The Future of Workstation Synths is Here!If you know about Korg synths, then you're already aware that the 'M' designation is purely reserved for their top of the line performance synths. Maybe you've even heard of the Korg OASYS - the flagship monster keyboard workstation/keyboard equivalent of an ultra futuristic concept car, you know, like the ones that look like they belong in The Jetsons... Any way, the Korg M3 isn't just another wussy wannabe workstation, it's an all-out music-making masterpiece to beat all synths. This amazing workstation sports a tasteful selection of the hottest features introduced by the OASYS, such as its Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound generator, plus it's got some of the best tried and true features Korg has ever come up with, including second-generation KARMA functionality and a multi-purpose control surface for full DAW integration. And that's just the beginning.
Check out some of the M3's sounds:
Top Performance Pianos
- Clear-cut piano sounds that are useful for solo playing and also stand out in a group context.
- Variations that simulate playing with different finger touches.
- Brighter sounds that are useful both for rock and jazz music.
- Upright piano sounds reminiscent of famous British rock tunes.
- Popular M1 piano and various stage piano sounds commonly used in the 80s.
- Layered sounds with strings or synths.
Classic Electric Pianos and Funky Clavinets
- Vintage electric piano sounds with nuances simulating the varying condition of different instruments.
- Popular vintage electric piano sounds with appropriate settings for auto-panning, chorus, delay, etc.
- Classic reed-based piano sounds with typical tremolo settings.
- Variations offering the sound of using a guitar amp's natural distortion.
- Sounds with key-off noise emulations.
- Acoustic string sounds and vintage string keyboard sounds.
More Brass and Woodwinds
- A wide variety of sounds that are immediately useful for ensemble parts.
- Brass and woodwind sounds which combine multiple instruments, such as trumpet and trombone, flute, horns and strings, etc.
- Realistic guitar sounds using a wide variety of amp types and sizes.
- Inspiring and immediately useful sounds with classic distortion,
- chorus and delay effects.
Tons and Tons of Awesome Synths
- Simple and easy-to-use analog synth sounds.
- Vintage solo/lead synth sounds covering the "must-have" sounds from the '70s and '80s.
These aren't your standard, run-of-the-mill synth sounds either. Thanks to the technology derived from the development of the flagship OASYS's HD-1 engine, the M3 sports Enhanced Definition Synthesis (EDS). EDS lets the Korg M3 put every bit of its 256MB of PCM sample data to work in extraordinary ways, generating super-detailed sounds with none of the fake or flat flaws of traditional synthesis. That means each of the 1,028 multisamples and 1,606 drum samples, dual oscillators, four-level velocity switching/crossfading/layering stages, and stereo sampling engines produce the most detailed, realistic, and expressive sounds imaginable. The bottom line is, if you want realistic sounds, you need an M3.
Take a look as some of what's in this beast. Like all synths (yes, even the ones that use really really big samples) the M3 uses an oscillator or sound engine, followed by a filter section and an amp section. Okay, that's enough of synthesis 101, but the point is, the better the components, the better the results. And this baby's got pure magic under the hood. Each oscillator's got two resonant filters that you can arrange in series or in parallel, which you can set to lowpass, highpass, band-pass, and band-reject ("notch" for you old-school synth cats).
The M3's amp section is amazing too, with a driver circuit that isn't noisy, but rather adds some bite or character to add definition to your sound. Of course, if you want to, you can always open up the low boost and cause the walls to rumble, the floor to shake, and the cats to hide... if that's the sort of thing you like to do. We could probably go on all day about its envelope generators, modulation routings, dual LFOs, integrated EQs, and super-cool AMS Mixers... but let's just say that the sound-shaping capacity of the M3 is totally off-the-charts.
Besides, you've got to check out these effects! Unlike those other synths and their 3- or even (shame on them) 1-part effects sections, the Korg M3's got up to five simultaneous insert effects, two master effects, and one all encompassing Total Effect. Sure it's got all the standards, such as choruses, flangers, phasers, delays and reverbs, dynamics processing, and many more, but it's also got super-realistic amp modeling and speaker simulation, a vocoder, and some ultra-freaky effects like "Grain Shifter" and "Talking Modulator" you can use to make totally new and creative sounds.
In all, the Korg M3 comes with 512 preset programs and room for a total of 1,664 user sounds. Now, there's a lot you can do to take advantage of that space and even expand it. First off, there's the M3's Open Sampling System, which lets you sample and resample your own sounds to produce new combinations of voices and effects. You can even capture entire performances within the sequencer. Full editing tools include Time Slice, Time Stretch, Crossfade Looping, Rate Change and Normalize, so there's no limit to what you can do with your samples. You're not limited to the M3's internal memory either. Just hook up any USB thumb drive or hard drive, and you've got that much more room to record.
Here's another awesome way to get more sounds in your M3. When you add a EXB-RADIAS chip, your M3 instantly gains 128 powerful MMT synthesis sounds and 32 new drum kits provided (with room for a total of 144). Alone, a single M3 module allows for sixteen timbres at the same time, including a Drum Track and up to four KARMA Modules plus lots of effects. Each voice gets its own dedicated 2-band EQ and its own Tone Adjust setup. Combination mode, is ideal for performing, giving you free rein over setting up splits and layers. Thanks to the M3's comprehensive controls, you can work each layer in and out in real time. Plus, you can offset sounds by time and tempo to create fantastic soundscapes. Now, add to that the M3's second generation KARMA engine, which gives you realtime instrument articulation and backing phrases as you play, and you've got yourself a crazy-powerful stage synth!
Korg M3-61 Expandable Synthesizer Workstation Features at a Glance:
- 61 semi-weighted action keybed (RH3) with aftertouch
- EDS (Enhanced Definition Synthesis) chip shares OASYS low-aliasing oscillators, new filters, drive parameter and AMS mixer
- Karma-all 2nd Generation Karma functions from OASYS are included
- 256 MB ROM incorporates the 'best of' OASYS ROM
- 1024 programs (1664 possible)
- 384 combinations (1792 possible)
- Color Touchview display doubles as an X-Y pad for real time control
- Control surface has 8 sliders and switches
- 8 velocity sensitive pads trigger notes, chords and controller messages
- Drum Track features provides grooves for jamming, Karma, or songwriting
- 480 PPQ sequencer
- Open Sampling System
- Editor/Librarian software is both stand alone and a plug-in within host software
- Korg Komponent System allows multiple modules to be added