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Korg Kronos Details released!

Submitted by on April 29, 2014 – 8:54 pm 70 Comments

The first images and information for the Korg Kronos are in from NAMM 2011!   It’s a full workstation, with:

  • 9 Sound engines, each offering a unique sound-creation technology (see list below)
  • 16-part Combis allow all engines to function together in perfect harmony; Dynamic Voice Allocation keeps the polyphony high.
  • Available with 61, 73 or 88 keys. The 73 and 88 key models feature Korg’s finest RH3 Graded Hammer Action. The 61 key model borrows the responsive synth action from the Korg M3-61.
  • Comprehensive interface, based around a new large 8” TFT TouchView™ display
  • Virtual Memory Technology (VMT), aided by a fast SSD (Solid State Disk) provides high polyphony and massive, ultra-long, and unlooped samples; offering unheard of performance from a hardware instrument
  • Smooth Sound Transition: this often-requested feature allows held or sustained notes to keep sounding when changing sounds or modes.
  • Set List mode: Organize the Programs, Combis, and Songs you need to perform your set in a single, easy-to-select screen – including performance notes!
  • Use up to 16 premium-quality effects at once; individual effects rival dedicated units
    • 12 Insert effects
    • 2 Master effects
    • 2 Total effects
  • On-board sequencer offers 16 MIDI tracks + 16 audio tracks (24-bit, 48kHz recording quality)
  • Open Sampling System – Instant sampling and resampling from any mode: Program, Combination or Sequencer.
  • Sophisticated KARMA® technology generates infinitely variable performance-driven phrases, musical effects, and backing tracks to catalyze your creativity
  • Expanded Drum Track for play-along grooves and inspiration
  • Signature sounds created with guidance from world class musicians

Here are the first pictures of the new synth workstation, click for larger:


73 weighted keys:
List: $3,750
MAP: $2,999

61 keys (expected release in May 2011):
List: $4,350
MAP: $3,499

Info will be updated here as it becomes available – use the subscribe link on the right to sign up for notices.

SynthGear Tags

  • korg kronos
  • KorgKronosDetailsreleased!


  • DDDD says:

    That’s it?!?!?!

    So much hype for nothing. B O R I N G

    • GGGG says:

      boring? do you even understand what it says…..4 gb piano and 12 gb of samples. It’s basically like disk streaming used in software samplers.

      • DDDD says:

        are f’ing kidding me?

        This is the the item that that they had all the ad campaign hyping as something revolutionary and mind blowing?

        If it had been something innovative like a kaoss pad I could have related more but this is a boring work station keybaord that looks like the same ones that have existed since the 80’s.

        You honestly believe the fact that it is a rompler with large memory is anything game changing for anyone who has used a VST over the past 10+ years (when did gigasampler come out again?)

        Seriously this is like seeing a new model of revolutionary car and the only thing different from past models is that it has extra cup holders and an bigger gas tank.

      • CCCC says:

        My friend it is a game changing because compare to other synths…none of them can use simultaneously more then 2 to 3 synth engines, the only one close to it is OASYS, incase you gonna criticse me i wont mind but you need to consider that kronos creates sounds that never been listen, because you can manipulate the sounds like playing a piano and change it with teh otehr Synth engines so you will be able to have an unlimited creativity to compose music having sounds that no one else have used it.

        kindest Regards

    • Marcos Vampa says:

      “this is a boring work station keybaord that looks like the same ones that have existed since the 80′s”

      It’s a classic look, it’s a very tested and approved design since 80’s, as you said. There is not many things that could change. Grand pianos haven’t change for hundred os years!

      Fender Stratosonic guitars too.

  • Ruders says:

    Amazing..all done Korg!

  • KM says:

    Disappointed really. They discontinued OASYS, stopped developping open architecture synthesis, and now they come back with carbon copy probably not open architecture.

  • Neiko says:

    They gave me the same feeling when they released the much awaited Electribe EMX-1….. They added an SD card and changed a few sounds. Awesome..

  • Akos Janca says:

    Thank you for the quick information!
    As an OASYS user I think KRONOS is an amazing new instrument from KORG.

