Korg ElecTribe MX (EMX-1)

Korg ElecTribe MX (EMX-1) Image

The ELECTRIBE MX is a major step up in power and quality from the original ElecTribe series of dance music sequencer/synthesizers from Korg. The EMX-1 comes in a sturdy metal chassis with larger back-lit LCD display, expanded memory, voices & multitimbrality, more real-time controllers and vacuum tubes! Effects, Motion Sequencing, and Pattern length have also been expanded. And a new ribbon controller and slider have been added, providing a remarkable realtime interface for accessing the powerful arpeggiator.

Starting with its synth engine, the EMX-1 uses MMT synthesis (Multi Modeling Technology) which offers sixteen different oscillator algorithms, providing powerful analog synthesis models as well as sophisticated additive, PCM, chord, unison, combination, wave shaping, formant models and more. The built-in PCM library includes 207 drum PCM sounds and 76 synth PCM sounds ready for immediate use, ranging from powerful kicks and snares through amazingly unique organic sounds. External audio signals can be manipulated using the Comb Filter oscillator algorithm, and then further processed by the internal filter and effects. The EMX-1 allows you to create up to nine drum parts, five synth parts, plus accent parts that let you add dynamic accents to the drum and synth parts (for a total of 16 parts). Each part features extensive LFO and EG modulation. Each algorithm of the synthesis engine has two realtime adjustable parameters, plus some other menu-based parameters like waveform type, or chord quality. The brand-new filter lets you chose Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass or Band Pass Plus.

The two Vacuum tubes (Valve Force Circuitry) create an analog tube circuit to add warmth and presence to your sounds. The tube gain knob adjusts the level of the output signal passing through the vacuum tubes, creating dynamic sounds with the distinctive tonal quality that only tubes deliver. Three stereo effect processors are available for simultaneous use. Each part can be independently routed to any of the three effects processors, and you can even use the Chain function to link multiple effects in series. Each processor offers 16 effect types including reverb, delay, flanger and chorus, tempo-based delay, talking modulator, grain shifter, decimator and more. The edits you make to each of the effects processors can be saved with each pattern.

Korg EMX-1 Image

As for the sequencing capabilities, up to 256 patterns can be created and stored to the internal memory. The EMX-1 ships with 196 assorted patterns covering house, hip-hop, R&B, electronica, drum n bass, techno, trance and more. You can combine patterns, add mute data and knob movements to create up to 64 songs, the EMX-1 ships with 3 demo songs. Favorite patterns can be assigned to Pattern Sets for instant access. Data can be quickly saved and loaded via SmartMedia cards. Realtime recording lets you record phrases as you perform, and step recording allows you to input the timing, pitch and duration one note at a time. Motion Sequencing records your realtime knob tweaks and plays them back as part of the pattern. Two types of motion sequence are provided; one for effects and one for parts, and you can also edit the value of individual steps. Up to 24 motion sequences can be used in a single pattern, allowing you to control virtually every sound parameter. And, using Auto BPM detection, the EMX-1 can follow the tempo of an external audio source. You can also use Tap Tempo to input the beat, set the tempo internally, or sync up to an external MIDI clock.

The EMX-1 is a fantastic dance production machine best suited for live performances. The sounds of the synth and drum parts are excellent, and totally contemporary with your favorite electronica artists (because they use it too). Easy and intuitive to use, flexible, fun and inspiring. Click on the YouTube link above to see and hear it in action!

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68 Visitor comments
Vince Clarke's Underpants
May 3, 2012 @ 6:27 am
@ GP. Sounds like either the tubes need replacing or you are having a case of ear fatigue. I have never experienced a loss in high frequencies on either my EMX or ESX.

Quick test - route the sounds through the secondary outputs (they bypass the tubes).

More on ear fatigue here: http://www.surfacedstudio.com/tag/ear-fatigue/
gp
April 30, 2012 @ 6:20 pm
The good: The EMX is fun, fun, fun. And easy. If only all instruments were so well-designed for intuitive operation. I've lost hours to this machine, even when I only intend to mess around for a few minutes. I just wish the sound was 100% great. The VA synth sounds are okay, although the envelopes are really limited to just on/off or on/decay. The filter sounds fake as [beep] but it can get squishy. The arpeggiator is a blast also, you will be playing twenty minute solos like it's the 70's. I'd recommend the EMX to a beginner or someone who just wants to have a fun box with lights.
gp
April 30, 2012 @ 6:12 pm
The bad: I have trouble taking the sounds of the EMX seriously. Something about the sound engine reminds me of Playstation One-era video games. After sounds have been playing for a while, their high end frequencies diminish. Korg even addresses this in the manual. Also, some of the drum and synth sounds are just lame. Who really has use for PCM Trumpet sounds? These are relatively minor problems, although the frequency diminishing effect is kind of strange, and actually noticeable. Also, some of the FX are useless, like the "reverb", which sounds like everything gets covered with gusting wind.
PSS
April 3, 2012 @ 3:20 pm
Great machine,ive got also kaossilator and quad in combination with it, and then you can make some fat sound
Noah Richardson
March 7, 2012 @ 4:10 pm
This box is great. It's easy to program but they left the crappy Reverb FX. The SYNTH OSC Dial is a favorite. Get one of these. Deep, dark, fat bass, psychedelic sounds great for trance. VERY addictive.
 
VSE Rating

Excellent

User Rating

Rated 4.25 (473 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices
  • Multitimbral - 16 total; 5 synth parts, 9 drum parts, 1 synthesizer accent part, 1 drum accent part
  • Oscillators - Analog Modeling + PCM: 207 drum PCM waveforms, 76 Synth PCM waveforms (16bit, 44.1kHz)
  • Memory - Internal + External Memory: SmartMedia (4-128 MB, 3V)
  • Patterns - 256 patterns (192 preload), Maximum 128 steps by part, Maximum 24 motion sequence by pattern
  • Songs - 64 songs (3 preload), Maximum 256 patterns
  • Filter - 4 types (synth part): Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass or Band Pass Plus
  • Keyboard - 16 soft pads
  • Effects - 16 types x 3 (Chain)
  • Control - MIDI (In, Out, Thru)
  • Date Produced - 2003
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Korg - USA and

    Reviewed August 2008.

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