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Korg microSTATION 61-Key Synthesizer Workstation

Packing 480 Korg sounds in under 6 pounds, the uber-compact 61-mini-key microSTATION synth has a 16-track sequencer ready to loop beats and build songs. (22) Read 7 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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Don't let its mini-keys and 6-pound weight fool you: the Korg microSTATION is a serious musical instrument, stocked with classic and modern Korg sounds. Priced for beginners, but packed with features that a pro can appreciate, the microSTATION is a rare breed of synth. After all, it's unusual to see a full 16-track sequencer on board such a compact instrument -- and it's entirely unexpected to have a full 61-key, 5-octave keyboard realized in mini-keys. But Korg is known for defining new categories, and the microSTATION is a fine example.

The Best of Korg's Sounds

The microSTATION's Enhanced Definition Synthesis-integrated (EDS-i) synthesis engine is based on the engine found in the Korg M50. Pianos, electric keyboards, strings, guitars, basses, synths, pads -- all of Korg's "greatest hits" are present here, in 480 programs and 256 combi presets. Find your way through the sound bank with the Audition Riff feature, which plays a sample of each sound in context. You can tweak the microSTATION's internal sounds with a host of parameters -- a single click gets you to Program Edit mode. Create your own combis by layering and splitting up to 16 programs. Then, stretch the mileage of the microSTATION's sound set with 134 quality effects, from the usual suspects like reverbs, chorus, delay, guitar amp models and Leslie simulation, to wacky, spaced-out processors like grain shifter, ring mod, pitch shift, Doppler, and more. You can insert up to five simultaneous effects, layer in two more master effects on the output of that, and add one more stereo effect for a grand total of eight effects. That's some serious sound sculpting! You can also manipulate your effects in real time with the four dials on the left-hand side of the control panel. Assign specific effects parameters to the knobs, full-size joystick, or even external devices with Korg's Dynamic Modulation system.

Sized for Small Studios

If you're a home-studio producer with limited desk real estate, you may think you only have room for a two- or three-octave keyboard. That is, until you get both hands on the Korg microSTATION's 61 mini-keys. The microSTATION fits neatly on your desk and connects to your computer via MIDI over USB 2.0. Because the microSTATION doesn't have one of those touchscreens like you'd see on a bulky $3000+ workstation, Korg has bundled software for detailed patch-editing on your computer -- and there's even a plug-in that works with your digital audio workstation (DAW) software. With the plug-in running, your DAW will see the microSTATION as a "software instrument." (Don't tell your computer that it's really a 6-pound hardware synth that you can pick up in one hand.) Now you can use the microSTATION to do the effects-processing heavy lifting in your home studio, with zero strain on your computer's CPU. And if you do run software instruments, you can also use the microSTATION's 61 keys to play them.

Build Songs and Beats with a 16-Track Sequencer

If you're not so much a DAW person, but you want to do some sequencing, the Korg microSTATION is a great place to start. Move between tracks easily with 16 dedicated track-selection buttons. Create entire songs with your sequencer, or simply make short looped phrases to play over the top of live, as in a DJ set. Press "Visual Grid" to turn these 16 buttons into a running-light-style sequencer, so you can create bass lines or beats on the fly with 25 built-in drum kits. Specify auto-quantize to apply timing correction in real time as you add more parts, when you use this feature live. Add chugging synths and swirling strings or horns to your beats, with 640 patterns built in to dual 48-step arpeggiators, all tweakable from the real-time control knobs. And save it all onto an SD or SDHC card as one of the sequencer's 128 Songs. Even a novice can transform ideas to songs with the microSTATION.

Extreme Portability for the Gigging Pro

Adding a second keyboard to your rig is a no-brainer with the microSTATION. This little guy might even fit in the same case with your main axe. Hook up your favorite stage piano as a MIDI controller, to take advantage of the microSTATION's hard-hitting sounds and incredible selection of effects. While heavy workstations are often too much trouble to lug around, the microSTATION is like a 6-pound sound module with its own little keyboard. Small as they may be, the 61 fast, springy keys do the job when you need them.

