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
June 7, 2010 @ 2:40 pm
Excellent synth with it's own unique voice. That mmm.... "cyber" sound, oscillating, very crisp and clean. I imagine sharp glowing and shining crystals of all colors, or something like that, when I hear it. :) With pattern arpeggiator (that is absent on MS-2000) Micro really rocks. Also you always can use it as very nice MIDI keyboard with VST when you need more "fat" sounds. Mini keys are surprisingly pleasant and handy.
Reverend Vile
May 29, 2010 @ 8:33 am
This was the first hardware synth I bought, and it was the best $230 I ever spent. Though it is somewhat limited, it is THE synth for beginners and can perform all the basics with no problem. I highly recommend this to anyone who is new to synthesizers, or is on a budget. It is well worth it.
May 27, 2010 @ 11:30 pm
This little synth is small, inexpensive, and if you know how to tweak it, can sound absolutely abusive. It's perfect for noisey, acid, industrial mayhem.
noah richardson
May 23, 2010 @ 1:06 am
limited, maybe but programmable and a lot of fun to use in experimental ways. i use an electribe-a to gate the vocoder sometimes. it responds great to ESX-1's sequencer and i usually use it for tweaking or bass or fx. the virtual patches are helpful for making the sound swirl around you, and the formant controls/envelope follower on the vocoder is tweakable, too.
May 20, 2010 @ 10:14 am
Eh, it's nice, but I find it limited. 4 note polyphony and 2 timbres, programming it is like running a 5k in mud, the small, cheap-feeling keys are annoying, the effects aren't the greatest, a lot of the sounds are a bit cheesy and digital-sounding to me. The portability of it can't be beat though.

I think that if you can afford the extra money, the R3 is a better bet. If not, I think that the Alesis Micron is the way to go. Much, much, much more features for the money.
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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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