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KingKorg - Vintage Analogue Modelling & Tube Tone

Published: Fri April 19, 2013  News Feed

KingKorg - Vintage Analogue Modelling & Tube Tone

By Hugh McKenna

All Hail King Korg

Korg have a long history of making superb synthesisers. From their analogue originals like the MS-20 and Mono/Poly through to modern classics like the Microkorg and R3. The KingKorg draws from both realms to create a perfect synth synthesis that has analogue grit with tube distortion and smooth, defined filters along with the deep tweaking potential and realistic tones of digital. Once you consider that the KingKorg only weighs 7kg you realise that it's an ideal live option too, delivering analogue waveforms, 80's style DWGS (digital oscillators) and realistic PCM sounds all in one. Because the majority controls are hands on you can tweak things on the fly live and sounds come together quickly when inspiration strikes in the studio.

That's enough of us prattling on however, the best way to understand is to see and hear it in action. Here's a great video breaking things down and explaining how each section of the KingKorg works.



Virtual Analogue - Classic Waveforms and Filters

For many people you simply can't beat that original analogue sound, so Korg went to great lengths to recreate the most important feature of any analogue synth, namely the filters. In their review Sound On Sound noted that the filter design was exceptional with none of the artifacting that can often plague other VA synths.
Don't worry about it. You want smooth filter sweeps? You got 'em. - Sound On Sound April 2013
Korg designed 5 amazing custom filters for the KK as well as modelling a number on some iconic synths. Afficionados will love the Minimoog, Prophet 5, SEM, MS20 and TB303 style filter options. That covers everything from smooth & sweet to wild & vicious. You can hear this range in full effect in this demo, starting with lots of raw saw, square & sine moving through self oscillating filters and into hybrid PCM sounds at the end.

Of course the KingKorg goes even further, allowing CV connections to other analogue synth gear including the Korg Monotribe. Get a sequence running on the Monotribe and play along on the KingKorg, merrily tweaking either with loads of tactile control on knobs and buttons.



DWGX Digital Hybrid

The DWGX waveforms are a Korg original and were used in the hugely popular DW8000 synth from the eighties. Bringing a little more harmonic complexity than a straight analogue oscillator but not a true sample like the PCM, the DWGX is ideal for complex leads, intriguing modulated pads and layering or layering in with more basic sounds to create something really rich and epic. This video gives nice patch by patch sample of the wonderful, raw sounds from in a DW8000, just imagine lobbing in one of the VPM oscillators in there for almost FM synth depth and a nice fat sub sine wave, all warmed nicely with the true tube distortion.



PCM Synthesis

Then of course there are all the realistic tones you can get from sampled PCM sources. Nicely captured in another sound demo from Korg.



Vocoder & Live Use

Last but not certainly not least comes the vocoder, another ideal tool for the live arsenal and some experimentation in the studio. The vocoder and KingKorg's live capabilities are well demonstrated in this video from Korg Japan, please note that the video starts with a little conversation in Japanese before the music kicks off. A consummate technical demonstration of live synth playing while singing on the vocoder, very impressive.



Finally we've got an example of imitation as the sincerest form of flattery with one of the most famous analogue synth sounds (from an Oberheim OBX originally) every being replicated almost perfectly on a KingKorg.

 
 
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