New Korg Workstation

Korg announce the portable and affordable M50 Music Workstation      12/09/08

New Korg Workstation

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Korg have announced the M50, a new music workstation that they say distils the sonic essence and functionality of the M3 series into a seriously portable and affordable new instrument.
Here’s all the details that Korg have sent us…
Main features of the M50
  • Rich and vivid sound using the same "EDS" (Enhanced Definition Synthesis) tone generator found on the upper-end M3
  • An enormous 256 MB of PCM data*, provides 608 programs and 384 combinations featuring Korg's acclaimed voicing expertise.
  • The 61-key M50-61 and 73-key M50-73 use a new semi-weighted Natural Touch keyboard, while the 88 key M50-88 features the top-of-the-line Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 (RH3) graded action keyboard,
  • The Drum Track gives you 671 patterns to stimulate and support your realtime performance and song production.
  • The Polyphonic Arpeggiator delivers from simple phrases up to complex rhythmic gestures, and lets you use two patterns simultaneously in Combination mode or Sequencer mode to create complete ensemble backing.
  • The highly intuitive sequencer provides 16 MIDI + 1 master tracks with all the tools needed to capture and easily shape your musical ideas into polished productions.
  • The large TouchView graphical user interface makes it easy to select sounds, adjust parameters and create your music easily.
  • An SD card slot provides easy and affordable management of your sounds and songs.
  • Included M50 Editor and M50 Plug-In Editor software lets you edit the sounds using your computer, and allows you to use the M50 as a plug-in instrument in your favorite DAW software (VST, Audio Units, and RTAS are supported).
  • The M50-61 features a stylishly retro light-weight and compact design, and the M50-88 is the lightest weight 88-key keyboard Korg has ever made.
* when calculated as 16-bit linear data
Portable and packed with the best sounds
Korg’s over twenty years of design expertise in workstations has enabled us to make the M50 the perfect writing and performing keyboard for all musicians. The M50 is packed with the latest sounds and functionality that Korg has developed in its many years of producing synthesizers and music workstations. .
It features a light-weight compact design that makes it ideal for live performance, band practice, and especially easy transportation. The 88-note M50-88 uses the grand piano feeling RH3 keyboard, making it an ideal choice for a stage piano. .
Korg's best sound engine
The M50 uses Korg's latest "EDS" (Enhanced Definition Synthesis) sound generation system, the technology used on the M3, delivering exactly the same stunning sounds and effects! Each voice contains a powerful oscillator section that can use up to eight stereo multisamples per voice (two oscillators, each with four-stage velocity switching/crossfading/layering), as well as up to four filters (two filters each with four modes and four routings), two amps, five LFOs, and five EGs. .
The abundant 256 Mbytes of ROM (when calculated as 16-bit linear) provides a total of 1,077 multisamples (including seven stereo multisamples) sampled at 48 kHz as well as 1,609 drum samples (including 116 stereo drum samples),. These PCM sources were sampled using the best recording equipment and edited with expert care to deliver an incredible palette to create sounds with. .
The filter section lets you use two filters for each oscillator. These filter types include low pass, high pass, band pass, and band reject modes, and they can be routed individually, in series or in parallel, and even includes a superb 24 dB mode. .
The amp section provides a driver circuit that can bring a harder edge to your sound, and a low boost to add big bottom when needed. .
An advanced key tracking generator can be used to adjust filter and amp behavior according to ranges of the keyboard, giving sounds a level of nuanced control across the whole range of the keyboard. .
The EG (Envelope Generators) produce time-variant change from the beginning to the end of the sound, and allow you to tweak the curve at each stage (attack, decay, slope, release) in eleven steps, and unprecedented amount of control. This enables the M50 to create simulations of acoustic sounds where the tone and volume undergo complex time-variant changes, as well as highly detailed re-creations of vintage synthesizer sounds. There are eighteen LFO waveforms available for you to select from. These can be further shaped to produce the perfect modulation by adjusting parameters such as the waveform starting phase and amplitude shift. .
The AMS (Alternate Modulation Source) function gives you a wealth of modulation possibilities; with a total of fifty modulation sources, you can be sure to find what you need, or use the AMS mixer to apply multiple modulation sources to a single parameter, or even process the modulation source itself to obtain precise control over your sound design. .
There's an independent three-band EQ available for each program, the drum track, and each of the sixteen timbres/tracks, so you can make separate and detailed tonal adjustments to achieve the perfect mix without having to use effects. The effect section which adds the final coloration and space to the overall sound contains five insert effects, two master effects, and one total effect. In addition to delay and reverb, you can use modulation-type effects such as chorus, phaser, and flanger, dynamic-type effects such as a compressor and limiter, and amp modeling effects driven by Korg's proprietary "REMS" modeling technology, giving you a total of 170 high-quality effects. There are also two common LFOs that can be used between different modulation effects. For example you can use a single LFO to synchronize the phaser and flanger used by different timbres. The effect dynamic modulation function (Dmod) gives you precise and wide-ranging realtime control over tonal changes and effects. .
Perfectly shaped sounds
