The 88-key Kronos is more than a new instrument. It is a milestone in synthesis and workstation evolution; one that embodies fresh ideas and breakthrough technologies. Kronos brings together multiple ... Click To Read More About This Product
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The 88-key Kronos is more than a new instrument. It is a milestone in synthesis and workstation evolution; one that embodies fresh ideas and breakthrough technologies. Kronos brings together multiple sound engines working in harmony and interactive performance features that reflect the way musicians play. Most importantly, Kronos provides a seemingly inexhaustible supply of breathtaking, spectacular sounds.
The Next-Generation Instrument for Live, Production, and Sound Design
The Kronos Music Workstation is the single instrument designed for live performing musicians; for artists creating in a studio or computer-based production environment; and for musicians and sound designers seeking the ultimate synthesizer. In creating Kronos, Korg listened to many musicians, heard their requests, and has vowed to deliver.
LIVE - for the performing keyboard player
Kronos provides the absolute finest in keyboard sounds; accurate and responsive to any player's technique. The expansive control surface offers joysticks, sliders, knobs, switches, a ribbon controller, assignable pedal inputs, and, of course, Korg's improved resolution color TouchView display. New additions include the easy-to-use Set List mode for song-specific and gig-ready sound selection, and Korg's Smooth Sound Transition feature. Plus, it includes Korg's finest RH3 keybed.
PRODUCTION - satisfying the producer, music director, and musician
For many, the studio is where the work gets done; from laying down tracks, to building up grooves for an on-stage extravaganza, to delivering the soundtrack for today's media rich world. For these creative leaders, Korg has equipped the Kronos Music Workstation's sequencer with 16-track MIDI tracks, plus 16 audio tracks, Korg's Open Sampling System, dazzling hi-fidelity effects, as well as flawless plug-in integration with many popular DAW platforms. Kronos is also equipped with phenomenal sound, dynamic drums, and an impressive array of premium sound effects. Add to that the ability to use KARMA (explained below), the Drum Track, and the sequencer's RPPR to greatly speed up and enrich the music creation process.
SYNTHESIS - programming joy for the enthusiast and sound designer
In addition to being Korg's premier workstation, Kronos has it in its blood to satisfy the programmer, sound designer, and synthesizer enthusiast; the musician who dreams of turning visions of the cosmos into sound, of tweaking parameters to conjure invisible sounds from the ether. Kronos rekindles Korg's founding dream that is at the core of synthesis: the exhilaration and enjoyment of creating new sounds, sounds never before heard. A variety of exclusive Korg technologies drive the synth engines to provide astounding results”VMT (Virtual Memory Technology); CMT (Component Modeling Technology); Physical Modeling, Digital Synthesis, Wave Sequencing, MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis); KARMA and more!
9 Synthesizer Engines, United in One Instrument
Kronos contains 9 distinct synthesizer/sound engines. While each is worthy of a separate product in its own right, Kronos brings them all together into a single, integrated musical instrument. Dynamic voice allocation and new technologies allow all sound engines to smoothly share a stable, enhanced hardware platform. The results are nothing less than spectacular.
SGX-1 Premium Piano
Piano sound engine
To accurately capture the rich character of a concert piano, Korg abandoned working within the limitations of existing sampling methods and took advantage Virtual Memory Technology (VMT), able to play large samples directly from the internal high-capacity Solid State Disk (SSD). The SGX-1 Premium Piano sound engine offers two distinctive grand pianos; a rich German D piano, and a robust Japanese C model. Each uses superb, unlooped stereo samples sampled at 8 velocity levels for each and every key. Thoughtful attention to detail preserves the realism and warmth of the piano sound; this extends even to sampling and reproducing the body resonances of the grand piano, as well as the mechanical noise that occurs when the keys are played, or the damper pedal is pressed and released. The foundation of any keyboard instrument is the piano, and the SGX-1 engine allows Kronos to confidently deliver on this sonic ideal.
EP-1 MDS Electric Piano
Electric piano sound engine
Korg's new EP-1 sound engine is dedicated to faithfully recreating 6 of the most popular classic electric pianos. The MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis) technology eliminates the transitions between velocity-switched samples, and does away with the unnatural behavior of looped samples. It also provides the user with unique control over the tines, reeds, and noise elements that make up the essential character of these timeless and coveted electromechanical instruments. The MDS sounds respond smoothly to the subtleties of the player's keyboard touch. This technology also delivers an astounding dynamic range so that the energy of climactic passages is accurately preserved. Each of the 6 electric piano models provides realistic simulations of the period amp, cabinet, speaker, and even the hard-to-find vintage effects that gave the original instruments their distinctive sound. From the sounds, to the touch, to the effects; every element has been coordinated in a single package to create the ultimate electric piano experience.
