Introducing....the brand new Korg Krome Keyboard Workstation at PMT!
Korg have recently announced a brand new addition to their ever-expanding synthesizer workstation range – 'Krome'. Available in 63, 71 and 88 note versions, initial feedback response on Social Media platforms seemed a bit mixed from the general public. After delving a little deeper, it seems like a competitively-priced, solid keyboard that ticks all the necessary boxes for both stage and studio users, and certainly made an good impression on our in-store nerds here at PMT. Lets take a look...
The first thing you notice when looking at the Krome initially is the inevitable influence from the Kronos on the styling, layout and user interface. The distinctive aluminium panels give you a real sense of quality and craftsmanship, not to dissimilar from the SV1 and Kronos' solid build qualities. The real surprise comes when you lift it up – weighing in at only 7.2kg (61-note) I am impressed with how transportable and manageable this will be for younger, touring musicians in particular.
The interface and control surface of the Krome looks a lot less cluttered than it's more expensive bigger brother, perhaps leaning towards stage users to improve accessibility and ease-of-use. The right-hand side provides access to the Data navigation wheel, Sound Banks, Sequencer Transport controls and Tempo adjustment. The left-hand side features your real-time controls such as Pitch/Modulation, Volume, Filter, basic Envelope controls and browsing buttons. Everything feels within reach, and Korg seem to have done a good job in trimming features down to the essentials.
Kronos users will be familiar with the clear, intuitive control with Korg’s exclusive 7-inch color TouchView display. The basic layout of the screen seems vastly improved, and appears to be a lot easier to quickly flick through sound sets (again lending itself well for stage users). Korg have also made it extremely easy to blend different tones and ambience using the on-screen Mixer section, effectively offering more control over the characteristics and timbre of your favourite sounds.
The TouchView display also makes Sequencing on the Krome very intuitive, even for a doofus like myself (admittedly I've always preferred sequencing on a DAW). You can really get stuck into note editing, song structure and much more, which certainly helps develop your musical ideas at home or in the studio.
The Krome ships with 640 Programs and 288 Combination patches, which is pretty a comprehensive foundation considering the price point. The core sounds are essentially derived from the unlooped, full-length Piano and Drum sounds featured on the Kronos, thanks to a built-in 3.8gb PCM hard disk, also meaning you've got plenty of space to customize and store your own preset sounds for recall later. Korg have also re-designed the velocity switching on their E-Piano bank too.
For musicians looking to generate more synthetic and creative tones, the Krome features double-Oscillator tone generation, alongside a wealth of Modulation, LFO, Pitch and Filter controls to really shape your synth sounds. Krome also features a powerful effects section to help the cause, consisting of 5 inserts, 2 Master and 1 Total FX, alongside individual track EQ.
USB and SD Card connectivity comes as standard on the Krome, giving you the ability to transport and edit the preset sounds on your computer using the featured KROME Editor software. This should appeal to studio users too, who may want to use a software / VST platform to fine-tune and edit patches to their liking.
The Krome estimated street price drops in at £799, £949 and £1,249 (61, 73 and 88 note respectively), which really puts into perspective the affordability of the range. I think Korg have done a very tidy job of bridging the gap between the budget workstations and the top-of-the-range Kronos, and we're expecting these to be extremely popular for both Studio and Live Stage users over the next few years.