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Is Kronos on it's way out?
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Kronos2ison
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long story short Im ready for what's next. Take money Korg.. lol Make me sell my Kronos and Modx
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tcornishmn
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kronos2ison wrote:
Hi thanks for the question as the info and specs are all over the internet. Please Google. I really am not here to disparage it's just fact. The cpu is Intel and uses a pc motherboard. Much like a very old discontinued technology "Netbook". Designed as a portable internet device.

The cpu is a Intel Atom D2500 introduced Q3 of 2011.


Hopefully this clarifies how outdated the technology is. No debate. As you can see here the i5 is yet a 4000 series and today's current i5 is a 8000 series with much more preformance. I also tried to find a piece of hardware that with similar performance as my only find was a Sony Playstaytion 1 from Dec of 1994 that's 4x more powerful.

I don't think anyone is arguing that it's an old CPU. The issue is if it matters, as the Kronos isn't a PC, but a single-purpose appliance.

I have dabbled with Mainstage and more recently Omnisphere running standalone. I have a maxed out late 2016 15" MacBook Pro (16GBRAM, 2TB HDD, external GPU, etc.) that due to Mainstage's ridiculously poor resource management gives me performance problems, as occasionally does Omnisphere, while the Kronos CPU which is significantly less powerful, never does (other than occasional polyphony stealing which is gracefully handled).

I too am hoping for an upgraded Kronos as there are a number of things I'd like to see improved, but I think it's a mistake to measure any hardware keyboard against a general-purpose PC as it's apples and bananas.

The Kronos is predictable and elegant. Soft synths are a disaster unless you spend many hours noodling just to make everything work.

I do some teaching on the side mostly for poor college students who try to go the Mainstage/generic controller route. It's miserable. Just putting the pieces together turns many folks away, not to mention actually being able to make enough patches with splits and layers to do a show without needing 300GB of RAM due to MS's utter lack of memory management (yes I know about aliases and global channel strips. They aren't solutions to the biggest issue of wanting to call up different sounds for each song). The Kronos is SOOO much less frustrating to work with; the same is true for nearly any hardware-based synth.

RE price drops, here's an interesting post by Dave Weiser formerly of Kurzweil on his time as product manager and lead sound designer for the PC3: http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2966870/Re_What_new_products_would_you#Post2966870

TLDR Dave says:

1. It's a tiny industry - no one makes any money. Back when I worked at Kurz I had to wait tables on the side and I was the product manager and lead sound programmer. Even the most successful hardware companies don't make huge bucks on keyboard sales. Any software engineer at a synth company is there because of LOVE; they could go down the road and easily make triple the salary at a medical devices company.

2. Because it's a tiny industry everything, every undertaking great or small, is MUCH harder and WAY more expensive than you'd think, due to the small scale. Smart phones and iPads are manufactured in the millions - this huge scale means that the components are priced way lower as they're purchased in bulk. And factories love big production runs. Kurzweil and most pro keyboards are produced in the thousands, tens of thousands if a product is a big success. (The biggest selling keyboards in history, the DX7 and M1, sold around 100,000 units 200,000 units respectively.) Factories hate small production runs. I was shocked when I sat in my first product development meetings at how freaking expensive every little component was. Choosing features was a horrible, painful process, with many "pound of flesh" decisions. Made me want to drink. A lot.

It is incredibly easy to spec a keyboard that ends up costing $9000. It requires amazing amounts of work and clever thinking for a badass keyboard to not end up costing over $5000.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="tcornishmn"]
Kronos2ison wrote:
Hi thanks for the question as the info and specs are all over the internet. P

TLDR Dave says:

1. It's a tiny industry - no one makes any money. Back when I worked at Kurz I had to wait tables on the side and I was the product manager and lead sound programmer. Even the most successful hardware companies don't make huge bucks on keyboard sales. Any software engineer at a synth company is there because of LOVE; they could go down the road and easily make triple the salary at a medical devices company.

