image by Korg

The microKORG is the low-cost, super-portable follow-up to the successful MS2000 Virtual Analog synthesizer.  This small, light and compact synth features almost everything its big brother does, and while it has mini-keys (that many users will scoff to), comes standard with a cool condenser microphone, perfect to play the Vocoder patches in the last bank.

The microKORG is unashamedly trying to look like a vintage Moog, thanks to its wooden-type side panels, the totally retro style, and most of all - the large Minimoog knobs employed on the front panel.

This machine sounds great!!!  Just like the MS2000, the micro has a typically Korg VA sound - that started with the Prophecy and is now continuing with the Radias:  full, bold, modern, and very much in fashion.  The presets are different from the MS2000, and are much more geared toward the young "electronica" crowd:

it's enough to take a look at the six denominations for the internal banks:  Trance, Techno/House, Electronica, D'n'B/Breaks, HipHop/Vintage, Retro, S.E./Hit, and Vocoder.  All of these still are, in 2006, very popular genres.  There's no Rock/Pop or GM on this machine :-)

The arpeggiator is just as great as on the 2000 versions.  The matrix editor is easy to use, and it's definitely possible to come up with original creations starting from the original presets.  The lack of a true display though, and the complexity due to the many editing parameters, make the microKORG a bit more tedious to use than its bigger brothers.

The vocoder section is certainly the highlight of this machine - the on-board gooseneck condenser mic does a good job and the vocoder settings are many and useful.  Just be careful not to overdrive the input too much (watch the "Audio In" LEDs).

Trivia fact:  in 2005, on the Internet keyboard/synth forums, the most asked question was "Micron or microKORG?"  The Alesis Micron is an excellent little machine of its own, and just as like the microKORG takes the best from the MS2000, the Micron gets it from its bigger brother Ion.  Which one is the best?  It's hard to say!  They are both excellent little machines, but very different in sonic character.

In all, this is a little gem of a synthesizer, just like the Micron.  I recommend them both!!!

Korg microKORG factory demo songs:



Korg microKORG Factory Voice audio demos in mp3:

Stream all demos below

Voice name with audio demo My comments
A.11 Trancey Arpeg. Sparkly Trance evolving synth
A.12 Acid Saw Bass Nicely '80s
A.13 Unison Saw Lead The Trance lead.
A.14 Unison HPF+LPF Nice HighPass filter
A.15 Weepy Lead Reminds of the Roland JP-8000
A.16 Slippy Pad Fantastic delayed pad, obviously modeled after Underworld's hit "Born Slippy".
A.17 Sweep Poly Pad Typical Korg VA sound.
A.18 Filter Strings Beautiful virtual filters at work.
A.21 Auto House Only 4-note polyphonic, and look at what you can do with this.
A.22 Burnin' Rave Superb!!  At 00:16, I disengage the arpeggio, and enter true RAVE MODE :-D!!!
A.23 X-Mod Perc. Nice out-of-this-world atmospheres.
A.24 House Bass Classic analog bass.
A.25 Distorted Bass Aggressive Techno bass.
A.26 Acid Square Bass Superb TB-303ish sound.
A.27 Sync Bass Powerful oscillator sync
A.28 Hard House Lead Awesome lead, with just the right touch of portamento.
A.31 Sequence Pad Relaxed and pleasant evolving pad.
A.32 Bleeps Perc. Nice and different-sounding.
A.33 Gated Sync Bass Loopy goody
A.34 Flap & Sweep Retro-nice.
A.35 Reverse Lead Cool
A.36 IDM Pad Even though I'm not fond of the term "IDM", I have to say this is a nice "glacial" pad.  Sorry for the clipping in a few points in the recording.
A.37 Flanger 5th Pad Beautiful and classy pad
A.38 Voice /A/ The vocal side of the micro
A.41 2 Step Bass Drum 'n Bass bass sound, very in vogue - pure sine.
A.42 Techstep Ring Bass Another very popular bass sound in D'n'B.
A.43 Valve Kick Bass Clicky and full.
A.44 Drive Bass Nice
A.45 Blade Bass Superb, aggressive synth bass, even useful for leads.
A.46 Sweep Sync Lead Classic sync.
A.47 Science Lead More aggressiveness.
A.48 Gated Chord Weirdo
A.51 Dirty Bass Typical hip-hop/Snoop Doggy Dogg bass
A.52 MG Bass 1 Great-sounding Moog bass
A.53 R&B Lead Standard rap whistle
A.54 PWM Strings I've always loved PWM strings, starting on Korg's very own PolySix.
A.55 Reed Piano Beautiful emulation of a Wurlitzer EP200, complete with its tremolo.
A.56 British Organ Oustanding Vox Continental organ patch.
A.57 Synth Clav Classic "Prophet-5" synth clav.
A.58 Tape Choir Nice Mellotron-style choir, but more digital sounding.
A.61 Elektric Arpeg. Marvelous retro arpeggio, very Tangerine Dream.
A.62 Water Edge Beautiful pad!
A.63 80's Synth Bass Classic 80s synth bass.  Better without arpeggio
A.64 Reverse Sync Lead More sync fun.
A.65 Bright Poly Synth Solid analog pad
A.66 Poly Synth Very VA.
A.67 Warm 4th Pad The mod wheel brings it back to unison.
A.68 Octave Strings Very nice and cinematic.
A.71 Killa Beez Big swarm!
A.72 Diginator Brrr!
A.73 Stutter Yep.
A.74 Invaders Martian grammar
A.75 Ring Chord Cool '90s synth
A.76 Sweep min Chord Phat!
A.77 Noisy Hit Nice hit
A.78 4 OSC m7 Chord Groovy.
A.81 Male-Ahhh Guttural nicety.
A.82 Male-Eeee Yes.
A.83 Male-Ahhh 5th Yep.
A.84 Vocoder Ensemble I'm saying "Vocoder Ensemble on the microKORG... Vocoder Ensemble..."
A.85 Vocoder Chorus I'm saying "This is the Vocoder Chorus on the Korg microKORG, yeah yeah yeah" :-D
A.86 Vocoder 5th I'm saying "Do it do it do it do it do it now, do it on the Korg, the microKORG"
A.87 Bass Vocoder I'm sayhing "Vocoder Bass, Vocoder Bass, this is a Vocoder Bass.  It goes really low, really low, really really low"
A.88 Voice Changer My three children playing with the microKORG :-)
B.11 Synth Harp Classic MS2000 sounds.
B.12 Acid Ring Bass Nice acid line.
B.13 Unison Ring Lead One of the best sounds on board.
B.14 Phaser Lead Warm and fuzzy.
B.15 Synth Pizz Pizzicato synth
B.16 Euphoric Synth Typical Trance "hands in the air" synthy.
B.17 Flashin' Pad Another classic MS2000 patch.
B.18 Stream Pad Nice pad.
B.21 S&H Signal Tribal and great-sounding!!!
B.22 Dirty Motion The 70s meet the 90s
B.23 Short Ring Perc. Delayed percussion
B.24 Organ Bass Terrific organ bass line that works perfectly also as standard dance/jazz organ!
B.25 Unison SQU Bass Huge square-wave bass.
B.26 Detune Bass Massive.
B.27 Short Synth Bass Devilish
B.28 NRG Stab P o w e r
B.31 Noize Blasts Cool
B.32 Future Perc. Definitely futuristic.
B.33 Rhythmic Pad Nice '80s electronica
B.34 Pump Organ :-)
B.35 Lazy Pitch Korg waves
B.36 BPF 4th Pad Superb BandPass filter.
B.37 Future Pad More electronica pads
B.38 Shadow Pad Reminds of Thomas Dolby for some reason.
B.41 X-Mod Bass Low bass
B.42 Pipe Bass Sounds like a drain, one.
B.43 Reverse Bass Classic "Mr. Oizo Flat Eric" bass.
B.44 RingSync Bass Feel the ring modulation.
B.45 HPF Sweep Bass Loooove that HighPass filter.
B.46 Nu Skool Drop Hypnotic
B.47 Modulation Lead Cutting
B.48 Grimey Storm Ok.
B.51 Dark Bass Nice filters as usual.
B.52 MG Bass 2 Variation on the Moog bass.
B.53 Sub Bass Very, very low.
B.54 70's Funk Lead Very cool reso synth lead, with characteristic "seasick" vibrato.
B.55 Rock Organ Reminds of the Rock Organ patch on the D-50.
B.56 Perc. Organ Nice jazz organ
B.57 Phaser Clav Clavinet with effect
B.58 String Machine Classic analog strings.
B.61 Analog Bell Glass pleasure.
B.62 Stairs Pad Same beautiful pad as on the MS2000's homonymous patch.
B.63 Triangle Lead Nice
B.64 Random Comp It's random
B.65 Stab Saw Retro.
B.66 Square Comp Reminds of certain Daft Punk sounds.
B.67 Detuned Comp Detuned synth
B.68 Old Strings Ravishing, beautiful synth string pad
B.71 Time Zone SFX Goes high...
B.72 Domin8or Classic "hoover" lead, as featured on Human Resource's hit song
B.73 Thunder A-ha.
B.74 Cry sniff..sob..
B.75 HPF m7 Chord 90s - typical pads
B.76 M3rd Chord Venga Boys would love this.
B.77 Hardcore Hit Hit.
B.78 Artcore M7 Chord Artcore... isn't that an Ibanez guitar too?
B.81 Female-Ahhh Nice female vocals
B.82 Kid-Eeey Vocoderial.
B.83 Kid-Ahhh (Wow) wow.
B.84 Vocoder Pulse I'm saying "Vocoder Pulse, this is the Vocoder Pulse on the microKORG".
B.85 Vocoder SQU I'm saying "Vocoder Square, Vocoder Square, it's made from a square waveform, square waveform"
B.86 Vocoder Wah Just vocalizing.
B.87 Vocoder Vox Wave I'm saying "Vocoder Vox Vocoder,  Vox Wave, that's what it is... it's the Vox Wave, it's the Vox Wave, Vox Wave, Vox Wave, vox."
B.88 Vocoder DWGS I'm saying "D W G S x 3"



Features at a glance
Year of release:  
Polyphony: 4 voice
Presets: 2 banks of 64
Rhythms: no
Keyboard: 3-octave minikeys
Responds to velocity: yes
Sound generation method: Virtual Analog
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: no
Effects: yes
Controls: Vintage Moog style knobs
Outputs: stereo
Misc: matrix editing


Korg microKORG pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)




Korg microKORG manual

available at www.korg.com



SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION
http://snakecult.tiredmachine.com/1025-custom-microkorg-patch-library patches retro/vintage patches for microKORG

Korg microKORG review with audio demo