Korg Kronos 88
The 88-key Kronos is more than a new instrument. It is a milestone in synthesis and workstation evolution; one that embodies fresh ideas and breakthrough technologies. Kronos brings together multiple sound engines working in harmony and interactive performance features that reflect the way musicians play. Most importantly, Kronos provides a seemingly inexhaustible supply of breathtaking, spectacular sounds.
The Next-Generation Instrument for Live, Production, and Sound Design
The Kronos Music Workstation is the single instrument designed for live performing musicians; for artists creating in a studio or computer-based production environment; and for musicians and sound designers seeking the ultimate synthesizer. In creating Kronos, Korg listened to many musicians, heard their requests, and has vowed to deliver.
LIVE - for the performing keyboard player
Kronos provides the absolute finest in keyboard sounds; accurate and responsive to any player's technique. The expansive control surface offers joysticks, sliders, knobs, switches, a ribbon controller, assignable pedal inputs, and, of course, Korg's improved resolution color TouchView display. New additions include the easy-to-use Set List mode for song-specific and gig-ready sound selection, and Korg's Smooth Sound Transition feature. Plus, it includes Korg's finest RH3 keybed.
PRODUCTION - satisfying the producer, music director, and musician
For many, the studio is where the work gets done; from laying down tracks, to building up grooves for an on-stage extravaganza, to delivering the soundtrack for today's media rich world. For these creative leaders, Korg has equipped the Kronos Music Workstation's sequencer with 16-track MIDI tracks, plus 16 audio tracks, Korg's Open Sampling System, dazzling hi-fidelity effects, as well as flawless plug-in integration with many popular DAW platforms. Kronos is also equipped with phenomenal sound, dynamic drums, and an impressive array of premium sound effects. Add to that the ability to use KARMA (explained below), the Drum Track, and the sequencer's RPPR to greatly speed up and enrich the music creation process.
SYNTHESIS - programming joy for the enthusiast and sound designer
In addition to being Korg's premier workstation, Kronos has it in its blood to satisfy the programmer, sound designer, and synthesizer enthusiast; the musician who dreams of turning visions of the cosmos into sound, of tweaking parameters to conjure invisible sounds from the ether. Kronos rekindles Korg's founding dream that is at the core of synthesis: the exhilaration and enjoyment of creating new sounds, sounds never before heard. A variety of exclusive Korg technologies drive the synth engines to provide astounding results—VMT (Virtual Memory Technology); CMT (Component Modeling Technology); Physical Modeling, Digital Synthesis, Wave Sequencing, MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis); KARMA and more!
9 Synthesizer Engines, United in One Instrument
Kronos contains 9 distinct synthesizer/sound engines. While each is worthy of a separate product in its own right, Kronos brings them all together into a single, integrated musical instrument. Dynamic voice allocation and new technologies allow all sound engines to smoothly share a stable, enhanced hardware platform. The results are nothing less than spectacular.
SGX-1 Premium Piano
Piano sound engine
To accurately capture the rich character of a concert piano, Korg abandoned working within the limitations of existing sampling methods and took advantage Virtual Memory Technology (VMT), able to play large samples directly from the internal high-capacity Solid State Disk (SSD). The SGX-1 Premium Piano sound engine offers two distinctive grand pianos; a rich German D piano, and a robust Japanese C model. Each uses superb, unlooped stereo samples sampled at 8 velocity levels for each and every key. Thoughtful attention to detail preserves the realism and warmth of the piano sound; this extends even to sampling and reproducing the body resonances of the grand piano, as well as the mechanical noise that occurs when the keys are played, or the damper pedal is pressed and released. The foundation of any keyboard instrument is the piano, and the SGX-1 engine allows Kronos to confidently deliver on this sonic ideal.
EP-1 MDS Electric Piano
Electric piano sound engine
Korg's new EP-1 sound engine is dedicated to faithfully recreating 6 of the most popular classic electric pianos. The MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis) technology eliminates the transitions between velocity-switched samples, and does away with the unnatural behavior of looped samples. It also provides the user with unique control over the tines, reeds, and noise elements that make up the essential character of these timeless and coveted electromechanical instruments. The MDS sounds respond smoothly to the subtleties of the player's keyboard touch. This technology also delivers an astounding dynamic range so that the energy of climactic passages is accurately preserved. Each of the 6 electric piano models provides realistic simulations of the period amp, cabinet, speaker, and even the hard-to-find vintage effects that gave the original instruments their distinctive sound. From the sounds, to the touch, to the effects; every element has been coordinated in a single package to create the ultimate electric piano experience.