2. Because it's a tiny industry everything, every undertaking great or small, is MUCH harder and WAY more expensive than you'd think, due to the small scale. Smart phones and iPads are manufactured in the millions - this huge scale means that the components are priced way lower as they're purchased in bulk. And factories love big production runs. Kurzweil and most pro keyboards are produced in the thousands, tens of thousands if a product is a big success. (The biggest selling keyboards in history, the DX7 and M1, sold around 100,000 units 200,000 units respectively.) Factories hate small production runs. I was shocked when I sat in my first product development meetings at how freaking expensive every little component was. Choosing features was a horrible, painful process, with many "pound of flesh" decisions. Made me want to drink. A lot.

It is incredibly easy to spec a keyboard that ends up costing $9000. It requires amazing amounts of work and clever thinking for a badass keyboard to not end up costing over $5000.


this is an excellent ' inside baseball ' view of a keyboard or MI company.

I always thought it was difficult but it sounds like herding cats. From my experience in tech as a Project Mgr, it was best to have a hard headed person in charge of news product development to cut down on all the wandering and rat holes of time and money.
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tcornishmn
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:

this is an excellent ' inside baseball ' view of a keyboard or MI company.

I always thought it was difficult but it sounds like herding cats. From my experience in tech as a Project Mgr, it was best to have a hard headed person in charge of news product development to cut down on all the wandering and rat holes of time and money.
This quote goes back to the dawn of OASYS. I don't remember if it was Jerry K or Dan who said it, but essentially just the LCD module on the OASYS cost more than the whole BOM of the Karma keyboard.

I'm not quite old enough to have been terribly aware of keyboards in the '80's, but for fun I've been reading about the Synclavier which ran from about 1977 - 1990. Basic systems started at around $30,000 in 1980's dollars; the system you really wanted was more like $100,000. Michael Jackson's Bad tour had $1,400,000 worth of Synclavier gear for performance and track playback.

There is a bit of straw grasping still going on that the Synclavier may have a feature or two that a keyboard like the Kronos doesn't, but in every way that isn't extremely esoteric, the Kronos does 10X more than the Synclavier for pennies on the dollar.

It's a good time to be a keyboard player, even if that means we're "forced" to use a 7-year old CPU. Smile
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GregC
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="tcornishmn"]
GregC wrote:

]This quote goes back to the dawn of OASYS. I don't remember if it was Jerry K or Dan who said it, but essentially just the LCD module on the OASYS cost more than the whole BOM of the Karma keyboard.

I'm not quite old enough to have been terribly aware of keyboards in the '80's, but for fun I've been reading about the Synclavier which ran from about 1977 - 1990. Basic systems started at around $30,000 in 1980's dollars; the system you really wanted was more like $100,000. Michael Jackson's Bad tour had $1,400,000 worth of Synclavier gear for performance and track playback.

There is a bit of straw grasping still going on that the Synclavier may have a feature or two that a keyboard like the Kronos doesn't, but in every way that isn't extremely esoteric, the Kronos does 10X more than the Synclavier for pennies on the dollar.


It's a good time to be a keyboard player, even if that means we're "forced" to use a 7-year old CPU. Smile


Some of us have been around for decades and have a grip on history, lets say, going back to the 70's. Now that you mention the OASYS Lcd, and the significant cost, that makes sense, if one recalls what tech was about back then.

I think many of us old timers [ I don't feel old] are grateful with what we have today. Folks that gig have great options. The tech and programming in keyboards has opened up a world of possibilities.

Just the same, its a business. We can love our boards but not be complacent.

These MI co's are often facing compromises. We should let our favorite keyboard cos where we stand on what is needed.

For example, I have no problem spending an extra $500 [$3500 vs $3000} on a
new and current keyboard if the extra $500 produces excellent or unique value.

IOW, its not about being cheap and locked in to some strict belief of what the MSRP is for market share.

A new/current pro keyboard is going to cost. I expect that.

A meat and potatoes keyboard for under $2000 is perfectly ok.
I am not as demanding on that board. It will likely have some compromises.

I see nothing wrong with Korg offering the new/current expensive keyboard for the demanding musician and offering the meat/potatoes board which fits
the budget and needs of that niche.

I know this is tricky business for the cos. Just the same, lets keep our expectations high.
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Kevbo



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now with the release of the SE, makes me wonder how many more years they are going to keep pushing the KRONOS.

