Korg has launched the KROSS Music Workstation, which they describe as a mobile synthesizer keyboard with impressive features.
A spokesperson told us, "With the KROSS, the sounds and songs that you've created at home and the system that you use every day can go with you onto the stage or into the street! Featuring rich sounds that exceed its class, yet remaining highly portable, the KROSS is designed for practical usability. There's a convenient mic input and a built-in audio recorder, and it can run on 6 x AA batteries. It's a distinctive new standard in music workstations, with specs and style that set it apart from all others."
Stylish and distinctive red and black two-tone color design
The lightweight body is only 4.3 kg/9.5 lbs (61-key model) or 12.4 kg/27.3 lbs (88-key model), and can be powered by 6x AA batteries
Piano, electric piano, and drum sounds that exceed its class
A wide variety of sounds that utilize twice as much PCM memory as previous instruments, and meet the needs of a broad range of musical styles
Sound Selector makes it easy to find the sound you're looking for
Favorites function lets you register 64 selected sounds or audio songs for one-touch access - a great feature for live performances
Pro-quality EDS-i sound engine built-in, with a total of seven effects available for simultaneous use
External input jacks allow a mic or external audio source to be directly connected.
Quick Layer/Split function for on-the-fly versatility
Stereo audio recorder allows you to record and overdub your performances and vocals
Step sequencer inherited from the Electribe, a 16-track MIDI sequencer, a drum track, and an arpeggiator
Connects to your computer via USB for plug-in integration with your favorite DAW
Korg sent us the official press release after we'd already published this story so we'll just add it here...
Korg announces the new KROSS keyboard. Kross is a mobile, affordable, keyboard workstation with audio/MIDI recording capabilities, AC or battery operation (6xAA), and a vast selection of cutting-edge sounds. Available with 61 keys or 88 fully-weighted keys, it's the first battery-powered, full-featured Korg keyboard workstation. With rich sounds that are top of its class, and practical features such as analog-style step sequencing and built-in audio recorder, all in a lightweight and portable package, Kross offers keyboardists of all levels a musical instrument with specs and style that will exceed people's expectation of a keyboard at this price point.
A complete package of performance-ready sounds is provided. The piano, electric piano, and drum sounds have been taken from some of Korg's flagship instruments, offering a set of sounds that surpasses other instruments in its class. The grand piano features intricately-sampled decays with three levels of velocity, and also reproduces the noises made by the damper pedal, ensuring that every nuance is reflected in the sound. The distinctive sounds from Korg's famed SG-1D Sampling Grand and M1 Music Workstation are also included, as well as an upright piano--a rarity amongst PCM keyboards. The five classic electric piano sounds are as expressive as the acoustic piano sounds, and also include effect settings. In addition, careful attention has been paid to the drum sounds, which are indispensable for song writing and creation with the keyboard.
Kross contains PCM data approximately twice as large as preceding Korg models such as the X50 and the PS60. Essential sounds like rock/jazz organ, strings, brass, and synth sounds have all been upgraded and enhanced. Also included are instruments such as toy piano, accordion, combo organ, church organ, and even vintage instruments such as a tape sampler. And unique to a keyboard of its class are unique sounds that excel in today's EDM dance music and electronica.
The high-quality EDS-i sound engine is distilled from the EDS/EDS-X sound engines found on Korg's most advanced instruments. It allows a total of seven effects (five insert; two master) to be used simultaneously. Effect types include delay, reverb, chorus, flanger, and rotary speaker, as well as amp modeling powered by Korg's proprietary "REMS" modeling technology, and even a vocoder. In total, 134 high-quality effects are available.
Kross includes a full-featured, 16-track MIDI sequencer with quantization, copy and paste, and individual note event editing, as well as an analog-style step sequencer inherited from Korg's Electribe series, for quick production capability. The easy-to-use sequencer design features sixteen buttons that are used to turn individual notes on or off, allowing the user to quickly and easily create original rhythm patterns of up to 64 steps. SMF-format data can easily be exchanged with a computer via an optional SC card. A full set of workstation and production tools include a stereo audio recorder with overdubbing capabilities, a one-touch Drum Track function, and an arpeggiator to animate any type of sound.
The Kross' unmistakable color and design project a powerful presence on stage or anywhere else. The top panel is a sleek black color, while the rear and side panels feature a bold red color scheme. The 61-key model, with its distinctive carrying handle, is amazingly light; at only 4.3 kg/9.5 lb, it's the most portable in its category. The 88-key model packs a piano-touch hammer action keyboard into a mere 12.4 kg/27.3 lbs. Both models can operate on an AC adapter or on six AA alkaline or nickel-metal hydride batteries.
Pricing and Availability: The Korg Kross keyboard workstation will be available in August 2013 with U.S. Street prices as follows: 61-key: $699 and 88-key: $999.