Features:

- 61 mini-keys in a lightweight, compact, ultra-portable keyboard
- EDS-i sound engine delivers 480 ready-to-play Programs plus 256 Combinations
- Preview each sound with Audition Riffs
- 120-voice polyphony
- 16-track on-board sequencer with Visual Grid Sequencing and Loop Recording -- great for anything from jamming over drum loops live, to full-blown MIDI song production
- Dual arpeggiators to get you creating beats fast
- SD/SDHC card slot stores your sounds and songs
- USB MIDI connects to your computer with ease
- Stand-alone/plug-in microSTATION Editor software for detailed sound editing

Bottom line: if mini-keys aren't a deal-breaker for you, you'll find the Korg microSTATION is capable of serious results. It does exactly what its name implies: it bridges the gap between Korg's "micro" line and "workstation" keyboards. And with the bundled microSTATION editor software on your Mac or PC, you'll be able to dig deep into tweaking sounds, just as you would on any pro workstation. If you have a small budget, but a Korg-sized appetite, the microSTATION is your best bet at satisfying both.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Korg products.
- Keyboard: 61 mini-key Natural Touch keyboard; Velocity-sensing
- Programs: 512 Programs/480 Preloaded
- Combinations: 384 Combinations/256 Preloaded
- Drum Kits: 48 Drum Kits/25 Preloaded
- GM Sound set: 256 GM2 Programs + 9 GM2 Drum Programs
- Modes: Combination, Program, Sequencer, Global/Media
- Sound Engine: EDS-i (Enhanced Definition Synthesis - integrated)
- Preset PCM: 49 MB (when calculated as 16-bit linear data)
- 360 multisamples, 484drum samples (including 24 stereo)
- Maximum Polyphony: 120 Voices max, single mode, 60 voices max, double mode
- Oscillators: OSC1 (Single), OSC1+2 (Double): Stereo multisamples are supported, 4 velocity zones per oscillator, with switching, crossfades and layers.
- Filters: 4 types of filter routing, 2 multi-mode filters per voice
- Modulation: 2 envelope generators for each voice, two LFOs, two key tracking generators (Filter & Amp), and two AMS mixers, In addition, pitch EG, common LFO, and two common key tracking generators
- Combinations: Up to 16 timbres, keyboard and velocity split/layer/crossfade, and modifications to the program setting via the Tone Adjust function
- Drum Kits: Stereo and mono drum samples, 4-way velocity switches with crossfades and adjustable crossfade shapes (Linear, Power, Layer).
- 5 Insert Effects: In-line processing; stereo in - stereo out
- 2 Master Effects: Two effects sends; stereo in - stereo out
- Effects types: 134 types
- Modulation: Dynamic modulation, tempo sync delay, LFO
- Effects Control Bus: Stereo side-chaining for limiter, gates, vocoders, etc.
- Dual Polyphonic Arpeggiators
- Program mode: One arpeggiator available
- Combination and Sequencer modes: Two arpeggiators available
- Arpeggio Patterns: 5 preset; 640 user arpeggio patterns (512 preload)
- Audition Riff function: 383 audition riffs, transposable
- Sequencer: 16 MIDI Tracks & 1 Master Track
- Songs: 128 Songs
- Resolution: 480 ppq (parts per quarter-note)
- Tempo: 40.00-300.00 bpm (1/100 bpm resolution)
- Memory: Up to 210,000 MIDI events
- Grid Sequence: Allows creation of sequence loops for drums etc., with up to 64 grids per note
- Template songs: 16 preset/16 user template songs
- Format: Korg (microSTATION) format, SMF (formats 0 and 1) supported
- Controllers: Joystick
- Audio Outputs: Output, L/Mono, R: 6.3 mm monaural phone jack (unbalanced)
- Headphone output: 3.5 mm stereo mini-phone jack
- Control Inputs: DAMPER/PEDAL/SW jack x 1, half-damper supported
- MIDI: In, Out
- USB: 1 USB (Type B), MIDI interface
- SD-Card slot: Capacity recognized: FAT32: 2 Gigabytes (GB). SDHC memory cards are not supported
- Power: AC adapter power supply connector (DC 9V 1700mA), POWER On/Off switch
- Dimensions: 30.63 x 8.27 x 3.23"
- Weight: 5.73 lbs

Power Supply:DC 9V 1700mA (Included)
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 631-390-6800

Product Description

Designed to satisfy the beginning musician or the accomplished keyboardist, the microSTATION offers unprecedented portability, the stunning sound of Korg's EDS-i synth engine, phenomenal effects, and easy-to-use sequencing tools. Audition riffs make finding just the right sound a breeze.