I don't own one, but would love to get a Kronos. My issue here is that it's been 8 years now. Let's say I purchase the SE next month, and then Korg finally steps up and releases their next flagship next year, probably around $4,000 again, and with modern components and a much better interface....I will have buyer's remorse like you wouldn't believe.

I just wish Korg was more open about their potential projects, and if they have none, let us know there won't be any new flagships anytime soon. Buying an SE now knowing there wouldn't be a Kronos successor for at least four or five years....I can stand by that and by okay with my purchase.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevbo wrote:


I just wish Korg was more open about their potential projects, and if they have none, let us know there won't be any new flagships anytime soon. Buying an SE now knowing there wouldn't be a Kronos successor for at least four or five years....I can stand by that and by okay with my purchase.


Hi, I have addressed your concerns in other post topics.

without a doubt Kronos owners are enthusiastic.

Its your personal risk assessment about the purchase. No one can persuade your personal choice. There is zero information about any future uber great Korg workstation. No promise, no info. Nothing.

And it will stay that way. Korg and its employees will not say one iota.

How do you know that a nothing workstation will fit your music production needs ? No one can predict the future here.

I am not much for being excited about a ' shiny new thing ' that is nothing today.

If it helps, I have outlined the current value of a 2011 Kronos in our other post exchange. Refer to that for more info.
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Bachus
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kronos2ison wrote:
Long story short Im ready for what's next. Take money Korg.. lol Make me sell my Kronos and Modx


Actually i had a good deal making €1800 for my orriginal Kronos1 88 and buying a used MODX8 for €1300. Buying used is allways a smart thing.

If Korg releases a new workstation, i will not suffer the pricedrop of used gear..

Kronos is an incredible instrument, but i never used 90% of what it had to offer, and creating Dedicated karma was way to timeconsuming to get into..

What makes Yamahs modx shine is the accesible interface and the ease of use for creating performances, sounds and arps..


Whenever korg releases a kronos replacement, i guess they know how to make great interfaces too, oasys was lightyears ahead of its time, and the gadgets intrface really works well ...




But then, modx with an ipad and my mac running bitwig/logic/mainstage/reason.. komplete/omnisphere/diva/v-collection/gadget
Really works miracles... looking forward to bitwig 3.0...
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Weiser wrote:
1. It's a tiny industry - no one makes any money. Back when I worked at Kurz I had to wait tables on the side and I was the product manager and lead sound programmer. Even the most successful hardware companies don't make huge bucks on keyboard sales. Any software engineer at a synth company is there because of LOVE; they could go down the road and easily make triple the salary at a medical devices company.

2. Because it's a tiny industry everything, every undertaking great or small, is MUCH harder and WAY more expensive than you'd think, due to the small scale. Smart phones and iPads are manufactured in the millions - this huge scale means that the components are priced way lower as they're purchased in bulk. And factories love big production runs. Kurzweil and most pro keyboards are produced in the thousands, tens of thousands if a product is a big success. (The biggest selling keyboards in history, the DX7 and M1, sold around 100,000 units 200,000 units respectively.) Factories hate small production runs. I was shocked when I sat in my first product development meetings at how freaking expensive every little component was. Choosing features was a horrible, painful process, with many "pound of flesh" decisions. Made me want to drink. A lot.

It is incredibly easy to spec a keyboard that ends up costing $9000. It requires amazing amounts of work and clever thinking for a badass keyboard to not end up costing over $5000.


I suspect Korg doesn't have the resources or will to create a next generation Kronos because of the reasons Dave Weiser stated above.

I'm guessing the engineer that created the whole Volca to Minilogue XD lineage was their last great innovator. Too bad he left korg a few years ago.

Seems all the big keyboard companies are short on this kind of talent anymore. The best they can hope to do is re-package their old tech. The real innovators are in the software world.
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ponkine
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have they ever thought about creating a partnership with Spectrasonics?

Together they could easily put THE truly landmark, greatest ever Workstation in terms of functionality AND sounds

After all, the Omnisphere 2 does include integration for Korg's Milogue, Monologue and Prologue

Imagine Keyscape soundlibrary on a "Kronos 3". Plus a selection of the finest from Omnisphere 2 and Bob Moog Tribute ... Holy God! that alone would put all the competition to shame!

