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
June 7, 2012 @ 4:54 pm
Hurry up and get here, Korg Karma! You'll have a LOT of keyboard buddies to hang out with while i'm slaving away at work... ;-)
June 7, 2012 @ 4:54 pm
Hello, Newage Dave.

I'm a die-hard Ensoniq fan, as well. (Bought an MR-61 when my 2nd EPS finally died.)

Just bought a Karma off eBay for ~ $500 w/shp. Really looking forward to receiving it, even if i always used to pride myself on always playing my own arpeggios, etc! ;-)

Hoping the sequencer is as intuitive as the Ensoniq products. (PS: Did you know the MR-61 has an "Idea Catcher"? Every note you ever play on it is stored in a MIDI buffer so you can recall it later.. Wishing more workstations had this...)
Ken Kong
May 28, 2012 @ 7:36 pm
i still got mine and love it. it's simply bad ass.
November 24, 2011 @ 9:55 pm
One of the best keyboards for electronic music. I sold these 10 years ago and hated the keyboard because it generated radical new sounds and improvised on its own. I'm much wiser now and use it to create sophisticated live electronic dance music. In addition, this was the final piece to the puzzle. Moog + Nord Lead 2 + Microkorg + Karma = my live rig. Now I have two of each for back up on the road. Hail KARMA!!!
September 15, 2011 @ 5:46 pm
For a box that was created 10 years ago it sounds as refreshingly unique today as it did when released....this is a classic in the making, you won't realise it now, but give it time and historians with a musical bent will be waxing not just lyrical but musical about one of korg's gems...a real diamond dressed in a red coat, like little red ridding hood, this packs some cunning that whips the wolf's ass!! .....I for one will hold on to this baby as long as my cold dead fingers can. FACT. !
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User Rating

Rated 3.95 (845 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 - 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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