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Is the KingKORG a rubbish synth?

 
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mike3000



Joined: 07 May 2019
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:07 am    Post subject: Is the KingKORG a rubbish synth? Reply with quote

There is a lot of criticism and disparaging remarks on the web about the KingKORG being a cheaply built, rubbishy synth, and I would like to address this.

KingKORG, analog modelling synth released by Korg in 2013, is a very powerful and capable machine. I completely disagree that it is rubbishy. It is greatly underrated. Most critics of it have never spent time working with it and discovering its capabilities and beautiful smooth sounds. Just because it is analog modelling, i.e. virtual analog, doesn't diminish it as a synth. There is so much crap waffled on by synth nerds about analog being superior and "purer" than digital. Both have their value and are equally important in music production. Analog vs digital is a tired argument!

Korg are one of the top five synth manufacturers, having been in the industry for over 40 years, and like Moog Music, Roland, Clavia and Dave Smith Instruments, they make quality instruments. The KingKORG is one of those, and just because it doesn't have a grand piano quality keyboard and the mystical aftertouch, doesn't make it a "rubbish" synth. Aftertouch is greatly overrated and is often unnecessary when playing synth, and even an annoyance if it is built-in. Patches and presets often have their own preconfigured aftertouch-like effects and aftertouch built into a synth can interfere with and even spoil the playing of such presets. Besides, many synths without aftertouch, such as the KingKorg and the Prologue, have functions to create an aftertouch-like effect. An expression pedal is usually much more helpful than built-in aftertouch. By the way, most piano players I know are great keyboardists, but their pianos don't have aftertouch, they have expression pedals.
Also, the KingKORG was deliberately built lightweight to make it more portable and practical as a live stage synth. And lightweight doesn't necessarily mean crappy build. The KingKORG is in fact very robust and can take a lot of punishment, which is necessary for an on-the-road synth.

The joystick: The KingKORG doesn't have pitch and mod wheels to the left of the keyboard. It uses instead a joystick which controls pitch and the depth of modulation (expression). Moving the joystick in the left/right direction will control pitch bend, and moving it in the up/down direction will control modulation. You can even assign separate types of modulation to the upward and downward directions. It's very cool!

I use the Electribe 2 with my KingKORG for drums and rhythm, and the two work perfectly well together via MIDI connection. If I want to do some sequencing I connect my Arturia Keystep which has an excellent sequencer, and again the two work well together via MIDI with no problems.

Many keyboardists and music producers use the KingKORG in combination with the Korg Kronos music workstation as it expands on Kronos's limited synth capabilities and the two work well together.

I have loved my KingKORG BK (lovely black version) ever since I bought it in November 2016; it is my everyday synth and the centre of my rig.
To sum up, the KingKORG is a fabulous sounding and very versatile synth, particularly as a stage synth, and often sounds better in able hands than far more expensive true analog synths.
To give you some idea of the power and capability of the KingKORG check this out: https://youtu.be/VrokANj7DWk
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jeremykeys
Platinum Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 3018
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, my KingKorg is one of my favorite all time synths. I think it sounds fabulous! I too wish it got the love it so deserves. It sits right above my Kronos and underneath my Wavestation EX.

Here are some examples of things that I've done with my KingKorg and other synths.

https://youtu.be/SxbVJS_5ErM

https://youtu.be/C45NFtWjn5w

https://soundcloud.com/jeremykeys/king-korg-1

Hope you enjoy them and please, feel free to share them!

Jeremykeys
_________________
If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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jeremykeys
Platinum Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 3018
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anybody really thinks the KK is rubbish, then one listen to this sound set ought to change their minds very quickly. I'm not advertising it. I just stumbled across it and now I"m seriously thinking of purchasing it. Great sounds!

https://youtu.be/h-vE-EiX4ZA
_________________
If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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