CX-3 Tonewheel Organ
Tonewheel organ sound engine
The original Korg CX-3 combo organ went on sale in 1980. Loved by musicians around the world, this classic organ reappeared in 2000 as a new product with the same name, but using the latest technology of the time to faithfully model the tonewheel organ sound. In Kronos, the CX-3 engine precisely models this classic tonewheel instrument. Proprietary Korg technology has been used to perfectly reproduce the vacuum tube amp, and effects such as Vibrato/Chorus and the "must-have" rotary speaker. Even the instability, fold-back, leakage, and noise of the tone wheels have been obsessively analyzed and recreated. Take full advantage of Korg's exclusive EX mode and switch from 9 to 18 drawbars (13 footages plus 5 to define the percussion) and generate even richer and more detailed sounds. The organ sounds heard in legendary performances”some recreated here by the original artists”are now yours for the playing. Go ahead and experience these classic organ sounds, reborn for the present day.
HD-1 High Definition Synthesizer
Flagship PCM, sampling, and Wave Sequencing sound engine
The HD-1 was named"High Definition" because of its superior sound, starting with Korg's proprietary low-aliasing sample playback oscillators, full-bandwidth multimode resonant filters, and extraordinarily fast & smooth envelopes and LFOs. Once again, Korg's SSD and Virtual Memory Technology (VMT) gives the HD-1 access to a larger sample set”gigabytes in size”than could be normally stored using internal memory. The HD-1 covers all of the essential sounds in exquisite detail, from orchestral to classic rock to hip-hop, all instantly available. The extensive array of samples provided by Kronos is unparalleled by previous hardware synthesizers or samplers, and is a superb fit for film, video, and sound effect work.
First introduced on the Korg WAVESTATION, and used here as part of the HD-1, Wave Sequences play a series of samples over time, creating distinctive rhythmic timbres or smooth, complex evolving sounds. Additionally, step-sequencer modulation outputs allow Wave Sequences to control any modulate-able Program parameter.
The HD-1 sound engine also includes Korg's "Ambient Drums." Take advantage of this rich sample content to create incredibly realistic drum parts. The Ambient Drums feature two kits. Each provides three different miking positions, capturing the whole kit, (with the snare on and off), plus the individual hits. The HD-1 voice architecture allows the custom blending of the drum's direct sound and ambient sound layer, adding a finished quality to the track.
AL-1 Analog Synthesizer
High-fidelity analog modeling sound engine
Feature-packed, the AL-1 is the same premium analog modeling sound engine that was first featured on the Korg OASYS, the Open Architecture Synthesis Studio back in 2005. Its patented ultra-low-aliasing oscillators (using completely different technology than the HD-1) recreate all the power and glory of true analog synthesis without unwanted artifacts. Morphing waveforms allow you to change the oscillator shapes in real time. Resonance modeling lets you choose between classic filter sounds, and the extraordinarily flexible MultiFilter lets you create your own hybrid filter shapes. Hard sync, analog-style FM, drive, low-boost, and ring modulation offer plenty of tone-twisting power.
MS-20EX Legacy Analog Collection
Analog modeling sound engine
Debuting in 1978, the MS-20 unified a 37-note keyboard with a vertically oriented control panel, and was easily obtainable by those smitten by expensive and gigantic furniture-sized synthesizers. With a thick and solid sound, aggressive filters, and patching that opened up limitless potential for creating sounds, the MS-20's rich personality captivated countless synth freaks. Using Korg's CMT (Component Modeling Technology) the MS-20EX faithfully reproduces the MS-20 while dramatically expanding its patch panel functionality. Modulate filters with audio-rate oscillators; turn audio inputs into control signals; control all of the original knobs with mod sources including additional envelopes, LFOs, and realtime controllers. It's a tweaker's dream, but even without the patch panel, the MS-20EX would make waves with its unique, aggressive tone”due in large part to its signature filters, which are completely different from those in either the AL-1 or the PolysixEX. The Kronos version is now very polyphonic.
PolysixEX Legacy Analog Collection
Analog modeling sound engine
The Polysix first appeared in 1981, offering six-voice polyphony, program memory, and a surprisingly competitive price tag. With its self-oscillating four-pole filter, smooth analog oscillator and sub-oscillator, plus a lush Chorus/Ensemble effect, the PolysixEX extends the abilities of the original in many creative ways. The strings and pads that were such a major feature of the Polysix will be invaluable when you need the sounds of the early '80s. The classic arpeggiator built into the original Polysix is also provided. Korg added modulation of every control on the front panel, for a world of sounds impossible on the original. It's also very well-suited to hands-on control via the Kronos' Tone Adjust; with a knob, slider, or switch for almost all of the original Polysix controls. As a bonus, it's also capable of extremely high polyphony.
MOD-7 Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer
VPM/Waveshaping/PCM processing sound engine
Combine Variable Phase Modulation (VPM), wave-shaping, ring modulation, samples, and subtractive synthesis, plus a modular patch-panel system, and you have the MOD-7. Exceptionally versatile, it offers everything from classic FM keyboards, bells, and basses (including the ability to import sounds from vintage DX synths) to rhythmic soundscapes and sparkling, epic pads. Vast sample-mangling capabilities, with incredible flexibility and power, let you create intensely rich processing environments: combine multiple stages of filtering, waveshaping, and ring modulation”even use samples as FM modulators”all patched together however you like.