CX-3 Tonewheel Organ
Tonewheel organ sound engine
The original Korg CX-3 combo organ went on sale in 1980. Loved by musicians around the world, this classic organ reappeared in 2000 as a new product with the same name, but using the latest technology of the time to faithfully model the tonewheel organ sound. In Kronos, the CX-3 engine precisely models this classic tonewheel instrument. Proprietary Korg technology has been used to perfectly reproduce the vacuum tube amp, and effects such as Vibrato/Chorus and the "must-have" rotary speaker. Even the instability, fold-back, leakage, and noise of the tone wheels have been obsessively analyzed and recreated. Take full advantage of Korg's exclusive EX mode and switch from 9 to 18 drawbars (13 footages plus 5 to define the percussion) and generate even richer and more detailed sounds. The organ sounds heard in legendary performances—some recreated here by the original artists—are now yours for the playing. Go ahead and experience these classic organ sounds, reborn for the present day.
HD-1 High Definition Synthesizer
Flagship PCM, sampling, and Wave Sequencing sound engine
The HD-1 was named"High Definition" because of its superior sound, starting with Korg's proprietary low-aliasing sample playback oscillators, full-bandwidth multimode resonant filters, and extraordinarily fast & smooth envelopes and LFOs. Once again, Korg's SSD and Virtual Memory Technology (VMT) gives the HD-1 access to a larger sample set—gigabytes in size—than could be normally stored using internal memory. The HD-1 covers all of the essential sounds in exquisite detail, from orchestral to classic rock to hip-hop, all instantly available. The extensive array of samples provided by Kronos is unparalleled by previous hardware synthesizers or samplers, and is a superb fit for film, video, and sound effect work.
First introduced on the Korg WAVESTATION, and used here as part of the HD-1, Wave Sequences play a series of samples over time, creating distinctive rhythmic timbres or smooth, complex evolving sounds. Additionally, step-sequencer modulation outputs allow Wave Sequences to control any modulate-able Program parameter.
The HD-1 sound engine also includes Korg's "Ambient Drums." Take advantage of this rich sample content to create incredibly realistic drum parts. The Ambient Drums feature two kits. Each provides three different miking positions, capturing the whole kit, (with the snare on and off), plus the individual hits. The HD-1 voice architecture allows the custom blending of the drum's direct sound and ambient sound layer, adding a finished quality to the track.
AL-1 Analog Synthesizer
High-fidelity analog modeling sound engine
Feature-packed, the AL-1 is the same premium analog modeling sound engine that was first featured on the Korg OASYS, the Open Architecture Synthesis Studio back in 2005. Its patented ultra-low-aliasing oscillators (using completely different technology than the HD-1) recreate all the power and glory of true analog synthesis without unwanted artifacts. Morphing waveforms allow you to change the oscillator shapes in real time. Resonance modeling lets you choose between classic filter sounds, and the extraordinarily flexible MultiFilter lets you create your own hybrid filter shapes. Hard sync, analog-style FM, drive, low-boost, and ring modulation offer plenty of tone-twisting power.
MS-20EX Legacy Analog Collection
Analog modeling sound engine
Debuting in 1978, the MS-20 unified a 37-note keyboard with a vertically oriented control panel, and was easily obtainable by those smitten by expensive and gigantic furniture-sized synthesizers. With a thick and solid sound, aggressive filters, and patching that opened up limitless potential for creating sounds, the MS-20's rich personality captivated countless synth freaks. Using Korg's CMT (Component Modeling Technology) the MS-20EX faithfully reproduces the MS-20 while dramatically expanding its patch panel functionality. Modulate filters with audio-rate oscillators; turn audio inputs into control signals; control all of the original knobs with mod sources including additional envelopes, LFOs, and realtime controllers. It's a tweaker's dream, but even without the patch panel, the MS-20EX would make waves with its unique, aggressive tone—due in large part to its signature filters, which are completely different from those in either the AL-1 or the PolysixEX. The Kronos version is now very polyphonic.
PolysixEX Legacy Analog Collection
Analog modeling sound engine
The Polysix first appeared in 1981, offering six-voice polyphony, program memory, and a surprisingly competitive price tag. With its self-oscillating four-pole filter, smooth analog oscillator and sub-oscillator, plus a lush Chorus/Ensemble effect, the PolysixEX extends the abilities of the original in many creative ways. The strings and pads that were such a major feature of the Polysix will be invaluable when you need the sounds of the early '80s. The classic arpeggiator built into the original Polysix is also provided. Korg added modulation of every control on the front panel, for a world of sounds impossible on the original. It's also very well-suited to hands-on control via the Kronos' Tone Adjust; with a knob, slider, or switch for almost all of the original Polysix controls. As a bonus, it's also capable of extremely high polyphony.