And of course, with all Kronos technology, more flexibility to edit things, and a new, FRIENDLY User Interface

Sounds Good
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GregC
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
[quo

It is incredibly easy to spec a keyboard that ends up costing $9000. It requires amazing amounts of work and clever thinking for a badass keyboard to not end up costing over $5000.[/i]


I suspect Korg doesn't have the resources or will to create a next generation Kronos because of the reasons Dave Weiser stated above.

I'm guessing the engineer that created the whole Volca to Minilogue XD lineage was their last great innovator. Too bad he left korg a few years ago.

Seems all the big keyboard companies are short on this kind of talent anymore. The best they can hope to do is re-package their old tech. The real innovators are in the software world.[/quote]

All of the above makes sense.

Looking at what new products Korg offers year after year tell us they have changed their priorities. They have a team[ under 10 ?] of engineers I am sure but they are concentrated on the new product development, across different platforms and sub categories.

I think a new w/s would involve a massive commitment of engineering resources, sort of like betting all your money on 1 number on the roulette wheel. I don't see Korg doing this.

They have changed some years ago. Korg is not a w/s company[anymore] .

Look at the various new products they have launched in the past few years-
thats who they are. The SE and LS are not ' new '. They are variations on a theme from 2011. This is as good as it gets.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for curiosity and fun I've read the story of the development of the OASYS and am baffled how far it went on sound and design let to the Kronos.

I'm amazed how Korg keep rejuvenating things to get better I'm seeing it on the Kross ,Krome and PA with EDS. A programmable miniloque to create you're own oscillator.

I have a wild imagination but to figure out the next sound synthesis , didn't even understand the phrase "all that beneed you're finger tips".

I know one thing "I'm the creator and the vindicator of my sounds" just have to choose what to use.
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Mr_SamDoogie
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for curiosity and fun I've read the story of the development of the OASYS and am baffled how far it went on sound and design let to the Kronos.

I'm amazed how Korg keep rejuvenating things to get better I'm seeing it on the Kross ,Krome and PA with EDS. A programmable miniloque to create you're own oscillator.

I have a wild imagination but to figure out the next sound synthesis , didn't even understand the phrase "all that beneed you're finger tips".

I know one thing "I'm the creator and the vindicator of my sounds" just have to choose what to use.
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Kevin Nolan
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr_SamDoogie wrote:
Just for curiosity and fun I've read the story of the development of the OASYS and am baffled how far it went on sound and design let to the Kronos.

I'm amazed how Korg keep rejuvenating things to get better I'm seeing it on the Kross ,Krome and PA with EDS. A programmable miniloque to create you're own oscillator.

I have a wild imagination but to figure out the next sound synthesis , didn't even understand the phrase "all that beneed you're finger tips".

I know one thing "I'm the creator and the vindicator of my sounds" just have to choose what to use.



At one stage in the mid-noughties the OASYS forum was all this forum was about. For those of us owning an OASYS, it was a golden era. IF you look at the OASYS forum from about 2005 - 2008 you'll barely see a negative post - we were all one big blissful family.

Korg could do no wrong. About a dozen of us were even contacted by Korg to become beta testers - where we'd receive the latest OS, EXi and EXf releases and test them to the hilt. I was involved in beta testing several OS releases and the MS20, Polisix, and MOD7 EXi's.

But then it all started to unravel from around 2008 onwards. Firstly Korg released a survey which relied heavily on OASYS user responses - where the overwhelming demand was for extra GUI based edit-ability of sequences.

And when that particular feature appeared on the M3 - but not as an OASYS update (and intriguingly the Kronos still not with that feature and still worse than he M3 in that regard), it infuriated many.

Increasingly, many also felt aggrieved that there wasn't any 3rd party development going on (after all it's called an Open Architecture SYnthesiS instrument.

I personally disagreed with all negative comments and defended Korg to the hilt. I felt that even with the huge outlay to buy an OASYS, that Korg didn't "owe" us anything - that the sequencer was still the best of the workstations around at the time and that the open architecture idea is what enabled Korg to be able to develop such an amazing instrument with all of its amazing Korg updates.