    • Neiko says:

      Jokes aside Im assuming it will be a lovely sounding synth. I dont personally like the slim button big lcd screen workstation type look, but im sure it will be good. But probably nothing new or great, or particularly vibey… or will it… time is against us at this point in time. Time… oh sweet time

  • DocBambs says:

    Who is Rodan Rudess?


  • docatlas says:

    I like the look; I hope this signals a move by Korg away from the silver finish they’ve been using for a while now. I have a Triton, and it’s nearly impossible to keep it clean.

    I noticed the KARMA logo on the panel; with the feature set listed above, it seems that this may be a replacement for the OASYS. I hope it doesn’t have a price like the OASYS.

    I’m curious to see if it will have wavesequencing and vector synthesis. Also hoping they do a rack/or tabletop module; maybe something like the M3-M.

    • c says:

      I have a triton extreme 88…blue outer shell makes it much easier to keep clean than the silver ones… 🙂 Love my Triton, but always checking out what’s new under the sun…. not much lately..

  • Acoosticzoo says:

    Another work station. I’m wondering how many producers / composers with daws these days still need a work station to make music? I like the technologies offered in the kronos – the question for me is how well does it integrate with the major daws on the market – besides having the usual midi interface.

  • Zeroesque says:

    This is awesome, I will have to get one. I wish they would have put the other legacy instruments in there (M1 and Wavestation) but it’s about damn time a mfr other than Kurz has put their clonewheel into their flagship workstation w/ 61 keys (thusly, the non-portable Oasys doesn’t count). Really, I was hoping the Trinity would also join in the legacy collection of software instruments.

  • Blueibis says:

    Well after the ad, these specs are ok,but why with Openlabs stuff on the roll and superb sounding VSTi’s and RTAS/A.I.R instruments and DAWs do they (Romplers) continue to persue the 16-track/multitmbral concept, its old folk, move on. I was expecting what I saw, but rather disappointed with what seems to be an out-moded GUI, and lack of a more up-to-date sequencer. Give us atleast the software option for an unlimited track count, even if you lmit the audio tracks to 64(16 currently…really Kor?). Then maybe it would appeal to the studio musician more.

    However I believe it’ll have that out-of-the-box bright pop sound ready for the radio type soundset,bright/warm anf full. Until then I’ll stick with my cubase 5 and my over 200 gig libraries.

  • Luke84 says:

    Kronos has second generation KARMA :/

  • Luke84 says:

    And there are no 8 dynamic pads like in M3 … that’s a little bit sad…

    • Luke84 says:

      …but I think it’s gonna cost less than OASYS…

    • dezed says:

      Could you inform me what “8 dynamic pads” implies?


      • Skippy says:

        OASYS and the M3 have 8 pads that are velocity sensitive. You can use them to trigger up to 8 note polyphonic chords (or just single drum sounds). Every Combi I’ve created for the OASYS has a literal composition attached to it via these chord pads. They are something I miss from the KRONOS.

        However, in the KRONOS, there are still 8 touch pads but only via the touch screen…. but they are there : >

  • Skippy says:

    Those of you dissing this already have no clue what you are dissing.

    LOL….. you all just wait.

    Some of you still don’t know.

    – John “Skippy” Lehmkuhl

    • Neiko says:

      Tell us please Skippy? Dont hold back mate

      • Skippy says:

        KRONOS is a really exciting single workstation where you have access to 1,500+ Programs and Combinations without waiting for anything to load. There are 2 massive grand pianos that are streaming off the SSD drive. There are 2 new ambient drum kits where we recorded the drums with multiple mics (and effect treatments) and a new Oscillator mode where you can layer 2 drum kits so OSC 1 can be the drum kit and OSC 2 is the ambient kit and you can mix how much natural ambience you want. The 2 kits are up to 8-way velocity switching streaming kits. I can’t tell you how HAPPY I was to prepare drum samples without having to cut the ride cymbal sample in half and make a fake envelope to it.

        I see people dissing this, but coming from someone that sells patches for the best virtual analog synths in software form (click my picture to go to my web site if you wish) as well as working with Korg for 20+ years, this instrument goes places you can’t get to in software both on a sonic as well as a real-time control level.

