The Korg Kronos is the flagship keyboard of Korg's synthesizer line. It is available in three configurations, each with the same phenomenal performance, production and synthesis capacity. The only difference between the three models being the key bed. This is the 88-key version, a responsive synth-action that additionally appears on the Korg M3-88.
Kronos provides the absolute finest in keyboard sounds. Its presence in performance and production music has been felt across genres and age groups, charming some of the world's practitioners of dance, rock, jazz, hip-hop and every other imaginable style of music. It has been embraced by many of the most successful and most furiously creative musicians on the planet. Wholly apart from the stunning depth and quality of the sounds themselves, the control tools on the Kronos invite emulation of the articulation component of acoustic instruments, as well as creative incorporation of articulations into synthesizer sounds as well. The expansive control surface offers joysticks, sliders, knobs, switches, a ribbon controller, assignable pedal inputs, and Korg's improved resolution color TouchView display. New additions include the easy-to-use Set List mode for song-specific and gig-ready sound selection, and the Smooth Sound Transition feature.
The Production Capacity
For many, the studio is where the work gets done; from laying down tracks, to building up grooves for an on-stage extravaganza, to delivering the soundtrack for today's media rich world. For these creative leaders, Korg has equipped the Kronos Music Workstation's sequencer with 16-track MIDI tracks plus 16 audio tracks, our Open Sampling System, dazzling hi-fidelity effects, as well as flawless plug-in integration with many popular DAW platforms. Of course, Kronos is equipped with phenomenal sound, dynamic drums, and an impressive array of premium sound effects. Add to that the ability to use KARMA, the Drum Track, and the sequencer's RPPR to greatly speed up and enrich the music creation process.
In addition to being Korg' premier workstation, Kronos has it in its blood to satisfy the programmer, sound designer, and synthesizer enthusiast; the musician who dreams of turning visions of the cosmos into sound, of tweaking parameters to conjure invisible sounds from the ether. Kronos rekindles Korg's founding dream that is at the core of synthesis: the exhilaration and enjoyment of creating new sounds, sounds never before heard! A variety of exclusive Korg technologies drive the synth engines to provide astounding results - CMT (Component Modeling Technology); Physical Modeling, Digital Synthesis, Wave Sequencing, MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis); KARMA and more!
Kronos can send MIDI signals to and from your computer via USB. Using the Kronos Editor software (free download, coming soon), sounds and settings can be edited directly from your computer. The Kronos Plug-in Editor (free download, coming soon) lets you use Kronos from within many popular DAW systems, as if it were a plug-in instrument. Kronos can also be used as an audio I/O for your computer, sending and receiving two channels of audio via USB. In a music production system using your Kronos and a computer, there is no need to purchase any additional hardware, creating the simplest possible set-up.
The Inputs and Outputs
The Kronos provides a total of six channels of audio input: 2 analog channels, 2 digital channels (S/P DIF optical, 48 kHz/24-bit), and 2 USB channels. As audio outputs, you have the 2 main channels (L/MONO, R) as well as four independent audio outputs, 2 digital channels (S/P DIF optical, 48 kHz/24-bit), and 2 USB channels (note: the 2 digital channels and 2 USB channels output the same signal as the main L/R output). All analog inputs and outputs support TRS balanced connections. The analog inputs provide a MIC/LINE select switch and an independent level control for each channel, offering the flexibility to meet any situation. In addition to the type-B USB connector used for communicating with your computer, there are two type-A USB 2.0 ports for use with external storage media such as flash memory, hard drives, or CD-R/RW and DVD drives. The output of the Kronos can be resampled to a USB storage device such as a hard drive, or connected to USB CD-R/RW drive to create audio CDs.
KRONOS features a sequencer/recording section that offers both 16 MIDI tracks plus 16 audio tracks; a great resource for putting together a dazzling performance or a brilliant production. MIDI sequencing makes it easy to capture ideas, inspiration, and pro-quality phrases using the KARMA, Drum Track, or RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) functions. The 16-track audio recorder simultaneously captures up to four tracks of 16-bit/24-bit uncompressed data at a sampling rate of 48 kHz. Play along with recorded tracks, add effects, and then resample the KRONOS itself and place the resampled WAV files directly in a track. When polishing your tracks, feel free to use mixer automation and editing functions such as copy, paste, and normalize to get the results you want. Plug in a USB CD-burner and assemble your album right from the TouchView display.
