Korg Kronos

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Korg Kronos
Korg Kronos.jpg
Manufactured by Korg
Dates 2011–present
Price $2800-$3500
Technical specifications
Polyphony up to 200 voices
Timbrality 16
Synthesis type Sample-based synthesis, Physical modeling synthesis, Wavetable synthesis, Frequency modulation synthesis
Aftertouch Yes
Velocity sensitive Yes
Memory 1664 programs, 1792 combos, 152 drum kits, 256 GM2 programs and 9 GM2 drum kits. 30GB internal SSD, 2GB internal RAM
Effects 12 insert effects, 2 master effects, 2 total effects. 185 effect types, 783 presets, 1 EQ per track
Input/output
Keyboard 61-key semi-weighted, 73- and 88-key piano-weighted
External control Damper pedal, assignable switch, assignable pedal

The Kronos is a music workstation manufactured by Korg that combines nine different synthesizer sound engines with a sequencer, digital recorder, effects, a color touchscreen display and a keyboard. Korg's latest flagship synthesizer series at the time of its announcement, the Kronos series was announced at the winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January, 2011.[1] Kronos utilizes an Intel Atom processor for its operation running a custom operating system based on the Linux kernel,[2] much like Kronos' predecessor and Korg's previous flagship synthesizer workstation, the OASYS. Kronos includes 9 different sound engines, including the entire range of recent Korg different synthesis technologies and new ones.

An updated version of the Kronos, the Kronos X was introduced by Korg in July 2012. [3]

Sound Engines[edit]

Like its predecessor OASYS, Kronos has nine different sound engines:

The HD1 High Definition Synthesizer which Korg first introduced in the OASYS uses sample-based synthesis and wave sequencing to generate sounds from the multisamples stored on an internal solid state drive. The builtin preset PCM ROM is 314 MB large.

The SGX-1 Premium Piano sound engine utilizes continuous (not looped) stereo piano samples sampled at eight velocity layers per key and played directly from the internal solid state drive to produce either a Steinway-styled or Yamaha-styled acoustic grand piano. The samples are directly streamed from the solid state drive by using VMT (Virtual Memory Technology) This synth engine didn't exist on Korg Oasys.

The EP-1 MDS Electric Piano sound engine offers four models based on specific classic Rhodes electric pianos and two based on Wurlitzer pianos, with software control over hammers, tines, reeds, and mechanical noise elements. It also simulates amplifiers, cabinets, speakers, and effects associated with those historic electric pianos. This synth engine didn't exist on Korg Oasys.

The CX-3 Tonewheel Organ engine is carried over from the Korg CX-3 modeled tonewheel organ released in 2001 (not Korg's 1980 CX-3 based on octave-divider technology). The CX-3 engine models classic tonewheel organ, including rotary speaker effects, vibrato and chorus effects, and tube amplifier. Nine hardware sliders on the Kronos' control panel function as organ drawbar controllers. This synth engine first appeared on Korg Oasys.

The AL-1 Analog Synthesizer models analog subtractive synthesis, with a range of modeled oscillator waveforms, filters, hard sync, analog-style FM, and ring modulation. This is another sound engine passed down from the Korg Oasys.

The MS-20EX Legacy Analog Collection models an expanded version of the original Korg MS-20 semi-modular monophonic analog synthesizer originally released in 1978. This engine is basically another version of the version released by Korg in their "Legacy Collection" software previously and also found on Korg Oasys. Similarly, the PolysixEX Legacy Analog Collection models an expanded version of the 6-voice Korg Polysix analog synthesizer produced by Korg from 1982-3, and also previously released as one of the software synthesizers in that same collection.

The MOD-7 Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer is capable of classic FM sounds and has import compatibility with Yamaha DX7 SysEx formatted sounds. The MOD-7 engine also combines Variable Phase Modulation (VPM), waveshaping, ring modulation, samples, subtractive synthesis, and modular patching to create a wider range of sounds than would have been possible on a classic Yamaha DX-series synthesizer. This synth engine first appeared on Korg Oasys.

First released by Korg as an expansion to the Korg Oasys, the STR-1 Plucked String Synthesizer engine creates sounds derived from the physical properties of struck or plucked string sounds. This sound engine is well-suited for creating sounds like guitar, harpsichord and clavinet, harp, and bell sounds, as well as other sounds based in the physics of a plucked string but not directly related to any known instrument.

There are 61-, 73-, and 88-key versions of the Kronos, with the latter two employing graded hammer action keys, and the former synth action keys.

Other capabilities[edit]

The Kronos has a 16-track MIDI sequencer combined with a 16-track 24-bit audio recorder. The recorder can record up to four tracks simultaneously.

185 effect types are available. They can be applied as 16 internal effects, 12 insert effects, 2 master effects, & 2 total effects. In addition to these effects, a separate 3-band EQ for each track is available.

Kronos features the Kay Algorithmic Realtime Music Architecture, or KARMA, a complex arpeggiator that generates complex musical phrases in realtime based on the input of a performer. KARMA was developed by Stephen Kay and first appeared in the Korg KARMA keyboard workstation.

Kronos is capable of sampling audio and has full sample editing functionality. Sample import and export are supported. Import sample formats supported include Korg, Akai, SoundFont, WAV and AIFF files.

Kronos sounds can be computer edited using Kronos editor software. Kronos can also be integrated within a computer digital audio workstation as a software plug-in.[4]

Notable Users[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Announcing the Korg Kronos", Keyboard Magazine, Jan 2011
  2. ^ Peter Kirn, "Nine Keyboards in One: Extensive Q+A, Gallery for Kronos, Son of OASYS", Create Digital Music, Feb 11
  3. ^ "Summer NAMM 2012: Korg Kronos X", Sound On Sound Magazine
  4. ^ Gordon Reid, "Korg Kronos Keyboard Workstation", Sound On Sound, May 11