(Click for a close-up)
Korg has introduced a portable synthesizer offering a variety of tools for performers, producers, computer musicians and beginners alike. The new microKORG delivers modeling synthesis, vocoding, real-time control, on-board effects, and external audio processing, plus Korg's sound at an affordable price. The microKORG's 37-mini-key compact chassis also makes it ideal for the musician or DJ working in a limited-space environment.
The microKORG's dual-oscillator analog modeling DSP synthesis engine (the same as found in its "big brother", the MS-2000) offers a wider selection of waveforms than any other modeled synth. In addition to traditional analog-style waveforms (square, sine, etc.), the first oscillator's 71 waveforms include unique choices such as vox wave and cross wave. Also included are 64 exclusive DWGS waveforms from Korg's classic DW8000 synth that enable the microKORG to generate a variety of high-quality imitative sounds that are usually difficult to produce on an analog synth -- electric pianos, bells and guitars, for example. Ring and sync modulation can be applied from the second oscillator to generate superbly complex modern sounds.
The microKORG engine offers four filter modes -- Low pass, Band Pass and High pass 2-pole settings plus a special, extra-steep 24dB 4-pole low-pass configuration, all of which include resonance. Two ADSR envelope generators and two MIDI-syncable LFOs, plus a Virtual Patch matrix allow the creation of advanced modulation settings.
In addition to its synthesizer features, the microKORG includes an 8-band vocoder with many advanced capabilities, including voice formant capture with the ability to play the captured sound across the keyboard. The microKORG even includes its own microphone for instant vocoding.
The microKORG's feature set is rounded out with two sophisticated effects processors, one providing chorus/flange, phase, or ensemble and the other offering three delay effects. A two-band equalizer provides the finishing touch. Delays may be synchronized with the on-board multi-function arpeggiator or to an external clock. The arpeggiator offers six different patterns and the ability to turn on and off steps in the patterns for creative rhythmic applications.
The 128 factory presets include a wealth of modern and classic sounds as well as 16 vocoder presets. Sounds are grouped together by genre, and selection is made quick and easy with large dedicated buttons and an easy-to-read display. Full on-board editing allows the modification of factory presets and the creation of entirely new sounds. All 128 locations can be overwritten, offering maximum user flexibility.
With five realtime controller knobs, Pitch and Mod wheels and a velocity-sensing 37-key keyboard, the microKORG also functions as a compact MIDI controller. Because it's battery powered, it is an ideal MIDI controller for use with a laptop. A large dial and illuminated buttons allow instant access to the microKORG's parameters and make it perfect for use on a darkened stage.
The microKORG Synthesizer/Vocoder has an MSRP of $500 and will be available in October.