microKORG vs. K-Station

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby N8-R » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:10 am

So I found a microKORG for REALLY cheap (175) and felt that I just HAD to jump on it, but I saw a great deal for a K-station and now another bad case of GAS is creeping up. Now I'm wondering if I should stay with the mK or sell it and get the KS.

What I like about the mK:
  • beautiful classic design
  • very compact! (big plus. my room is crowded enough as it is)
  • portable (can run on batteries!)
  • nice vocoder
  • cool mod matrix (though not SUPER flexible... can't ask for much at this price point)
  • great sounds overall (yes, most of the factory sounds, with the exception of 2 or 3 are kind of lame, but you can get some great sounds from it when you get into programming in depth).

What i don't like so much about the mK:
  • programming it CAN be kind of a bitch
  • kryptic little screen
  • keys are way too tiny for any serious playing (though that's a small price to pay for the portability)
  • mod wheel acts a little weird at times. This is something that kind of popped up a little later after i was playing with it... and it just comes up randomly. I bring it up, and it modifies (for example) the vibrato just fine. Then i bring it back down and it sounds like it never really reaches 0. It doesn't always happen. And a sharp little thud, or bump on the left panel fixes this.. .but seriously, not a good idea to be having to hit this thing all the time.

Anyways, what attracts me to the KS:
  • beautiful design as well
  • compact (though not as compact as the mK)
  • MUCH bigger memory than the mK
  • haven't heard the vocoder but i've read it's quite good (and it's got a few more bands than the mK's)
  • never heard the actual KS, but I absolutely LOVE the sound of the V-station, and the KS must sound even better

What kind of pulls me away from it:
  • not really portable (though that's not much of a deal breaker. but it is a point in the mK's favor)
  • do I really need another VA, when I already have a Virus TI Polar? (should've asked myself this as well when i got the mK, but it was so cheap i just couldn't help myself)
  • do I really need it, when I already have V-station?

So... what kind of feedback/advice can the VSE crew give me on this? I wouldn't mind staying with the mK and using it to complement the TI Polar, and also as kind of a little "idea box" / portable mini-vocoder. But hot damn i can't stop obsessing over the K-Station. Someone talk some sense into me please.
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Re: microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby brian.only » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:46 am

I'm going to have to go w/ the Novation if your a player as the keys on the MK are really small and feel crappy. You'll have more control over parameters and the build quality is way better. I love the K, the only thing that bothers me is the small number of keys, but if your looking for compact I'd say go for it. Also the world is flooded w/ MK's, try something different.

The MK sounds great and I think its a great gateway synth and will be a classic, but it will always feel like a toy. Don't get me wrong- the Yamaha CS01( which is small/ battery powered too btw) feels like a toy, but it does'nt stop me from loving it. :D
sell me your KS5!
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Re: microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby N8-R » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:15 am

you have a point! I'd been talking about this with my roommate for a while. The mK has a classic look/design, and IS great... but lacks that special "collectivity" factor, since everyone and their cousin seems to own one. Popular? yes. Cute? yes. Nice sounding? yes. Unique? no.

The KS seems to have that edge... plus a few other advantages. hmnmmmmmmmmmm. (stroking chin)

keep the advice a'comin'!
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Re: microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby supermel74 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:58 am

I've owned both and I'd go with the K-Station. I think the K-Station sounds better, it's built better, has a much better interface, twice the polyphony, more memory, simple 2 op fm synthesis. I like the Microkorg too, but the K-Station is way underrated imo.
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Re: microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby Joey » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:19 am

k station for sure

i've owned both

the k station has a better interface, sound, and effects section, and full sized keys to boot

there is no comparison

ps buy mine :)
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Re: microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby N8-R » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:39 am

thanks gents. So, another question. How does the vocoder on the KS measure up? The one on the mK is actually pretty damn decent. Almost good enough reason to keep it! So, if I'm trading, I'd like to know that I'm not trading down in this category.

In a way I wish I could just rely on my Virus's vocoder, but wow does that one suck. I mean, I love my Polar to pieces, but for such a powerful, expensive synth, the vocoder is pretty damn lame. Wonder if this is fixable through a firmware/software update or if some actual hardware changes would have to take place.
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Re: microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby Joey » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:22 am

yeah the virus vocoder is garbage... I've had a virus B as well, they are just bad with the vocoder, thats why its such an afterthought on the interface, and you dont see any vocoder presets really

now onto the KS:

the KS vocoder has more bands, and thus the signal is quite a bit clearer

IMHO vocoders are good for like three patches that can be done on any vocoder synth, and thats about it

with that said, the KS one is exceptionally good, I like the tone of the KS engine much moreso than the microkorg one
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Re: microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby Reverend Sunrise » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:53 pm

Don't know if the issue has already been settled with the gentleman who originated the thread, but my vote would go for the K-station as well. As others have stated, I found it to be a fucking joke trying to to play that damn MK keyboard with my meaty-ass paws, and I didn't particularly enjoy programming that little bastard either. I do like the Korg VA sound, which seemed to be on the opposite end of the spectrum from the ultra-smooth Novation. Neither necessarily "better" in my opinion than the other soundwise, and it would be cool to have both. Really enjoyed tweaking the K-station, and would have to disagree about it not being portable as previously stated, as it's not that far-off from the MK in department. At least from what I remember.
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Re: microKORG vs. K-Station

Postby N8-R » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:44 pm

Thanks all... well... an unexpected expense has turned up, sadly... so i'm selling the mK (already have a buyer), but I'm afraid I'll have to put the KS thing on hold for a while. :(

I'll check back in a month or two, when things pick back up and see if anyone's selling one.

Thanks again
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