Weighing in at just 15 lb., the KORG M50 keyboard workstation is packed with incredible sounds; fat & juicy combis, splits, and layers; a plethora of ace effects; dynamic drum tracks; enhanced poly-ar... Read More
Weighing in at just 15 lb., the KORG M50 keyboard workstation is packed with incredible sounds; fat & juicy combis, splits, and layers; a plethora of ace effects; dynamic drum tracks; enhanced poly-arpeggiators; classic sequencing tools; a solid, confident keybed; up-to-date SD storage; companion editing software, and KORG's TouchView interactive display. It all adds up to an invigorating and sexy KORG keyboard, at your service.
There's a Keyboard for Everyone
Over 20 years of category-defining workstation expertise beats in the heart of the M50 Compact Workstation. Just as the M3 borrowed elements from the legendary OASYS, the KORG M50 captures all the sonic firepower of the M3, distilled into a top-notch performance instrument. This 61-note keyboard features a semi-weighted Natural Touch. Its fast and responsive synthesizer keybed facilitates expressive and dynamic performing.
A Natural Performer
Made to be played, the M50 is inviting and comfortable. The TouchView screen is intuitive and interactive, allowing the uniquely angled front panel to remain refined and uncluttered. The buttons themselves are rock solid, backlit, and rounded for visibility and ease-of-use under any playing conditions. In addition to KORG's 4-way joystick and multifunction knobs, the M50 keyboard offers 4 Chord Triggers that provide a flexible and fun way to play chords and trigger arp patterns. A 10-key numeric keypad allows on-demand instant access to sounds, combinations (or combis), and other parameter/values. Hundreds of drum track patterns, and over a thousand arpeggiator patterns—including chord grooves, picking-patterns, and more—are instantly available to add punch and pizzazz to your M50 performance, and to provide hours of inspiration.
Perfectly Shaped Sounds
M50 is packed with over 600 individual sound programs, each one created by KORG's international voicing team. With a robust 256MB of sample data—recorded in exacting studio conditions—the acoustic instruments are delivered with authenticity and realism, providing rich, natural articulation. For example, synth sounds can be bombastic and aggressive, lush and enveloping, or pure and delicate. First and foremost, the M50 can be a cornerstone keyboard for any musician. The remarkable electric piano offers 3 layers of stereo switching and an additional resonance layer for faithful and natural reproduction of the piano's entire dynamic range.
In addition to the grand pianos, myriad piano and keyboard mainstays are included, from a mono piano for pumping it out live onstage, to the ever-in-demand vintage KORG SG-1 Sampling Grand. The electric pianos are responsive, dynamic, and expressive with all the tine and hammer-slap you can muster. The enhanced clavs feature all the classic settings with wide dynamic response, and there are even string and flute sounds taken from the tape-driven keyboards of days gone by. KORG's REMS pickup/amp/cabinet modeling technology provides that finishing touch. All the classics are there at your fingertips with spot-on programs that are a blast to play. Need to quickly tweak a sound to your liking? No problem. Tone Adjust allows simple access to the most important parameters and characteristics of a sound without having to dive deeply into programming. Available in Program, Combi, and Sequencer modes, you can get done what you need to with minimum fuss and effort.
Mix & Match
In addition to the individual programs, a combi allows up to 16 sound programs to be stacked, split, layered, and zoned across the keyboard; or set to individual MIDI channels. Nearly 400 of these combis come preloaded, offering tasty blends and splits for live performance. All of the preloaded sounds are completely editable, and there is plenty of room onboard (640 programs, 512 combinations) for all the sounds that you edit, modify, or create on your own.
The generous effect section of the M50 brings your sounds to life. 5 insert effects and 2 master effects can be assigned and routed at will, with a total effect to add that final polish. From spacious and luxurious reverbs to space-warping modulation types, the effects can not only embellish a sound after the fact, but they can also be part of the sound programming itself, adding unique and defining sonic elements.
