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
December 22, 2010 @ 8:35 pm
This synth is forgiving, durable and versatile. It is an excellent beginner's tool. It is also a great tool for assisting in producing professional grade audio. I own an XL, had it for a year now, I love it. I wish the Vocoder had more power/capability. I think this machine's forte is bass and ambient capabilities (I think this thing was made for soundtracks). Life and recording would not be the same (in a negative way) if this synth were taken from me. Go buy one.
December 20, 2010 @ 3:12 am
I have yet to see an article on the R3, the monotron, microstation, the new ones from roland, akai minak, Dave Smith might have a new one out, Yamaha? Any new ones. Nords Wave. Hmm. Well there are a few that are out there.
Oh yes, the R3 might be sold out for now, less online stores have them, they still might sell at the actual shops though.
December 18, 2010 @ 11:26 pm
I love this synth, IMO the best bang for buck synth ever, but does is transmit arpeggio notes through midi? I have another synth that does, but no success with this one.
November 24, 2010 @ 12:59 pm
At first I was dazzled by some of the presets but then realized their obviously narrowed techno-dance/booty-shake ennui -- especially so, after listening to Moog synths et al since the '70s and reviewing synth-driven musicks since 1997. Being mainly a guitarist -- this was my first ever synth -- I was hesitant to attempt to program my own waveforms to taste but after a few days I was getting amazingly lush and deep sounds. I got warm strings, mean and heavy lead voicings, and some stuff that is beyond description. I have layered timbres and created a Rhodes-ish sound mixed with a organ/strings chimera. Fiddling with the arp and attack/release I was even getting some interesting endless loop ambient drone patterns. This synth has much to offer if you give it the time, read the manual, and simply dig into it and learn something about sound design. I have recorded it direct to PC via a Focusrite Saffire 6 into Cubase LE4 and it shines! Recommended.
October 21, 2010 @ 2:23 am
pros:everything listed in specs
cons:vocoder even though I still like its muddiness
can be used for experimental purposes
you have to own one, it's fun!
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Rated 4.24 (1718 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 - 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
  • Resources & Credits
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