        Until you hear it, play it and see where it can go, you are probably not making yourself look very credible by slamming this one.

        – Skippy

      • Neiko says:

        You need to buy a mac or pc Skip haha

      • Skippy says:

        I have 6 Macs at my home & studio.

    • Pedro Caballero Clemente says:

      Skippy i have a question for you, for quite some time i’ve been interested to wrok for Korg, i know its very difficult to enter, but would you mind to give me hints or tips of what i should do or study to feel prepared to apply for them?

      I have a korg triton and i know how to work with it 100 per cent, and i always been a fan of the Oasys, and now im gonna buy the kronos once released , so it will help me even more

      this is my mail if you dont mind to reply

      • Neiko says:

        (sorry in advance I cant help myself…)

        Pedro, i understand the sound department are happy with their current team, but the “Style” department have vacancies. lol

  • Kial says:

    boring is right!!! who the hell uses workstations? More of an instrument for cover bands, or to play at your daughter’s wedding. BOO!

  • Kial says:

    in a way….yes! and isn’t Rudess sponsored by Korg?

  • Klar says:

    All that for $2999? Mind blowing! (Though I’m pretty sure someone will find a problem with that too.) Kudos Korg!

  • Superman says:

    This is Revolutionary. Not some crashy, buggy, bulky, nerded-up software wannabe “instrument”.

    Finally, a proper KEYBOARD workstation with it’s own hyper-stable COMPUTER.

    Love how most people who bitch about great stuff like this are either troll bitches, or fanboys of other brands. Either way, I’d LOVE to see ya create and build a real instrument hybrid like this monster so you can say how ya know better than Korg how it should be done. Go ahead….get cracking. 🙂 Most of ya would electrocute yourselves whilst standing in your own piss.

    OH! And “who would use a workstation?” Why, YOU WOULD 🙂

    • Neiko says:

      Hi Supergirl,

      You sound like a bit of a Korg fanboy yourself. Also your overuse of smiley faces and punctuation is as annoying as your rudimentary sense of humour.

      Please post up one of your tracks, show us what a wonderful artist you are and put us all to shame.

  • Winteroor says:

    73-keys version costs LESS than the 61..? That’s what it says at the prices section. It’s probaply a mess-up, aight?

    • Skippy says:

      That’s my guess…. please note! I’m not an official spokesperson for Korg. Just a guy that likes to make kick ass sounds and has done so for a long time with a good working relationship with Korg.

  • Kial says:

    I own a studio with many brands that I love to use; Roland, Dave Smith, Access, and Korg! Korg has made many awesome, and fresh exciting instruments….although I haven’t personally played one, I don’t think this is it.

    Personally, and I think many synth enthusiast here will agree with me, the Korg Monotron is much more innovative of an idea at $50 with 1 oscillator.

    We need new and fresh ways of making and playing sounds….not repackaging existing technologies into one expensive “do it all” computer with a keyboard attached.

    love the discussion BTW. 😀

    • Superman says:

      When you grow another hand (highly unlikely), or attain some state of being far from what has existed since the beginning (Yes, we were CREATED), then you can complain about “new” this and that.

      How about using what you’ve already got and willing yourself to grow that third hand……

      • Superman says:

        I’m just messin’ with ya Kial! 🙂

        I do however believe that when a person has a talent, and is renowned the world over for service with that instrument (B.B. King for instance), that they have “become one” with said instrument and grown FAR beyond what todays “musicians” seem to think acceptable before moving to the next new thing.

        Focus on the old principals is what the world needs, not “newer and better”. Sure, tech keeps getting better, but true musicians who are the “playin’ my old piano or guitar ’cause that’s what I was born to do” are certainly the minority today. Sex sells. and people sell out….there really is nothing new under the sun.

  • Kakalac says:

    I love it and im def getting 1

  • theman says:


    just another workstation with ‘bigger’ specs, nothing new. poor effort korg.

    korg should incorporate the monotron ideas into a fullsize board = wicked NEW instrument!!

  • dahghda says:

    Remember when this was all hype? This isn’t going to change anything. And 3k+ for a 61 key version? Thanks but no thanks. Make something affordable and useable for us peons.

