Tiny Synth, Big Sounds First things first: if you're primarily a piano player, the microKORG's 37 mini-keys may take some getting used to. It's designed to be played one-handed, which means your other hand is free to manipulate the Pitch Bend wheel, Modulation wheel, and five fat knobs. To get started, choose one of 112 preset programs in seven categories: Trance, Techno/House, Electronica, Drum'n'Bass/Breaks, Hip-Hop/Vintage, Retro, and Sound Effects/Hits. You'll find that just about every synth sound you can dream up is represented here. Play the keyboard as you twist the knobs that control filter cutoff, resonance, envelope attack and release times, and arpeggiator tempo. Ready to start making your own synth sounds? Start with an oscillator algorithm (such as sawtooth or square wave) and turn the knobs to edit your sound, then save your work in one of the banks. You can assign the five knobs to control any parameter in real time -- just read their many functions written on the front panel. It's an excellent intro to the world of synthesis, and with no LCD screen to squint at, you'll forget you're dealing with a powerful DSP computer and start having some analog-style fun. The included manual's Quick Start guide will have you squeezing big sounds out of this little board in no time.
Fun with Vocoding No doubt you've noticed the nifty condenser microphone that Korg has thoughtfully included, connected to the microKORG. And you couldn't really miss the big green "VOCODER" setting on the Program Select dial, either. That's right, the microKORG has a vocoder with a built-in mic, so you can process the signal produced by the microKORG in real time through one of the most dynamic filters on the planet: the human voice. Shift, stretch and distort your voice with this powerful processor. Could your latest composition use a little bit more robot from outer space? How about a fat chipmunk in an echo chamber? Try all 16 of the included vocoder programs, or write your own vocoder program to the microKORG's memory and play it by pressing the keys, even when you're not vocalizing. Best of all, you can plug in any mic you like on a cord of any length, so you're not limited to standing in front of the microKORG when you vocalize into its vocoder on stage.
Powerful Arpeggiator The microKORG's dual arpeggiator spreads out and repeats the notes of any chord you play in a looping pattern at any tempo you specify -- a useful tool for making beats, or turning a simple one-handed bass-line into something much richer. Choose from six built-in arpeggiator programs or build your own pattern, then adjust the knobs to control the length, spacing, and swing of the notes. You can set the arpeggiator to turn off automatically when you take your hand off the keyboard, or continue playing without you, and you can set it to play either of two timbres in your current synth program. Overall, it's a powerful and flexible tool that doesn't just sound cool, it provides a solid foundation to build entire songs. You don't have to have mad keyboard skills to make great sounds -- just turn on the arpeggiator and get inspired!
MIDI Implementation "Analog" as it may seem, the microKORG is a digital instrument, and it's fully MIDI-compatible. Have a full-size keyboard that you want to use to play the microKORG's sounds? Connect the MIDI OUT of your external keyboard to the microKORG's MIDI IN, and you're off to the races. Or use the microKORG to play MIDI data into your DAW's sequencer. Every control on the microKORG can transmit MIDI information if you so desire.
Korg MicroKorg Analog Modeled Synth Vocoder Features - 4-voice, 2-oscillator analog modeling synth engine
- Stylish retro case with solid wood endblocks
- 37 velocity-sensitive mini-keys
- 128 fully-editable program presets for synths and vocoder
- Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels
- 5 assignable knobs for real-time tweaking
- Eight-band formant-shifting vocoder with on-board condenser microphone
- Powerful 8-step arpeggiator with 6 built-in programs
- On-board chorus/flanger, phaser, and ensemble effects processors
- Three delay modes
- Big, bright illuminated buttons and high-visibility LED display
- MIDI IN, OUT, and THRU
- Runs on 6 AA batteries or included AC adapter
- Under 5 pounds and just over 20 inches wide
At just five pounds, the microKORG can squeeze into the tightest of studio setups, yet its big analog-synth sounds are likely to fatten up just about any kind of music. You'll find the microKORG fun and easy to use, no matter your level of keyboard skill. Just be careful not to call it "cute!"
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