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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168 Visitor comments
May 24, 2011 @ 11:18 pm
Wow, what an amazing machine for the money. It's perfect for someone who wants to learn about synth programming without spending more than $500US (found mine for 150). However, you will outgrow the keys.
Frustrated by the layout? Download the free sound editor for much easier tweaking.
May 18, 2011 @ 8:48 am
@Gardner: How many people own one and what adjectives it uses are poor reasons for disliking the microKorg. Hard to program basic sounds? You can easily get it back to a basic sound by pressing Write, then Shift + 3rd arpeggio button [this will cause it to blink], and then pressing the 3rd button again. It will remove all programming and give you a blank slate pretty much. Although it is kind of a hassle to program, all it really takes is a little getting used to. Mess around with it for a while, and you'll start to remember which nobs will control what under which parameters, and so on.
May 2, 2011 @ 3:58 pm
Ive had this synth a few years now and I still get new sounds out of it. I find it amazing at space like leads. Im going to be doing a part on how to re create a lead sound I made on my MK on my blog in a few days......... http://synthception.blogspot.com/
April 1, 2011 @ 7:52 pm
Turn it on from new and only about 10% of the presets sound any good. I emplore you to get stuck in and start from scratch to fully hear what this beast has to offer. It is a little steep on the learning curve,but the software editor speeds things up a hell of a lot. This thing can do BASS! It can do lovely never ending evolving pad sounds. Lead tones cut through a mix without taking your head off.
Ppl are saying.."oohh but its too clean" Balls! Put it through a couple of cheap stomp boxes or a tape sim or whatever. A great synth for the price.
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.
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Rated 4.24 (1714 Votes)

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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
  • Date Produced - 2002

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