STR-1 Plucked String Synthesizer
Physical modeling sound engine
Based on the physical modeling know-how Korg developed over the course of many years, this struck/plucked-string physical modeling sound engine takes advantage of cutting-edge technology. The STR-1 begins with highly playable sounds whose tone responds to your touch in ways that are difficult for a PCM sound engine to replicate. These include acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harpsichord, clavinet, harps, bells, and ethnic instruments. Then the STR-1 goes beyond, allowing the creation of sounds that obey physical laws, but that don't exist in reality. Play harmonics on a metal bar "plucked" by a piano or sing into a guitar string”with the STR-1, it's all possible. You can also process samples and live audio input through the physical model”including audio feedback from any of the Kronos effects. While some of the Kronos engines look back in time, this is a sound engine of the future, one that allows the synthesizer programmer to construct truly new sounds.
Premier Artist Contributions
In order to take full advantage of these 9 sound engines, Korg called on respected musicians to guide their sound design team towards their individual ideals. Responding positively, numerous world-class players contributed their time, energy, and critical listening to help them zero in on making the sound respond the way they hear it. Certain artist signature sounds were tested, judged, and tweaked by the likes of Jordan Rudess, Russ Ferrante, Lyle Mays, George Duke, Tom Coster, Jeff Lorber, Frank McComb, John Novello, and several other artists known for their serious love of sound and for their critical, demanding ears.
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Comments about Korg Kronos 88:
After using and loving my Roland RD-600 for the last 15 years, I finally relented and upgraded by rig to the Korg Kronos 88, due in part to my band mates' constant complaints about how long it took me to change patches/voices between songs when performing. I looked a variety of boards online, and narrowed it down seriously to the Yamaha Motif-XF8 and the Korg Kronos-88. While I would have to give the slight edge on the authenticity of the piano sound to the Yamaha (though the Korg Kronos German Grand is very, very realistic) what eventually sold me on the Korg was the ability to pre-program an entire gig's setlist in advance and access it via a large, easy-to-read touchscreen while performing. I've just finished programming the board with our group's entire repertoire, a process that took me 3 weeks of nights and weekends, though I admit the process went faster later as I learned more about the board's features. Part of my difficulty was due simply from having to make the adjustment from a digital piano with lot of presets (augmented by an add-on MIDI box with a couple thousand more) to a genuine workstation. For those of you who are already used to using a workstation, this will be old hat, but if you are considering a workstation for the first time, be aware that it's a very different kind of animal. A digital piano is like a hardware store - you just go down the aisles looking for the sound you want, and maybe a couple of thingamabobs you can connect together to get it to fit just right. Adding an off-board module turns your hardware store into Home Depot, but you're still stuck with whatever is on the shelves. A workstation, on the other hand, is more like having the big-box hardware store with it's own machine shop in back. If you don't find what you need on the shelves, you can just grab whatever is closest to what you need and take it out back to mill and drill and grind it into exactly the sound you were looking for. Obviously, it's very powerful, but it is not exactly user-friendly. The Korg Quick-Start Manual, and even the accompanying training DVD were useful, but not really adequate for doing much of anything useful like preparing 100+ combinations of sounds for a gigging band's setlist. There is no substitute for digging deep into the manual and spending the time to learn it, and even then, it tends to assume one understands a lot about sound engineering, which I don't necessarily. For example, if you want to layer several different voices into one combination (a pretty normal thing when you are performing a song that requires the keyboard to switch between sounds quickly during performance), you have to first go into the Timbre tab and set all the "timbres" (i.e. voices/patches) that you want to use to the same global channel (Gch) or else you won't be able to hear any but the first one. Not a big deal, you might say, and pretty standard for someone working up a MIDI track in the studio, but it was not at all apparent to me and took some time to get that one figured out. Which brings me to my main observation about this board - it is primarily designed to be a powerful workstation, and only secondarily to be an easy-to-use performing board. They pretty much took everything they could possibly imagine anyone ever needing in a keyboard for any musical purpose, and shoved it all in there. The result: Powerful, versatile? You bet! Easy to learn and use, and easy to set up for performance? Not so much. Among my concerns / suggestions for Korg: 1. How about a Korg Kronos "light" geared strictly around performing? Drop the Karma accompaniment software and the built-in drum tracks - those are great, I suppose for someone trying to be a one-man band, but I just want to play live without any artificial enhancement. You could drop all the sequencer function, too - I've already got a home recording rig when I want one. 2. While I appreciate the lighter weight than my old Roland, I'm concerned about how the pressboard bottom is going to hold up to years of gigging vs. an all-metal shell. 3. Make setting up combinations with layers and splits a little more intuitive, and especially the effects, which I still need to research more to completely figure out. 4. Finally, why, oh why do I have to write/save a new setlist each time I copy/paste one song to it from another setlist? Failing to do so completely erases the new setlist when I switch back to the previous one to copy a new song - you'd think the new one could remember what I'd pasted into it long enough for me to paste a bunch more in before I wrote/saved the final version. Bottom line: This is a really powerful music workstation that has just about anything anyone could possibly want musically, but I ended up paying for a lot of stuff I don't need (it was the most expensive board I looked at) in order to get the few things I really did.
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