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Now with Version 2.0 software.
The Korg KARMA Keyboard builds on the effects and synth engines of KORG's epic Triton. The Karma's revolutionary technology generates amazing phrases, grooves, and other effects —- arpeggios, glissandos, fingerpicking and guitar strumming, portamento, pitch-bend moves, and more. Karma gives you the power to play impossible interwoven cascades of notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, and natural-sounding glissandos. Alter and randomize all of it in real time with a bank of knobs and switches. Create 640 user programs (384 preloaded), plus 256 ROM programs and nine drum programs with 64 drum kits. Combine up to eight programs set up in splits and layers for 768 possible user combos. The 16-track sequencer handles up to 200,000 notes and 200 songs (999 measures per song). Realtime Pattern Play/Recording for one-touch phrases.
Seven Years in the Making
At Korg they're always dreaming up innovative ways to make their keyboards more expressive, more powerful, and more musical. When they first learned about a brand new technology called KARMA, they knew they'd found one. Seven years after assembling a global team of skilled engineers, programmers and musicians, the Karma Music Workstation brings new music-making possibilities to life.
To start, its synth and effects engines are identical to Triton's - so you know how great it sounds. It's also compatible with Triton sound data and supports the same user-installable PCM and MOSS expansion options so your sound palette can grow. Plus, the Karma Music Workstation provides the same feature-packed 16-track sequencer that has made the Korg Triton the leader in music workstations. So what makes this new keyboard so special?
It's KARMA, Korg's revolutionary technology that generates amazing phrases, grooves and other musical effects that can be altered and randomized in real-time. With a bank of knobs and switches, you control elements like rhythmic complexity, harmony, melodic repeat, phrasing, panning...even the synth's sound and effects.
KARMA gives you the power to play impossible, interweaving cascades of notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, natural-sounding glissandos, intricate fingerpicking and guitar strumming, swooping portamento and pitch bend moves to name but a few. The only limiting factor is your imagination.
Karma like this only comes around once every seven years. Fortunately for you, the wait is over.
KORG's finest tone generator -- the HI synthesis system
The 62-voice Karma Music Workstation features the same world-renowned HI (Hyper Integrated) synthesis system as Korg's TRITON Music Workstation/Sampler. It includes 425 high-quality PCM multisamples and 413 drum samples covering a wide range of musical needs—32 Mbytes in all. And an array of editable parameters let you tweak every sonic detail.
The effects section provides 102 effect algorithms, and you can use 5 insert effects, 2 master effects and a three-band equalizer simultaneously. Effect routing is very flexible, enabling you to send sound through any combination of effects and on to any of the four outputs.
Alternate Modulation and Effect Dynamic
Modulation are also provided, letting you modulate parameters such as pitch, filter, amp, EG and LFO. Delay time and LFO can also be synchronized to MIDI clock or tempo. You can even sync the sounds or effects with the tempo of the KARMA function or the sequencer playback.
KORG's superior programs and combis
The Karma Music Workstation contains a rich assortment of sounds created by KORG's legendary voicing team, acclaimed by professional musicians around the world. There are 640 user programs (384 preloaded), plus 256 programs and 9 drum programs compatible with GM level 2 in ROM. Drum programs can select from 64 user drum kits (16 preloaded) and the 9 GM drum kits.
A Combination lets you use up to eight programs set up as splits and layers, and you have immediate access to as many as 768 user combinations (384 preloaded). KARMA settings have been made for all preloaded sounds, so you can simply select a sound and play phrases immediately.
Install option boards to add PCM sounds or a DSP tone generator
In addition to the internal PCM sounds, the Karma Music Workstation can accommodate the same optional EXB-PCM series PCM Expansion Boards available for the TRITON. Each board adds 16 Mbytes of PCM data plus programs and combinations that use this data, further broadening your sound palette. However it does not include new GE's or GE assignments.
PCM Expansion Boards
EXB-PCM01 - Pianos/Classic Keyboards
EXB-PCM03—Future Loop Construction
EXB-PCM06/07 - Orchestral Collection
EXB-PCM08 - Concert Grand Piano
EXB-PCM09 - Trance Attack
EXB-MOSS DSP SYNTHESIZER BOARD
KARMA can be expanded by the installation of the ultimate DSP tone generator --- the 13 oscillator 6-voice MOSS (Multi-Oscillator Synthesis System) tone generator featured on the Z1. This lets you use all synthesis methods --- PCM, analog, VPM (variable phase modulation), and physical modeling --- on a single instrument. When the MOSS tone generator is installed, 128 MOSS programs are added. You can create combination programs that use multiple MOSS timbres together with HI sounds.
