KORG's flagship Kronos 88-key music workstation, with nine distinct sound engines and graded hammer action keyboard
When ambition, imagination, and technology converge—the results are spectacular. Witness KRONOS. Created by KORG to satisfy today's most demanding, accomplished performers and producers—as well as tomorrow's visionary leaders—KRONOS embodies over 50 years of artistic vision and production expertise. With nine distinct synthesis engines and a complete suite of performance and productions tools, KRONOS is simply the most versatile synthesizer ever made.
KRONOS restores the magic, the thrill, and the promise that only a visionary new instrument can provide. And KRONOS delivers on that promise. Every resources and technology of service to the modern musician has been refined, perfected, and integrated into a single instrument, and is available on demand. Multiple state-of-the-art sound generation techniques represent the pinnacle of software realization. Onboard effects open the door to processing any internal or external audio source with dazzling results. Multitrack audio and MIDI recording deliver efficient studio operations in a mobile platform. Hands-on hardware includes an assignable control surface, dual joysticks, ribbon controller, top-of-the-line keyboard action, and KORG's revolutionary tap-and-drag colour TouchView™ display. Best of all, KRONOS integrates all of these music-making resources into a single instrument in ways that no software setup or hardware platform can rival.
KRONOS easily delivers everything you'd expect, plus many things you've only dreamed of. Set List mode keeps all of your custom settings and performance notes organized in the display for on-the-fly selection. Smooth Sound Transitions eliminate note and effect dropouts when switching sounds or modes. Connect virtual patch cables, select sounds, plus edit envelopes and sequences—all using the eight-inch colour TouchView display. Add to that advanced sequencing, KARMA, and Drum Track composition tools. Enjoy exclusive KORG wave sequencing, MS-20 filtering and the impossibly-rich Polysix chorus. And only KORG boasts the finest sound-design team on the planet, so you can always sound your very best.
Each of the individual KRONOS sound engines is eminently qualified to operate as a stand-alone synthesizer. And each one represents the cutting-edge technology available for that type of sound creation. Exacting programming parameters, real-time controllers, integrated effects, and assignable modulation routings provide incredible control for the creating custom edits or for the ambitious sound designer
The KRONOS piano engine has always offered huge collections of non-looped/natural decay stereo samples, recorded for every key, with additional unique tools to customize the piano to your needs. Inheriting all of this SGX-1 functionality, the new enhanced SGX-2 Grand Piano engine introduces the new Berlin Grand piano to the existing deep German Grand and lively Japanese Grand. The Berlin Grand offers resonant piano sound with a striking sense of depth.
Other enhancements to the SGX-2 engine included Sympathetic String Resonance and newly-recorded Una Corda (soft pedal – literally "one-string") samples.
KRONOS comes equipped with thousands of sounds, created using various synthesis modes and calling upon over approximately 21 GB of preset waveform data covering a variety of genres. Each one has been carefully crafted by the KORG Sound Design team. The internal SSD offers a generous 62*GB capacity, providing enormous space for user sampling or downloading KRONOS Sound Libraries. These optional expansion KRONOS Sound Libraries add new professionally programmed sounds—without the need to add any new hardware.
Artist Signature Programs provide the priceless sounds actually used by top-ranking musicians. Additional Song Programs are named for the classic rock and pop songs whose signature keyboard sounds these programs recreate. Use these universally well-known sounds to pay homage to the originals, or as the basis for personal sonic explorations.
KRONOS can organize all of the resources you need to get through a song—or a set—using the Set List mode. Using the Set List mode, the TouchView display can host 16 colour-coded touch-screen buttons; each one can instantly call up the appropriate Preset, Combination, or Sequence—regardless of mode!
You can even add handy performance notes ("Sing on Chorus;" "Transpose Down;" "Wait for Sax Solo;" etc.) to each one.
The Set List mode even adds a nine-band graphic EQ, allowing the overall tone to be tweaked to match the venue. New in OS version 3.0, Set List mode now allows for deeper customization with many slot colour options, text size variations, and a full-screen text editor. Connecting a USB computer keyboard makes it simple to enter text and numeric values.
The nerve centre of the KRONOS is KORG's enormous eight-inch (800 x 600 pixel) SVGA colour TouchView display.
