Korg KARMA Image

The KARMA represents seven years in the making. It's a synthesizer based on the engines and effects of the Triton series. KARMA is a music workstation with a revolutionary new phrase technology. Generate grooves, arpeggios, effects and more, all in realtime with plenty of knobs, switches and joysticks for hands-on control. You can control the rhythmic complexity, harmony, melodic repeat, phrasing, panning, effects and more from these knobs! KARMA is designed to create techno arpeggios and effects, natural sounding glissandos, and many other animated sounds and dynamic effects. KARMA lets you play complex moving synth parts that could normally take hours of programming. Just play some chords and twiddle the control knobs to vary the KARMA patterns, and let KARMA do the rest.

Like the Triton, KARMA features 62 voice polyphony and HI (Hyper Integrated) synthesis with 425 PCM multi-samples and 413 drum sounds. Patch memory consists of 640 user programs, plus 256 programs and 9 drum programs, 64 drum kits and 9 GM drum kits. Up to 8 patches can be combined, split, layered, etc. There is, however, no on-board sampler as there is in the Triton. But the KARMA technology more than makes up for this limitation with its revolutionary ability to generate totally random or fully controllable animated sounds, grooves, phrases, etc. which can't be found in comparable synthesizers. A splendid, studio-quality effects section offers 102 effects to sweeten your KARMA creations. In addition to an LFO, Alternate Modulation and Effect Dynamic Modulation enable you to further modulate the pitch, filter, amp, EG, LFO, etc. All modulation and KARMA functions can be synced to tempo or MIDI clock.

A built-in and powerful 16-track sequencer is all you need to generate complete music tracks with the KARMA. It can hold up to 200 songs, with up to 999 measures per song! Phrases generated by the KARMA function can be recorded into your sequences. Songs are created using a Cue List function to arrange up to 99 different sequences. The RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) function lets you play phrases back by pressing a single key. And there are 150 drum and percussion patterns provided. You can jam along with the RPPR function or the Song Play function, using KARMA effects in realtime and in sync! Excellent for live use as well as in the studio.

Korg KARMA Image

KARMA - Kay Algorithmic Realtime Music Architecture, developed by Stephen Kay, Karma Lab LLC. The KARMA function separates every aspect of a musical phrase into independently controllable parts. It features over 1000 Generated Effects (1 GE per Program, 4 GEs per Combi or Song). A GE contains over 400 parameters to generate notes, control synth and effects parameters, and provide randomization of these events. There are eight knobs and two switches to control up to 10 of the 16 KARMA parameters in realtime. Two Scene memories store current knob settings to recall them instantly. MIDI control messages can be used to control KARMA too. One KARMA module is available in Program mode, four modules can be used in Combi/Sequencer/Song Play modes. Classic Chord Memory is also available for playing entire chords with just a single key...Trance heaven! KARMA is an exciting new synthesizer technology that adds a whole new level of interactivity and variability suitable for just about any genre of music.

The new Version 2.0 operating system for the Karma Music Workstation is a free of download to all Karma owners and users. It works with the new KARMA MW, a computer software program (Mac/Windows) that allows in-depth access to all of KARMA's creative features. Version 2.0 adds 320 new locations for saving and storing User GEs. These can be loaded in via floppy disk or MIDI dump, and can be created externally using the KARMA MW Computer Software. Other new features packed into Version 2.0 include time signature and tap tempo control, intuitive real-time control, improved sequencing, true swing quantization, improved performance with external sequencers, and much more; all of which are mostly the result of user input and ideas. This upgrade to 2.0 and the KARMA MW software is a must have for all Karma users! Current famous users include Rick Wakeman, Phil Collins, Adam Holzman, Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Vangelis, Yes, Greg Phillenganes, Pete Townshend, and Keith Emerson.

Additional Expansion Options for the Karma:
EXB-PCM01 - Pianos/Classic Kybds
EXB-PCM02 - Studio Essentials
EXB-PCM03 - Future Loop Construction
EXB-PCM04 - Dance Extreme
EXB-PCM05 - Vintage Archives
EXB-MOSS - the ultimate 6-voice DSP tone generator

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50 Visitor comments
December 16, 2010 @ 6:50 am
Mitsu, On the preload factory settings banks C & D are blank.
If you have stuff in there on the KARMA, then it must have been from a previous user.

I personally use EXB-PCM05 (Vintage Archives) which has some fantastic sounds for vintage synths and mellotrons. Although you don't have to load the programs on the disk onto your C or D bank at all. I have but I don't really use them.
I'm using bank C for MY OWN program sounds mainly using the samples from the EXB board.

Anyway this is a fantastic keyboard with some great dance and prog rock sounds. And almost unlimited potential. It is a shame many people buy it for the sounds (where an extreme or a studio may be better) and not for the KARMA feature, which is where all the magic of the board resides.
December 14, 2010 @ 3:38 am
My advice, do not try these "expansion boards". They wipe out what you already have in certain banks. For example the Dance Extreme wipes out some of your C and D banks, where there already are, alot of the dance sounds. I have a Korg Triton, but these expansion boards on any Korg keyboard are not really " expansion boards" because as I said, if you install them, they eliminate your other presets in C and D bank on the Korg Triton. This means these so called expansion boards will wipe out something, so that they can exist. Not at all worthwhile. You can get your ori ginal factory presets back after removing the expansion board. The expansion boards are the most dumb thing that Korg ever came out with.
December 10, 2010 @ 11:18 am
Karma is now offered new for €499 in Holland, how is that compared to second hand and is it a good deal?
I have been looking for an affordable workstation in the Korg family. With it's triton legacy and Karma it sounds like a great value for that price.
November 26, 2010 @ 1:30 am
Go to:

There you'll find all the links for the download pages for the Karma.
Also there's tutorials and a great forum. Karma's inventor, Stephen Kay runs the site and sometimes respond the questions. Great place, great people for a great synth.
November 22, 2010 @ 7:43 pm
I inadvertently erased all the programs in my KARMA keyboard and have displaced the floppy disc which can be used to reload the keyboard with the factory presents. Can someone advise me where I can get the floppy disc?
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  • 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 - 62 voices in single mode, 31 voices in double mode
  • Tone Generator - HI synthesis system; 48 kHz sampling frequency, 32 Mbyte PCM ROM, 425 multi-samples, 413 drum samples. Expandable to 64 Mbyte via PCM ROM options.
  • Sound Source - 62 oscillators
  • Filter - Resonant 24dB/oct lowpass, 12dB/oct lowpass and highpass
  • Memory - 640 user programs (768 with EXB-MOSS installed), 256 drum ROM programs, 768 user drum combinations, 64 user drum kits, 16 preset kits, 9 ROM GM drum kits. 3.5inch 2DD/2HD floppy disk drive
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity and aftertouch sensitivity)
  • Effects - Stereo digital multi-effect system - 2 master effects (mono in, stereo out), 5 insert effects (stereo in / out), and 1 master EQ (stereo in / out), all usable simultaneously, 102 effect types, Effect Dynamic Modulation Function.
  • Sequencer - 16 timbres, 16 tracks, 1 master track, 1/192 ppq resolution, 150 preset patters/100 user patterns per song, 200 songs, 20 cue lists, up to 200,000 notes, 16 preset/16 user template songs, reads and writes Standard MIDI File (Format 0 and 1) and Triton and Karma formats.
  • Arpeggiator - RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording): 1 set with 72 patterns available per song; over 1000 patterns with lots of controllers
  • Control - MIDI (16-part), PC-Host input
  • Date Produced - 2001
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