D-mod (Dynamic Modulation) allows realtime control of various parameter effects as part of your performance. Effect parameters can be sync'd to the 2 common LFOs or a MIDI clock source to further integrate the effects into the overall sound. Over 170 top-quality effects are available, including KORG's proprietary REMS modeling effects. Each program, whether alone, in a combination, or assigned to a sequencer track, is equipped with its own 3-band EQ for that final tone shaping.
Let There Be Drums!
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, and the M50's got it. KORG squeezed in over 1,600 drum and percussion samples that can be laid out into full drum kit programs. Ready and waiting are 32 drum kits, with room for 48 more of your own. Adding to the drum kits, the drum track feature hosts some 670 drum grooves that you can jam along to, or use to kick-start and inspire your own song ideas. In fact, each program has a pre-assigned matching drum track to get you started.
The arpeggiator has been a staple on KORG keyboards since the 1980s, and the M50 more than delivers on that heritage. It has the ubiquitous up, down, and random patterns you'd expect, plus dual polyphonic arpeggiators that can serve up cascading chords, groovin' bass lines, chord-driven picking patterns, and punchy accents to spice up your performance. In the Sequencer and Combi modes, both arpeggiators can run simultaneously—each addressing different timbres—creating powerful possibilities such as one running drum grooves and one running bass patterns, or even using velocity to switch between patterns on the same sound.
Rapid Results Sequencing
The onboard sequencer is the core of your music production studio. Over 200,000 notes and up to 128 songs can be recorded on 16 MIDI tracks . Enhanced 480 ppq resolution captures your performance with pinpoint accuracy whether you play in realtime or step notes in one at a time. A plethora of advanced, yet easy-to-use editing features are available to help you sculpt your song into its final form.
Song Templates designed for a variety of musical genres allow you to get started quickly, with sounds and effects all selected and routed for you. Or try KORG's unique RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) function, calling up any of the 671 drum patterns to get started, and assigning shorter patterns and phrases to individual keys; you can even loop each track to build the perfect groove before the inspiration runs out. Sequence individual sections of the song separately, and then use the Cue List function to assemble and tryout different arrangements. Then you'll be remix ready! Since you never know when inspiration will strike, the one-touch record (Auto Song Setup) feature transfers all your current settings into a new song and starts the sequencer, capturing your ideas as the foundation of a new song.
KORG's most advanced hardware engine ever, Enhanced Definition Synthesis is the musical heart of both the M50 and the M3. Each individual voice can lay claim to up to two stereo oscillators, four filters, two amp sections, five Low Frequency Oscillators (LFO), and five time-variant Envelope Generators (EG). On the technical side, each stereo oscillator can achieve four-way velocity switching, crossfading, or layering. This allows a single voice to use up to eight stereo multisamples to ensure a dynamic and expressive sound. Each voice also has access to up to four multi-mode (High Pass, Band Pass, Band Reject, Low Pass) filters; two filters per oscillator running side by side, stacked, or in series, as well as a superb 24dB mode. Even the amp section can add to the shape and texture of the sound with a drive circuit to add a harder, rougher edge, and a low boost to fatten up that big bottom.
The M50 includes both standalone and plug-in sound editing software for more detailed graphic editing on your computer, connecting directly via USB. The plug-in version allows you to edit the M50's sounds from inside any DAW (VST, Audio Units, and RTAS formats), allowing your edits and changes to be part of the song file without having to switch applications to tweak a sound. The workstation also uses convenient SD cards for economical and reliable data storage.
The M50 is chock-full of sounds and features. It's high-visibility, 320 x 240 pixel resolution TouchView interface allows direct touch-screen access to hundreds of parameters. Finding the sounds you need is simple thanks to the way they've been organized by category, as are effects, drum patterns, arps, and even waveforms.
