The Korg Kronos after its launch in 2011, changed the whole concept of keyboard workstation. Truth be told, there is no other console available in the market to rival it. So, what makes this console so unique from all other keyboards? Why is it important for a musician to own this piece of beauty? You are about to discover!
The Korg Kronos workstation is a very important keyboard for any musician as is represents a vast paradigm shift in the development of Keyboard. The most intriguing part of the latest Kronos is that it represents a nonstop advancement in Korg’s line of workstations. There are a couple of equipment updates which are highly useful. Most of the features however are programming based and are ported over to the past 2 versions of the Kronos which is something worth being thankful for. Earlier, you truly didn’t have any idea of what sort of updates you would get on your console and including new components was to some degree only for people who can afford costly ROM boards or extended sound libraries. Korg’s new way to deal with the modern console is invigorating.
Features of Korg Kronos
The Korg Kronos is a workstation, which means it is the one stop shop for all the keyboard and musical needs. It has got a huge collection of sounds and beats to choose from and the library can be expanded. The onboard sequencer does pretty much everything. The all-new Korg Kronos features an exquisite chassis with original wooden side boards, new silkscreened content, which is simpler to read, and an advanced back panel. The output and input jacks are gold-plated which enhances the sound quality. The front part of the casing is currently made out of a strong steel, and the imprint on the handles, buttons, and IO jacks is prominent and easily readable. The steel mesh at the back is helps in ventilation. The console is presently close to noiseless, which is a huge update since the fan noises in the previous models was very annoying. The new wooden end tops give Korg Kronos somewhat of a vintage, retro feel.
A couple of changes are made in the Korg Kronos’ Touch View Colour display which enables the player to rapidly alter parameters on screen with the latest system wide Touch or Drag mode, an awesome thing for people who needs to change their sounds continuously during live shows. In any case, the most amazing development is tSGX-2 piano motor, which incorporates the 9 GB Berlin Grand model with devoted “una corda” pre-sets.
Both Kronos and the brand new Kronos X share the prestigious engineering in which feature nine unique motors, each committed to an individual synthesis type : SGX-2 for classic Acoustic Pianos; EP-1 for modern digital Pianos; HD 1 for PCM sounds; AL-1 for Analog keyboard ; the CX-3 for the Tonewheel pianos; the STR-1 for Stringed instruments; the MOD 7 for Waveshaping VPM synthesizers; the MS-20EX for any sound received from the first Korg MS-20 simple synth; and the PolysixEX for all the Polysix’s usual sound shades.
The new form of the Kronos’ OS acquainted many elements which focus on the enhancement of the general functionality and the convenience during studio sessions and live shows.Among a few bug fixes and updates, Korg has enhanced two critical parts of the main operating system, for example, the Search Engine and the Set List. It gives the ability to restructure a custom content for every set, pick a shade to sort out the list easily and even choose the number of entries that may show up on screen simultaneously. This enables you to see more data (significantly bigger than before) so as to help the user to remember any valuable information like patch changes , transpose on a specific tune and even verses of a song. You can expect heavy rock and metal sounds from this console provided you have the skill to make it. With Korg Kronos you can make patches like Jens Johanson, Tuomas Holopainen, Janne Wireman, Jordan Rudess, Derek Sherinian and more. If you are not into sound design so much, there are many preloaded patches in the Kronos that sound excellent in almost any song. The string section deserves special mention for its amazing sound clarity.
You have the option to assign any program, song or combination to individual slots in any order, in the set list mode. This means you can have all the pre-sets you will be needing in a live show, in whatever order you want. You can also assign a foot pedal to change the sounds which means you don’t have to change hands. One of the remarkable feature of the Korg Kronos is the smooth transition from one combination or program to the next one, without cutting out. The new Find function enables you to search any particular patch you plan on using quickly.
OASYS’ touchscreen was bigger, yet the Kronos’ is higher-resolution 800 x 600 in contrast to 640 x 480. Those additional pixels make little texts appear clearer. Single-touch operation may appear to be outdated but unlike todays cell phones, you can explore the Kronos with a stylus or fingernail, which works best when choosing stuff from option packed pop out menus. In the latest update Meters were added enabling you to see the audio levels in combinations, songs, main output, programmes and insert effects, making it easier to see where it is loud and what is loud. A USB alphanumeric keyboard can be added with which you can type instead of using the touch screen feature. In this update you can also load needed samples. This means that now if you see the message “Samples not loaded”, simply use the Load Required Samples command to upload all the patches with the push of a button.
The Korg Kronos give you the feeling of using a music laptop with your virtual instruments stocked minus the usual headaches of a computer. The EP – 1 pianos and SGX 1 pianos are exclusive to chronos.
