Korg desires balance in the universe. Just when you think they are overdosing on coolness and kudos with the Volca Modular and Minilogue XD they redress the balance with some neon coloured special edition Kross keyboards. Oh, and they’ve tweaked the Kronos and Krome just enough to make it newsworthy at NAMM.
Kross Special Edition
Not content with the awesome red marble effect on the Kross 2 Korg has gone all to town with UV reflective neon for a special edition Kross synthesizer. Kross is a compact workstation synth with a huge range of sounds that you can dial in and play. Not a whole lot going on in terms of hands-on editing (a couple of knobs) but there are enough effects and tweaks to get the whole thing moving. There are over 1000 programs, dozens of drum kits, and along with the EDS-i synthesis engine there are 128MB of PCM memory and access to an expanding library of sounds.
The Kross 2 takes on sampling directly into the synth and onto the 16 pads. You can record up to 14 seconds for each pad and trigger up to 4 simultaneously. Or you can pull samples in from an SD card.
And then you can compose in the 16-track sequencer and record it all plus a microphone to the built-in audio recorder. Or USB it into your computer as a MIDI/Audio interface.
It’s a pretty sweet little keyboard for people who just want a workstation with a bunch of sounds and the tools to make music. And you are going to look fabulous playing one of these bad boys down the local pub.
The special edition Kronos comes with a lovely burnt red finish and features a new Italian-made grand piano that debuted in the Grandstage keyboard. It also includes a bunch of orchestral sounds from KApro who are responsible for many Korg patch libraries. And that’s about it. Otherwise, it’s still the huge performance workstation with 9 synthesis engines, wavesequencing, MS-20 filtering, Polysix chorus, a huge sequencer, sampler and audio recorder. Nice to get another piano and a paint job though.
Very much like the Krome but with a load of new sounds and a little bit of a new look. They use words like “bread-and-butter sounds” to describe the range and versatility with superb pianos and warm electric pianos. There are drum kits, polyphonic arpeggiators and a 16-track sequencer all accessible via the TouchView interface.
Which one for you?
If you’re confused over what the differences are between these workstation keyboards then you are not the only one. Maybe the prices will help. The Kronos SE with 88 keys comes in at over £3500, the Krome EX 88 keys at £1299 and the Kross SE at £725.