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noob needs more advice: Kronos or not to Kronos

 
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BarlesChukowski



Joined: 12 Oct 2020
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:51 am    Post subject: noob needs more advice: Kronos or not to Kronos Reply with quote

First off, again I just want to say I really appreciate anybody taking the time to give me some honest advice here.

I'm a noob to workstations, my only experience with creating music at all is putting together some tracks on Reason years ago. I recently decided I want a keyboard that I can eventually make some music on, while at the same time noodling around on it for fun. But the more I read about the Kronos, the more I'm thinking this thing might be way over my head and actually reduce the fun factor. That said...

--I can afford it, though saving money is still a consideration

--I can accept not figuring out a big chunk of the Kronos IF I am able to master basic sequencing, tweaking presets, etc., by no means am I looking to use this thing like a professional musician or even an advanced amateur

--I know DAW would be an option, but I really like the idea of doing the creating on a nice instrument, at least at first, so I'm pretty set on getting a workstation, also for performance at some point

--looking for the best semi-weighted keys out there (most interested in great synth sounds)...also willing to pay for an instrument that simply sounds better than most

So all this said, should I A) go for the Kronos, or B) is there a better option for what I'm looking to do? Again, I can afford the Kronos, and am willing to put the time into it, but in all honesty I don't see myself figuring out a big chunk of it.

If B, what would you recommend?

Since black Friday deals will be coming up in about a month I'm looking to get the f*ck up out of this rabbit hole quickly and have a plan to buy. TY for your help...
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pete.m
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you'll be making too big a mistake by buying the Kronos.

You'll find it fairly easy and rewarding to master all the sequencing and sound-tweaking that you're after, but you'll also find that it has more than enough depth to keep you interested as you go deeper. There is potentially way more to learn than you might feel comfortable about at the moment - for example, the complexity involved in getting into the deeper side of synthesis with all the different synth engines - but you can move on to them when you are done with every thing else, and in any event you don't need to know that stuff to make full use of the Kronos. Even if you don't know how to do the deeper side of synthesis, it is still easy enough to tweak anyway and to come up with something that interests you. When it comes to electronic music, technical knowledge is not necessarily a bar.

For myself, I can say that using the Kronos became easy for me to use for all the sequencing, sampling and synth work I want to do after only a short period of time. After several years, I haven't run out of possibilities with it, but there are still plenty of aspects to it that that I haven't properly touched on yet - Karma, RPPR, and some of the deeper aspects of synthesis. As time has gone on, I've gradually delved deeper at my leisure, but not knowing some stuff has never been an impediment.

It's a pity you probably won't have chance to try out the weight of the keyboard for yourself. As someone who started with synths before moving on to piano as well, that's never been an issue for me. If you're coming from the other way around, then I can understand that you might experience it differently. But I've always found it good to play on - frankly, I'm too engaged with the creative side of what I am doing at any given moment to be thinking too much about the action.

The money issue of course needs to be considered. The resale values of the Kronos hold up pretty well, and so I don't think you'll have too many worries there. Some retailers offer a returns policy if you're not happy, anyway.

I'd say - go for it, and I hope you have lots of fun. I'm biased, though.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it appears you are thinking 61 ?

Short answer, given your newness to these instruments, 1 thought/alterntive is to start with Krome. I don't have deep dive knowledge on Krome. There is a separate forum in case you want to check it .

Krome will keep you busy 2-3 years. In that time, new products/other possibilities will occur.

Disclaimer, I am not an impulse type buyer of expensive products

In addition, you mentioned Black Friday deals. That will not necessarily apply to Kronos and your US retailer who works on tiny profit margin.

Also, running into the herd of holiday shoppers is not advisable this year. C-19 has changed the retail landscape.

Retailers are enjoying holiday type Sales activity since the summer. And are not wheeling dealing like they use to- because they don't need to.
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Last edited by GregC on Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Musicwithharry
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kronos is certainly worth the price of admission. It is a monster synth and most users are very happy with their purchase of the Kronos. The 61-key is semi-weighted and the 73 and 88-key units are weighted. That may or may nor work for you.