  • Zeroesque says:

    I, for one, have it on order already. Kick ass. I’m with Skippy on all of the haters’ comments. This thing is the shit. It’s an instrument, unlike attempting to carry my computer, monitor, powercore, interface and even my receptor and expecting all of the plugins to play nicely and switch seamlessly for a rehearsal or a gig. Get real. Those things are all tools and can definitely be fun and creative, but they don’t make for a well-designed and integrated instrument. You cannot replace this with Komplete and a notebook. And yeah, I have that, too.

    • Neiko says:

      hey Zero, im not a hater mate, I really like Korg and their support is excellent. Its just we want more, if we are complaisant then Korg too will become as such. We need more innovation, more vibes. Bigger knobs, a bit of wood, a massive button in the middle called “SICK FILTER” and a ribbonfader linked to the worlds best arpegiator, then a looper recorder to record it all then automatically resample it and assign each note to the drum pads so you can play arp with left hand and stab in the notes with the drum pads. Then there should be an rotary knob sequencer addon just like the iMS20 to assign alalog style automation. maybe im crazy, but how vibey would that be. Not very good for Jazz tho…

  • 4ndrw says:

    while the keyboard player in me can appreciate the minor improvements they’ve made for playing in a band environment
    (switching sounds seamlessly between program and combi etc, the set list mode, probably unlimited patch memory…)

    none of those things should be particularly revolutionary game changing things
    they were all just really really overdue
    that shits been high on feature requests for years
    its nice they’ve done it finally, but dont expect a medal for being 10 years late for some essential interface mods.

    so while the keyboard player would love the simplicity of just rocking up to a gig with this and nothing else.

    the synth playing/sound production part of me
    is flat out disappointed.
    another fucking workstation. as many have said,

    woo another triton?
    its like korg have gone backwards.

    i know the sounds demo’d are limited
    but it looks like its trying to appeal to my grandpa who struggles with the internet.
    “look, it has another piano!”
    or someone in a rock coverband (lol at the person who mentioned wedding band – you could be the sickest wedding band in the entire wedding band circuit with this machine)

    i cant picture it being used for any contemporary edgy electronic music.

    only pop, pop-rock, cheesy rnb, and the stock standard keyboard sounds you get away with in metal bands.

    no dubstep, industrial, drum’n’bass, electro, or any other nasty shit that interests myself

    Karma is shit – it generates jingles that noone would actually use in a track
    if you had a career in elevator music, it would be the perfect weapon.
    i’d rather user programmable midi clips or arpeggiations that could be laid out in an ableton live session view style grid.
    then i would actually be able to use it for music that I WRITE.

    showcase more Kaosspad glitch effects
    come up with an ohmicide style multiband distortion plugin
    sure model the ms20 but I’d rather you try model a Virus or Massive or Albino or Thor
    showcase how it integrates with a computer for people who actually produce music and are interested in sounds, rather than how it would benefit my dads band playing 70s rock covers.
    the Access Virus TI plugin is awesome and its been out for how many years?
    (that micro-x plugin i have…… doesnt compare at all)

    fuck karma drum grooves.. model your own electribe
    and give it the same ease of use as a $100 casio to change between beats you’re jamming with
    unlike my much more expensive at the time karma, which requires you to edit the combi patch to change the kit, then use one of the preset arpeggiations to play it
    (mix and match the wrong kit to arp and it will trigger the wrong drum sounds for the pattern…)
    the ability to drag and drop my own samples from my computer into sampler instrument on the keyboard… like ableton lives simpler

    it would be great not to have to take a laptop, synth module, multiple controllers, audio interface and kaosspad to a gig.

    i guess i expect more from a “flagship keyboard” of 2011

  • Maestro AL says:

    I think it’s much too early to speak definitively either way. You’re all going to have to actually play it, before you can make justified comments (which will still be nothing more than your own opinions, but perhaps more founded)

    Personally, I like what they’ve done – the guts and glory of the OASYS (which I’m still personally hunting for) lives on full and intact in this machine. So if it sounds anything like the O, it’s already a great deal – simply cause we went from 8.5k to sub 4k.
    And there are 9 engines, in each of which you can craft your own sounds, if you grasp sound design.

