It´s KORG bonanza today – New Volca, microKORG and the return of the ARP Odessey


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We have heard the rumors for quite some time now, both about the return of the ARP, but also that more Volcas were on their way. In yesterdays´s announcements from KORG we got all this plus a spiced up microKORG, a synth that kind of have become somewhat legendary now in its own right, after its first release some 10 years ago. Here at Stereoklang we cannot think of any other synth manufacturer that so clearly plays on all today´s synth development trends at the same time, maybe perhaps with the inclusion of Roland.

First of KORG has gone all in in digging up the classics and making kind of boutique versions, like with the MS-20 mini and now with the ARP Odessey in a desktop module format. Secondly, KORG has successfully joined the trend of producing something that can be dubbed DJ shit, in essence small mobile synths and drum machines that easily can be assembled and cabled and effectively included in any DJ / techno performance stage set up. Thirdly, if you have done something right – THEN do make sure to the milk the cow to its maximum by making as many variations and models of the same as you possibly can. The microKORG is a really nice machine, but do we really need all these versions of it, not to forget some of them are just bling bling updates, like the one with red keys.

Anyhow, irrespective of the above, KORG is am amazing synth manufacturer and yesterday´s announcements will certainly have you craving for more.

KORG ARP ODESSEY

KORGARPOdyssey

The Korg ARP Odyssey Modules offer all the editing and sound-shaping parameters from the keyboard versions, but in a format designed to fit into DAW and hardware-centric music production environments.

The compact module form factor has both CV/GATE to interface with analog desktop racks and synths, and USB and 5-pin MIDI for interfacing with controllers and DAWs.

06 ARP ODYSSEY Module Rev3_rear

The lineup includes two models, the white Rev1 and the black and orange Rev3, reproducing traditional styling.

Since its appearance in 1972, the ARP Odyssey has earned its reputation as a classic analog synthesizer. Forty years later, in 2015, with the advisory assistance of David Friend, co-founder of the ARP Instruments company, Korg resurrected the ARP Odyssey with a complete reproduction of the ARP Odyssey’s original circuitry. With the new Odyssey Module, Korg has further broadened the reach of the classic ARP Odyssey design.

09 ARP ODYSSEY Module Rev3 with SQ-1

For full specifications go to the bottom of this article.

microKORG

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As mentioned in the beginning the original microKORG is definitely one of our favorite machines in the Stereoklang Studio and although we at least have decided to skip the previous iterations it really feels that this latest update has a lot of good things up its sleeve.

“Musicians who gravitate to microKORG can now choose a version that needs no additional speakers, monitors, or other connections to play,” says Korg’s James Sajeva. “The program memory capacity has also been increased twofold, and we’ve added 64 all-new preset programs.”

microKORG_S_rear_rgb

microKORG-S offers all of the original microKORG’s functionality, including ‘Big Knob’ genre selector for quickly selecting groups of presets, a four-band vocoder with an included microphone, arpeggiator and optional battery operation.

Pricing and Availability

The microKORG-S will be available in September of 2016 for $499.99. See the Korg site for details.

microKORG_S_pers_mic_rgb

For full specifications go to the end of this article.

KORG VOLCA KICK

Finally, we have a new Volca dedicated to Kick drums, and something that makes this drum machine particularly interesting is that it is apparently based on an analog oscillator and an oscillating filter from the original KORG MS-20.

01 volca kick_top

Here´s what KORG has to say on its new precious little gem:

With the latest edition of the ever-growing volca series, it’s all about massive kicks, toms, and basses. volca kick starts with a true-analog oscillator and offers drive and MS-20 resonator circuits to shape earth-shattering sounds that can be played and sequenced chromatically. It’s the perfect addition to any volca or desktop hardware set to bring serious boom to the user’s sound production.

As opposed to generating sounds using a typical sine wave, volca kick starts the sound of an oscillating filter from the original MS-20. The powerful filter of the MS-20 self-oscillates when resonance is increased to the maximum, and this is used to produce powerful kick sounds ranging from solid kick drums to crisp kick basses with complex overtones.

