It's official, NAMM 2013 has started! Just under five and a half thousand miles away, all the worlds music nerds have gathered at LA to open one of the worlds largest music trade shows. If you're still snowed in the UK, do not fear – we're bringing you the latest news as it comes in. As we speak we're recording videos of all the latest gear too, you can subscribe to PMTV to get a first look or just keep an eye on this blog to stay tuned.
We're now going to take a look at some of Korg's brand new synths and FX, firstly Korg's new 61-key synth, the KingKORG.
The KingKORG is a brand new analogue modelling synth, taking influence from classic Korgs such as the MS-20 and the Mono/Poly. The Synth has a clear-cut lay out – ideal for synth newbies whilst the 3 oscillators and the vacuum tube driver circuit deliver more complex timbres for the synth connoisseur out there.
The KingKORG is one of Korg's first synth to make use of their XMT sound modelling engine (XMT Standing for Xpanded Modeling Technology) with the ethos of creating complex sounds yet making them easy to edit, it ideal for live use. Traditionally in synths, sounds are created by layerering and editing oscillators one by one, however the synth algorithms contain combinations of oscillators enabling the user to significantly change sounds at the touch of few controls. The effects on the KingKORG have been cleverly split into three master sections, Pre FX including amp simulations and distortion, Mod FX including classic e.piano style fx such as phaser, chorus and tremolo and finally Rev/Delay FX to add ambience including modulation delays, etch and hall reverbs.
The Korg MS-20 is a classic and still sought after synthesizer produced from 1978-1983. The patchable, semi-modular monophonic synth has now been brought back to life with the MS-20 Mini which still creates powerful analog sounds at 86% of the size.
Engineers who worked on the original MS-20 back in the late 70s have reworked the new smaller unit, painstakingly replacing parts that are smaller, yet still produced the same high quality timbre. The same synth structure has been used (2VCO / 2VCF / 2VCA / 2EG / 1LFO) - Two oscillators and ring modulation with hold and decay. A variety of combinations of inputting the mini-plugs into the modulation inputs and noise generator create endless sonic possibilities when using the patch section too. Whilst replicating its original the MS-20 Mini has also been updated with a USB input which can receive and send MIDI data to your DAW.
Finally what seems to be Korgs trademark technology of later years is the rejuvenated Kaoss Pad 3 Plus and Kaossilator Pro Plus. The Kaoss Pad 3 was originally launched in 2006 and what initially looks like a touch-screen FX unit proved itself to be a powerful instrument in its own right with tonnes of looping capabilities. The Kaosspad 3 also jet-propelled beatboxer Beardyman's career into stardom, often soley relying on Kaosspads and the sound of his own voice to re-create a fusion of dance and hip-hop genres.
New features on the Kaoss Pad 3 Plus include new vinyl break simulation effect, ducking compressor and a newly designed loop section which helps to edit loops more intuitively. The release of the FX can also be tailored making performance more natural than ever. The Kaossilator Pro Plus has a total of 62 new synthesizer programs including drums. These sounds can be layered endlessly with the pad being used to control note, fx parameters and the mix of the 4 pad banks.
We'll be adding more products daily to our dedicated NAMM section online... NAMM 2013 has just begun!