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
March 31, 2011 @ 11:52 am
"Someone make a simple analog modeling synth?"

- why not go to simple analog instead? microkorgs etc are overused and abused these days. nothing unique there, you'll outgrow instantly with them.
March 4, 2011 @ 10:04 am
I really dont like these synths. Everybody has them now, and I cringe when I see them on stage. They're over programmed and hard to program back towards a basic sound. The programmed sounds are getting easy to recognize in other peoples music. The interface is kind of goofy, and the organizing adjectives like "retro" and "breakbeat" are embarrassing. Someone make a simple analog modeling synth?
Son of MooG
January 12, 2011 @ 5:06 pm
I liked the MS2000 but couldn't afford it. The Microkorg is the perfect poor man's alternative and covers the best of the complete MS-series. Also it's a good teammate to the Roland SH-201, and the knobs fit well to those of the Doepfer Dark Energy... Only 4 voices? Doesn't bother me, since they are enough for lush pads, when you know how to program them.
January 6, 2011 @ 6:10 pm
@arppy: me neither I can't transmit arpeggio from MK to another synth. But I have the synth only for couple of days. I'll keep searching...
A very powerfull synth! Just... WOW!
Alba Ecstasy
Ian Craig
December 22, 2010 @ 11:05 pm
Agree with aheedratron. This is 1000 times what my MS-10 was though it will take forever to learn how to construct everything it can from the analog base the synthesis system has digitised almost completely. It's vocoder power is probably the one limited thing about it. I'm using it with a Tascam digital 24 track recorder and can use the tascam's MIDI to sync layers of patterns this things arpeggio and delay systems allow me to. Amazingly good for the cost which is probably less than the MS-10 would now sell for
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Rated 4.24 (1721 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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