In addition to simply selecting a sound or choosing a parameter with the touch of a finger, the enhanced Touch-Drag ability allows more detailed control of parameter values. Interactive instruments and panel graphics provide the ability to do everything from adjusting the lid of a grand piano to connecting patch cable on a semi-modular synthesizer model.
The TouchView display also hosts a convenient new Search Function, allowing you to search for (and preview) sounds based on their titles.
In addition to MIDI and Audio tracks, the onboard sequencer is loaded with valuable tools to transform your musical ideas into a complete composition, using realtime and interactive techniques that are unavailable or cumbersome to use on a computer-based system.
First appearing on KORG's Karma Music Workstation in 2002, this revolutionary algorithmic music technology instantly produces sophisticated phrases, drum grooves and full-blown backing tracks. Based on the notes and chords you play—and the intuitive operations you perform with the knobs, sliders, and switches—KARMA can create musical effects that exceed anything you imagined. Now in its greatly-enhanced second generation and offering features like KARMA Wave-Sequencing, Note Mapping and 8 scenes per layer, KARMA is standard equipment on your new KRONOS. It will expand your conception of a song and will be an enormous asset to your live performances.
This function that plays drum patterns automatically was included and highly acclaimed on the M3 music workstation/synthesizer that appeared in 2007. KRONOS is the latest KORG Workstation to offer the Drum Tracks features. First appearing in 2007, Drum Tracks can create everything from a simple reference beat to an outline rhythm track on up to a full-blown drum track for your music productions.
Expanded for use in the KRONOS, Drum Tracks now includes professional drum performances and is ready and able to generate grooves that capture the distinctive feel of a pro drummer, and that challenge the capabilities of stand-alone drum machines.
Using KORG's Open Sampling System, KRONOS can quickly sample an external audio source, regardless of whether KRONOS is in the Program, Combination, or Sequencer modes. The Open Sampling Mode can even resample the performance of the KRONOS itself. The user sample bank, which extends the convenience of the EXs sample library to user samples, allows custom samples to be loaded and played, taking advantage of the gigantic SSD capacity.
AIFF, WAV, SoundFont 2.0, and AKAI S1000/3000 format samples can be loaded into memory via USB memory. Additionally, you can use a USB Ethernet adapter to exchange large amounts of sample data with your computer at high speed. Instruments or samples that you've previously created on your PC can be used to construct a music production setup based on just the KRONOS itself.
KRONOS features a sequencer/recording section that offers both 16 MIDI tracks plus 16 audio tracks; a great resource for putting together a dazzling performance or a brilliant production. MIDI sequencing makes it easy to capture ideas, inspiration, and pro-quality phrases using the KARMA, Drum Track, or RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) functions.
The 16-track audio recorder simultaneously captures up to four tracks of 16-bit/24-bit uncompressed data at a sampling rate of 48 kHz. Play along with recorded tracks, add effects, and then resample the KRONOS itself and place the resampled WAV files directly in a track. When polishing your tracks, feel free to use mixer automation and editing functions such as copy, paste, and normalize to get the results you want. Plug in a USB CD-burner and assemble your album right from the TouchView display!
16 Onboard Effect Processors
KRONOS provides 16 internal effects to add impact to your sonic creations. Each of the 12 Insert effects can be applied to individual or multiple timbres in a combination, or to an individual or multiple tracks of the sequencer. In addition, two Master effects can be applied to sends 1/2, and two Total effects can be applied to all tracks at the final stage of the sound.
A separate three-band EQ is provided for every timbre, for every sequencer track, and for every audio track for adjusting subtle tonal balances or for creatively modifying the overall sound.
Any class-compliant USB-MIDI controller can be connected directly to the KRONOS. If you connect a KORG pad-equipped USB MIDI controller (nanoPAD, nanoPAD2, padKONTROL), pads 1 through 8 of the controller are automatically mapped to the virtual chord pad function of the KRONOS, allowing them to be used to play the drums, trigger chords, or to switch chords in chord mode.
When you switch program sounds during a performance to get ready for the next section, or when you switch from Program mode to Combi mode, the sound that's currently being output is always given priority and its effects are maintained during the program change, ensuring a seamless transition with no dropouts. This function has also earned extremely high praise from pro musicians.