The M50 contains 608 programs, 384 combinations each consisting of up to sixteen programs, and 32 drum kits used as oscillators for drum programs. From real acoustic instrument to vintages synths and imaginative textures the M50 delivers the wide range of great sounds you expect from a Korg keyboard. .
For the all-important piano sounds, three-stage velocity-switched stereo samples are programmed in conjunction with samples of the damper resonance, producing the most natural sound ever heard from a synthesizer. There are also mono piano programs for use on stage, as well as programs using the waveform memory of the classic Korg SG-1 Sampling Grand, which is still acclaimed by artists around the world. .
New PCM memory includes numerous vintage electric piano and clav sounds. The vintage E-piano sound features multiple velocity switching, and effects powered by Korg's REMS amp modeling technology to recreate the full vocabulary of tones you want. The clavi includes all the classic settings as well as loud and soft (two-stage velocity) samples for each tone, giving you a highly expressive sound that’s fun to play. Also included are strings and flute sounds from the legendary tape playback instruments, still used in rock, pop and a wide variety of musical styles. .
Each multi-part combination delivers sophisticated blends and splits for live performance, along with drum grooves and arpeggio parts that are fun to jam along with and are sure to inspire countless new song ideas. .
There are also 256 programs and 9 drum programs that comply with the GM Level 2 sound map. User-edited data can also be saved into the internal memory, with space for 640 programs, 512 combinations, and 48 drum kits. .
Drummer included
The drum track provides an always-ready partner to jam along with. You can easily choose from over 670 patterns that are built into the M50 as well as your own user-created patterns. These patterns can be started from any desired region of the keyboard or by playing a note that's stronger than a specified velocity. Whether you're capturing your musical ideas, producing a song, or performing live, the drum track will help you get your groove on. .
Sequencing powerhouse
As the core of your music production system, the sequencer provides 16 MIDI tracks, up to 128 songs, and lets you record 210,000 notes. With a high resolution of 1/480, it can capture every detail of your expressive performance. Record in realtime or enter notes in step time, and you can loop each track individually so you can get a drum groove going and then play varying parts over that to create the perfect loop. Build your Song up from sections using the Cue List function to assemble the parts into the perfect arrangement. The RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) function lets you assign phrases (patterns) to the keyboard and trigger them in real time by playing a single note of the keyboard. You can use this to trigger different patterns from each key or perform on another region of the keyboard while the triggered patterns play, giving you very sophisticated possibilities for real time performance. 671 patterns are built-in. .
When you start playing a program or combination and like what you’re doing, simply use the Auto Song Setup function to copy the setup into the sequencer and start recording, instantly, producing the basic tracks that will become the core of your new song. .
Dual polyphonic arpeggiators
In addition to a standard arpeggiator with five preset patterns (UP, DOWN, ALT1, ALT2, RANDOM), the M50 provides a polyphonic arpeggiator that can generate a variety of chord progressions and phrases based on the pitch and timing of the keys you play. This lets you produce a broad range of patterns, ranging from drums (using the "Fixed Note Mode"), bass phrases, or even guitar or keyboard backing phrases. The arpeggiator can also operate as part of the sound-creating functionality to create pads, synth sounds, or sound effects that include a subtle sense of movement. The M50 contains a total of 1,028 user arpeggio patterns, including 900 preloaded patterns created by our expert programmer/musicians. .
In addition, Combination mode and Sequencer mode allow you to take advantage of the dual arpeggiator functionality that generates two phrases simultaneously. This allows for many powerful possibilities such as applying different arpeggio patterns to drums and bass programs, or using splits or velocity to switch between arpeggio patterns. .
TouchView interface
The M50 features the same TouchView display that's found on Korg's high-end music workstations. The 320x240 pixel clear display ensures excellent visibility and operability, giving you easy access to an enormous amount of parameter information. No other keyboard in its class has as beautiful and intuitive of an interface! .
Three keyboard models
The M50 is available as three models with different keybeds: the 61-key M50-61, the 73-key M50-73, and the 88-key M50-88. Both have been designed with careful attention to keyboard feel. The M50-61 and M50-73 use a new semi-weighted Natural-Touch keyboard that allows expressive performance on a fast, synth-action feel. The M50-88 uses Korg’s RH3 (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3) keyboard acclaimed for its graded-action grand piano-like touch, making it the ideal choice for a stage piano as well. .
Editor and plug-in editor software included
The M50 Editor is a stand-alone software application that lets you perform even more detailed editing from your PC. By using the M50 Plug-In Editor, you can use the M50 as a plug-in instrument from within any host application, expanding your DAW production system without putting any resource drain on your computer (VST, Audio Units, and RTAS formats are supported). .
SD card storage
The M50's SD card slot lets you save programs, combinations, and sequences, and it also allows for easy data management. By using this common form of memory you are assured of getting your media for the lowest price, anywhere you shop. .
Pricing and Availability:
Available: Sept 2008
M50-61 £899
M50-88 £1499
More information:

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