Features

- Lightweight, compact, and equipped with 61 mini-keys, the microSTATION travels easily and fits effortlessly into any home, stage, or studio workspace.
- EDS-i (Enhanced Definition Synthesis-integrated) sound engine delivers high-quality sound in the tradition of KORG's flagship synthesizers.
- Enjoy 480 outstanding, ready-to-use sounds - including keyboard sounds, synth sounds, drums, leads, basses, etc. Tweak, edit, create and save up to 512 sound Programs.
- 256 dynamic Combinations place different sounds on different areas of the keyboard, or layer multiple sounds together for exciting performances - right out of the box!
- Find the right sound fast with eight quickly accessible categories; hundreds of Audition Riffs allow you to preview each sound.
- A full General MIDI level 2 compatible soundset allows commercial and pre-made MIDI files to be played perfectly and instantly.
- Designed for comfort and accuracy, the 61-key Natural Touch Mini Keyboard is highly expressive and supports serious playing.
- Whether performing or composing, the onboard sequencer can be anything from an extra set of hands or a powerful drum machine up to a full-blown MIDI production suite.
- Loop Recording, Grid Sequencing, Dual Arpeggiators, Template songs, and Auto Song Setup features make it easy for anyone to achieve professional results.
- SD/SDHC card slot for convenient storage or your custom sounds and songs.
- USB Type-B connector offers a direct MIDI connection to your computer.
- Includes both stand-alone and plug-in microSTATION software for detailed sound editing on your computer; plug-in software is VST, AU, and RTAS compatible.

Perform and compose anytime, anywhere

At a size and price usually reserved for performance synthesizers, the compact and portable microSTATION none the less features the 61-key Natural Touch mini keyboard, numerous effects, dual arpeggiators, and a 16-track sequencer to transform musical ideas into polished productions - wherever you are! Sequencer features such as Loop Recording and visual Grid Sequencing have been added to benefit the first-time user and to jump-start any type of music production. With so much power, the microSTATION is an ideal first keyboard, plus a welcome addition to any studio or keyboard rig.

Premium Programs and Combinations

Korg's world-class programming is second to none. From the moment you turn it on; the microSTATION is ready to deliver hundreds of ready-to-play, pro-quality sounds. In addition to the 480 Programs and 25 Drum kits, the microSTATION provides 256 Combinations, each of which combines up to sixteen programs as layers, splits, or velocity switched elements. Finding the right sound is easy. The Programs and Combinations are organized into eight sound categories. The audition switch plays a repeating riff (phrase) appropriate for the currently selected sound, letting you hear how the sound will be played in context. Every sound can be edited, tweaked, and re-written, and the microSTATION also has plenty of room for you to save your own Programs, Combinations, and Drum kits. For playing Standard MIDI files, there is also a full General MIDI level two compatible sound set.

EDS-i: The sound of KORG's flagship synthesizers

The microSTATION features the EDS-i (Enhanced Definition Synthesis - integrated) premium sound engine, derived from the EDS system found on KORG's acclaimed M3 XPanded and M50 professional synthesizers.

- Oscillators:
The oscillator section provides access to 49 MB* of high-quality PCM sources (sampled at 48 kHz) delivering a rich variety or sounds.

- Filters:
Indispensible to sound creation is the filter section, offering two high-quality filters for each oscillator. The four filter types - low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, and band-reject - can be freely combined.

- Modulation:
Expansive modulation is also vital. The microSTATION inherits the EG (Envelope Generator), LFO, key tracking generator, AMS (Alternate Modulation System), and AMS mixer from the EDS sound engine, allowing full-fledged synthesis possibilities.