MOSS (MULTI OSCILLATOR SYNTHESIS SYSTEM)
The MOSS sound generator consists of Voice, EG and LFO sections. The voice section contains two powerful oscillator blocks OSC1/OSC2 that let you combine up to two of thirteen types of oscillator algorithm (resonance, organ model, electric piano model, standard, ring modulation, VPM, brass model, reed model and more), a sub oscillator, and a noise generator. The voice section also contains a filter block featuring two multi-mode filters that cover the range from analog synth sounds to complex sounds such as the body resonance of violin or guitar, or even human voice. To this are added five EG units and four LFO units, providing a rich variety of tonal and pitch changes for each voice.
Sound Source: 6 voices, 2 oscillators (max.) + sub oscillator + noise generator
Oscillator Types: 13 (Standard, Ring Modulation, Cross Modulation, Oscillator
Sync, VPM (Variable Phase Modulation), Comb filter oscillator, Resonance oscillator, Organ model, Electric piano model, Brass model, Reed model, Plucked string model, Bowed string model)
[* Developed under license of physical modeling patents (listed in http://www.sondius-XG.com) owned by Stanford University, USA, and by Yamaha Corporation.]
16 track sequencer + KARMA functionality equals enhanced music production
The Karma Music Workstation contains a 16-track sequencer with a capacity of up to 200,000 notes and 200 songs (up to 999 measures for each song). Phrases generated by the KARMA function can be recorded directly, and you can add manually-played and step-recorded phrases to create a song quickly and easily.
The RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) function lets you play back a phrase by pressing a single key, and 150 drum and percussion patterns are provided. Many other convenient functions help you produce songs efficiently, such as Template songs, which allow you to call up a pre-arranged group of instruments and effects, and a Track Play Loop function that lets you specify looped measures independently for each track. A Cue List function lets you assemble your final song from up to 99 different sequences for easy arranging.
Songs you create can be saved in SMF (Standard MIDI File) format or in a KORG TRITON compatible format so that data can be exchanged with other devices. (Note - The TRITON arpeggiator function cannot be reproduced on the KARMA Music Workstation.)
The Song Play mode allows you to play back SMF files directly from floppy disk. You can perform on the keyboard along with the playback, or use the KARMA function in sync with the playback tempo.
Four channel audio output
In addition to the L/MONO and R main stereo audio outputs, you can use two independent audio outputs for a total of four channels of audio output. Oscillators, drums, timbres/tracks, and the signals from the insert effects can be freely routed to any output.
KARMA. The new music-generation technology that takes music production into a new dimension.
The KARMA Variable Performance Modeler featured on the Karma Music Workstation is a completely unique function that lets you generate music in a whole new way. Based on the notes and chords that you play, KARMA will automatically generate and mold phrases and patterns. Now you can instantly create sophisticated phrases and musical changes that would have required lengthy arranging and step input if done manually.
Since the KARMA function lets you control numerous musical elements such as rhythm, duration, harmony, scale, ad-lib/humanize, random variation and tone, it can produce phrases and patterns far beyond the current range provided by conventional arpeggiators or static pattern playback functions.
For example, you can create spectacular cascades of intricate interweaving notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, natural sounding glissandos for acoustic instrument programs, guitar strumming and finger-picking simulations, random effects, auto-accompaniment effects, gliding and swooping portamento and pitch bend effects and new sound design possibilities.
GEs bring KARMA to life
The basis of the phrase or pattern is a Generated Effect (GE) and the KARMA Module Parameters that control that GE. One KARMA module can be used in Program mode. Four KARMA modules can be used in Combination/Sequencer/Song Play modes, so that separate modules can generate independent phrases to play different sounds such as drums, bass, guitar, and piano to create a full ensemble using the KARMA function.
The GE that is the basis of the phrase or pattern controls how note data from the keyboard is developed as well as how rhythm, chord structure, velocity, and more are controlled. With approximately 400 parameters in a single GE, the KARMA function can control virtually any type of tonal or phrase change. These parameters include elements like harmony, scale, ad-lib/humanize, rhythm randomization and complexity, phrase variation, tone, pan, effects, pitch bend, volume, velocity, duration, MIDI control changes, chord control, Melodic Repeat (TM) (MIDI delay/repeat), and pitch change.
Up to sixteen of these parameters are available for realtime control over a GE, and can be adjusted by operating the Realtime Control knobs and switches while you play. The KARMA Music Workstation provides over 1,000 different GE's organized into 17 categories, and new GEs can be loaded as they are made available. By simply selecting a GE you can create music in many different genres, using a variety of instruments and performance techniques.
Unleashing the Power of KARMA GEs
Check out "Unlocking the Power of Karma "Getting Creative with Karma GE's, which includes mp3 examples and some cool tips on using GE's with different sounds.
Check out the technical tips article "Taming KARMA GEs" to find out how to maximize the performance of the KARMA Music Workstation.
KARMA puts you in control
With KARMA, every aspect of a musical phrase has been separated into independently controllable attributes. Each of these attributes is controlled by a separate group of parameters, which can be individually varied or changed in groups in real-time as the music is being generated; or changed all at once with the selection of a program or combination. While the Karma Music Workstation generates phrases, you can tweak the onboard controllers so your performance will never sound "canned" or static.