    The thing about workstations and keyboards in general, is that they have a very poor “3D spatial” separation. You may a sound that sounds and plays great, but as soon as you add several other and play them back together all at once, they get squashed together, and sound flat and 2d-ish, and very unconvincing. In short, keyboards always sucked at MIXING the audio streams together – much like many of your DAWs do when they don’t have the right gear involved, which usually means HIGH dollar individual pieces like converters, preamps, compressors, blah-blah, etc, oh and if you’re rich – an actual analog console, so you wouldn’t have to mix in-the-box.(of course coupled with proper user knowledge skill, and talent) <<<THAT is how you would get a nice spacious, three-dimentional sound – but that meant your are in the 5-figure and maybe even 6-figure price tag for studio's worth. Either a high end home project to almost commercial grade studio level.

    So all that was to say, that the OASYS was the VERY FIRST board I ever heard that had a believable mixing engine. And this isn't some BS that I just pulled out of my arse. I've heard this discussed in more technical detail by sound tech's when the O first came out. And when I visited an O clinic, I was convinced. When they played back an arrangement of an orchestral "filmscore" type music, I kid you not, blindfolded you would've been convinced that it's a symphonic recording done at high sample rates through the abovementioned type of high class gear (which the internal samples were, I'm sure) – It sounded fat and real. I can't describe it, but other boards couldn't do it – still can't, and I played all the major ones a lot! Neither the fantoms not motifs, nor even korg's own tritons or even m3 (despite having come later) have that spatial breadth and dynamic. And all OASYS users know this.

    So even if this was just a carbon copy of the old "O", it would still be a killer deal for the price. But given the extra engines (and it IS open architecture btw), it is a steal IF and only IF it sounds as pristine and "console-like" as the "O" did. So no one has room to open their troll mouths and diss this, not until we heard it first hand to verify the above.

    Oh and as far as complaining of the lack of "innovation" such as "giant Sick-nobs" and "wood panels" and real analog oscillators and huge ribbons, and other "Vibe"-invoking crap – to me seems to translate to your own lack of inspiration – hence you want all that you see/touch to have that vintage/analogue/funky feel to it. And if it doesn't, you translate that to "lack of innovation" on a manufacturer's part. It's like me blaming Lexus for not throwing in an 8-track in addition to the in-dash CD/DVD/BlueRay/MP3/GPS/Climate Control, etc., that it does have. Well that's not really a fault of theirs – it's at that point just my own infection with nostalgia about something old.
    'Cause quiet frankly, you guys aren't asking for anything new, or that doesn't exist. You're just asking for some frankenstein conglomeration of visible features that would satisfy your own nostalgia and thus provide some inspiration (but for how long, before you get bored and go to insatiably diss some other new product?) Oh, and how is any company supposed to exist financially – by banking on a small niche market of "something wierd and different" seekers such as the complaints above? Cause frankly, that's what that instrument would be – a tiny niche instrument, regardless of however cool and 'vibey'. Look at Andromeda, for peet's sake – possibly the most awesome analog board ever built with more controls and knobs you could ever dream of, and it sounds fat, but you guys didn't buy nearly enough of them to even cover the cost of RnD for that monster, let alone make profit. And so Alesis flopped and sold out to Neumark, who turned them into another crap shop. Do I want an Andromeda? Heck yes. Will it do a whole lot for my music production right now? Not really – just replace some of the VA sounds with real oscillated ones – big whoop. I'll buy it from eBay when I have extra cash to expand my keyboard "museum".
    Bottom line is that as technology advances, the innovation is becoming increasingly more about the internal workings of things, in our case more specifically the code and interface of a keyboard. So if the Kronos is as pristine as the Oasys, then it's a winner, cause it will easily create any of the sounds you were looking to get with "wood and Sick-knobs", it just doesn't "look" it. But that's no problem for a pro who has great music inside, and uses his ears for inspiration more than looks and "vintage/analogue" stereotypes…

    • Maestro AL says:

      I know I’m trying to get under somebody’s skin! :~(|)

