Korg Inc. (Kabushiki-gaisha Korugu), founded as Keio Electronic Laboratories, is a Japanese multinational corporation that manufactures electronic musical instruments, audio processors and guitar pedals, recording equipment, and electronic tuners. Under the Vox brand name, they also manufacture guitar amplifiers and electric guitars.
Korg was founded in 1962 in Japan by Tsutomu Katoh and Tadashi Osanai as Keio Gijutsu Kenkyujo Ltd.. It later became Keio Electronic Laboratories because its fledgling offices were located near the Keio train line in Tokyo and Keio can be formed by combining the first letters of Katoh and Osanai. Before founding the company, Katoh ran a nightclub. Osanai, a Tokyo University graduate and noted accordionist, regularly performed at Katoh's club accompanied by a Wurlitzer Sideman rhythm machine. Unsatisfied with the rhythm machine, Osanai convinced Katoh to finance his efforts to build a better one.
The company's first product, released in 1963, was an electro-mechanical rhythm device called the Disc Rotary Electric Auto Rhythm machine, Donca matic DA-20. The name "Donca" was an onomatopoeic reference to the sound the rhythm machine made. Buoyed by the success of the DA-20, Keio released a solid-state version of the Rhythm machine, the Donca matic DE-20, in 1966.
In 1967, Katoh was approached by Fumio Mieda, an engineer who wanted to build keyboards. Impressed with Mieda's enthusiasm, Katoh asked him to build a prototype and 18 months later Mieda returned with a programmable organ. Keio sold the organ under the name KORG, created by using the first letter of each founder's name plus "RG" from their planned emphasis on products targeted for the organ market (emphasizing the letters R and G in the word "organ").