In addition to the parameters accessible directly from the TouchView display, KRONOS also offers a wealth of realtime controllers to enhance any performance and to aid navigation. A four-way joystick, ribbon controller, and two assignable switches are located to the left of the keyboard. An additional Vector joystick is nearby.
Above the keyboard, nine sliders, eight knobs and a number of switches provide realtime interaction with features at the heart of the KRONOS' impressive sound. The damper pedal input jack supports half-damping, providing one more level of piano realism. In addition to the damper pedal jack, there are also two assignable pedal inputs, one footpedal type and one footswitch style.
Both the 88- and 73-key KRONOS models use KORG's finest RH-3 Real Weighted Hammer Action. Offering an authentic and accurate piano feel, there are four zones, ranging from heavier to lighter, to provide a more true piano playing experience. Even the 88 key model is slim enough to place on a standard keyboard stand. The KRONOS achieves the perfect balance of functionality and design.
For those who prefer the ultra-quick response of a synthesizer keyboard, need to focus on organ performances, or are seeking the ultimate in portability, the KRONOS 61-key model is equipped with a lightweight and expressive semi-weighted synthesizer action.
KRONOS harnesses nine distinct synthesizer/sound engines into a single, integrated musical instrument. Dynamic voice allocation and new technologies allow all sound engines to smoothly share a stable, enhanced hardware platform. The results are nothing less than spectacular.
Choose your piano! In addition to the acclaimed German Grand and Japanese Grand provided in the SGX-1 engine, the enhanced KRONOS SGX-2 Premium Piano now includes the distinctive Berlin Grand. By adding the EXs12 Austrian Grand option (sold separately), KRONOS can offer access to the greatest names in the grand piano world. Un-looped stereo samples recorded for every key provide a natural, authentic decay. Improved 12-level velocity switching exceeds the previous 8-level data, and features such as nuanced extras as pedal string resonance and una corda sample data to recreate every detail of a grand piano performance.
With the damper pedal depressed, all of the piano strings are free to resonate. When any key is played on the piano, other strings that are pitch-related to the original key may begin to vibrate via sympathetic resonance. The SGX-2 accurately captures and recreates this sympathetic string resonance, adding an additional level of detail to the grand piano sound.
* String resonance overtones can be viewed in the string length edit screen.
The pedal to the far left on a grand piano is the soft pedal. The technical name for this pedal is una corda. Una corda translates literally as "one string." Normally, the piano hammer strikes all of the strings tuned to a particular note, usually three or two. Pressing the Soft/Una Corda pedal shifts the entire piano action, so that the hammer hits only one string. The resulting sound is lower in volume, and has a more muted tone. The SGX-2 Piano Engine contains new una corda samples that can replicate this subtle shift in volume and tone to provide a faithful piano performance, complete with all pedal actions.
*Una corda settings can be specified for the foot pedal (separately sold option) and in the screen.
The KRONOS EP-1 sound engine is dedicated to faithfully recreating six of the most popular classic electric pianos. The MDS (Multi-Dimensional Synthesis) technology eliminates the transitions between velocity-switched samples and does away with the unnatural behaviour of looped samples. Smoothly responding to the nuances of the player's touch, yet allowing your performance to reach an energetic climax, this modelled engine features an astounding dynamic range that exceeds what one might expect from digital sound generation. For each of the six different models, different amps, cabinets, speakers, and standard vintage effects are realistically simulated. From the samples to the touch and the effects, all aspects affecting the sound are coordinated into a single package, making this the ultimate electric piano.
The original KORG CX-3 combo organ went on sale in 1980. Loved by musicians around the world, this classic organ reappeared in 2000 as a new product with the same name but using the latest technology. In KRONOS, the CX-3 engine precisely models this classic tonewheel instrument. Proprietary KORG technology has been used to perfectly reproduce the vacuum tube amp, and effects such as Vibrato/Chorus. Special attention was given to the rotary speaker effect, which lets you choose from seven types, as well as use the KRONOS' joystick in the X-axis to control the speed. Even the instability, fold-back, leakage, and noise of the tone wheels have been obsessively analyzed and recreated. The organ sounds heard in legendary performances—some recreated here by the original artists—are now yours for the playing. Experience these classic organ sounds, reborn for the present day.
