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The new microKORG is a great sounding, feature-packed and affordable little synth, with the heart of a monster! For its small size, this synth has lots of sonic potential, and is also fully-editable. The editing is accomplished using a grid matrix style of editing, which can look a little intimidating at first. In this tip I will show you how easy it is to create a hip hop style lead sound. But before we dive into the matrix, let's cover a few basics:
The first thing we are going to do is start from an initialized program, which is a program that will play a sawtooth wave sound, has no parameters adjusted. This makes it easy to create a sound from scratch without having to edit one of the factory sounds:
Now, let's talk about the matrix: The trick to reading it correctly is to remember that once you select a parameter using the EDIT SELECT 1/2 knobs, you then read from left to right on the matrix and use the Performance/edit knobs 1-5 to change the value of a parameter. For example, if I wanted to change the waveform from a saw to a sine, I would choose OSC 1 with the EDIT SELECT 1 knob. Next, I would follow the grid and see that I need to use the 1/CUTOFF knob to select a different waveform. Remember that you may have to turn the knob all the way to the left or right to "catch" the current setting before you can change it. Also, make sure that you refer to the Owner's Manual to decode the readout on the LED screen of the parameter you are editing, as some of them can be a bit cryptic!
Now that we have the basics covered, let's make a hip hop lead/bass sound using the matrix. Assuming that we are starting with an initialized program (if not, then follow the steps above), let's first assign a triangle wave to OSC 2:
The next thing to do is to assign the cutoff amount to the MOD wheel and disable pitch vibrato, so that we can tweak the filter using the mod wheel:
The last thing to do is add some delay:
For those of you with a MIDI interface for your computer, you can now download (free) the microKORG editing software for Mac or PC, available from