- Effects:
The effect section adds the final touch to the sound, allowing you to use up to five Insert effects, two Master effects, and one Total effect. In addition to delay and reverb, you can choose from modulation effects such as chorus, phaser, and flanger; dynamics effects such as compressor and limiter; and amp modeling powered by KORG's proprietary "REMS" technology. The Effect Dynamic Modulation function (Dmod) lets you control effects in a wide variety of ways during performance.

* calculated as 16-bit linear data

Onboard Sequencer transforms your musical ideas into finished songs

The built-in, high-performance 16-track MIDI sequencer provides a versatile array of capabilities such as template songs, loop recording, a grid sequence function, arpeggiator, and auto song setup to provide a powerful boost to your music productions. Many of these features are designed to assist novice sequencer users to complete their musical ideas.

- Template songs:
Template songs are a great way to begin. Each template song loads up the appropriate instruments and pre-routed effects to match a specific musical style. The arpeggiator settings deliver ready-to-use bass and drum tracks. Of course, any track can be changed, edited or rewritten.

- Loop recording:
This function repeatedly records a specified range of measures. For example, you can loop a four-measure section and create a drum pattern by recording each of the drums and bass notes individually. Basic editing functions such as copying, erasing, and deleting measures are also provided. This method is similar to recording on a multitrack recorder.

- Visual Grid Sequencing:
This is a unique method of entering notes in which the front panel function buttons and corresponding LEDs (01 - 16) to create rhythm patterns as on drum box or step sequencer. Rhythm instruments such as the bass drum, snare, hi-hat, and bass will sound at the timings indicated by the illuminated LEDs.

- Dual polyphonic arpeggiators:
The arpeggiators provide five preset patterns and 640 user patterns, of which 512 are preloaded. In addition to standard arpeggiator patterns, Korg's polyphonic arpeggiators can produce a variety of chord progressions or phrases based on the notes being played on the keyboard. This advanced arpeggiation system can be used to create drum patterns, bass phrases, guitar riffs and keyboard backing runs. In Combination or Sequencer modes, the microSTATION lets two arpeggio patterns run simultaneously. You can apply separate arpeggio patterns to a different programs, or use split or velocity to switch between arpeggio patterns, providing powerful performance possibilities.

- Auto song setup:
Using this convenient function, a Program or Combination (with its arpeggiator settings) can easily be recorded to multiple tracks, creating the basic tracks of your song.

Easy operation; Massive control

The microSTATION's knobs and controllers are located for easy use. Frequently used parameters can be assigned to the four realtime control knobs for convenient sound editing or for performing with the arpeggiator. With the External switch on, these four knobs can be used to control an external MIDI device. A joystick is provided for even more expressive potential.

61-key Natural Touch Mini-Keyboard delivers expressive playability

The microSTATION's Natural Touch Mini-Keyboard has been acclaimed for its ease of playing. The proportion of the black keys and white keys has been adjusted so that chords are comfortable to play, and the feel is designed to allow rapid phrases to be performed with ease. The waterfall-style keys make glissandos easy to play, and also impart a sense of quality. The use of a mini-keyboard complete with 61 keys allows serious performance of piano and other styles that require - or benefit - from two-handed playing.

Convenient, reliable SD/SDHC storage

The microSTATION provides an SD card slot, allowing you to save your Programs, Combinations, and song data directly onto an SD/SDHC card.

Stand-Alone + Plug-In Editing software

The bundled "microSTATION Editor" and "microSTATION Plug-In Editor" software lets you use your computer to edit the microSTATION's Programs, Combinations, Drum kits, and Arpeggio patterns. The "microSTATION Editor" is a stand-alone program, while the "microSTATION Plug-In Editor" allows the microSTATION to be used as a VST, AU or RTAS plug-in instrument inside a DAW or other host application on your computer.

These editors allow more detailed sound editing than is possible from the microSTATION itself. You can also save sounds that you've created on the microSTATION.