04 volca kick with DAW

volca kick’s 16-step sequencer now has a new Touch FX feature, which provides one-touch sequencer variations and time divisions for even more live performance potential. The pattern chain function lets users connect multiple sequence patterns for successive playback, making it possible to construct large-scale developments of 32, 64, or even 256 steps by joining up to 16 sequences.

‘The volca Series has consistently brought renewed attention to classic groove machines and historical synthesis. It now has a new focus. This time, it’s the most important sound in dance music: the kick,” shares James Sajeva, Director of Technology Brands for Korg USA, Inc. Like all volcas, kick has a personality all its own, and combining it with other volcas or any other hardware adds unique character to users’ setups. The familiar Audio Sync connection means it plays exceptionally well with other volcas, minilogue, electribe and SQ-1, and the MIDI IN jack lets you use the volca kick as a sound module via DAW or MIDI controller.’

With its compact size, battery operation, and built-in speaker, it’s easy to take the volca kick anywhere and perform any time. Available in October of 2016 for $159.99

VIDEO SECTION

08 ARP ODYSSEY Module Rev1 with DAW

KORG ARP ODESSEY SPECIFICATION

Maximum Polyphony – 2 voices for duophonic; normally monophonic

Controllers –
Transpose Positions: 2 octaves down, normal, 2 octave up
Proportional Pitch Control:
b (Pitch down) Pad: about – 2 / 3 octave
– (Modulation) Pad
# (Pitch-up) Pad: about +2 / 3 octave

Noise Generator – Noise Spectrum Types (white and pink)

Portamento –
Maximum Speed: about 0.01 msec./oct
Minimum Speed: about 1.5 sec./oct

VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator)
Waveforms:
Sawtooth, Square, Pluse (Dynamic Pluse)
Frequency Range:
VCO-1 in low freq. mode, 0.2 Hz – 20 Hz: VCO-1 and VCO-2 (audio range) about 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Warm Up Drift:
1/30 semitone from turn on max
Pulse Width:
50 % – 5 %
Pulse Width Modulation:
ADSR, +45 %; LFO, +15 %
Voltage Controlled Response:
1 V/oct
Maximum Frequency Shifts:
LFO sin wave, +1/2 oct.; LFO square wave, +1.5 oct.; ADSR, +9 oct.; S/H, +2 oct.
* VCO-1 is low note priority, VCO-2 is high note priority.

VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter)
Types:
Low pass (I: 12 dB/oct., II III: 24 dB/oct.)
Frequency Range:
16 Hz – 16 kHz
Maximum Usable Q:
30
Resonance:
1/2 – self oscillate
Voltage Controlled Response:
C3 key (left edge): 0 V, C6 key (right edge) 3 V

VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier)
Dynamic Range:
80 dB

Ring Modulator
Type:
Digital
Input Signal:
VCO-1, VCO-2 (square wave)

Sample & Hold
Command Sources:
Keyboard or LFO trigger
Sampled Signals:
VCO-1 sawtooth wave and square wave, VCO-2 square wave and pink noise

ADSR Envelope Generator
Attack Time:
5 msec. – 5 sec.
Decay Time:
10 msec. – 8 sec.
Sustain Level:
0 – 100 % or Peak
Release Time:
15 msec. – 10 sec.

AR Envelope Generator
Attack Time:
5 msec. – 5 sec.
Release Time:
10 msec. – 8 sec.

Control Input Jacks
Pedal:
6.3 mm monaural phone jack
Portamento Foot Switch:
6.3 mm monaural phone jack

Audio Output Jacks
LOW:
Connector:
6.3 mm monaural phone jack
Maximum Output Level:
-20 dBu@ 10 k ohm load
Output Impedance:
10 k ohm
HIGH:
Connector:
XLR connector
Maximum Output Level:
+4 dBu@ 1 k ohm load
Output Impedance:
330 ohm

Headphones Jack
Connector:
6.3 mm stereo phone jack
Maximum Output Level:
50 mW + 50 mW@ 33 ohm load
Output Impedance:
10 ohm
* Controllable by volume knob.

