While Korg dazzles us with extraordinary synthesizers they still manage to produce the bread-and-butter keyboards and workstations that huge amounts of people use in their day-to-day performance, music-making and personal enjoyment. Let’s check out the i3 Music Workstation and EK-50 L Entertainment Keyboard.
i3 Music Workstation
It’s an all-in-one workstation keyboard with 790 PCM sounds, 59 drum kits and a 16 track sequencer. It contains decades of Korg’s sound design and experience with the workstation workflow. It is packed with 270 accompaniment styles with 2 intros, 4 variations, 2 fills, 1 break and 2 endings.
Grouping sounds, beats and parts together by Sound Set and Style Performance makes it super easy to get into the vibe of making the sort of music that inspires you. Loading up a Sound Set can place up to 4 sounds onto the keyboard; 3 layered across the upper keys and 1 split to the lower keys. The Style Performance Set can then be used to accompany and augment your own performance. Each of these backing tracks can contain up to 8 parts bringing in drums, beats, percussion, bass lines or chords and accents. You can select them or mute them directly on the front panel. You can mix and match backing tracks pulling the groove from one place and mixing it with chords from somewhere else; it’s a very adaptable environment.
The i3 is not small with its 61 full-sized keys and sizable form but it’s also light and can take batteries making it portable and versatile.
The i3 doesn’t break any new ground but it offers a competent workstation experience for people who want to perform, build tracks and play music with the minimum of fuss and maximum of enjoyment. Should retail for $599.
EK-50 L Entertainment Keyboard
This takes the idea of a workstation keyboard like the i3 and makes it simpler, more automatic and builds in some super large speakers. It’s an ideal home keyboard or great for small event performances. This new “L” version (stands for “Limitless”) adds a whole bunch of modern dance music orientated sounds, backing styles and drum kits. 24 new Sound Sets places up to 4 sounds across your keyboard ready to play. It also has twice the speaker power of the previous version.
The EK-50 L has a durable rubberised finish, a joystick modulation system, instant performance features and will give any budding keyboard player “limitless” entertainment – possibly. Should retail for $549.