      But I do love y’all! 🙂

    • Pedro Caballero Clemente says:

      Thank you soo much maestro al for expressing your opinion which i agree entirely !!!

      i have played the Oasys and i do have a triton and i already reserved my kronos 73keys 😀
      REGARDING THE OASYS it is a dream machine. since it was released i always pursued to buy it and when finnaly i had the money got discontinued so i was kind of frustrated, and i needed a good keyboard so i bought the fantom g8 from roland which was fine but never pleased me since i played the oasys, now i sold it so i can buy the kronos, can’t wait to give my honest opinion here once i buy it 🙂 if is like OASYS, THEN MY SEARCH FOR THE ULTIMATE KEYBOARD HAS COME TO AN END, AND my soul can rest in peace….for now lol

      Kindest Regards

      Pedro Caballero Clemente

  • Skippy says:

    Maestro Al, you dropped a mountain of knowledge on this thread and I agree with most all of it. Very well put and keen inner observations about where things are going, imo.

    If you want to hear the KRONOS, I have a little demo I did for y’all. This highlights one of the 2 new Grand Pianos. There are no loops to any of the samples. If you listen you’ll hear damper and note off noises where they would be if you were recording a real concert grand. The reverb is built-into the Kronos (O-Verb). I added additional production to the middle of the track to match the video I produced.

    I’m also a landscape photographer and I captured some video when I went out one morning to the Columbia River gorge to photograph a waterfall when the temperature had been below freezing for a couple days….

    Enjoy and remember this is just ONE of the new added abilities of Kronos. I could seriously sit at just the piano patch and never leave…

    – Skippy

  • andres says:

    The kronos has polyphony issues! be carefull

  • Andrew P. says:

    Where can I get a brand new M1? This Kronos color LCD looks quite a bit cheesy…

  • James Karns says:

    Hardware is dead. Software is the future.

    • Skippy says:

      Um, James. Sorry, but so far, software has not been the best solution for summing lots of tracks into a stereo mix. You get far better results from hardware…. so no, it’s not dead. The summing inside of Kronos is incredible and has many advantages over most software only soltuions.

      If hardware was dead, all of the mastering houses would have gone out of business years ago.

      • 4ndrw says:

        @skippy you’re an idiot.
        i dont think there’s anything analog about the kronos mix bus
        its just as digital as cubase on the inside.
        pick another dated argument and lets watch that fall down too.

    • Neiko says:

      That’s far from true. U need both. Always

  • JOHN says:

    I like Korg and will keep using my old DW8000. And one day this will be on craigslist. I like the knobs and sliders. For people who like hardware synths, knobs on a synth are important for immediate results on sound shaping(Korg take note). My wish list on a workstation: giant screen and tons of giant knobs.

  • Aravind Karingula says:

    why the price difference between 73keys less than 61keys

  • Neiko says:

    Usually it’s because the 88 keys are weighted

  • GrewUpOnHardwareButGoingSoftware says:

    How does this double as a controller with a DAW station? Doe it have software that automatically maps the midi between the board and a DAW like Logic Pro 9? Does it have all the necessary in’s and out’s to work a controller? I really would have preferred a physical 8 pad layout for percussion/samples rather than the touchscreen stuff.

  • Karl says:

    Just using a Korg Triton Studio 88 for the past two years and have a lot compositions of tracks made with just the Korg-Floppy-WAV-CD and installed in iTunes. But would be nice to have written music. Still wondering how to do that with the Triton. Does the Kronos save music internally and is it easy to go into a computer program that will give you the notes in case there is an opportunity to get “real” musicians to play it. Also might wonder if it is possible to get the Triton Studio music into the Kronos. Hope to see one soon at the local Sam Ash.
    And wonder if most of the Combis from the Triton studio is in the Kronos. From 16mb to 12 GB

    • 4ndrw says:

      Karl, can’t you just record out the parts of the song via midi?

      what you want is your composition as a standard midi file
      then you can create scores of your music with software such as sibelius (though there may be free/cheaper alternatives out there)

      either by recording the midi output from you workstation
      or if there’s a way to convert the song file on the floppy disk

      sorry i can’t be of more help

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