Other folks say that the Krome is a good instrument. I am not sure exactly WHERE the Krome lies in Korg's stable. It seems out of place to me. It is a fine instrument but does not have many features that I would think should be on a synth in the 'mid range' category. The 61 and 73-key units are synth action and the 88-key is weighted.

The Kross-2 is also available. It has two versions (61-key synth action and 88-key weighted). It lacks the touch screen and expanded RAM that the Kronos and Krome have, but it adds the ability of audio recording and can be used as a USB audio interface (which the Krome cannot do). It is very portable and can even run on batteries.

I am fan of the Kross; I have 4 of the original Kross-1 units (two are 61-key and two are 88-key). They work well for my situation (live and in the studio).

One cannot really compare the Kross and Krome to the Kronos. The Kronos is the flagship and offers features/libraries/expandability that the other Korg units simply do not have. The Kronos should have everything available to it; again, it is the flagship.

The Kross also has an editor that allows you to program it from your computer. That is how I program mine and it works very well.

The price of entry for the Kross-2 is around $800 for the 61-key and the 88-key goes for $1300 USD.

Another option for you might be the PA series arrangers. They features not only a synth engine, but also has built in rhythms/sequencer/KAOSS pad effects, and other things that work well. The PA700/PA1000/PA4X all feature the larger touch screen and are a breeze to work on. I have the PA700 in my studio as well and it is one of my favorite units out of all of the ones I have in my studio (23 synths in my studio). I get A LOT of work done on the PA700. The PA700 prices out at around $1500 USD. The PA100 prices out at around $2200 USD. The PA4X starts at around $4000 USD.

I am not the type of guy who trades his gear after only a few years. I have pieces in my studio that are 30 years old (Ensoniq stuff) and much of it is at least 5 years old. The PA700 is 3 years old and I still am finding things out about it. The same with the Kross 1. The Kross-1 came out around 10 years ago, I believe, and is still relevant for what I do. The Kross-2 came out a few years ago.

If you look at my signature, you will see synths from many different brands. Ensoniq and Korg are my favorites and both brands are well represented in my studio and live. Korg really seems to get it right though and I enjoy playing them.

It looks like you have a bit more research to do Smile

Grace,
Harry
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GregC
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Musicwithharry wrote:
T
Other folks say that the Krome is a good instrument. I am not sure exactly WHERE the Krome lies in Korg's stable. It seems out of place to me. It is a fine instrument but does not have many features that I would think should be on a synth in the 'mid range' category. The 61 and 73-key units are synth action and the 88-key is weighted.


Harry


https://www.musictech.net/reviews/hardware-instruments/korg-krome-ex/

Touch screen and button options make it very easy to use
+ Like the simplicity of the four controller options
+ A simply huge list of sonic options
+ Beautiful sounds and combinations
+ The Drum Track feature is great
+ As is the keyboard on the 88-note version
+ Did I mention the effects, the sequencer, I could go on…


Korg’s Krome synthesizer was launched back in 2012 as the mid-priced option in Korg’s workstation range. For those unfamiliar with the ‘workstation’ concept, these machines will do pretty much anything required in song production bar the vocals (although some even attempt that). You get drums, keys, real instruments, feature-packed synthesizers, effects, multitrack sequencing and the kitchen sink

Kronos is Korg’s current workstation star, which it describes as ‘the most powerful synthesizer in the world’. When we reviewed it this time last year we found that claim to be not that far from the truth. At the best part of three grand though, it’s probably a stretch for many, so the Krome range, which now starts at around £665 street, could be a fantastic option.

What I have on test here is the all-new Krome EX, updated for a NAMM announcement last year, and a workstation that borrows some of the very best bits from Kronos.
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bpoodoo
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kronos is the flagship, but if Kross and Krome are also on the table, my preference would be Kross. A glaring omission in the Krome as a workstation is its inability to playback a sequence and write a .WAV file (using an internal recorder). The Kross can do this. In fact, the more I look at Kross, the more I would recommend it and choose it for myself. If price is no consideration, Kronos. For best features for the price, Kross. IMO.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bpoodoo wrote:
Kronos is the flagship, but if Kross and Krome are also on the table, my preference would be Kross. A glaring omission in the Krome as a workstation is its inability to playback a sequence and write a .WAV file (using an internal recorder). The Kross can do this. In fact, the more I look at Kross, the more I would recommend it and choose it for myself. If price is no consideration, Kronos. For best features for the price, Kross. IMO.