MOD-7 Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer
VPM/Waveshaping/PCM processing sound engine
Combine Variable Phase Modulation (VPM), wave-shaping, ring modulation, samples, and subtractive synthesis, plus a modular patch-panel system, and you have the MOD-7. Exceptionally versatile, it offers everything from classic FM keyboards, bells, and basses (including the ability to import sounds from vintage DX synths) to rhythmic soundscapes and sparkling, epic pads. Vast sample-mangling capabilities, with incredible flexibility and power, let you create intensely rich processing environments: combine multiple stages of filtering, waveshaping, and ring modulation—even use samples as FM modulators—all patched together however you like.
STR-1 Plucked String Synthesizer
Physical modeling sound engine
Based on the physical modeling know-how Korg developed over the course of many years, this struck/plucked-string physical modeling sound engine takes advantage of cutting-edge technology. The STR-1 begins with highly playable sounds whose tone responds to your touch in ways that are difficult for a PCM sound engine to replicate. These include acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harpsichord, clavinet, harps, bells, and ethnic instruments. Then the STR-1 goes beyond, allowing the creation of sounds that obey physical laws, but that don't exist in reality. Play harmonics on a metal bar "plucked" by a piano or sing into a guitar string—with the STR-1, it's all possible. You can also process samples and live audio input through the physical model—including audio feedback from any of the Kronos effects. While some of the Kronos engines look back in time, this is a sound engine of the future, one that allows the synthesizer programmer to construct truly new sounds.
Premier Artist Contributions
In order to take full advantage of these 9 sound engines, Korg called on respected musicians to guide their sound design team towards their individual ideals. Responding positively, numerous world-class players contributed their time, energy, and critical listening to help them zero in on making the sound respond the way they hear it. Certain artist signature sounds were tested, judged, and tweaked by the likes of Jordan Rudess, Russ Ferrante, Lyle Mays, George Duke, Tom Coster, Jeff Lorber, Frank McComb, John Novello, and several other artists known for their serious love of sound and for their critical, demanding ears.
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- Keyboard: RH3 (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3)
Synthesis Types: 9
SGX-1 Premium Piano (Acoustic Piano)
EP-1 MDS Electric Piano (Electric Piano)
HD-1 High Definition Synthesizer (PCM Virtual Memory Technology)
AL-1 Analog Synthesizer (Analog Modeling)
CX-3 Tonewheel Organ (Tonewheel Organ Modeling)
STR-1 Plucked String (Physical Modeling)
MOD-7 Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer (VPM Synthesis)
MS-20EX (CMT Analog Modeling)
PolysixEX (CMT Analog Modeling)
SGX-1: 100 voices*3
EP-1: 104 voices
HD-1: 140 voices
AL-1: 80 voices
CX-3: 200 voices
STR-1: 40 voices
MOD-7: 52 voices
MS-20EX: 40 voices
PolysixEX: 180 voices
*1 Maximum polyphony depends on the kind of synthesis engines and the number of effects being used
*2 Kronos dynamically allocates voices to multiple synthesis engines when they are used simultaneously
*3 100 dual-stereo notes (It corresponds to 400 voices in the maximum)
Number of Programs/Combinations/Drumkits:
1,664 user memory programs (1510 or more [760 or more HD-1+750 or more EXi] come preloaded)
1,792 user memory combinations (448 or more come preloaded)
152 user memory drumkits (77 or more come preloaded)
256 GM Level2 preset programs+ 9 GM Level2 drum preset programs
314MB (ROM 1,505 multisamples, 1388 drum samples)
Build-in Expansion PCM Libraries:
EXs1 - ROM Expansion
EXs2 - Concert Grand Piano
EXs3 - Brass & Woodwinds
EXs4 - Vintage Keyboards
EXs5 - ROM Expansion 2
EXs6 - SGX-1 German D Piano
EXs7 - SGX-1 Japanese C Piano
EXs8 - Rock Ambience Drums
EXs9 - Jazz Ambience Drums
Capacity of PCM RAM:
*4 The memory available for RAM samples will change based on the use of Expansion PCM libraries. About 273MB is available when shipped from the factory (when loading the file named "PRELOAD.KSC")
374 user memory, 160 or more preload
EXs6 - SGX-1 German D Piano; EXs7 - SGX-1 Japanese C Piano
32 or more
Damper Resonance, Damper Noise, Mechanical Noise, Note Release
MDS Electric Piano:
Electric Piano Model Types:
6 (Tine EP I, Tine EP II, Tone EP V, Tine EP DMP, Reed EP200, Reed EP200A)
Harmonic Sound Level, Attack Noise, Level, Release Noise Level, Attack Brightness, Hammer Width
Tine Type: Preamp Volume, Tone (Treble, Bass), Vibrate (On/Off, Intensity, Speed), Amp/Cabinet (On/Off, Drive)*5
Reed Type: Preamp Volume, Tone (Treble, Bass), Vibrate (Intensity, Speed), Amp/Cabinet (On/Off, Drive)*5
*5 Each electric piano type has own amp/cabinet character.
