Korg X5D

Korg X5D Image

The X5D is an entry level keyboard from Korg. It basically offers Korg's acclaimed Ai2 sound engine (from the 01/w series) packed into a small, lightweight, affordable package! Being an entry-level keyboard, the usual luxuries such as aftertouch and an internal power supply have been omitted, and it lacks an arpeggiator or a sequencer, however it more than makes up for this in sound.

In addition to its General MIDI sound set, the X5D comes loaded with two banks of preset sounds that can be loaded alternately, however you can overwrite the preset sounds and store up to one hundred program sounds and one hundred combination sounds of your own. The preset sounds vary widely, from complex pads and SFX sounds, to pianos, organs and orchestral instruments. Some of these sound dated in this day and age, the piano sound is a little on the thin side to say the least, but the string, pad and organ sounds can still hold their own against much newer keyboards! Korg have even included some classic voices from their iconic M1 workstation. The famous 'Universe' and 'M1 Piano' sounds are present in the X5D.

Editing the sounds can at first be a bit like performing keyhole surgery. The tiny two-line screen means that a lot of the words are abbreviated, and a lot of scrolling and menu diving is required to edit the sounds. However, it is a relatively short learning curve. Once you have created some program sounds, you can combine up to eight of them in combi mode. This allows you to create really thick sounds and textures, but is also useful for creating keyboard splits and velocity switched setups.

Korg X5DR Image

The X5D is available in module form as the X5DR.

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25 Visitor comments
Studio F
August 17, 2013 @ 9:12 am
I love this little machine.
May 22, 2013 @ 3:51 pm
I've owned a Korg 05/RW (basically the same thing with a somewhat smaller subset of the sample set) for a while. It's not a particularly complex architecture compared to, say, the Roland JV series, but it gives a fair bit of room for tweaking, and like any really *good* ROMpler, its sound set is designed more with an eye towards *interesting* sounds that can be creatively repurposed than all-purpose generic "realism" (where the JV-880 I had really fell flat.) The presets are good stuff (even the General MIDI voices have more character than usual!) but tweaking really brings out its full power.
May 19, 2013 @ 5:47 am
I've owned one of these for ten months now and although its fairly cheap and cheerful it does pack some great sounds, most notably some awesome string sounds.

Has anyone else noticed that the drum kits on the Korg X5 (from 129 to 136 - GM kit, Power Kit, Analog Kit, Jazz Kit etc) only produce working notes from C1 up to and including D5 ? All these kits produce no audible sound from e5 up to c6 and Timpani (G48) only works on half the keyboard ? Anyone else noticed this ? I've performed a factory reset on more than one ocassion and nothing changes.
Pulse Emitter
April 17, 2013 @ 2:01 am
the first synth i ever bought, unfortunately. it was new and affordable at the time. not easy at all to program for a beginner, but it did come in handy for my student film scores at the time. i then got a Juno-6 and that was a much better synth to learn on. sold the X5D shortly after and never looked back. would be fine for a keyboard player but for electronic music it was rather lame!
March 23, 2013 @ 5:20 pm
This was the "synth" i ever owned. I use the word synth very loosely. Sample playback board is more apt.
No resonant filter. What was Korg thinking? This machine absolutely excels at strings and pads. Big sound. But sequencing with it is rubbish, because those big sounds rely on the 2 fx units, and when taken away...oops, its back to sounding thin and lifeless. Ideal if yr only using one sound at a time and have other synths for other parts, but then yr better off with the ns5r module. This was never a real synth. Editing WAS limited. But man, some of those big full presets were just awesome.
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Rated 3.68 (208 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 - 64 voices
  • Multitimbral - 16 parts
  • Oscillators - 2
  • Waveforms - 430 multisounds, 215 drum sounds
  • Filter - VDF low pass for every oscillator. No resonant filter.
  • Effects - 2 independent digital multi-effects processors, 47 effects each.
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity (no after touch)
  • Memory - 8 MB: 128 General MIDI patches, 100 Program patches, 100 Combi patches
  • Control - MIDI in/out/thru
  • Date Produced - 1995

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