Korg ElecTribe S (ES-1)

Korg Electribe ES-1 Image

Korg adds a Sampler to their fantastic series of ElecTribe tabletop modules. "The ElecTribe S is a new type of sampler that doesn't simply play back a recorded sound - it lets you aggressively process the samples to create your own signature sound. Play any sound or phrase in and use the pitch, filter and effects knobs to drastically alter the sample." Connect it to the ElecTribe-A and ElecTribe-R for a complete studio for under $1,500!

The sampler is excellent and is complemented by synth-like controls for filtering, pitch and effects and a great loop-based sequencer. It can get up to 95 seconds of sampling time, and the sounds are "as fat and gritty as ever". There are 11 effects plus delay that you can apply while sampling, a feature that works great with Resampling to add and layer different effects to each of your samples. You can also use the knobs to modify the tone while resampling a sound.

A new Time Slice Function will cut up samples to make them fit the tempo. Time Slice detects the attacks of each part within a loop (e.g., bass drum, snare, and hi-hat) for simple and accurate loop manipulation. And the "Motion Sequence" function from previous ElecTribes is also on-board to record real-time changes to effects, filter, and Time Slice Elements.

The ElecTribe S provides a Smart Media slot for storing data. 3.3 V Smart Media ranging from 4 MB to 64 MB can be used to store your own sampled sounds, patterns and songs. It can also load AIFF and WAV files via Smart Media, allowing you to take advantage of sampled data stored on your computer. As a standalone or part of a Midi-Studio, the ElecTribe S is a very affordable, functional and productive sampler/sequencer. It is used by Nine Inch Nails, The Crystal Method, A Guy Called Gerald, Mouse On Mars, Dead Silence, Praxis, The Prodigy, Crystal Distortion, Freddy Fresh, and the Chemical Brothers.

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37 Visitor comments
March 9, 2010 @ 7:24 pm
The Electribes are pretty much all about simplicity. aren't they? The ES-1 is a great sampler, but first and foremost it's a drum machine. You can't just loop whatever you want to. A sample has to be put into a pattern first. Now, this isn't the end of the world, but they couldn't have added a simple "loop" feature? The motion sequence function is a big selling point with these boxes. The reverb, however, isn't (dreadful). The knobs seem a bit flimsy, but the casing seems sturdy enough (plastic). All in all, a good buy (but I'll never sell my Zoom ST-224).
July 13, 2009 @ 8:31 pm
This is a really fun piece of gear.
The pots are not fragile and the memory cards are easy to come by.

You can also back up the memory card on your computer or use the Electribe wihout a memory card at all! All the card does is give you more storage for samples, beats, and songs.

The sound is great and all of the paramters are tweakable. You can also record your knob turnings in real time and play them back .
Dj Pound
May 15, 2009 @ 7:09 pm
One of the best buys ive ever made, I bought this machine when it first dropped around 2001. At the time i also had a 2000xl, and i used the ES-1 more and still do! The ES is quite alot of fun with all the knob tweaking and button pushing that goes into mangling sounds and making real time automations on the fly. This machine gets 5 stars.
Smartmedia cards arent that hard to find either, a single 32 MB card will give you plenty of storage.
March 9, 2009 @ 10:14 am
Just received my ES-1 today and the first things I noticed were:

- Pros:
Nice sound quality (I can't tell apart this samples from 44kHZ samples).
Easy as pie.

- Cons:
The pots seem to be fragile and cheap
Smartmedia cards: "Not manufactured anymore, low capacity (up to 128Mb) and expensive.
The effects aren't the best.

I think I'll enjoy this machine, but I must be careful with the pots. For 170 euro, it's worth
February 6, 2009 @ 10:29 am
I agree, it's probably the cheapest yet very useful sampler that its out there.

It's pretty limited compared to full samplers like Roland's SPs and Akai's MPCs but you can still pretty much do all you would with a regular sampler.

The ability to tweak and apply effects to your samplers in real time is amazing, the possibilities are endless. The only problem is that Korg unfortunately bet on the wrong memory card format (probably a deal with Toshiba) now that the SmartMedias are not manufactured anymore and they still sell pretty expensive comparing to SD cards.
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Rated 4.05 (536 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - About three sequenced patterns off the killer new ElecTribe Sampler!

    Manual - Download the complete owner's manual from Korg here.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 12 parts (One Shot = 9 parts, Slice = 1 part, Audio In = 1 part)
  • Sampler - 32kHz, Up to 95 seconds (mono) / 47.5 seconds (stereo). 100 mono or 50 stereo samples can be stored.
  • Patterns - 128 user patterns; Up to 256 per song
  • Songs - 16 internal song memories
  • Effects - 11 types (reverb and flanger/chorus, phaser, ring modulator, pitch shifter, compressor, distortion, decimator, isolator, resonant filter and wah), Delay
  • Keyboard - 16 pad-keys
  • Sequencer - 64-step loop based, motion sequence, 1 parameter per part, 64 events, effect on/off, and reverse can be recorded
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 2000

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