9 (Small Phase, Orange Phase, Clack Phase, Vintage Chorus, Black Chorus, EP Chorus, Vintage
Flanger, Red Comp, VOX Wah)
Advanced Vector Synthesis:
Control oscillator volumes and synthesis & effects parameters via the Vector Joystick and the tempo-synchronized Vector Envelope
Single: only OSC1, Double: OSC1 and OSC2
Double mode lets you layer two completely separate synth voices, each with their own velocity-switched oscillator, dual filter, EGs, LFOs, etc.
Two completely separate drumkits
VMT (Virtual Memory Technology) supported
8 velocity zones per oscillator, with switching, crossfades and layering
Each zone can play mono or stereo Multisamples or Wave Sequences
Two multi-mode filters per voices (low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and band-reject)
Four-mode filter routings (single, serial, parallel and 24dB mode)
Per voice non-linear driver and low boost circuit
Three bands, with sweepable mid
Three envelope generators, two LFOs per voice, common LFO, four key tracking generators, AMS (Alternate Modulation Source), two AMS mixers
EXi Program Common
Advanced Vector Synthesis:
Control oscillator volumes and synthesis & effects parameters via the Vector Joystick and the tempo-synchronized Vector Envelope
Common Step Sequencer, AMS (Alternate Modulation Source), Common LFO, 2 Key Tracking Generators
Three bands, with sweep-able mid
OSC1, OSC2, Sub-oscillator and noise generator; ring modulation, FM and Sync
Run realtime audio through the synthesis engine
Two multi-mode filter (low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and band-reject) with four types of filter routings (single, serial, parallel and 24dB mode), MultiFilter mode (only Filter-A; modulatable mix of Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, and dry input, for creating a wide variety of unique filter types and effects)
Per-voice non-linear driver and low boost circuit
Five Envelope generators, four per-voice LFOs, two AMS Mixers; Per-voice Step Sequencer
Tonewheel Organ Modeling:
Phase-synchronous tonewheels (clean and vintage modes), percussion, key click, wheel brake
Four additional, user-specified drawbars, and expanded percussion
Rotary speaker, vibrato/chorus, amp modeling with overdrive, 3-band EQ
Controlled via nine front-panel sliders (via Tone Adjust)
Upper, Lower (even in EX mode)
Two AMS mixers
Physically Modeled String:
Includes physically modeled damping, decay, dispersion, nonlinearity, harmonics, dual pickups, and more
Three independent excitation sources can be used simultaneously: Pluck, Noise, and PCM. 16 preset "pluck" types, with modulatable width and randomization. Noise generator with saturation and dedicated lowpass filter
Korg's ultra-low-aliasing technology, as introduced in the HD-1; 4 velocity zones per oscillator; Uses any mono ROM, EXs, or RAM multisamples; PCM can either be used as an excitation signal, or layered with the output of the string
Dedicated 2-pole multimode filter for shaping the string excitation; Filter can be enabled/disabled separately for each excitation source. Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, and Band Reject modes
Audio Input and Feedback:
Run realtime audio through the string, including feedback through effects. Modeled feedback includes modulate-able instrument-to-amp distance and orientation.
Dual multi-mode filters per voice; Single, Serial, Parallel (with split stereo output), and 24dB (4-pole) configurations. Low Pass, High Pass, and Band Reject modes
Multi Filter mode (Filter A only):
Modulatable mix of Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, and dry input, for creating a wide variety of unique filter types and effects
5 Envelopes, 4 per-voice LFOs, 2 Key Track generators, String Tracking generators, 4 AMS Mixers.
Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer: