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Kronos the last workstation or not
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Rich Z
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I dunno, but seems to me that Korg HAS to create new products that people want to buy, otherwise they go out of business. Would do them no good to be wearing the crown of King of the Workstations if they went bankrupt because they just stopped putting new stuff out to shake money out of customers' wallets. Every current Kronos owner is a potential customer for something newer and better that Korg comes out with. They know this and certainly can't afford to ignore that truism. They are in the BUSINESS of selling merchandise, not collecting crowns.

And why give the competition the opportunity to catch up by just sitting on their hands basking in the glory of being the best (so far)? Do you think the competition has just given up and not secretly working on something to take the WS crown away from Korg? They don't want to be that "also ran" company for long. And the competition KNOWS what it is they have to beat, so they have a target that is apparently sitting still just waiting for the kill shot.

Heck, from what I have read here, a lot of people would be willing to buy the new Korg Kronos 3 if it did little more than boot up in 10 seconds rather than the eternity it now takes. As it is, I turn on the Kronos, then walk out of the building and go do something else for a while until it boots up. I used to do that with my PCs and laptops till going to much faster systems with NVMe SSDs. No reason at all why this technology can't be implemented into a new Kronos (or whatever they want to call it).

So, like I said, I certainly don't know what they have in mind, but Korg doesn't strike me as a particularly stupid company not aware of a buying public chomping at the bit to spend their money with them. IF only Korg lets them.

IMHO.
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runningman67
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Workstation with analogue section maybe? WiFi and iPad type screen? Cool
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Lightbringer
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich Z wrote:

Heck, from what I have read here, a lot of people would be willing to buy the new Korg Kronos 3 if it did little more than boot up in 10 seconds rather than the eternity it now takes. As it is, I turn on the Kronos, then walk out of the building and go do something else for a while until it boots up. I used to do that with my PCs and laptops till going to much faster systems with NVMe SSDs. No reason at all why this technology can't be implemented into a new Kronos (or whatever they want to call it).


I'm just not sure how much better this would be in a new workstation. The K already has an SSD, which is one of the biggest bottlenecks in boot time.

My iPad Pro "feels" like it boots up instantly but that's because it's really only the display that ever gets turned off. If you actually power down and cold boot it, it probably takes almost as long as the Kronos.

My Windows 10 machine boots in about 10 seconds. But if I want to make music with it, then I have to load up my DAW. Then I have to load up a plugin. If the plugin is a sampler, then the samples have to load.

Kronos boot time seems pretty reasonable to me because once it's done, every sound in it, including huge multi-gig sample libs, are ready to go without further wait! Personally I'd rather have the wait up front and use it to go fetch a drink than be constantly interrupted with smaller wait times as I move from program to program. Smile
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich Z wrote:
Well, I dunno, but seems to me that Korg HAS to create new products that people want to buy, otherwise they go out of business. Would do them no good to be wearing the crown of King of the Workstations if they went bankrupt because they just stopped putting new stuff out to shake money out of customers' wallets.

And why give the competition the opportunity to catch up by just sitting on their hands basking in the glory of being the best (so far)? Do you think the competition has just given up and not secretly working on something to take the WS crown away from Korg? They don't want to be that "also ran" company for long. And the competition KNOWS what it is they have to beat, so they have a target that is apparently sitting still just waiting for the kill shot.

Heck, from what I have read here, a lot of people would be willing to buy the new Korg Kronos 3 if it did little more than boot up in 10 seconds rather than the eternity it now takes. As it is, I turn on the Kronos, then walk out of the building and go do something else for a while until it boots up. I used to do that with my PCs and laptops till going to much faster systems with NVMe SSDs. No reason at all why this technology can't be implemented into a new Kronos (or whatever they want to call it).

So, like I said, I certainly don't know what they have in mind, but Korg doesn't strike me as a particularly stupid company not aware of a buying public chomping at the bit to spend their money with them. IF only Korg lets them.

IMHO.


griping about 1 minute 40 boot up time, is Internet griping from 6 yrs ago. Most musicians understand many samples are large and take boot up time no matter what the device. And the samples I like vs the samples you like are going to vary. We all like our choices.

The Kronos has some competition, much cheaper if you combine a keyboard , like an FA with your PC or Laptop DAW. The instant gratification of that does
not exactly compare to a $3000-$3500 Kronos 2.

I wouldn't lose any sleep about Korg going out of business . Ever. I bet they are making a financial killing. They are practically printing many benjamins in profit from each sale of a K2. A machine that dates back to 2011. Amazing long run for a product. Most have noticed that Korg Japan makes/sells many other products. Many of them innovative and interesting. While we obsess over Kronos its not the only number on the financial statement.

Yes, its all about profit. Nothing new there. Where the business risk is is 'product transition '. An expensive and popular keyboard product has 1000's of existing customers. Some from 2011 and some from yesterday.

a company like Korg doing an EOL on a $3500 w/s is going to get howls and high blood pressure from most of that population of owners.

EOL on Kronos is the Elephant in the Room. Most know its there. But why look at it if you can ignore it ?

Thus, Korg keeps the 7 year old Kronos train rolling down the tracks. Its the better alternative.

And developing a new/expensive W/s model is risky, complex. A batch of bad
components can almost sink the new product/halt sales and create stigma. You saw that here loudly over 6 years ago.

Product transition + doing a new and robust and expensive w/s model is not straightforward and simple. Thats what all the data tells me.
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Rich Z
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:

Thus, Korg keeps the 7 year old Kronos train rolling down the tracks.


Ah, but is the current Kronos train REALLY still "rolling down the tracks" into Korg's future marketing plans?

When was the last update for the Kronos? A year ago? Does that mean that Korg believes that they have fixed all the bugs and deficiencies and no further updates are needed, or they just have more important projects to allocate resources to now? If the later, then what might those projects be? A new WS, perhaps?

Speculation, I know, but that is what this particular discussion is about, is it not?
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich Z wrote:
GregC wrote:

Thus, Korg keeps the 7 year old Kronos train rolling down the tracks.


1)Ah, but is the current Kronos train REALLY still "rolling down the tracks" into Korg's future marketing plans?

2)When was the last update for the Kronos? A year ago? Does that mean that Korg believes that they have fixed all the bugs and deficiencies and no further updates are needed, or

3) they just have more important projects to allocate resources to now? If the later, then what might those projects be? A new WS, perhaps?

Speculation, I know, but that is what this particular discussion is about, is it not?


Absolutely. This has to be thoroughly discussed with some facts, to get some understanding.

Kong will never share their plans with us. You will not see their employees post here. Those days are gone.

1) I am not smart enough to read the future more than 1 yr or 2 yrs out. My guess is nothing zero this year on any new robust W/s. The k2 is selling, Korg makes money, everyone is happy. No change.

2) last update was over 1 yr ago. There are no bugs to stomp out. We are well past the 1 year anniversary of the last OS update.

So there is no " new feature ' update via a new OS. everyone wants some new feature(s) for free on an OS upgrade. I say ' not gonna happen '. Why ? The tech is 7 yrs old , polyphony is maxed out, thus, I see no ' head room '
for significant free features. Kronos needs to be stable- thats the #1 priority.
Thats what I prefer- a stable W/s. Not something that crashes every day.

3) NAMM 2018 told me what Korgs priority is. I am not surprised. Thats the way they roll. Buy IOS apps, buy a Prologue. Its all about their new products for 2018.

Trying to imagine anything 2019 and later seems tenuous. Tech and software is evolving rapidly.

Korg will always be a keyboard player , a factor in everyone's rig. I don't doubt that.

I have my requirements for recording and song writing today. Not much for waiting around every month, dealing with limits due to old tech.

Every keyboard player has his requirements and preferences and budget. Lots of variation on this.
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runningman67
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing with the Kronos is it’s near perfect.
The only thing they can improve on are features.
Having owned the original Kronos and now the Kronos 2. It still feels modern and complete. It will be a tough act to follow, so a new Workstation would have to have radical feature changes and improvements, if that is possible.

Plus, the price point has to be similar.

I’m really curious to see how the Waldorf Quantum sells.
For that money you can buy a Kronos and a Prologue.

Idea
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Koekepan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kronos is great.

But there are a few things that I would add in a heartbeat, if I could.

Higher audio definition is a big one if you're going to do a lot of manipulations on sound. Bits and herz mean flexibility. 192KHz and 32 bits would be solid.

And, for the love of all that's holy, pianoroll - ideally with an arranger section that permits you to put sections offset with respect to each other. It's not a new idea, and people have been crying out for it for ages.

And yes, more polyphony - although I suppose putting synth tracks into mixdown data would be a way of stretching its legs.

The synth engine thing is cool, but of course with MIDI out you can have all the synth engines you want and your wallet can stand, so that's more of a live play than a studio argument.
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studio460
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think GregC and others here make some excellent points. Korg must be making a ton of money on their sample players, entry-level synths, and accessory product lines (e.g., how many tuners can one manufacturer make?).

A high-end workstation is a much lower-margin product with a ton of up-front investment. That is, until the R&D has been amortized and its production streamlined (for which now, Kronos' eight-year-old production run puts it handily into that category). So every Kronos unit-sale now, must surely be almost pure gravy.

My guess is that in the spirit of the 'LS' and the upcoming gold edition, NAMM 2019 may only bring more of the same (slight cosmetic re-fresh). Perhaps NAMM 2020 will bring a new flagship workstation. (Of course, since I just plunked down a pile of cash this morning on a new Kronos 88, I hope it's not next week!). But if nothing's broke . . .
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danmusician
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2 cents on the long startup time:

1. I don't like it either, but I try to keep it in perceptive. 2 minutes isn't that long to wait to do great things. Unless, of course, you're on stage with an audience staring at you and bandmates waiting for you. Then 2 minutes feels like 2 years. I only had that happen once - in December, 2011. Since then, I always use UPS and thankfully haven't dealt with it on stage again.

2. Back in the 1980s, as a new teacher, I was taking a technology course from the state dept. of ed designed to help teachers take advantage of emerging tech. I remember the presenter showing us a gradebook program for the Apple II. He demonstrated all that it could do and told us that it would save us hours and hours of work, but he couldn't recommend it. Why? It took 5 minutes to load. It seemed pretty reasonable to me that I might wait 5 minutes to save multiple hours. I remind myself of that when I start up my Kronos. All the power of that machine comes at the cost of a little patience.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

studio460 wrote:
I think GregC and others here make some excellent points. Korg must be making a ton of money on their sample players, entry-level synths, and accessory product lines (e.g., how many tuners can one manufacturer make?).

A high-end workstation is a much lower-margin product with a ton of up-front investment. That is, until the R&D has been amortized and its production streamlined (for which now, Kronos' eight-year-old production run puts it handily into that category). So every Kronos unit-sale now, must surely be almost pure gravy.

. . .


That underlines the dollars and cents of what drives a co like Korg.

I was looking for a 2nd board last Oct/Nov ( in the US). as retail goes its all about capturing sales and volume before Xmas.

Roland was 'promotional' throwing money around in discounts to stimulate sales. On new and 2 year new keyboards. But only for 2 weeks. Then the window shut.

Korg was not promotional on a factory new Kronos ( unless I missed it). And the reasons are usually; they don't have to. they don't want to. the margin at retail is already razor thin, lets say 10%.

And when a new Kronos gets returned to a retailer, 30-45 days, there is cost to that. Its no longer a new keyboard. The margin is gone. the commission is gone.

Thus cos (IMO) have tightened up on wheeling and dealing on expensive gear.

They are more interested in keeping the retail marketplace stable and predictable.

Kong wants to support a healthy retail channel. The retailers are important partners for Korg.

Our passion for the Kronos and Korg products is always a business.

So my theory, is that Korg is enjoying the benjamins in year 7 at their Factory/manufacturer level. After some G & A expenses, that bunch or margin is going to product R & D. We will never know exactly where, and what the plans are.

The plan for 2018 is baked in the cake. What you see is what you get. 2019
is far away from a tech/software/marketplace perspective. My crystal ball is cloudy for 2019.

Personally I am set for hardware/software for the year and have a long list of projects to get done. It is all about making great music 2018. Best of times for us keyboard players, for that, IMO.
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studio460
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danmusician wrote:
My 2 cents on the long startup time:

1. I don't like it either, but I try to keep it in perceptive. 2 minutes isn't that long to wait to do great things . . . All the power of that machine comes at the cost of a little patience.

Have you ever booted a Fantom X? Holy cow! That thing took weeks to boot up and load your samples. And, the X wouldn't even know how to to load the right samples for your song—you had to load them manually (that's why I traded it in for a Fantom G a year later). If it takes two minutes to reach Valhalla, I guess I'm in. My other synths take a minute or two anyway.


Last edited by studio460 on Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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studio460
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:
Personally I am set for hardware/software for the year and have a long list of projects to get done. It is all about making great music 2018.

Yup! Me too! (Famous last words!). I'm not as young as I was in 2008, and who knows how much time I have left on this planet. I bought the Kronos in a snap-decision made in one night so that I can enjoy it NOW. (Of course, I'm not dumb—I never make a major synth purchase anywhere close to January).

My addiction to Roland was no accident—I happen to live right near one of Roland's B-stock guys, and he kept giving these insane deals (e.g., 50%-off mail order prices!). But as you say, Korg doesn't have to discount. I knew I would eventually kick the Roland habit and migrate toward Korg. They've always had some of the most interesting instruments on the market.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

studio460 wrote:
GregC wrote:
Personally I am set for hardware/software for the year and have a long list of projects to get done. It is all about making great music 2018.

Yup! Me too! (Famous last words!). I'm not as young as I was in 2008, and who knows how much time I have left on this planet. I bought the Kronos in a snap-decision made in one night so that I can enjoy it NOW..


you just echoed 2 of my message songs on SoundCloud:

YOLO- You Only Live Once. Your quick decision for a K is an example of the importance of the immediacy of life. Do important things today, IOW.
Enjoy life Now.

Cocktail Bar in the Sky- is my musical message about facing our mortality.
Because 1 day, we will all meet ,,, in the Cocktail Bar in the Sky ( heaven)

I am not pimping my stuff.

Just very cool how musical minds think alike.
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Lightbringer
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to consider is that the Kronos boot time is customizable. Going into global sample management page and un-checking preload.ksc will shave around a minute off the boot time. The tradeoff is that any programs that rely on factory samples won't work until you do the sample load procedure for that program. But you can create a custom KSC file to automatically load only samples for the programs you use.

I will speculate that you might get even more boot time efficiency by customizing banks - leaving un-needed slots set at an init state?

I'm using the Kronos as a studio instrument at the moment and don't have any interest in doing this. The boot time is a non-issue for me, and I'd rather have every factory sound immediately available. I could see where this might be worthwhile though if you are mainly gigging and only use the same 20-40 sounds every night and don't need all 2000 factory sounds to be ready to go at the press of a button.

EDIT: I don't know - even if I were currently gigging I don't know that I'd fool with it. There's the situation where you lose power and have to reboot, and that can feel like an eternity for sure. But the UPS as mentioned above is really the best cure for that. The other situation I've in is a multi-band line up. If you're in the middle of the pack, you can definitely feel the pressure to set up quickly. But even then, I don't know that 2 minutes is really a show stopper...
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