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New ultra-portable synth offers computer musicians wide-ranging sounds and functionality

Korg introduces the compact, lightweight microX music synthesizer. Its 25 full-sized, velocity-sensitive keys, multi-genre sounds, real-time control elements and USB connectivity are ideal for computer-based studios and live performance.

The microX is packed with over 1,100 sounds generated by the acclaimed HI synthesis system featured on the Korg TRITON series. It is based on a new 64 MB PCM ROM which includes Korg classics and ample new waveforms created specifically for the microX. The result is a soundset with a focus on cutting edge synth and dance sounds, as well as unique ethnic timbres and essential "bread and butter" offerings. There are 640 programs and 384 combinations available — all are RAM so they can be edited or overwritten if desired. Also included are 30 preloaded/10 user Drumkits, as well as a complete GM soundset.

Not only is the microX a great sounding small synth for desktop studios and "on-the-go" music making, its full range of sounds rivals larger keyboards and controllers, making it a perfect expander sound module. Fully programmable, dual polyphonic arpeggiators cover everything from simple patterns to complex polyphonic phrases and drum grooves. In addition to five basic arpeggio patterns, an additional 251 phrases are included.

Two master effects, a stereo 3-band master EX and one stereo insert effect are available, using 89 studio quality effect types. Real-time modulation and tempo-based control is provided for many effects.

A user-friendly interface makes finding and auditioning sounds quick and easy via a dedicated Category button that offers immediate access to popular categories, and an Audition button that plays an appropriate phrase for each Program. The microX incorporates a backlit LCD display and Korg's proprietary ClickPoint cursor system for fast navigation, plus a large dial for value changes.

The microX offers expressive real-time control of its internal sounds, effects and arp patterns with four knobs, a clickable pointer and a 4-way joystick (all assignable). In addition, the four knobs can also be used to control up to 12 parameters on popular computer DAW software, soft synths or a hardware sound/effects module, via the External Control function. Sixty-four external control templates are provided for popular software synthesizers and DAW programs.

A free stand-alone/Plug-in editor is included (VST, AU, RTAS formats supported) for seamless editing of microX sounds from within DAW software. USB MIDI connectivity makes it simple to connect to a computer, an essential for laptop musicians.

A total of four outputs are provided for sending specific parts to tracks of a recorder, external effects devices or surround mixing applications. Three pedal/switch inputs and a headphone output are also provided. For convenient transportation and storage, the microX comes complete with a free molded carrying case.

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