Korg Krome

Korg Krome Keyboard Reviews

The Korg Krome Music Workstation finally offers full-length and unlooped ample of all their keys to ensure incredible piano sound. The new models of Krome have raised the bar for all instruments in this particular class.

For the gigging musician who likes to provide an infinite palette of sound and offering incredible inspiration, Krome has provided a new standard for sonic excellence. The 61-key, 73-key, and 88-key will allow your expression and creativity to shape your sound.

This Korg Krome review will focus on the features of the 61-key, 73-key, and 88-key keyboards.

Quality Sound Engine

The sounds of these pianos set Krome apart from other keyboards in their class. The sounds include piano sounds, both acoustic and electric, and studio-quality drum sounds.

Krome has borrowed from the incredibly impressive, and great German D Grand, which was created for the KRONOS flagship initially. The Krome 61, 73 and 888 have 88 full-length, unlooped stereo samples that have damper resonance that helps give your sound a touch of realism.

Combined with the 88’s NH hammer action keyboard, the sound of the piano is authentic and amazing and offers a natural way of playing that is usually found in more expensive keyboards. The keyboard runs on the PCM samples entirely. Meaning, unlike in the Kronos, you won’t find any analog modeling or any dedicated drawbar organ model.

The model of the sound engine is EDSx which stands for Enhanced Definition Synthesis, Extended. The model does a lot with the PCM samples. There is a basic audio program that has oscillators that can contain up to 8b velocity-switched independent control multi samples.

On the sound engine, there is an intuitive graphic that shows the ranges for all velocity layers being used and the ones next to it. There is also a meter that shows the speed of the key strokes you make. This allows you to get very precise about how different programs respond to your playing.

A single program you get on the piano, is the two independent oscillator synths, amp envelopes and the dual LFOs per oscillator. This allows you to get 60 voices of polyphony and not the maximum spec of 120.

Effects

The Korg Krome gives you five inserts, two send-based ‘master’ results, and a final ‘total’ effect all at the same time. Even though you can’t quite put a different effect on each part of a 16-way Combi, it gives you a lot of flexibility. The keyboard’s graphical depiction of effects routing is very easy to understand and change.

It also offers great flangers, phrasers, choruses, reverbs and delays. The effect types include dynamic processing effects like limiter and compressor, evocative effects like the talking modulator and the grain shifter, as well as speaker simulation effects using Korg’s proprietary ‘REMS’ and amp modeling technology.

Sounds

  • Acoustic Piano

It features unlooped samples you can hear the minute you start playing and from every note. It uses eight velocity layers of one oscillator and the second one is devoted to sustaining resonance. The weighted action of the keyboards does the acoustic sound justice. It will give you a dynamic range and lets you cover a timbral spectrum which you can use for three different piano patches.

  • Clav or Electric Piano

It utilizes eight velocity levels, delivering a fantastic response to the player’s expression. It gives you plenty of bark and sample. It has one assignable button for muting, a bell-like time layer, and knob3 dialing that makes it versatile. The clavs are carefully programmed to go through cover tunes to sound like you came to the gig from downtown, not the suburbs.

  • Drums

It has a ‘Jazz Ambience Kit’ that takes center stage as well as a dry version if you prefer a tighter kick sound. However, the kick sound can also be supplemented by one of the large qualities of electronic, acoustic, and genre-centric kits in a hardware keyboard’s ROM. The drum sounds allow you to create tracks quickly when you’re away from your studio computer.

  • Synths

The Krome has a factory program that allows you to record a sound in your brain due to anything from a tune you remember. It has squelchy sync sounds, big matrix brass, creamy mini leads and evolving pads with lots of tempo-synced internal motion.

  • Organs

The organs are excellent. They have a lot of body and grit, and a knob to bring in harmonics that are higher for pseudo-drawbar moves. For a PCM-based keyboard, the rotary effect is incredible.

  • Orchestral Instruments

The strings and brass have a hi-fi quality, shiny quickly experienced in Combi preset like ‘Rhythm and Bows’ and ‘Dyno Orchestra.’ The strings have a good selection of articulations.

Sequencer

It has a track editing that is more visual compared to the previous models. One of them is ‘tools’-based approach which makes working with a single or several measures at a time more DAW-like that on the Kronos.

There is also a ‘multi record’ mode that lets you capture the results of drum tracks, riffs generated by Korg’s well real-time pattern play/record feature, and arpeggiation into a song track and edit later. There is a master track that lets you handle meter changes within a song. There is also a draggable onscreen transport bar, event list editing, and a cue list that allows you to chain-play songs.

Natural Expressions

The Korg Krome display various parameter at one. The 61,73 and 88-key have a huge 800*480 pixel touch view color display monitor that ensures excellent visibility. You can touch the screen to change the sounds and edit the parameters by tapping and finger-dragging.

The Krome 61 and 73 keys feature a semi-weighted keyboard with great feel and response. They are perfect for playing any style of the dynamic organ to piano performance and incendiary synth solos. The 88-key features a Natural Weighted Hammer Action (NH) that ensures that every nuance of your playing expression and dynamics that is reflected when you are playing.

Design

It has an elegantly curved profile provided by the dramatic dark colored body. The top control panel is made of differing design made using two aluminum panels. Even on a cluttered stage, the Krome workstation has a distinctive appearance projecting an unmistakable presence. It makes a strong impression in both looks and sound on the audience.

USB and SD Storage

What we love about this workstation is the fact that you can connect Krome to your computer using a USB allowing you to transfer MIDI data easily. You can also manage the data files using an SD card which is commercially available.

