Tech Tip:Demystifying the EDIT Matrix on the microKORG.
Demystifying the EDIT Matrix on the microKORG.
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:
- To initialize a program, press and hold the SHIFT key and then press the PROGRAM NUMBER 3 key > The LED screen will now read "ini" and the 3 key will be flashing.
- Press the flashing 3 key and the program will be initialized.
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:
- Using the EDIT SELECT 1 knob, select AUDIO IN 1/OSC 2 and then use the 1/CUTOFF knob to select "tri" on the LED screen
- Next, raise the level of OSC 2 by selecting MIXER with EDIT SELECT 1, and then adjust the level to "127" using the 2/RESONANCE knob Now, select a band pass filter by choosing FILTER with EDIT SELECT 1, and using the 1/CUTOFF knob, change the TYPE to "bPF" in the LED screen
- Now adjust the CUTOFF to "27" and RESONANCE to "37", using the 2/RESONANCE and 3/EG ATTACK knobs respectively.
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:
- Using the EDIT SELECT 2 knob, select PATCH 1 > Now, use 1/CUTOFF to select "nod", 2/RESONANCE to select "Cut" and 3/EG ATTACK to assign the MOD INT to "41". This assigns the mod wheel to cutoff amount and sets the range to 41.
- Now disable the vibrato on the mod wheel, using EDIT SELECT 1 to select PITCH and the 5/TEMPO knob to change the value to "0".
The last thing to do is add some delay:
- Use the EDIT SELECT 2 knob to select DELAY, and the 1-4 knobs to dial in a delay setting that works for you, and play your lead sound using the mod wheel to tweak the filter. Now you can write your new program into memory using the WRITE key, but before you can write a program into memory, you'll need to disable the memory protect:
- Press and hold the SHIFT key, and then press the PROGRAM NUMBER 8 key and turn the 1/CUTOFF knob to the left so that the LED screen reads "off" > Press the PROGRAM NUMBER 8 key again to exit, and then write your new program into memory.
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