External Audio Input (Ext Audio Input) Jack
Connector:
6.3 mm monaural phone jack
Maximum Input Level:
-10 dBu
Input Impedance:
22 k ohm

MIDI Connector
IN

USB Connector
Type B

CV IN/OUT Jacks
Keyboard CV (IN/OUT):
1 V/oct.
Connector:
3.5 mm monaural phone jack

GATE IN/OUT Jacks
GATE IN:
+3 V (minimum)
GATE OUT:
+10 V, key down; 0 V all keys up
Connector:
3.5 mm monaural phone jack

TRIG IN/OUT Jacks
TRIG IN:
+3 V pulse min., 10 ?sec. Duration minimum
TRIG OUT:
+10 V pulse on key depression, 10 ?sec. Duration
Connector:
3.5 mm monaural phone jack

Power Supply
AC adapter jack (DC 9V)

Power Consumption
6.5 W

Dimensions (W x D x H)
502 x 230 x 120 mm / 19.76” x 9.05” x 4.72”

Weight
4.5kg / 9.92 lbs.

Included Items
AC adapter, phone cable, mini-phone cable

Accessories
Expression/Volume Pedal:
XVP-20
Volume Pedal:
VP-10
Pedal Switch:
PS-3
Pedal Switch:
PS-1

Pricing and Availability

The Korg ARP Odyssey Module Rev 1 and Rev 3 will be available October of 2016 for $599.99 (US) each. For more information or to find a dealer, visit www.korg.com

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microKORG SPECIFICATIONS

Sound Generation:
Analog Modeling Synthesis System

Synthesizer Programs:
Multi Timbres: 2 (max, Split/Dual Mode)
Maximum Polyphony: 4 voices
Structure: 2 Oscillator + Noise Generator
Multi Mode Filter (-24dB/oct LPF, -12dB/oct LPF/BPF/HPF)
EG x2
LFO x2
Virtual Patch x4

Vocoder Programs:
Maximum Polyphony: 4 voices
Structure: 1 Oscillator + Noise Generator
EG x1
LFO x 2
8 Channels vocoder
Level and pan of each channel can be edited
Formant Shift function

Programs:
256 programs (192 Presets / 64 Users)
Up to eight favorite programs can be registered

Effects:
Modulation effects: flanger / chorus, phaser, ensemble (3 types)
Delay: stereo, cross, L/R (3 types)
Equalizer

Arpeggiator:
6 types (UP, DOWN, ALT1/2, Random, Trigger), Step Arpeggiator function

Controls:
Real-Time control knob x5, Arpeggiator ON/OFF

Keyboards:
37-keys (mini-keyboard, velocity sensitive)

Inputs:
AUDIO IN 1 CONDENSER (with MIC/LINE switch, +5V, mini phone jack)
AUDIO IN 1 DYNAMIC (with MIC/LINE switch, 1/4” phone jack)
AUDIO IN 2 LINE (1/4” phone jack)

Outputs:
L/MONO, R (1/4” phone jacks)

Headphones:
(1/4” stereo phone jack)

MIDI:
IN, OUT, THRU

Amp Output / Speaker:
3 W / 4 cm x 1, 0.5 W / 3.5 cm x 2

Display:
3 characters x1 line with 8 segment LED

Power Supply:
DC 9V (AC adapter), or six AA alkaline batteries (sold separately)

Battery Life:
Approximately 4 hours or more (when using alkaline batteries)

Dimensions (W x D x H):
524 x 232 x 70 mm / 20.63″ x 9.13″ x 2.76″

Weight:
2.5 kg / 5.51 lbs.
(without batteries and included microphone)

Included Items:
AC adapter (DC 9V), Condenser Microphone

Accessories:
Soft Case: SC-micro-MSG