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Is Kronos on it's way out?
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Kevin Nolan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Greg -

I suppose I should qualify a little - while around the time of the Kronos release it is the case where Korg were in strategic denial about the OASYS - for example they really did release a poster / image with all their workstations from the M1, minus the OASYS, it's probably fair to say that in the fullness of time they have been referring to the OASYS as part of their history, so it's unfair of me to say it has been totally deleted from their history. But it was a genuine huge surprise to me how much they dropped / ignored it during the launch of Kronos. I personally felt very annoyed by it - not actually because I felt Korg owed the OASYS community anything - just simply because the OASYS was / is a stunning instrument.

I genuinely believe that still today, apart from the Kronos, it's the best workstation there is, period. It's staggering how good it is. I'm re-embarking (or is that embarking) on a comprehensive read of the OASYS documentation currently - and every page turned blows my mind as to how capable the OASYS is. The level of detail and finesse in every aspect of it is jaw-dropping.

So to then basically be in denial of its existence - it beggars belief. I know now it was a strategy at the time to make a clean start; because it is arguable that the OASYS may not have been a financial success, and considering the amount of R&D put into it, they likely had to make a clean start with Kronos.

And lets face it - what a start! Even as not a Kronos owner (yet) - there is no denying how staggering it still is. And apart from the Kronos' amazing advancements with pianos and live performance, as with OASYS, the detail in the synth engines among the plethora of other features is still truly stunning.

I was just reading the 'overview' of MOD-7 the other day, and the feeling evoked was like when buying a new synth. It's a polyphonic, modular, virtual instrument that can be a Virtual Analogue synth, or an FM synth, or an RCM synth as with the SY77/99 by incorporating PCM samples into FM algorithms - for starters! An it goes on and on from there - AMS, True Polyphonic Voice Architecture, Vector Synthesis, Wave shaping, Wave Sequencing, Karma - all built right into the MOD-7 engine. You could, literally, spend your entire life as a synthesist exploring just that one synthesiser engine, and never get to the end of it. And it's one of 7 synthesiser engines on board! mind blowing.

The likes of Korg may likely never put so much effort into synth engines like that again and then effectively 'unleash' them to a user base. Why? Because they are so flexible and deep as engines that the user base can rarely, if ever, appreciate their depth and breath.

Instead, I believe that the likes of Gadget is the way forward for Korg from cost-of-development stand point - release smaller devices (at a cheaper cost) each capable of a small part of what any one synth-engine in OASYA / Kronos is capable of.


I really believe this. I think this is the case for Yamaha and Roland too. Consider the EX5 by Yamaha - containing at the time an unprecedented 4 stunning technologies (PCM, AN, VL and FDSP) - yet - it got lambasted when it was released.

Similarly - the Roland Jupiter 80 has awesome technology on board - no less than 77 acoustic instrument behavioural models in the Supernatural Acoustic engine, and then the Supernatural Synth engine at 256 note polyphony - but once again the instrument was a flop and yet again they got slaughtered by the user base when released - largely because they used the "Jupiter" name.

So I genuinely believe the big three got sick and tired of releasing ever more sophisticated and all encompassing instruments, only to find themselves being heavily criticised by the user base for all the things they weren't doing.

A similar case in point is the release of preset libraries for these instruments - free gratis. On several occasions Korg released very extensive and detailed preset libraries for the OASYS - on one occasion hundreds of programs and on another occasion hundreds of effects presets - and - they were barely thanked for it. Those events came and went as if it was nothing. It must have been very disheartening for those in Korg who put all of that effort in.

So I personally look back on the era from the M1 to the OASYS - or XP80 to Fantom G series, or Yamaha SY77 to the EX5 - as an era where the objective of each company was to make every new workstation ever more far-reaching - but - with little thanks; and perhaps ultimately unsustainable from R&D cost perspectives.

And why perhaps all of Korg, Roland and Yamaha in particular are focused on little devices, with singular features and very low voice counts.

Anyway I'm rabbiting on. I'll finish on this - I also genuinely think Korg deserve huge credit for not only continuing with the Kronos - but - retaining within it so many of the operating system features that started back in the M1, T3 and O1W - so that today even a person who last used, say, a T3 and now approached a Kronos, would be familiar with a lot of the fundamentals. They have maintained an amazing lineage over 30 years while also updating and the workstation paradigm to the extent that the Kronos can take on the cutting-edge Nord-Stages and Electros of this world in earnest.

But as you say, it would have helped for sure had Korg been more communicative with the OASYS community near the end of that product - what was a true golden era where the OASYS and Korgforums worked in perfect sympathy for about 3-4 years and which has never quite repeated itself.

Fingers crossed Korg will believe in their own invention - the Workstation - to bring it meaningfully and powerfully forward in the years to come.
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SeedyLee
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, Greg.
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Bachus
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SeedyLee wrote:
Well said, Greg.


So basically this is it...
The Kronos is he end of an era...
The inal cummulatif experience...

I think, its obvious why after these last few posts..
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voip
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not the end of an era, but an era that we're in right now, and the better for it :-)
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BobTheDog
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did they ever make a profit from the Kronos do we think?

Pretty sure they didn't from the Oasis but I guess we can take the development cost of that and add it to the Kronos developments costs and ask the same question, did they make a profit when both are combined?

Both these instruments are incredibly complex, the development cost must have been pretty big.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voip wrote:
It's not the end of an era, but an era that we're in right now, and the better for it Smile


true, but in terms of 'all in one work station time line' I am of the opinion , we are near the end.

That said, we are still experiencing what I consider the ' golden age ' of the all in one.

Why so ? Because we can still buy the SE or 2015 Kronos today, and immensely enjoy it. as long as Korg has this assembly line moving we are in the golden age.

But, I expect nothing from Korg in terms of core improvement, blah blah. I believe Korg is being very careful if you examine their NAMM new products over the past 2 years. I suspect Korg has other priorities.

From a business standpoint, you have to expect a Korg or a Roland to have their own priorities and be very careful , minimalistic, esp on a high cost product
keyboard that has been picked away at by software, cheap alternatives, etc etc.

If Kronos was a $500 keyboard, Korg would roll the dice. No problem with low cost stuff. But a complex $3300- $3900 product that might require some part replacement in 10 years ? Thats an entirely different business scenario vs
the $500-$1500 stuff that Korg is pumping out.
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Last edited by GregC on Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobTheDog wrote:
Did they ever make a profit from the Kronos do we think?

Pretty sure they didn't from the Oasis but I guess we can take the development cost of that and add it to the Kronos developments costs and ask the same question, did they make a profit when both are combined?


Both these instruments are incredibly complex, the development cost must have been pretty big.


Thats impossible to answer unless we see all the #'s and for how many years they amortized Oasys [ and prior] + Kronos 'development costs.

Anyway, I doubt Korg or a Roland would bother with any product that did not make sustain a profit long term or short term.

let say Korg made 'adequate ' profit or 'some' profit with Kronos. That is only 1 factor.

I note that Korg has hung tough on Kronos retail price.

Korg has to set a reserve for parts coverage looking forward 10 or more years. Look inside the K-, the LCD, the key-bed, the Atom processor, the various buttons and dials and joystick etc etc.

And what about the overall market place ? What about gigging keyboardists using MainStage for $30 on their laptops with select VST's or even IOS solutions ? I would expect a lot of scrutiny by a gigging keyboard player before spending
$3300-$3900. Plus even more 3rd party sample libs.

Will the home studio musician { this is me] continue spending $3300-$3900 of a work station that requires 3rd party sample libs ?

Is the Kronos unit sale curve declining year after year ? What do you think the trend is ? You are the CEO or CFO of Korg. What kind of unit sales curve are they seeing ?

Another factor is the total Kronos in the marketplace[in dealer/disti inventory] around the world. To track that # every quarter would be a very important trend number IMO.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading The Manual Kronos MOD-7 >> Montage FM-X... Cool

Kevin Nolan wrote:
I was just reading the 'overview' of MOD-7 the other day, and the feeling evoked was like when buying a new synth. It's a polyphonic, modular, virtual instrument that can be a Virtual Analogue synth, or an FM synth, or an RCM synth as with the SY77/99 by incorporating PCM samples into FM algorithms - for starters! An it goes on and on from there - AMS, True Polyphonic Voice Architecture, Vector Synthesis, Wave shaping, Wave Sequencing, Karma - all built right into the MOD-7 engine. You could, literally, spend your entire life as a synthesist exploring just that one synthesiser engine, and never get to the end of it. And it's one of 7 synthesiser engines on board! mind blowing.


Amen, brother! MOD-7 is a whole beast in itself, beyond FM, Vector Synthesis, and waveshaping:

- additive synthesis with those 8 operators and 9 envelopes (x 2 per MOD7 instance)

- PCM OSC section is actually a 4-velocity rompler
- can stream GB user samples from hard disk
- “Vast” sample-mangling capabilities
- 32-Step per voice Sequencer + overall step sequencer

- completely modular patching of operators, filters, and mixers
- Audio IN, routable Audio OUT (plus FX) back into MOD7 engine
- FDSP (and beyond) possible with super flexible modulation (note number) controlling FX parameters

- sliders, knobs, buttons, ribbon, vector assignable to MOD7 elements

- can layer 2 MOD7 together
- has all 32 DX7 algorithms, can load classic DX7 Sysex banks
- one of the more resource-efficient engines

Quote:
I also genuinely think Korg deserve huge credit for not only continuing with the Kronos - but - retaining within it so many of the operating system features that started back in the M1, T3 and O1W - so that today even a person who last used, say, a T3 and now approached a Kronos, would be familiar with a lot of the fundamentals. They have maintained an amazing lineage over 30 years while also updating and the workstation paradigm to the extent that the Kronos can take on the cutting-edge Nord-Stages and Electros of this world in earnest.

Fingers crossed Korg will believe in their own invention - the Workstation - to bring it meaningfully and powerfully forward in the years to come.


I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the industry getting burned on R&D efforts and thus moving away from ever more powerful technologies and workstations. The Kronos is still top of the heap, flaws and all. Unfortunately, the times they are a-changing, and the era of the gigging cover band musician, and the workstations they coveted, may be over.
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Spud
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you have to think how a Korg keyboard could be improved? I am not sure that it can be? However I am open to discussion on this subject..
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spud wrote:
you have to think how a Korg keyboard could be improved? I am not sure that it can be? However I am open to discussion on this subject..


'improved' by who ? the owner ? There are posts and youtube about hacks

But I have not seen/heard proven leaps of {?} by ambitious folks .
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ponkine
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spud wrote:
you have to think how a Korg keyboard could be improved? I am not sure that it can be? However I am open to discussion on this subject..


http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=113592

First and foremost, IMHO, sound library and sound quality. Just as I posted on that thread, Korg just need to look at their own vintage collection, and stop doing the same as any other arranger/ workstation in the sound library department.

Now that the vintage synths are truly demanded and coming back, it's time for Korg to wake up!

How many of these amazing, awe-inspiring sounds from all times do Korg arrangers/ workstation have?
Not even half!
Check this thread. Loads of wonderful keyboard sounds posted. Of course some by myself
Very Happy


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-and-electronic-music-production/1258152-top-20-greatest-keyboard-sounds-all-time-what-would-you-add.html
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Kevin Nolan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ponkine wrote:
Spud wrote:
you have to think how a Korg keyboard could be improved? I am not sure that it can be? However I am open to discussion on this subject..


http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=113592

First and foremost, IMHO, sound library and sound quality. Just as I posted on that thread, Korg just need to look at their own vintage collection, and stop doing the same as any other arranger/ workstation in the sound library department.

Now that the vintage synths are truly demanded and coming back, it's time for Korg to wake up!

How many of these amazing, awe-inspiring sounds from all times do Korg arrangers/ workstation have?
Not even half!
Check this thread. Loads of wonderful keyboard sounds posted. Of course some by myself
Very Happy


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-and-electronic-music-production/1258152-top-20-greatest-keyboard-sounds-all-time-what-would-you-add.html


Actually you've got a point. I own both a Korg Trident MkII and a Korg Sigma and they are both absolutely magnificent.

I'd certainly love to see Korg do a VA version of the Trident Strings in particular - they are absolutely gorgeous, especially when passed through a modern chorus and reverb.

And the Sigma - what a gem of an instrument. It's like a monophonic CS80! A true 'performance' synth (built for organists actually). So - fabulous and unique modifiers for each of the many preset sound, great realtime controls (that could actually be emulated quite well on OASYS/Kronos) and - aftertouch response!

And actually now that your onto it - the Korg 700 and certainly the 800 are arguably more reputable than even the MS20 and MonoPoly.

When you think of all the models they released around then - you're spot on - they actually have lots of untapped potential.

Imagine a PS3100, 3200 or 3300 emulation too! Or - how about re-release hardware versions of them - after-all they were thinking about an ARP2600. Speaking of which, I have it on genuinely very good authority that Korg were indeed going to release the ARP2600 until Behringer moved into this space a year or two back - so alas it is the presence of Behringer in the synth 'clone' business that have given Korg the weebie-jeebies on the ARP2600, and they paused development of it.
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korgiefanatic



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WAIT...DIDNT THE SE VERSION JUST COME OUT? will us kronos owners get the italian grand piano and other sounds in the se?
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ponkine
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korg has never been a piano manofacturer, unlike Yamaha or Kawai

Nobody really purchases a Korg synth/workstation thinking about pianos

Korg has a remarkable history and legacy with ORGANS and SYNTHS

They achieved several firsts, like first company to use effects on a synth, key transpose, etc.

They had at the time the most succesful synth ever (M1).

... neverthless ...

They've been quite behind other brands in the latest years.
They did had great success both with Kronos and SV1, but to this day they do not have the vision to combine the greatness from what those keyboards mean:

- The endless posibilities of a modern synth
- The ever growing appreciation and demand for vintage sounds

They've been quite focused on the first part, but leaving behind, often buried and forgotten, the second part.

Look at the AMAZING collection of synths, organs and keyboards they've developed. Instead of sampling and storing all those wonderful sounds for present and future workstations, they keep doing what all the other brands do with arrangers and workstations: the same ol same ol since the 80s, in terms of sound libraries.

Surely sound libraries have improved a lot since the 80s in terms of sonics, but they're the same sounds all over. You can pick up any workstation from any brand, and 80-90% of the libraries will be basically the same, with no many differences and approaches.

It's time to do something different.

Very Happy
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GregC
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ponkine wrote:
Korg has never been a piano manofacturer, unlike Yamaha or Kawai

Nobody really purchases a Korg synth/workstation thinking about pianos




there is a Korg w/s called " Kronos ". It is highly regarded for its SGX-2 piano engine and its many acoustic pianos.

Without a doubt, many enjoy the pianos and they are a strong point for purchasing Kronos.
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