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NAMM 2013: Korg KingKORG analogue modelling synth announced

Hands-on synth puts tweaking to the fore

NAMM 2013: Korg has announced the KingKORG, an analogue modelling synth that promises to follow in the tradition of such instruments as the MS-20 and Mono/Poly.

Offering a generous array of knobs to tweak, the KingKORG is designed both for beginners and synth diehards. Although it isn't properly analogue, Korg claims that it offers the sound of classic synths, while the inclusion of a CV/Gate Out jack means that you can use the KingKORG to control the likes of the monotribe and MS-20.

Find out more about the KingKORG below or on the Korg website.

Korg KingKorg official information

KingKORG is the full-fledged analog modelling synthesizer you've been waiting for. It carries on the design philosophy of classic Korg analog synthesizers such as the MS-20 and the Mono/Poly, which gave rise to the Prophecy, the Z1, the MS2000, and the RADIAS. This exciting new instrument delivers the unique characteristics of a dedicated synthesizer, especially the fun of transforming the sound by tweaking an impressive array of knobs. While technologically impressive, KingKORG is approachable even to players who are new to synthesizers. And it particularly shines on stage, not only with its great sound, but also literally with a gorgeous champagne gold finish, befitting its royal name – KingKORG.

Features

  • A full-fledged, 61-key analog modeling synthesizer designed for live performance
  • Powerful oscillators that are understandable to the beginner, yet satisfying for the expert
  • Modeling filters that reproduce the sound of classic instruments
  • Three master effect sections (each with six effect types) add the finishing touch to your sound
  • Vacuum tube driver circuit adds rich overtones and powerful distortion
  • New panel layout designed for intuitive operation
  • CV/GATE OUT jack lets you control a Korg monotribe or MS-20
  • Support for librarian software that lets you manage programs
  • Powerful oscillators that are both understandable to the beginner and satisfying for the expert

KingKORG features a 3-oscillator x 2-timbre design allows you to generate thick and rich sounds, plus a newly developed XMT modeling sound engine. XMT (Xpanded Modeling Technology) is proprietary Korg technology that was created in order to produce a wide variety of sounds while keeping operation simple. In a conventional synthesizer, the sound-creating process requires you to adjust the oscillator settings one by one, making it difficult to see the overall picture. In contrast, KingKORG provides pre-set algorithms that contain combinations of various types and numbers of oscillators, letting you easily and quickly sculpt stage-ready sounds. The wide range of oscillator algorithms includes the choices you'd expect from an analog synthesizer–sawtooth wave, square wave, and noise–in addition to numerous PCM/DWGS algorithms, giving you plenty of choices for creating highly personal sounds.

Modeling filters that reproduce the sound of classic instruments

While designing KingKORG, extreme attention was paid to the filter section, which is crucial to a synthesizer's character. A diverse variety of filters is a unique advantage of analog modeling, and KingKORG's filters add unparalleled flexibility. In addition to a variety of essential analog modeling filter types, you get faithful models of filters that reproduce the analog monophonic synths used for lead and bass in the '70s, the polyphonic synths used in new wave music of the '80s, and the filters of Korg's classic MS-20 analog synth. These filters can also be made to self-oscillate by raising the resonance setting– a unique capability of analog synthesizers.

Three master effects, each with six effect types, add the finishing touch to your sound

KingKORG provides three master effect sections, each giving you a choice of six effect types: PRE FX, with types such as distortion and amp simulator; MOD FX, with classic effects like phaser, chorus, and tremolo; and REV/DELAY, with ambience effects such as hall reverb and modulation delay. Each effect processor has a dedicated front panel dial that selects the effect type. To choose the ideal effect type, simply turn the dial to hear the result, and use the FX control knobs located below these dials to adjust the effect as desired.

Vacuum tube driver circuit adds rich overtones and powerful distortion

Built upon years of analog experience that Korg has acquired throughout its history, KingKORG provides a full-analog vacuum tube driver circuit as a mastering effect. You can use it to add warm fullness, a powerful overdrive, or anything in between.

Vocoder function

The built-in vocoder uses audio from the onboard mic input to modify the sound, creating an effect as though the synthesizer were talking. The vocoder features Formant Shift to dramatically modify the tonal character, as well as Formant Hold, which allows you to "freeze" a vowel sound and play it back using the keys. Thanks to the KingKORG's dual-timbre architecture, you can even combine the vocoder with another timbre, either as a complementing sound or a modulation source.

Virtual patch function

On many classic synthesizers (such as the MS-20), the signal flow could be reconfigured using patch cables to physically connect one element to another. KingKORG reproduces this function with an intuitive Virtual Patch system. With six Virtual Patch assignments per timbre, control signals such as EG, LFO, or joystick movement can be virtually connected to sound parameters such as pitch or cutoff, allowing you to modulate a parameter for even greater sound-shaping possibilities.

Step arpeggiator function

The step arpeggiator automatically generates an arpeggiated phrase (broken chord) according to the chord you hold on the keyboard. You can choose from six arpeggio types, and specify the duration, interval, and on/off status of each step to enjoy a wide variety of performance possibilities.

Newly designed panel layout allows intuitive operation

The newly designed panel is organized into blocks that let you focus on the controls you need while editing. While reflecting the concept of an analog synthesizer's signal flow, KingKORG's front panel takes full advantage of today's technology. For example, the oscillator section has its own dedicated display that shows the name of the currently selected algorithm. You can turn the dial located beside this display to see descriptive names, and push the dial to jump to the beginning of categories such as ANALOG or DWGS. The control knobs are assigned to the most effective and important parameters for each oscillator, letting you enjoy the unique feature of an analog synthesizer --- turning the knobs to transform the sound. There are also dedicated dials for each of the three master effects, making it easy to try out different effects and hear how they modify the sound. Since a self-luminous organic EL display is used, visibility is excellent even on a dimly lit stage.

61 dynamic, full-size keys, plus Korg's X/Y Joystick

KingKORG features a generous five octaves of velocity-sensitive keys, whose response can even be adjusted (Normal, Shallow, or Deep) to mimic that of classic instruments. Below the dedicated octave shift buttons, you'll find a backlit X/Y joystick, ready to control your most important live performance tweaks. Play through some of the preset sounds, and you'll notice that the joystick is already set up for useful and inspiring modulation.

Favorites function for convenience in live performance

The Favorites function lets you recall frequently-used programs at a single touch. You can assign a total of 40 programs to the eight category favorite buttons for easy recall.

200 built-in preset programs

KingKORG provides a diverse selection of 200 stage-ready preset programs organized into eight categories such as Synth, Lead, and Bass. There's a great selection of the staple sounds you need for live performance, including numerous PCM sounds for piano, electric piano, organ, and clavinet. Thanks to KingKORG's ability to emulate filters from classic synthesizers, you'll find familiar and authentic sounds that are perfect for playing your favorite classic and modern songs, along with new and inspiring sounds to broaden your horizons. There's also a user area for you to store 100 of your own sounds.

CV/GATE OUT jack lets you control the monotribe or MS-20

The CV/GATE OUT jack lets you use an analog signal to control a KORG monotribe or MS-20. A dedicated cable for the monotribe is included, allowing you to use the keyboard of KingKORG to play the monotribe.

Support for librarian software that lets you manage programs

You can manage programs on your computer simply by connecting KingKORG to your computer via a USB cable and using the librarian software. The librarian software can be downloaded at no charge from the Korg website (http://www.korg.com) or from the website of your local Korg distributor.

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