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Korg | OASYS 88
The Korg OASYS is a workstation synthesizer released in 2005 using a custom Linux operating system that was designed to be arbitrarily expandable via software updates, with its functionality limited only by the PC-like hardware.
As of November 24, 2009 the latest version of the OASYS OS is 1.3.3a, featuring the following synthesis engines:
The HD-1 is a sample+synthesis engine with a two "oscillator" structure. In addition to the two "oscillators," an HD-1 Program contains a Vector Envelope, Common LFO (per-program as opposed to per-voice, similar to the modulation LFOs in some early polyphonic analog synths), two common key tracking generators, KARMA settings, and effects.
Each "oscillator" consists of a sample playback oscillator, dual multimode filter, nonlinear "drive" and low boost section, amp, and pan. The sample playback oscillator has four velocity zones, each of which can play a mono or stereo sample or a Wave Sequence. Velocity zones can overlap or crossfade. Korg claims very low aliasing distortion, due to the use of band limited interpolation.
Wave Sequences were first introduced on Korg's Wavestation synthesizer, released in 1990. Wave Sequences allow a single note to play through a list of samples, one after the other, with or without crossfades, with other associated parameters changing for each sample, as listed below. This can create smooth, evolving timbres, or rhythmic effects. Internally, Wave Sequences are implemented by using two voices; voice A plays the first sample, voice B plays the second sample, voice A plays the third sample, and so on. Other synthesizers have featured concepts which are similar in some aspects, such as PPG, Waldorf, and Access Virus wavetables, Synclavier resynthesis, and Ensoniq Transwaves and Hyperwaves.
In the lists below, features new to the OASYS (in comparison to the Wavestation) are noted.
OASYS Wave Sequences include, for each step:
And, for the sequence as a whole:
Differences from the Wavestation
Additions to the original Wavestation implementation include time/tempo modes, sample-locked tempo sync, constant-time crossfades in tempo mode, fade-in and fade-out shapes, swing, trigger quantization and key sync, note advance, real-time duration modulation, control of reverse and sample start point per step, and modulation outputs.
EXs is a Korg acronym for "EXpansion Sample". They are sample sounds that come pre-loaded with OASYS. EXs-1 is a sample library with acoustic instruments including guitars, brass, piano, strings, beside others. EXs-2 is a grand piano sampled in each key with 4 velocity levels plus damper. The 1G RAM of OASYS only permits to load 1 EXs at a time, but the user can expand it to have both working at the same time.
EXs3 ($149) includes over 700 MB of brass and woodwind samples, perfect for orchestral and pop productions. Recorded using world-class instruments and players, the collection features piccolo, flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, English horn, bassoon, contrabassoon, soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, trumpet, piccolo trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, trombone, French horn, bass tuba, contrabass tuba, dual-trumpets, dual-trombones, and brass ensemble. Designed to be richly expressive, the samples include multiple dynamics, straight and vibrato versions, breathy and overblown tones, legato, staccato, trills, flutter, growl, sforzando, glissando up/down, falls, doits, voice, breath, attack elements, grace notes, and key noise elements. 128 Programs and 64 Combinations take full advantage of the new sounds.
EXi is a Korg acronym for "EXpansion Instrument". It refers to all OASYS synth models other than the HD-1, including the AL-1, CX-3, etc.
This is the Program structure for playing EXi. It is similar to that of the HD-1, but differs slightly in a few ways, such as:
Virtual analog synth engine.
A modeled tonewheel organ based on Korg's dedicated CX-3 organ keyboard. This organ mimics and in many ways enhances the sound of the Hammond organ and Leslie speaker with amplifier simulation and other enhancements.
A plucked string physical model that allows you to pluck, strike, scrape, or otherwise "excite" the string with 16 different "pluck" types, noise, or any of the onboard or RAM-based PCM waveforms.
The optional LAC-1 Legacy Analog Collection($249.00) EXi adds the MS-20EX and PolysixEX virtual analog synthesizers.
The MOD-7 ($249.00) includes six oscillators which combine simultaneous VPM (aka FM), Waveshaping, and ring modulation, plus a PCM oscillator, noise generator, audio input, two multi-mode filters, three 2-in/1-out mixers, and an input main mixer – with a patch panel for routing them together.
Note: The MOD-7 and PolysixEX/MS-20EX plug-ins are only available from www.korguser.net. Owners must register their Oasys at the site in order to purchase them. This includes providing the Public ID and serial numbers of their unit.
|Engine||8 Engine types|
|Engine Detailed||8 engine types: Frequency Modulation, Karplus–Strong, Phase Distorion, Physical modelling, ROM, Sampling, Subtractive, Virtual Analog|
|Sampler||16 bit, 48 kHz up to 1.5 GB|
|Filter (VCF)||Generally there are two multi-mode filters per voice; (low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and band-reject) four-mode filter routings (single, serial, parallel and 24dB mode)|
|FX||2 Master, 12 inserts|
|Arpeggiator||KARMA Engine, Available with the LAC-1 EXi synthesis engine using the PolysixEX|
|Recording||16 track MIDI and 16 track Audio Recorder|
|Key type||Keys, Hammer action|
|Audio||Stereo out, 8 individual outs, ADAT I-O|
|Extra info||40 GB Drive of which the 314 MB "ROM" is loaded at startup. 1GB ram expandable to 2GB. Optionally-loaded 313MB EXs1 "ROM Expansion" & 503MB EXs2 "Concert Grand Piano.|
|Produced:||2005 - 2009|
|Legend:||Obvious||Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable|
|VCO||Voltage Controlled Oscillator||DCO||Digital Controlled Oscillator|
|LFO||Low Frequency Oscillator||Sub||Sub Oscillator|
|VCF||Voltage Controlled Filter||VCA||Voltage Controlled Amplifier|
|Velocity||As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key.||Aftertouch||Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.|
|Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.|