I think you are right, that is at least 1 key feature for Kross

FWIW, I heard/read unhappiness about Kross keybed. But I have no way to confirm, as key bed remarks are often subjective.

There are Krome and Kross forums, in case the o/p wants to study them in detail.
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Musicwithharry
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Joined: 23 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:
Musicwithharry wrote:
T
Other folks say that the Krome is a good instrument. I am not sure exactly WHERE the Krome lies in Korg's stable. It seems out of place to me. It is a fine instrument but does not have many features that I would think should be on a synth in the 'mid range' category. The 61 and 73-key units are synth action and the 88-key is weighted.


Harry


https://www.musictech.net/reviews/hardware-instruments/korg-krome-ex/

Touch screen and button options make it very easy to use
+ Like the simplicity of the four controller options
+ A simply huge list of sonic options
+ Beautiful sounds and combinations
+ The Drum Track feature is great
+ As is the keyboard on the 88-note version
+ Did I mention the effects, the sequencer, I could go on…


Korg’s Krome synthesizer was launched back in 2012 as the mid-priced option in Korg’s workstation range. For those unfamiliar with the ‘workstation’ concept, these machines will do pretty much anything required in song production bar the vocals (although some even attempt that). You get drums, keys, real instruments, feature-packed synthesizers, effects, multitrack sequencing and the kitchen sink

Kronos is Korg’s current workstation star, which it describes as ‘the most powerful synthesizer in the world’. When we reviewed it this time last year we found that claim to be not that far from the truth. At the best part of three grand though, it’s probably a stretch for many, so the Krome range, which now starts at around £665 street, could be a fantastic option.

What I have on test here is the all-new Krome EX, updated for a NAMM announcement last year, and a workstation that borrows some of the very best bits from Kronos.


I understand about the Krome. I looked at it when it first came out. I stand by my comments, because when the entry level synth offering has audio recording, as well as the flagship (albeit MUCH more robust than the entry level version), and the mid-range does not, it makes it stand out a bit. Even the entry level can be expanded to a point and to my knowledge, the Krome cannot. In my opinion, it does not stand out in a terribly good way. That said, many people say that they like it. That is good, if it works for them. I did say that it is a fine instrument and that it had a touch screen. I know its features well.

I tried one out extensively and it just did not zing me the way that other synths have. If memory serves, it has the same weighted action as the Kross does, at least from videos I have watched of people having to replace a key or two (or clean them). it looked identical to the one I have in my Kross 88 units. With that said, I like the feel of the Kross action as well and it suits me fine both live and in the studio.

I was offering my POV, just as you did with the review from musictech.net. We are ALL going to have a difference of opinion about what we like.

Grace,
Harry
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Musicwithharry
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:
bpoodoo wrote:
Kronos is the flagship, but if Kross and Krome are also on the table, my preference would be Kross. A glaring omission in the Krome as a workstation is its inability to playback a sequence and write a .WAV file (using an internal recorder). The Kross can do this. In fact, the more I look at Kross, the more I would recommend it and choose it for myself. If price is no consideration, Kronos. For best features for the price, Kross. IMO.


I think you are right, that is at least 1 key feature for Kross

FWIW, I heard/read unhappiness about Kross keybed. But I have no way to confirm, as key bed remarks are often subjective.

There are Krome and Kross forums, in case the o/p wants to study them in detail.


A keybed is certainly a subjective thing. Some of us are classically trained and some are beginners. Some do not care, and some can adapt. I am classically trained but really do not terribly care unless the action is really terrible. With that said, I do like the Kross' action, especially on the Kross I just got back from the repair shop. It feels good and is very responsive. Is it the same is my Lowrey/Kawai actions? No, but it certainly works well.

With the Kross-61, the action is okay, at best. With that said, I can still play on it, just as I can on the PA700 (which I think also has the same keybed as the Kross-61). I can say that on either action, my hands are not fatigued after hours of play. Maybe it is just me...