HD stands for "High Definition" indicating the HD-1's superior sound, starting with KORG's proprietary low-aliasing sample playback oscillators, full-bandwidth multimode resonant filters, and extraordinarily fast & smooth envelopes and LFOs. The HD-1 is the most powerful PCM sound engine in KORG's history, into which KORG has poured all the PCM know-how accumulated since the M1. All of KORG's acclaimed PCM sounds are painstakingly created by specialized technicians. Data that was reluctantly omitted from previous models due to limited memory has now been called back into service on the KRONOS. The amount of waveform memory alone might rival a PC-based sound engine. Yet the real difference is in the completely different level of quality and finish that is obvious when you play these sounds as instruments on the KRONOS. The finest technicians, working on the finest platform, and aiming at the finest quality: that's the HD-1.
Packed with cutting-edge technology, KRONOS nonetheless has respect for the classics. The KORG MS-20 first appeared in 1978 and quickly captivated many synth fans with its rich personality marked by thick and solid sound, aggressive filters, and patching capability that provided nearly infinite possibilities for creating sound. Using KORG's CMT (Component Modeling Technology) the MS-20EX faithfully reproduces the MS-20 while dramatically expanding its patch panel functionality. Modulate filters with audio-rate oscillators; turn audio inputs into control signals; control all of the original knobs with mod sources including additional envelopes, LFOs, and real-time controllers. It's a tweaker's dream. And of course, the KRONOS version is now majorly polyphonic.
The Polysix first appeared in 1981, offering six-voice polyphony and program memory, and a surprisingly competitive price tag. With its self-oscillating four-pole filter, smooth analogue oscillator and sub-oscillator, plus a lush Chorus/Ensemble effect, the PolysixEX extends the abilities of the original in many creative ways. The strings and pads that were such a major feature of the Polysix will be invaluable when you need the sounds of the early '80s. The classic arpeggiator built into the original Polysix is also provided. As a bonus, it's also capable of extremely high polyphony.
Feature-packed, the AL-1 is the same premium analogue modeling sound engine that was first featured on the KORG OASYS, the Open Architecture Synthesis Studio back in 2005. Completely eliminating aliasing noise, and delivering the supply and fascinating sound of analogue synthesis, this sound engine uses oscillator waveforms and filter morphing to generate new sounds that were unobtainable for analogue synthesizers of the past.
This sound engine uses VPM synthesis based on the VPM (Variable Phase Modulation) technology that powered two classic instruments, the Prophecy which appeared in 1995 and the Z1 which appeared in 1997 as a further evolution, and adds PCM sample playback, multi-mode filters, and external input to create a freely patchable semi-modular synthesizer. Combine Variable Phase Modulation (VPM) from KORG's classic Prophecy and Z1, add in some wave-shaping, a little ring modulation, mix in a few samples, and add subtractive synthesis, plus a modular patch-panel system, and you have the MOD-7. Exceptionally versatile, it offers everything from classic FM keyboards, bells and basses (including the ability to import sounds from vintage DX synths) to rhythmic soundscapes and sparkling, epic pads.
Based on the physical modeling know-how KORG developed over the course of many years, this struck/plucked-string physical modeling sound engine takes advantage of cutting-edge technology. This sound engine shines at producing sounds whose tone responds to your touch in ways that are difficult for a PCM sound engine to reproduce: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harpsichord, clavinet, harp, bell, as well as ethnic instruments. It also goes much further, allowing you to synthesize and modify sounds that do not exist in reality. This is a sound engine of the future, one that allows the synthesizer programmer to construct truly new sounds.
*1: In rare cases, when a large number of processor-intensive effects are active simultaneously (for instance, more than 14 O-Verbs), polyphony may be slightly reduced.
*2: A portion of the multicore processor in KRONOS is devoted to generating voices, and a separate portion is devoted to generating effects. KRONOS dynamically allocates the voice processing power between the engines as necessary. The quoted maximum numbers of voices apply when 100% of the voice processing power is devoted to a single engine.
*3: 100 dual-stereo notes (equivalent to 400 mono voices)