KRONOS provides 16 internal effects to add impact to your sonic creations. Each of the 12 Insert effects can be applied to individual or multiple timbres in a combination, or to individual or multiple tracks of the sequencer. In addition, two Master effects can be applied to sends 1/2, and two Total effects can be applied to all tracks at the final stage of the sound. A separate three-band EQ is provided for every timbre, for every sequencer track, and for every audio track for adjusting subtle tonal balances or for creatively modifying the overall sound.
The Performance Power
The new Set List screen lets you instantly recall your favorite programs, combinations, or song data with a single touch, regardless of mode. There are 128 Set List locations, and each one can have 128 slots. Sixteen of these slots appear at a time as buttons in the TouchView display, color-coded to ensure easy visibility even in dim lighting. This is a great convenience during a live performance or in the production workplace. You can also leave notes for yourself using the Set List page, to remember the key of a song, for example. The Set List also provides a stereo graphic EQ at the final stage of the main audio output, which can be used to compensate for the acoustical character of the performance venue.
Kronos features Smooth Sound Transition technology. This powerful new addition is designed to maintain any currently held, played, or sustaining notes (with their effects), helping to prevent drop-outs from occurring when you switch sounds or change from Program mode to Combi mode. A high level of technology has been applied to finally bring this sought-after ability to reality, fulfilling the requests of many musicians.
Korg's TouchView graphical user interface is based on a new large, color 8-inch (800 x 600 pixel) touch screen. The TouchView display is the centerpiece of Korg's intuitive design, providing easy-to-view information and simple touch control. In developing Kronos, we also incorporated numerous images of actual instruments and their respective controls into the display, to ensure that the musician enjoys the feeling of playing an instrument - rather than controlling a machine.
In addition to the parameters accessible directly from the TouchView display, Kronos also offers a wealth of realtime controllers to enhance any performance and to aid navigation. A four-way joystick, ribbon controller, and two assignable switches are located to the left of the keyboard. An additional Vector joystick is nearby. Above the keyboard, nine sliders, eight knobs and a number of switches provide realtime interaction with features at the heart of the Kronos' impressive sound. The damper pedal input supports half-damping, providing another level of piano realism. In addition to the damper pedal jack, there are also two assignable pedal inputs, one footpedal type and one footswitch style.
More About the Sounds:
SGX-2 (Premium Piano)
Choose your piano! In addition to the acclaimed German Grand and Japanese Grand provided in the SGX-1 engine, the enhanced KRONOS SGX-2 Premium Piano now includes the distinctive Berlin Grand. By adding the EXs12 Austrian Grand option (sold separately), KRONOS can offer access to the greatest names in the grand piano world. Un-looped stereo samples recorded for every key provide a natural, authentic decay. Improved 12-level velocity switching exceeds the previous 8-level data, and features such as nuanced extras as pedal string resonance and una corda sample data to recreate every detail of a grand piano performance.
With the damper pedal depressed, all of the piano strings are free to resonate. When any key is played on the piano, other strings that are pitch-related to the original key may begin to vibrate via sympathetic resonance. The SGX-2 accurately captures and recreates this sympathetic string resonance, adding an additional level of detail to the grand piano sound.
The pedal to the far left on a grand piano is the soft pedal. The technical name for this pedal is una corda. Una corda translates literally as "one string." Normally, the piano hammer strikes all of the strings tuned to a particular note, usually three or two. Pressing the Soft/Una Corda pedal shifts the entire piano action, so that the hammer hits only one string. The resulting sound is lower in volume, and has a more muted tone. The SGX-2 Piano Engine contains new una corda samples that can replicate this subtle shift in volume and tone to provide a faithful piano performance, complete with all pedal actions.
EP-1 (MDS Electric Piano)
The KRONOS EP-1 sound engine is dedicated to faithfully recreating six of the most popular classic electric pianos. The MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis) technology eliminates the transitions between velocity-switched samples, and does away with the unnatural behavior of looped samples. Smoothly responding to the nuances of the player's touch, yet allowing your performance to reach an energetic climax, this modelled engine features an astounding dynamic range that exceeds what one might expect from digital sound generation. For each of the six different models, different amps, cabinets, speakers, and standard vintage effects are realistically simulated. From the samples to the touch and the effects, all aspects affecting the sound are coordinated into a single package, making this the ultimate electric piano.
CX-3 Tonewheel Organ
The original KORG CX-3 combo organ went on sale in 1980. Loved by musicians around the world, this classic organ reappeared in 2000 as a new product with the same name, but using the latest technology. In KRONOS, the CX-3 engine precisely models this classic tonewheel instrument. Proprietary KORG technology has been used to perfectly reproduce the vacuum tube amp, and effects such as Vibrato/Chorus. Special attention was given to the rotary speaker effect, which lets you choose from seven types, as well as use the KRONOS' joystick in the X-axis to control the speed. Even the instability, fold-back, leakage, and noise of the tonewheels have been obsessively analyzed and recreated. The organ sounds heard in legendary performances-some recreated here by the original artists-are now yours for the playing. Experience these classic organ sounds, reborn for the present day.