Grace,
Harry
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BarlesChukowski



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Originally I had basically decided on the Krome, but the more I looked into the Kronos it seemed like it was worth the extra 2K.

I think the above reassurance was what I needed, so much appreciated. Kronos it is. YOLO.

Last year GC had a $500 off Black Friday deal on every version of the Kronos, probably wishful thinking they will have it again this year, but hoping some deal will emerge that will help me save money on the Kronos + other gear.

Cheers!
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janrhansen
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: noob needs more advice: Kronos or not to Kronos Reply with quote

BarlesChukowski wrote:


--I can afford it, though saving money is still a consideration

--I can accept not figuring out a big chunk of the Kronos IF I am able to master basic sequencing, tweaking presets, etc., by no means am I looking to use this thing like a professional musician or even an advanced amateur

--I know DAW would be an option, but I really like the idea of doing the creating on a nice instrument, at least at first, so I'm pretty set on getting a workstation, also for performance at some point

--looking for the best semi-weighted keys out there (most interested in great synth sounds)...also willing to pay for an instrument that simply sounds better than most



If money isn't an issue, and from these statements

Have a look at either a Korg Pa series or Yamaha Genos/PSR-SX900

Unless you are really good at learning how the Kronos work and have lots of time and interest in advanced sound developing, I really think its trying shooting squirrels with a 20" Canon.

The arranger models is very advanced today and have more or less everything you need, and they sound great right out of the box and has a much easier workflow than the Kronos, wich is the only hazzle with the Kronos. Its really not a beginners keyboard.
Both Korg and Yamaha arrangers comes in both 61 and 73/76 key versions and have good keybeds if you go for the upper tier models. I agree Kross do not have a good keybed, but I really think the Kronos is way over your user level.
I am used to working with Korg Keyboards and I struggled just to get comfortable with the workflow. The Kronos is really not easy to work with and it has a very steep learning curve. You will use hours and hours getting comfortable with just basic workflow. If you have the posibility to try them out, do yourself a favour and use a couple hours with a Kronos and some headphones before buying. Unfortunately thats not always possible today to even find a local store that will have these models home as most smaller stores really can't afford to have multiple 4k+ keyboards on the shelves. wich they may have 6 month+ before the get sold.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: noob needs more advice: Kronos or not to Kronos Reply with quote

janrhansen wrote:
BarlesChukowski wrote:


--I can afford it, though saving money is still a consideration




If money isn't an issue, and from these statements

Have a look at either a Korg Pa series or Yamaha Genos/PSR-SX900

Unless you are really good at learning how the Kronos work and have lots of time and interest in advanced sound developing, I really think its trying shooting squirrels with a 20" Canon.

d.


I think thats good advice.

I am on the cautious side, I know of Kronos owners who bailed on their purchase after 6 months- 1 year.

plus messing up the file system, etc in the learning curve.

It has to be frustrating. Plus its an expensive venture.

Buying it new for $3500 plus loading up on non transfer 3rd Party libs.
Plus a larger SSD is practically a requirement.

Reselling a Kronos is not easy. Plus the owner will take a $1000 hit on re-sale.

If I was new to Korg stuff, I would weigh out the purchase. Kronos does not include training wheels. Self study and patience is required IMO.
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Docflick



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: noob needs more advice: Kronos or not to Kronos Reply with quote

[quote="janrhansen"]
BarlesChukowski wrote:

I am used to working with Korg Keyboards and I struggled just to get comfortable with the workflow. The Kronos is really not easy to work with and it has a very steep learning curve. You will use hours and hours getting comfortable with just basic workflow.


Indeed. Though I would change "hours and hours" to "months and months" (or even "years to years", depending on how much time in a given day you have to spend) to become really at ease with the UI of the Kronos.

I am on my second "go around" with the Kronos – the first time I got so frustrated that it took me so long to figure out how to do the most basic things that I sold it. But I missed its sound and capabilities, so I gave it another try. This time, I actually printed out and read the entire 300 pp. Operations Manual – and then used it to learn each mode of the Kronos.

It still is not "fun" to use (unlike the new Fantom) – but I actually can use it now, and accomplish what I need to on it. I would recommend anyone considering buying a K as well as a new owner to spend some time with the manual to see if they can make a go of it.
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