SGX-1 pianos – The acoustic piano sound is not world class but sufficient for the gig, The Kronos does a sensational 180, with the best sounding pianos ever to appear in a workstation. The two fundamental piano flavors are brighter “Japanese” and full-bodied “German” grands. Both sound beautiful in recordings, and the sharper variants of each slice through a live rock track without sounding weak. Every piano streams 4.7GB of full-length tests from the inner solid state, so you’ll hear no phase weirdness, no loops, no clunker notes and unnatural decay. Sustain pedal resonance, lid position, release sample volume and mechanical noise are adjustable. The top pianos in a plug in like Synthogy Ivory requires several times more memory, and you can spot the difference only if you listen to the solo pieces carefully.
P-1 electric pianos – The OASYS depended on normal multisamples for its retro electric pianos. This plug-in operates in a whole new level. 4 tine (Rhodes) and 2 reed (Wurlitzer) are pre-loaded. The things which you can tweak include attack brightness, hammer width and release noise. You have the option to insert one of the 9 virtual stompboxes including the most important Mxr Phase 90. The cabinet modeling stimulates either the internal speakers of a Wurly or the Fender Suitcase amp. Play gently and you will get wonderful ballad timbres. It has got a great dynamic range.
CX-3 Organ – The company recently discontinued the latest CX-3 as a separate B-3 clone but it is available in Kronos. You get separable lower and upper drawbar part but there is no bass pedal. Sonic details like percussion, vibrato, chorus and leakage are fully editable. As far its rotary simulation is concerned, you get slowdown and speed-up times, separate speeds and mic position settings for the bass and treble rotors. The rotary effect deserves a B+ while the organ model a solid A. However, there are a few clones available like Nord C2 and Numa Organs which treats high pitch sounds more realistically at high rotary speed.
Al-1 synth – Anything said about this analog modelling beast will be an understatement. It has got 2 oscillators with continuously changing waveforms, dual multimode filters with parallel or serial routing and a multi filter that can changed smoothly between 2 types in actual time, a suboscillator which you can use for external output, 5 segment envelopes, hard synchronization and endless modulation options like step sequencer which can “play” in any eligible spot. Another awesome feature is its sound quality, modelled filters and waveforms. It is simply outstanding. There is no zipper or stepping noise when you change parameters. The only thing that sounds more analog than this is a real analog synthesizer.
PolysixEX and MS-20EX synths. – These are the replicas of Korg’s classic MS-20 and Polysix analog synths. Everything about this plug in is great. Korg handles the MS-20’s patch panel elegantly. To connect, all you have to do is to tap any jack two times and a yellow square will surround it. After that tap on the 2nd jack and your connection will be made. The Kronos doesn’t let you do things which don’t make any sense like connecting 2 outputs together. It is very useful for amateur programmers.
Mod-7 VPM Synth – It is like Yamaha Dx7 with a modular patch panel that allows you to change the algorithms of operators. Unlike Dx7 it can make various sine waves like triangle, saw and square. You can also use a waveshaper to get more complex harmonious output. You can patch the multisamples in as a separate layer or use them as modulators. These are some of the basic features of Mod-7 waveshaping synth. If you don’t require so much stuff, just enjoy its factory pre-sets. If you can get the original DX7 sys-ex file into a pend rive, you can upload it in the sound banks.
STR-1 string modeler – It produces sounds of string instruments struck, scraped with car keys, bowed or vibrated in some other way. Anything from John Cage style piano to acoustic guitar sounds can be created. Like the MOD-7, it allows you to layer PCM sample or use the attack transient as pick. Both STR-1 and MOD-7 give the same multiple filter setup.
Sequencer and Drum Track
The next part of Korg Kronos is its sequencer. The setup consists of 16 audio tracks and 16 MIDI data tracks, at 24-bit, 48kHz. You have the option of importing and exporting SMF and WAV files. The Drum Track feature allows you to use drum patterns from your individual combinations and progressions, without even using the sequencer. One of the feature of Korg Kronos is its Realtime Pattern Play Recording (RPPR) which allows you to quickly program drum beats and other musical sequences in a loop-record-overdub manner. When it comes to shifting your notes around, a simple arpeggiator is enough and there is plenty of that on the boards of different synth engines.
The Kronos features Karma which creates patterns and phrases in real time based on your music. You can only use 1 Karma module per program and up to 4 modules within sequences or combinations. With the drum machine, you can program your own patterns and beats. There are more than seven hundred patterns preloaded in the Kronos. You have the option of assigning drum sequences to any of the programmes and put it on auto play when you strike the first note. The pattern can also be stopped and played by its dedicated on and off button
The Korg Kronos doesn’t offer any specific innovation that justifies the upgrade from its older model since you could get all the latest features with a cost-free OS upgrade. Be sure that if you can invest in this console line, you will keep on getting new sounds and updates in the long run.
The support team of Korg always updates the products for free. They are continuously working out ways to improve the device through its software updates. Mainly musicians and engineers are designing these softwares. The main objective of the company is to give musicians what they want. They provide sounds which you don’t even know that you want it. Go for it with eyes shut down. You will feel proud for your decision in future.