HD-1 (High Definition Synthesizer)
HD stands for "High Definition" indicating the HD-1's superior sound, starting with KORG's proprietary low-aliasing sample playback oscillators, full-bandwidth multimode resonant filters, and extraordinarily fast & smooth envelopes and LFOs. The HD-1 is the most powerful PCM sound engine in KORG's history, into which KORG has poured all the PCM know-how accumulated since the M1. All of KORG's acclaimed PCM sounds are painstakingly created by specialized technicians. Data that was reluctantly omitted from previous models due to limited memory has now been called back into service on the KRONOS. The amount of waveform memory alone might rival a PC-based sound engine. Yet the real difference is in the completely different level of quality and finish that is obvious when you play these sounds as instruments on the KRONOS. The finest technicians, working on the finest platform, and aiming at the finest quality: that's the HD-1.
MS-20EX (Legacy Analog Collection)
Packed with cutting-edge technology, KRONOS nonetheless has respect for the classics. The KORG MS-20 first appeared in 1978 and quickly captivated many synth fans with its rich personality marked by thick and solid sound, aggressive filters, and patching capability that provided nearly infinite possibilities for creating sound. Using KORG's CMT (Component Modeling Technology) the MS-20EX faithfully reproduces the MS-20 while dramatically expanding its patch panel functionality. Modulate filters with audio-rate oscillators; turn audio inputs into control signals; control all of the original knobs with mod sources including additional envelopes, LFOs, and real-time controllers. It's a tweaker's dream. And of course, the KRONOS version is now majorly polyphonic.
PolysixEX (Legacy Analog Collection)
The Polysix first appeared in 1981, offering six-voice polyphony and program memory, and a surprisingly competitive price tag. With its self-oscillating four-pole filter, smooth analog oscillator and sub-oscillator, plus a lush Chorus/Ensemble effect, the PolysixEX extends the abilities of the original in many creative ways. The strings and pads that were such a major feature of the Polysix will be invaluable when you need the sounds of the early '80s. The classic arpeggiator built into the original Polysix is also provided. As a bonus, it's also capable of extremely high polyphony.
AL-1 (Analog Synthesizer)
Feature-packed, the AL-1 is the same premium analog modeling sound engine that was first featured on the KORG OASYS, the Open Architecture Synthesis Studio back in 2005. Completely eliminating aliasing noise, and delivering the supple and fascinating sound of analog synthesis, this sound engine uses oscillator waveforms and filter morphing to generate new sounds that were unobtainable for analog synthesizers of the past.
MOD-7 (Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer)
This sound engine uses VPM synthesis based on the VPM (Variable Phase Modulation) technology that powered two classic instruments, the Prophecy which appeared in 1995 and the Z1 which appeared in 1997 as a further evolution, and adds PCM sample playback, multi-mode filters, and external input to create a freely patchable semi-modular synthesizer. Combine Variable Phase Modulation (VPM) from KORG's classic Prohpecy and Z1, add in some wave-shaping, a little ring modulation, mix in a few samples, and add subtractive synthesis, plus a modular patch-panel system, and you have the MOD-7. Exceptionally versatile, it offers everything from classic FM keyboards, bells and basses (including the ability to import sounds from vintage DX synths) to rhythmic soundscapes and sparkling, epic pads.
STR-1 (Plucked Strings)
Based on the physical modeling know-how KORG developed over the course of many years, this struck/plucked-string physical modeling sound engine takes advantage of cutting-edge technology. This sound engine shines at producing sounds whose tone responds to your touch in ways that are difficult for a PCM sound engine to reproduce: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harpsichord, clavinet, harp, bell, as well as ethnic instruments. It also goes much further, allowing you to synthesize and modify sounds that do not exist in reality. This is a sound engine of the future, one that allows the synthesizer programmer to construct truly new sounds.
KRONOS System Version 3.0 has beeen released for the previous KRONOS versions, allowing existing KRONOS and KRONOSX users to obtain nearly all the functionality(*) of the new KRONOS, including the SGX-2 premium piano sound engine and the new set list screen.
(*) PCM data for the Berlin Piano will be available for a fee.
In 2017 a special Gold and Platinum limited- edition of the 88-key model edition became available.