You can use the eight knobs and two switches to vary different combinations of the RT (Real-time) Parameters that have been optimized for each GE by Korg's sound programmers. The two scenes available allow you to save two settings of these controllers for instant recall. You can also manipulate parameters with MIDI control messages. There has never been a system that provides this level of interaction and variability, and the results that can be achieved will inspire you to new levels of creativity.
• Expression/Volume pedal : XVP-1 EXP/VOL Pedal
• Foot Controller : EXP-2 Foot Controller
• Pedal Switch : PS-1 Pedal Switch
• Damper Pedal : DS-1H Damper Pedal
*KARMA (Kay Algorithmic Realtime Music Architecture) is a trademark and patented technology licensed from Stephen Kay, Karma Lab LLC
Don't wait to make the jump into intergalactic sonic space. Order today.
Reviewed by 13 customers
I just bought KARMA and it's just about going away. This is THE most inspiring technology to get your hands on PERIOD. The KARMA side of this keyboard is simply IT!!! Once you get your head around the KARMA stuff this keyboard comes alive and inpires all to make some awesome music that you would have never dreamed you could do.This board is just about end of lifed and I just started with it. I never knew what I was missing until I bought it. Even thinking of buying a spare to have 2 unreal.
Mine arrived a month ago... wow! This thing is incredible. Two words for anyone considering buying one, "TRY IT!". You will love this kb.
The KARMA function never grabbed me, because it seems geared toward styles I'm not into. However, it's the same synth engine as the Triton, but without the sampling. It has 5 insert effects, just like the Triton Studio but unlike the cheaper Korgs. The Grand Piano card is a must, even though it is still a barely adequate piano sound. The keyboard feel sucks. Still, it's by far the best value on the market, in terms of sound quality/price.
When I was thinking about purchasing a keyboard, I was going to try everything. Being a shred guitarist, I dont have much keyboard experience, but this thing simply rocks. Very easy to use and the sounds are insane!!! Killer peice of gear and its Red! How much more metal can a keyboard get???
I bought the Karma almost a month ago. I am glad to say this is a sonic marvel. Karma well fits with my style of music and it inspires me with new music ideas. It's sounds are great. It's GE feature is a killer! No comparison. Overall, this is a wonderful keyboard. Its color is attractive, and the shape is sexy. Sounds are sweet. I don't miss my Karma a single day!
Upon purchasing the Analog Archives upgrade board, I found myself emersed in hours of endless bliss.The Karma has brought hours of creative production and sequencing into my studio.I consider this keyboard to be a valuable tool for aspiring recording and performing artists.
Great sound, tons of samples, great idea generator, has everything I'd want except the full keyboard. Learning curve is a bit steep, but worth the effort.
If you can get past having to save before powering off and loading when starting it is one of the best keyboards for the money you can buy in that price range
While the Karma lacks the sampling feature that is almost standard in every workstation, it's far from lacking in anything else. The acoustic sounds are of high quality, the various synth sounds are resonant and addictive, and the sequencing is fun and easy to use. To top it all off, the Karma function can randomize and embillish your musical ideas in a way that's sometimes inhuman. The Karma function is something that you will never find on any other workstation or musical software, I guarantee it. I would recommend this workstation for anyone who wants an easy to create or develop their own musical ideas. I would especially recommend this workstation for people who make jazz and rock music.
I've had the Karma for about 4 months now and I haven't even skimmed the surface of the possibilities this board possesses. This is certainly not a beginner's synth as it has SO many functions and features that add to its great sound and depth. It's all about exposure. It takes a while to get a hang of the sequencer, and fx section but if you're patient or you have previous experience with a triton or trinity its awesome! This machine has been criticized by some because 1) they say the sounds are "thin". Bottom line is these people don't know a thing about FX and processing. If you add some compressor and some of the 100 fxs to the instruments they sound AMAZING. No, if you want to play with it out of the box, some of the programs are a little thin, but after some processing they are fantastic. Also, being a software sequencer fan, I wasn't accustomed to the hardware sequencer on the Karma and I found it tedious at first. But Im getting used to it now. Also people have said that the Karma does everything for you. Uhhhh NOOO. This thing is a Triton with the karma arpeggiator. You DONT HAVE TO USE THE KARMA. It only helps in getting you inspired while also playing some of the most incredible phrases around. I dont even use the Karma feature as I find its workstation capabilitites with the sequencer, fx section, and great sounds are all I need to inspire me to make my own stuff. So yeah I'd like to see those people work with this and tell me its simple. Yeah right. Check out the manual, its a book. The karma is one of the most inspiring and complex machines out there and if you're looking into buying a workstation, get it! You wont be dissapointed. Just make sure you have some patience!