Korg microKorg

Korg microKorg Image

An MS2000 in sheep's clothing. The microKorg is a very cool and retro-looking version of the MS2000 analog modeling synthesizer. This compact keyboard is designed for portability and can run on batteries! But inside the microKorg is the exact same synthesis engine and sounds found in the killer MS2000 and MS2000R synths!

The keyboard's 37 keys are small and almost toy-ish. But they have a firm response and feel natural enough to play. The case is a sturdy plastic and there are wood end-cheeks. There is a plethora of written info on the face of the instrument and reminds one of the old Poly-800 and DW-8000 synths. The five knobs above all this writing initially control the filter cutoff, resonance, envelope attack and release times, and the internal tempo. But they can be assigned to control every other parameter available in real-time. Their assignable functions are what is written below them (hard to read in the dark). The top-mounted vocoder input microphone (included) hasn't been seen on a Korg since the decades-old VC-10!

Korg microKorg Image

The microKorg has 128 Programs organized into 8 categories: Trance, Techno/House, Electronica, DnB Breaks, HipHop/Vintage, Retro, SndFX/Hits, and Vocoder. The sounds are great and inspiring. There is only 4-voice polyphony and only one Program can be played at a time. But as a hands-on, real-time dance machine, this really is all you need...one hand on the keys and the other on the knobs!

The microKorg has two oscillators with 71 waveforms (7 simple analog waves + 64 DWGS waveforms from the DW-8000), a multi-mode resonant 12 or 24 dB/oct filter, 8-band vocoder, two ADSR envelopes, 6-pattern arpeggiator, oscillator sync, ring modulation, two MIDI-syncable LFOs, programmable multi-effects, and more! All knobs and buttons send/receive MIDI controller data. External audio can be vocoded and/or processed through the filter, effects and EQ via the included microphone or standard 1/4" stereo inputs. A built-in USB Interface would have been nice for true lap-top portability, but is currently absent. But in its affordable price range, the microKorg is an awesome synth for beginners, DJs, and even the pros looking for a compact performance synth with retro style, flexible programing and excellent sounds!

It's been used by Air, Atomizer, Bare Naked Ladies, Beck, Prodigy, Yesterdays, The Killers, KMFDM, Royksopp, Owl City, LCD Soundsystem, Jean-Michel Jarre, Nick Rhodes (of Duran Duran) and The Pet Shop Boys.

Korg microKorg Image

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169 Visitor comments
FalseTeethMan
April 25, 2010 @ 6:35 pm
The micorkorg limited? Hardly.
I've owned mine for 3 years now, it's a great little board.
Go in and delete the presets(shift + arp button 3)and get to work making noise. It's got scope for the classic stuff, and also enough routing options to get science fiction weird.
There are a couple of things that I wish it did better, Sync is cool, but I'd like it to be more like the classis Dave Smith style. Independant pitch modulation of oscilator 2 would be welcome, as well as more wave forms or user tweakable waveforms. But that's really reserved for the bigger boys.

This synth has lots of potential past the vocoder and presets. Worth every penny, and I bought mine new!
Jedy
April 20, 2010 @ 8:28 am
Loads of people say the microKorg is a great synth yet the MS2000 doesn't get quite the same praise even though it's the same synth underneath and is much easier to edit.
The Ghoul
April 19, 2010 @ 7:24 pm
After trying every vocoder synth in avery music store I could get to, I bought the microKorg because it was the best "bang for your buck" unit I could find.

Sure there are bigger flashier (more expensive) units on the market, the R3 had the full sized keys and the Vocoder in the XL seemed a little nicer in the store but none were as value for money as this one.

What must be said is that of the seven or so synths that I have, I like my Juno-6 best because it has no presets, so I knew that i would get this unit home and basically ignore most of the factory sounds as great as most of them are.

Easy programming, battery portability and the killer arpeggiator adjustment on hand make this a great unit for those who wish to create something unique and not just press buttons.
X-Trade
April 6, 2010 @ 1:37 pm
A great little synth that I loved whilst I owned it, but very limited. I would recommend a Radias or R3 (or even if you really can't get the R3 I guess the microKorg XL would do, but its not worth it against the R3).

I would probably still get one for easy analog style leads and basses, but it wouldn't be my go-to synth for anything else.
Peter Kadar
April 4, 2010 @ 2:36 am
I had this synth for a while. I loved the sound, but eventually grew to dislike the editing and four note polyphony. I figured that the whole point of a VA was quick editing and such. I sold this, and got an MS2000b, which was the same sonically but much more fun to work with. Still, the polyphony bugged me, so I ended up getting a Radias which is the best of all worlds if you can afford it. Plus, you can load all the older soundsets in if you like - Korg has converted MK and MS patches on their web site.

Still , it was a great starter synth that sounded good and was fun and portable.
 
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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 - 4 voices
  • Oscillators - Dual Oscillator Analog Modeling Synthesis System: 7 waveforms: sine, tri, saw, pulse, noise, cross-wave, vox, plus 64 DWGS waves, external audio
  • LFO - 2 LFOs with sample and hold
  • Filter - Multi Mode Filter (-24dB/oct LPF, -12dB/oct LPF/BPF/HPF)
  • Effects - 3 types modulation (chorus/flanger, phaser, ensemble), 3 types delay (stereo, cross, L/R), 2-band EQ, 8-channel vocoder, 6 pattern arpeggiator (UP, DOWN, ALT1/2, Random, Trigger)
  • Keyboard - 37 Keys (mini-keyboard, velocity sensitive)
  • Memory - 128 programs
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THROUGH
  • Date Produced - 2002
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