Reviewed by 7 customers
Displaying reviews 1-7
The Korg M50 is easily one of the best keyboards I've ever used. The bright touchscreen is very responsive, as well as the round, backlit buttons and the great feeling pitch bend stick. The user interface does have a bit of a learning curve, but is pretty simple after you get past that. The recording functions are also very easy to use and it makes writing songs on the board very fun and intuitive. The sounds are - for the most part - very good, and the synth leads and pads are some of the best you'll get on a workstation at this price (or on a keyboard period), the organ sounds are also very expressive and sound very authentic. Other sounds such as the strings, woodwinds, brass, and guitars are rather realistic and very acceptable as well. The only real dark spot on the patch list for me is the acoustic piano patches; however, they are good enough to get by on and can be fixed with some tweaking. Speaking of tweaking, this is a Korg keyboard so the patches are endlessly tweakable. If there's a sound you don't like, simply tweak it to your liking or download a better one online. The only problem I really have with the M50 outside of the piano patches is the keybed. One of my first keyboards was a $100 Casio and it has a better feeling keybed than the Korg M50. I don't know why Korg decided to use what they did instead of going with something like what they're using on the M3 (which is essentially a beefed up version of this keyboard), but I can only assume it was to cut down production costs. At the end of the day though, that's just a minor complaint against an amazing keyboard that shows just how well an entry level workstaion can be. If you are wanting to buy a professional instrument and don't know where to start then you should look into this instrument. Try one at your local music shop and if you aren't satisfied then I'd suggest looking at the Roland Juno Gi or Yamaha MOX6.
I have had this for over a year now and still happy with the amount of features it has. If you are happy with your basic tones (piano, strings, horns...), I would say get something less expensive, because this baby is very wide in sampler ranges. The on board ability to create tones either out of your own playing around or modifying those on board is a bit overwhelming at first, but fun. Recording music takes a little getting used to, but the most important part is getting the right SD card. It takes only the older SD cards, not the new SDHC. Having the ability to layer up to 16 tones is excellent. My only big regret is not getting a bigger keyboard. 61 keys just isnt enough for me anymore. I still havent figured out the m50 computer program, because I use a different mixer program. But it looks complicated if you are new to this. I dont think you can go wrong with Korg, I have always loved the quality of their products. But I wish I got a bigger board.
As an owner of the M3-88 with external and internal radias. Knew the power that this would have minus karma functions. The steel top face is very strong for the unit. Sounds excellent and is perfect for scratch pad to final post. Plenty of sounds with 256meg. 419 page perimeter guide tells you what you need to know. Deep.
I have to say I am thrilled that Korg has finally come back with an incredible keyboard that I would find hard for anyone to be disappointed in! I admit, I was let down by the triton-Le and had almost given up on any Korg again, but they do make very good products, so I thought I'd give them another go. This board blew me away! Great piano sounds(finally) and all of the other great sounds you would need, realistically reproduced. A much better supply of string sounds than the triton-Le, kind of reminiscent of the Korg 01/w's great, full sounds. I'm glad to know I could stay with Korg, thanks to the great library of sounds and nice features of this machine. My only con is that if you are going to play piano sounds alot, the 61 key may not be for you. At least get the 73 key version.
Ever since the Trinity came out, Korg has been letting me down more and more. It seems to me that the more sounds they try to jam-pack into each keyboard, the more they loose their "sound." I remember back with the M1, the sounds were heavy and solid. With this M50, the sounds (to my opinion) sound weak and thin. The woodwinds and brass do not sound like in Korg's earlier days. Personally, I would recommend going for a Roland or even a Yamaha Motif, as you will find that their sound libraries are not only varied, but sound realistic. I will miss Korg keyboards for years to come, seeing as to how I came to trust the company so well. Now, I have my doubts...
this was exceptionally great to work with easy to move and light weight best for your money buy this for the lower price instead of the 88. Hard at first to personalize (without experience with Korg)but worth the time.
This Korg is absolutely incredible. I use Native Instruments, MIDI Maestro, Reason, Pro-Tools and other production software and when I hooked this keyboard up it was incredible how well it integrates with such a variety of software. The Touch screen and on board systems communicate for live, on the fly adjustments. The sounds are fabulous, especially for organ or brass! I have used this keyboard for both recording, rehearasals and live performance and I have not regreted purchasing it. It does take a while to configure the system to your own personal liking, but it is easy to play around and figure it out on your own or read the man ual and get online help which makes the learning curve even easier. For any mobile musician, I highly recomend this keyboard workstation. You will not be sorry.
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