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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166 Visitor comments
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.
March 20, 2010 @ 10:27 pm
Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal) has used this on studio albums, he has said this in an interview w/Remix mag. This synth is killer!!
February 25, 2010 @ 9:54 pm
I got mine a couple weeks ago used (but in perfect condition) for $200 and I absolutely love it. The tone has such a nice little personality. Coming from VSTs over to this little guy has been a very enjoyable process. The patch editor is a blast to work with as well. It's very clear why so many people love this little guy
Test pattern
January 9, 2010 @ 4:49 pm
I've been live looping mine with the boss RC50 latley. I've spent some serious cash on gear in the last year. Yet I still gig with it and it has never failed. If your complaining about the keys I think you miss the point. Remember the days when it was a casio a 505 and a 4 track tape recorder, those days are long gone.
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Rated 4.24 (1695 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.
  • 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
  • Date Produced - 2002

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