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With exclusive Korg features at an entry level price!
The interactive KORG Pa500 arranger keyboard is a perfect musical partner for musicians, composers, performers and entertainers. Like its big brothers— the Pa800 and the Pa2XPro—, the Pa500 usesKorg's RX (Real eXperience) technology to deliver unprecedented arranger keyboard sound. With exclusive Korg features such as the XDS Dual Sequencer, intuitive TouchView interface, quarter-tone on-the-fly and a 4-way joystick for realistic articulation, the only thing really missing is a big price tag.
Based on the EDS (Extended Definition Synthesis) engine found in the Korg M3, Pa800 and Pa2XPro, the Pa500 arranger provides 80 voices of polyphony and breathtaking sound quality. Over 880 fully editable sounds are preloaded (including a full GM soundset and 56 drumkits), representing a full range of musical instruments from almost every genre - each exploding with depth, nuance, subtlety, accuracy and richness. The User area has space for up to 128 user sounds and 64 drum kits.
For many years, Korg workstations, synthesizers and digital recording studios have included outstanding studio quality effects that are simply breathtaking. In that same tradition, the Pa500 keyboard offers 4 stereo processors plus a final semi-parametric three band EQ containing a treasure trove of effects, from rich reverbs and dazzling delays to guitar-type modeling effects from Korg's renowned REMS series — 124 different effects in all. And you'll appreciate the separate 3-band EQ on each track so you can shape the tone for that perfect sound.
Done with Style
No doubt: Korg's Style programming is world class. The Pa500 keyboard arranger delivers a deluxe set of styles, programmed by some of the leading arrangers in the world; each of whom worked according to their musical strengths. The result is over 320 preloaded styles that provide unparalleled realism and detail, adding anything from tasteful guitar picking, a tight bass and drum groove, a powerhouse R & B rhythm section all the way up to a full orchestra! Styles follow your timing, voice leading and chord changes to create an amazingly defined musical performance in real-time. With up to 8 parts, 4 variations, 3 intros/count-in, 3 fills/break and 3 endings, each style is a complete musical environment. Additional parts or "riffs" can be sequenced and triggered in real time using the Assignable Pads. Advanced features such as Syncro Start/Stop, Fade In/Out, Assignable Pads, Tap Tempo and Manual Bass allow you to spontaneously add complex and professional touches to your performances.
Creating convincing guitar parts from a keyboard has never been easy—until now! When creating a guitar part for your style, you can chose a chord, capo position, and literally transform the keyboard into the fretted strings of the chord to allow realistic picking patterns, strums, chokes, slides, hammer-ons and other "guitar-specific" artifacts. The result is stunning. Best of all, the Pa500 arranger keyboard can automatically enhance the guitar tracks of existing standard MIDI files.
All together now
Need to switch sounds fast? Four STS (Single Touch Settings) buttons allow you to have up to 4 sounds split and layered across the keyboard and switch them all instantly with a single button press. The STS assignments can be saved independently for each style. Each of the 256 Performance settings can instantly recall the style, sounds, effects, tempo, key and scale used to perform a particular song.
Creative sequencing scenarios
In addition to traditional "track at a time" workstation sequencing, the Backing Sequencer allows you to create songs quickly and easily by capturing multiple Style driven parts at once. You don't need to be a master programmer — even beginners can write their own song in minutes. In fact, you don't even need to play at all! Using the Step Edit/Entry feature, you can simply type in the chord changes, fills and style changes in step-time — a big boost for arrangers and non-keyboardists. This quick approach to programming is also useful in the studio for creating professional, great-sounding backing music for commercial, film, video, multimedia or internet applications. The sequencer provides massive editing power — you can even edit the tone parameters of each track.
With Korg's XDS Dual Sequencer, one can load as the other plays, and a DJ-style cross fader can blend between them, providing a seamless, continuous musical performance. The Pa500 can playback SMF (Standard Midi File), Karaoke files, and GM (General MIDI) files - and is able to display lyrics in most popular karaoke formats. There is also a practical Marker function to allow you to jump directly to a given position in the song: you can fix the markers using the internal sequencer (or using a computer based one - the marker format is standard) and then remix your favorite songs during a live performance for added spontaneity.
The exciting SongBook feature was developed to make your life easier while playing live. The SongBook is a Musical Database, completely user programmable, containing all the settings needed to play a particular song. You have only to search for the song you would like to play by Song Title, Genre, Artist, Tempo, etc. and press "play". Each SongBook entry will instantly recall every setting you've saved in order to play that song perfectly — Sounds, Style, Performance, Volumes, Muted Tracks, FX settings, Easy Edit, STS settings, Master Transpose and more. This indispensable musical feature is unique to Korg.
