up fatar controller and a UC-33


        • #5
          fluke - I'm not 100% sure if the ReMOTE 49 or 61 are actually shipping or not, but I have seen them advertised for sale online in a couple of places. Either way, now that Novation is back in business (thanks to Focusrite) they will probably be available pretty soon if they aren't already. I agree that they are definitely pricey which was the main reason I decided against it in the first place. Although in retrospect, if I would have just gotten the ReMOTE in the first place I could have bought the MPD-16 with the money I spent on the mK and had the best of both worlds. I only spent $339 for my ReMOTE (brand new, not B-stock or blem, from an online dealer) and they still have that price advertised as of the writing of this post. I don't want to spam or advertise here (and no, I don't work for them) so email me offline if you want to know where to look

          I've been waiting in vain for a major revision to the mK since the day I bought the board. Probably not gonna happen from what I can tell. They have put out basic bugfix-type updates, but have not added anything meaningful functionality-wise. Absolutely minimal online product support from Korg, and nobody seems to have decided to create a website or Yahoo group or anything to provide outside discussion or support or patch trading. It's pretty sad actually, because I think the board could have some potential if it were developed further and Korg extended the functionality to be more flexible. I basically have given up on it and it is sitting back in its original box in my basement. Haven't decided whether or not to eBay it, but I probably will not be using it any longer.

          The ReMOTE does have the limitation of having to move the control to get that particular control's "label" to show up on the LCD. It shows the value you are editing during the time you are moving the control and then leaves that value displayed for a short (user-configurable) period of time before going back to the main "user preset" display although you can also confgure it to always show the value of the last control you've edited. The LCD is very readable/usable and lets you have a lot more room to name and read the values - it is definitely big enough to be usable. I figured that was better than nothing when compared to the Korg

          It isn't quite as nice as having multiple LCDs like the G2, but then again the G2 cannot transmit sysex when it is acting as a remote controller (CCs, but no sysex - at least not yet). I looked at that option too, because I was *seriously* GASsing for a G2 anyway. My problem is that I need a controller that can send sysex strings to program my older stuff (MKS-80, MKS-70, D-550, Matrix 6r). The fact that it only has one LCD is not that big of a limitation...you can print out inserts that slip into the front panel of the ReMOTE that can tell you what you are controlling. I was just going to print/laminate/cut some of these out for each of my synths and switch them out as needed. I'm really only using it as a glorified sound design programmer-type tool and very rarely for performance, so that works just fine for me.

          If you haven't already, you might want to pore over the user manual of the ReMOTE here . It is very detailed and can give you a great idea of what you can do with it. There is also a pretty active Yahoo Group to discuss and trade presets. I've been very happy with mine so far, and am seriously looking at the ReMOTE 61 to use as a more serious studio controller...

          Hope that helps...thanks!


          • #6
            hehe, just found this thread by accident, when searching for something else...

            flukewurm the Visionary


            • #7
              Has anyone had issues with the 1.03 firmware upadte for the MC-1 recommended by Korg?
              My mK lost the use of the octave switching and response from several notes. I'm now having to pay them to have it put right!


              • #8