Standalone and Plug-in Krone Editing Software

The Krome editor and plug-in editor allows you to edit the workstation from your computer while simultaneously viewing scores of parameters. It also allows you to use Krome in your DAW as a software synthesizer. You can easily download the lasted version of the sound editor from the Korg site.

Korg Krome 61, 73 and 88-key Synthesizer Workstation Key Features:

They all have 3.8GB High-capacity PCM memory. They are also ideal for any piano playing style with KRONOS-derived full length, drum sounds, and unlooped piano sounds, plus new electric pianos designed to shine on stage.

The Electric pianos have eight-level velocity switching unmatched expressive power. The drums offer separate, mixable direct and ambient sounds for studio-grade quality. The Drum Track also plays back realistic, inspiring grooves just at the touch of a button.

The workstations have expertly created, in-demand sounds which include 640 Programs and 288 Preload Combinations. They all have distinctive aluminum panel designs that exude a sense of quality while on stage.

They all have clear, intuitive control with Korg’s exclusive 7-inch color Touch View display with USB connection to your laptop and computer, plus an SD Card slot for data storage and you can also use the Krome editor to edit the sounds on your computer.

The Korg Krome Workstation Specs:

Keyboard

The 61-key and 73-key have Semi Weighted Keyboards with velocity sensitive supported, but after touch is not supported. They also have standard C1 – C7 that is transposable in the range [C0…C6]-[C2…C8]. The Semi Weighted Keyboard with velocity sensitivity that is supported, however, after touch is not supported.

The 88-key workstation has an NH (Natural Weighted Hammer Action) keyboard with a velocity sensitivity that is supported, but an after touch is not supported. It is a standard A0 – C8 that is transposable in the [A-1…C7]-[A1…C9] range

The NH keyboard reproduces the touch of the acoustic piano, but with a heavier feel in a low register and a lighter feel in the upper register.

 Sounds – Maxim

  • 60 Voices (120 Oscillators) / Double Modeum Polyphony
  • 120 Voices (120 Oscillators) / Single Modeum

Sounds – The PCM Memory

  • 8GB memory (in case of 48kHz, 16-bit Linear PCM Converted)
  • 583 multi-samples (including 12 Stereo multi-samples)
  • 2080 drum samples (including 474 Stereo drum samples)

Outputs – The Audio Output (L/MONO, R):

  • Unbalanced 6.3mm (Mono) Phone Jack
  • Output Impedance with 1.1 [kOhms] (L/Mono Terminal
  • Maximum Level of+16.0 [dBu], and Load Impedance of more than ten kOhms

Control Input

It has a Damper Pedal (Half Damper Supported), an assignable switch and an assignable lever

Others

  • MIDI: In, Out
  • Interface: USB-MIDI Interface (Type B) x 1
  • SD Card Slot: the Max – 2GB/SD Memory Card is Supported, and the Max – 32GB/SDHC Memory Card is also Supported, but the SDXC Memory Card is Not Supported

Krome editor and Plug-In system requirement:

For Windows

  • OS- Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition/Professional SP3, Later all editions of windows Vista SP2 including the 64-bit edition, Windows 7 (all editions includes 64-bit edition). So far “Windows 7, and Windows Vista (64-bit edition)”, KROME Editor only can work.
  • CPU- Intel Pentium 4 / Greater than 1 GHz, later Core Duo recommended.
  • Memory- More than 512MB (Greater than 1 GB recommended)
  • Monitor- 1,024×768, more than 16bit Color
  • Others- Computer with USB ports support “Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows ”

 

For Mac OS

  • OS-Later Mac OS X 10.5 or later (32-bit kernel Mode and 64-bit Kernel Mode supported). It can’t support “64-bit” DAWs “64-bit Plug-in”.
  • CPU- Intel Mac support and Later Core Duo recommended
  • Memory- More than 512MB (Greater than 1 GB recommended)
  • Monitor-1,024×768, More than 32,000 Color
  • Others- Apple Macintosh computer with USB ports support Mac OS X.

 

Pros

  1. The acoustic piano sounds are worthy of a keyboard three times the cost
  2. They have authentic EPs with lots of attitudes
  3. They are robust and have huge variety of everything else
  4. They have flexible and deep architecture
  5. Allows for DAW-like MIDI editing on color touchscreen, including piano roll

Cons

  1. They have no dedicated octave shift buttons
  2. They have keys that don’t sense after touch
  3. The boot-up time is about one minute

Conclusion

Even though Korg launched the third itineration of Kronos not so long ago, Korg Krome remains to be one of the best-seller products in the piano workstation market. And thanks to its great formula that offers a complete bunch of features that are blended with a top-of-the-class grand piano sound and at really affordable price.

The Korg Krome workstations are what we call creation stations that have everything you will need to make incredible music for studio or live performances, which is what Krome all about. It is amazing how all the sounds can be edited in some features with the transition movements from one tone to the other without interruption or drop out and some ways on the touch screen. The Kronos piano workstation is an all-in-one way to create music with its attractive large color collaborative touch display screen is a winner, and we recommend it.

As far as aesthetics go, these workshop versions are very sleek and attractive, well, except for the fact that the shiny black plastic at the side panels on the ends of the keyboards can pick up fingerprints and smudges like crazy, and can easily be seen.

Therefore, if you want to use a single keyboard on stage, the 61, 73, and 88-key version will allow you to do everything in a portable and lightweight chassis. If you already own a digital or stage piano, then the 61-key and 73-key versions would be the perfect complement for using synths and strings sounds.