Less is more
With all the technological power packed inside, it was vital that we also made the Pa500 easy to understand and easy to use. But we went even further, creating an instrument that provides an intuitive, musical, fast, foolproof experience. With our amazing TouchView display you can simply think, see and touch the panel for easy and intuitive control. So that musicians of all levels can make great music quickly, there are two interface modes: Easy and Expert. The Easy mode shows only the essential elements with bright, bold icons - useful for beginners or playing live — while Expert mode provides full editing control. And when you need more information, check out the on-board contextual Help System — in any of seven languages! In addition to 61-velocity sensing keys, the Pa500 provides a four-way joystick, assignable switch, assignable slider, assignable pedal jack and four pads provide the tools to spice up your performance by changing effect settings, adding or muting parts, slowing the tempo, or even adding "mini-sequenced" solo, arpeggio, or backing riffs. Nothing stands between you and your professional performance.
Save it for later
In addition to providing a USB/MIDI computer connection for moving and saving data, the Pa500 can also save and read data from SD / MMC memory cards for instant access to your custom data, MIDI files and songs. The back panel also features MIDI (In, Out), Audio Ins (1, 2) and Outs (L, R), headphone jack, plus a damper pedal and an assignable pedal connection.
Hiding inside is a full stereo sound system with two double cone speakers in a bass reflex enclosure for the best sound in a small box. The Pa500 is completely self-contained and easily transportable — whether rushing to perform live in front of any size audience, jamming with friends, or teaching a new tune to the other players. We couldn't fit any more fun in here if we tried.
Keep your Pa500 feeling new with operating system updates. These updates are available as free downloads from www.korgpa.com and will ensure your investment is protected.
Reviewed by 2 customers
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Comments about Korg Pa500 61 Key Professional Arranger Keyboard:
If you want an arranger keyboard with Great sounds like the pianos organs, brass (layered) and synth sounds. (just to name a few) there are 880 sounds in this thing! If you are looking for great backup for your one or two man show, the PA 500 delivers. I have been very pleased with mine. My only complaints are the action and the Rhodes EP sounds. I am going to have to work on getting that 1973 Rhodes 73 sound that I love. Other than that, you dont find a Touchscreen or a Dual Sequencer in the Yamaha or Rolands KORG had the best features and arrangements of the 3 I looked at. The Roland GW-8, The Yamaha PSR S710 and the Pa 500. Give it a try.
There are a lot of features for a keyboard in this price range. Being able to edit sounds the way that KORG allows you to is awesome! Also the TouchScreen is extremely helpful in navigating around the keyboard. Being able to play 4 voices at once is great! I must mention the over 320 styles that are in the keyboard are so full sounding and realistic. I'm picky about drums and KORG has done an excellent job with them. Whats more is you can download more drum styles from korgpa.com and put them into the keyboard with the SD card. The Dual Sequencer is a step beyond other arrangers in this price point. You can load and play at the same time. It's like being a DJ. This is one seriously underlooked keyboard for all the features that it has. If you haven't read Musicians Friends information and specs about the PA 500, you should. The effects are plentiful and being able to EQ after editing is worth the price of admission alone. I had read reviews on this keyboard & I've had mine for about 11 months now & I still am learning new things about the keyboard. Read the manuals though. There's a lot to learn. I was up and playing and moving around the controls in about 20 minutes.
It only weighs 21 pounds so it's not built like a tank, but quite a few keyboards in this price range aren't as well. I think the buttons and controls are very solid. My only complaint is that the action is a little light. I am used to my MO-8's weighted feel, so I have to play the PA 500 a little more gingerly and it does fine. It's a good synth action. I have had no issues with the TouchScreen so far. I just calibrate it every month or so just to keep it optimal. I love the speaker system in this unit. I play it sometimes with my father, he plays trombone and the PA 500's volume keeps up with him. He was a professional Jazz player and said the keyboard sounded like a big band! In one review I read someone was complaining about the output jacks sound level being too low. I found a solution for this. Of course you can turn your amp up or I just use the headphone jack. This boosts the volume up more. It does cut out the keyboards speakers, but if you play with a drummer you can't hear them very well anyway and you'll get more gain for your amp or PA monitor.
I got a great deal hands down for what you get! I love the touchscreen. Very helpful.. The 4 effects that you can have at the same time plus the RX technology, which is really great for guitars. When I first looked at this keyboard in May of 2010, it was selling for a lot. I'm sure glad they lowered it. Again I have to say this is a great deal for the money.
Comments about Korg Pa500 61 Key Professional Arranger Keyboard:
Amazing features for the price, possibility to layer 4 voices simultaneously, styles are far better than competitors, however they are pretty limited in quantity, styles quality are superb, output levels are a big drawback in this particular model pa-500, they usually have -18db unbalanced outputs comparing to regular korg keyboard. I tried everything from direct boxes passive and active including expensive preamps, still getting a noticeable hiss when I amplify the signal to normal levels. This is for home and really small venues, not even for a church.