But then, out of the blue, the OASYS was cancelled, and all development on it ceased. Communications with Korg (over the forums) all but shut down, and what had been this once-in-a-life amazing virtual environment between Korg and it's (OASYS) users for 3 to 4 years was over. Many felt even betrayed because remember an OASYS was costing between $5000 - $8000 to buy so may expected years more development.

Even then I personally felt I understood that all instruments come to an end at some point or other and gave Korg the benefit of the doubt.

But what infuriated me in the end (and I curiously found myself alone in this feeling which to this day I can't fathom) - was that within a year or two, Korg announced the Kronos - but - despite what you say correctly in spotting that the Kronos was simply a re-branded OASYS in a cheaper chassis and with extra pianos and live-modes - in ALL the blurb - which included posters showing the lineage of the Workstation from the M1 to the Kronos - Korg choose to leave the OASYS out of the picture.

Not one iota of a mention of the OASYS - whatsoever - in any of the Kronos original launch promos or blurb. Not a single mention.

Korg basically erased the existence of the OASYS out of their own history books - as if it didn't exist - and that's the way it is to this day! I believe they did this so as to exonerate themselves of any sense of responsibility to cater for the OASYS community when offering what were in effect OASYS updates in a new branded instrument.

So to me, even though I still to this day use two OASYS 88's - feel sad that Korg themselves have chosen to totally disregard THE most innovative instrument they ever released - pretending to themselves that it never happened - all to safeguard any remote requirement of having to spend a few bucks if OASYS users cried foul when seeing the Kronos' added features.

I often wonder how those in Korg who were there from the outset of the OASYS invention, R&D and development into their most innovative product feel about Korg having eradicated it from their own history books. It must be strange to have your work essentially erased by the company you work for.

And it's why to this day I come on this forum and respond to people who call for core updates the the Kronos; where I consistently argue (and have been found to be correct0 - that Korg will never, ever update the core of the Kronos capability - because development of that effectively shutdown around 2008 - before even the OASYS ended - those of os owning an OASYS witnessed that lock down of development - and Korg have not changed one iota of the features of any engine, effect, sequencer, and so forth since even before the Kronos was released.

Sure there have been huge and meaningful add-ons in so many ways - but - the core OS and synth and sequencer engine feature set and capability have not changes in 11 years and are likely never to.

Overall the Kronos is an amazing instrument - from a feature set it is the pinnacle of workstation development in the history of synthesis (though the OASYS hardware feature set quality and ergonomics remain the pinnacle of Workstations from a physicality stand point) - but behind the development of the Kronos is the chequered and curious development and history of the OASYS, by now long since erased from the "history of KORG" - by KORG themselves!

Kevin.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin Nolan wrote:
[qu

1)I often wonder how those in Korg who were there from the outset of the OASYS invention, R&D and development into their most innovative product feel about Korg having eradicated it from their own history books. It must be strange to have your work essentially erased by the company you work for.

2) And it's why to this day I come on this forum and respond to people who call for core updates the the Kronos; where I consistently argue (and have been found to be correct0 - that Korg will never, ever update the core of the Kronos capability - because development of that effectively shutdown around 2008 - before even the OASYS ended - those of os owning an OASYS witnessed that lock down of development - and Korg have not changed one iota of the features of any engine, effect, sequencer, and so forth since even before the Kronos was released.

Sure there have been huge and meaningful add-ons in so many ways - but - the core OS and synth and sequencer engine feature set and capability have not changes in 11 years and are likely never to.

) - but behind the development of the Kronos is the chequered and curious development and history of the OASYS, by now long since erased from the "history of KORG" - by KORG themselves!

Kevin.


Hey Kevin, I appreciate your effort to document what went down during and after the OASYS time line.

Like many, I was not on the front line. And I value history. I often rant how history is forgotten. Thank you for preserving it.

1) This point resonates . For all the affection to Korg, we have to question the soul and conscious of the decision makers. If they adequately communicated to the OASYS community that would have helped.

2) About Kronos core updates. I have finally come around to your thinking. It will not happen and it was never planned to happen. All that speculation over the years- went nowhere.

What we have and see is as good as it gets. I enjoy my 8 yr old Kronos everyday. I will leave wishfull thinking to other folks.
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