We stopped by the Korg stand to get a hands on of the new microKORG. It’s quite a compact unit with small but playable keys and some rather Minimoog style knobs. To encourage you to use the vocoder Korg have included a funky looking gooseneck condesner mic that will have you wigging out with the best of them.
One nice feature of the vocoder is the Formant Hold - feed your signal into the vocoder and hit this to freeze the current sound of the modulator.
Another cool feature is the step editing in arpeggiation mode. The steps are represented by the eight program buttons - it's possible to switch these steps on an off individually to vary the rhythm.
The microKORG engine offers four filter modes Low pass, Band Pass and High pass 2-pole settings plus a special, extra-steep 24dB 4-pole low-pass configuration, all of which include resonance. Two ADSR envelope generators and two MIDI-syncable LFOs, plus a Virtual Patch matrix allow the creation of advanced modulation settings.
In addition to its extensive synthesizer features, the microKORG includes an 8-band vocoder with many advanced capabilities, including voice formant capture with the ability to play the captured sound across the keyboard. The microKORG even includes its own microphone for instant vocoding.
The microKORG’s feature set is rounded out with two sophisticated effects processors, one providing chorus/flange, phase, or ensemble and the other offering three delay effects. A two-band equalizer provides the finishing touch. Delays may be synchronized with the on-board multi-function arpeggiator or to an external clock. The arpeggiator offers six different patterns and the ability to turn on and off steps in the patterns for creative rhythmic applications.
The 128 factory presets include a wealth of modern and classic sounds as well as 16 vocoder presets. Sounds are grouped together by genre, and selection is made quick and easy with large dedicated buttons and an easy-to-read display. Full on-board editing allows the modification of factory presets and the creation of entirely new sounds. All 128 locations can be overwritten, offering maximum user flexibility.
With five realtime controller knobs, Pitch and Mod wheels and a velocity-sensing 37-key keyboard, the microKORG also functions as a compact MIDI controller. Because it’s battery powered, it is an ideal MIDI controller for use with a laptop. A large dial and illuminated buttons allow instant access to the microKORG’s parameters and make it perfect for use on a darkened stage.
List price $499
expected street price $399