Korg Radias

Korg Radias Image

The Korg Radias is a Virtual Analog synthesizer that was released by Korg in 2006. It takes advantage of the MMT (Multiple Modeling Technology) that their flagship OASYS synthesizer module employs. The synthesizer itself is similar in design to the MS2000, but offers many more capabilities. It is capable of emulating older digital synthesizers and classic analog synthesizers like the MS-series without any noise or aliasing. The Radias also allows for various external sounds to be fed through its filters and envelopes. It also has the Korg DWGS (Digital Waveform Generator System) that the Korg DW-8000 employs.

The Radias also takes advantage of the KKS (Korg Komponent System) which allows it to be used with the 49-key keyboard or used as a standalone rack module, and the Radias-R unit can be connected to the M3 Music Workstation/Sampler along with its various keyboard models.

Korg Radias Image

The Radias has two oscillators per timbre and a noise generator. Oscillator #1 has nine basic waveforms, with four types of modulation and PCM (64 synth sounds, 128 drum sounds) and Oscillator #2 has four basic waveforms with two types of modulation. The Radias has the ability to stack up to five types of waveforms in Oscillator #1, while using only one voice of polyphony. In Unison mode, you can stack five additional waveforms, while using more polyphony. With this function, you can create some awesome super waveforms-the overall result can contain up to 25 detuned waveforms. The Radias also has two Low-frequency Oscillators (LFO) that add more modulation to the two audio oscillators. These LFO's provide six waveforms and their speeds can be set manually or by tempo.

The Radias itself has four timbres per program. With a timbre, you can assign one drum program, another can have a lead, a bass, and a vocoder as well; all in one program! Each timbre can contain one synthesizer/drum kit, equalizer, and two multi-effects.

The Radias has two filters that can be used side-by-side, individually, or in a series. They offer Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, and Combination modes. Each filter offers 24 or 12 dB modes for the low pass filter. The effects on this unit are remarkable as well. The Radias comes loaded with 33 different effects: Delays, Chorus, Flangers, Compressors, talking modulator, and even the good old Polysix Ensemble effect. You can assign one master effect to the program, while each timbre gets its own two effects, creating a whole world of possibilities. The Radias also offers a 16-band vocoder with a nice Formant Motion recording function that allows you to record up to 7.5 seconds of external audio which can then be triggered via the keyboard.

The Radias has a built in arpeggiator as well, providing six different patterns to choose from. Patterns can be up to 32 steps long and the gate/velocity can be set for each step to get that sound you want! It also has two 32-step sequencers (they can be combined for a 64-step on a single timbre). They can easily be assigned to a drum kit, for example, to use the Radias as a programmable drum machine. The step sequencer supports 8-voice polyphony per step.

Korg Radias Image

Overall, this synthesizer is a nice addition to anybody's set-up. It's a good virtual analog that is also quite good for the beginner to learn subtractive synthesis on. Korg also has excellent customer service, and the owner's manual for the Radias is very comprehensive and clearly explains its many functions. The Radias also has a software-based sound editor that is compatible with the newest versions of Windows and OSX. It has been used by Jordan Ruddess and Tangerine Dream.

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127 Visitor comments
March 10, 2012 @ 4:57 am
Just added a full Radias kbd and it is deep and love it! I learned synthesis on an MS20 back in '81 and even Mr. Emerson from ELP days had to spend loads of time tweaking/programing and for naysayers, I also own a Virus KB which ALSO is capable of much MORE than the trance everyone tries to compare all else with. Also have Waldorf MicroQ and an Ion. Consumerism Kiddies subscribing to today's immediacy rather than delving deep into Radias' TOOLS for synthesis are really missing the point as cultural creatives--sound is the piece of clay we sculpt-your brain is potter's wheel of possibilities!
March 3, 2012 @ 5:02 am
Some people frown on this synthesizer because they are children and can't see beyond
the preset sounds or simply don't know how to program synthesizers, any synthesizer really.
Lots of talk and little action. This old fart has been programming synthesizers since the
early 70's, before many of you here were born most likely.
These new kids just don't know how to fly!
Brian Burke
March 1, 2012 @ 1:49 pm
I uwn both the full Radius and the exb-Radius installed in a KORG M3-88. TYhey both have different strenghts and weaknesses. I do however like both of them emensely. They are very versitile and will do just about anything you can think of as long as you are willing to spend some serious TIME and learn the equipment as well as learn about programing synthesizers in general. I have hears some things on the Forum like it has no bass. Yes, it does. Try better bass speakers and more wattage. It CAN be fat, try stacking waveforms and then Timbres. Want loads of great presets, look elsewhere.
Paul Wolf
February 24, 2012 @ 9:23 am
I just got a radias and it reminds me a lot of the wavestation, which I also have. In fact I recognize some of the patches are straight out of the WS, "deep atomsphere," "tubular bells" etc. If the radias uses a wavetable of sampled sawtooths, sines, and so on, instead of actual oscillators, it makes even more sense. Plus the patch architecture is identical - maybe all korg's are like that, I don't know. The WS can also produce sounds that have a lot of motion in them, and is also kind of sterile. The thing to do is look at the basic waves and build from there to get a thicker sound.
February 5, 2012 @ 7:43 pm
The RADIAS does have FM. Korg uses other names for some functions than other manufacturers - FM on the RADIAS is known as "VPM".
Reading some of the comments made me wince. Why do people dis this synth? Spec wise it's a modern MS2000 plus so much more - twice the timbres and a boatload more polyphony. Lots of sickness potential! It has two step sequencers, and Korg's excellent arpeggiator that lets you choose what steps are active. You have distortion, saturation, all the goodies you want. It's your own fault if factory presets or the silly formant samples that are included, turn you off.
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Rated 4.21 (583 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 - 24 Voice
  • Multitimbral - 4 Parts
  • Oscillators - 2 Oscillators
  • Waveforms - Square, Sine, Triangle, Saw, PCM (Drum and Synths), Formant, Noise, Audio in
  • LFO - 2 LFO's, 6 Virtual Patches, 3 Modulation Sequencers (Waveform, Cross, Unison, VPM)
  • Filter - 2 Filters, -24db/-12db lowpass, high pass, band pass, comb
  • Envelope - 3 Envelope Generators
  • Effects - Delay, Flanger, Vocoder, Talk Modulation, Reverb, Compressor, Phaser
  • Sequencer - 2 32-Step Sequencers (combined for 64)
  • Arpeggiator - Up / Down / Random / Alt1 / Alt2 / Trigger
  • Keyboard - 49 Keys/Velocity Sensitive
  • Memory - 256 Programs, 128 Timbre Templates, 128 Insert Effect templates, 128 Master Effect Templates
  • Control - Midi In/Out/Thru, Keyboard In, USB
  • Date Produced - 2006

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