Power Supply:DC 9V 1700mA (Included)
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (22 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Outstanding value with room for improvement"
Sound: It sounds every bit as good as bigger and much more expensive workstations. The samples are very high quality. I have auditioned them all and the only sample I'm not crazy about is the brass sample. It sounds a bit thin and synthetic to my ears. Careful programming, judicious use of FX and playing technique can compensate for that. The sampled instruments are clear and realistic. Many of the analog emulations sound quite warm. The variety of samples are a little more limited than you would find in a more expensive workstation, but all of the basic "bread and butter" sounds are covered and they are good. Feature: You have the ability to create and store completely customized drum kits where you can assign any sound to any key, or one sound to multiple keys (important for things like drum rolls). The ability to program velocity cross switching between sounds on each key adds even more versatility. The joystick and four assignable knobs on the control panel give you plenty of expressive capability in any program or combination. The depth of programability is excellent. You have dual multimode filters with resonance, filter, amp and pitch envelopes along with a variety of creative modulation options. The variety, quality and usefulness of the FX are excellent as well. Ease of Use: There are plenty of great factory presets to play right out of the box. The Arpeggiators are fun and can provide musical inspiration. The 2/3 size keyboard takes getting used to, but has a good feel and works quite well. I still hit an occasional sour note when I'm playing fast arpeggios or chord changes. The included editing software is a godsend. I wouldn't want to deal with a few buttons and a two line LCD for editing like I did in 80s and 90s. The one major oversight in the editing software is the lack of event editing in sequencer mode. I'm using this as a standalone program, so an event editor with a piano roll view would come in very handy. I do have a couple of issues with the sequencer. One is that from what I can tell, you have to work on and save an entire piece of music in one location at a time. I prefer to work on different parts, save them in different locations and then assemble them all in one location when I'm done. I've only been using this for three weeks, so I might be missing something. The other issue is having to save sequencer data to an SD card or lose it when the instrument is turned off. No big deal unless there's power failure in the middle of a masterpiece you are working on and haven't saved it yet! Internal, non-volatile memory would solve that. I had that on other instruments and liked it a lot. As far as other software goes, there's a good video demonstration and plenty of documentation in PDF form on the supplied disc. A paper quick start manual is included in the box. Quality: The microSTATION feels very solid. Nothing feels flimsy. The keyboard is nicely responsive with a good solid feel to the key-bed. There is a minor cosmetic problem. The button function labels on the control panel are silk-screened gray on a silver background, making them almost impossible to read unless I'm crouched right over the instrument. Black lettering would work better. Fortunately the buttons are few enough in number where I have most of them memorized. Value: Incredible value. The sound quality, depth of programability, and sophisticated sequencing capabilities are at level I would expect in an instrument costing three times as much. The only real marks against it is the lack of battery power as an option and the lack of internal, non-volatile memory for the sequencer. Manufacturer Support: I have never had any major issues that required me to contact Korg. With the exception of a somewhat temperamental Polysix I owned 30 years ago, all Korg products I owned always work perfectly and as advertised. I think that speaks well for their quality control. The documentation included on the supplied DVD-Rom is excellent. The Wow Factor: There is real wow factor here. It's amazing that such a small, inexpensive instrument can create such big, sophisticated sounds. I can take and use it in places where I wouldn't want to lug my larger keyboards. I have a dedicated music room, but I set this up at my basement computer where I also have an Arturia Minimoog installed as a micro studio annex. The microSTATION makes a great USB controller and I don't need any additional sequencing software. Overall: The Korg microSTATION is an incredible value. It has everything you need to produce professional and polished compositions in a very small, very inexpensive package. My biggest complaint is that the size and weight make this a take it anywhere, play it anywhere instrument and you can't run it on batteries! Wherever you take it, you will have to be tethered to an electrical outlet. It does fit nicely on my compact computer desk in front of my monitor.
Style of Music: Pop/rock with a cinematic sensibility, downtempo electronica.
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "A must have peice of gear"
Overall: I bought this keyboard to expand outside the box and try hardware instead of vsts for my beats. I gotta say, I am completely amazed at how good it sounds and how much easier it is to make beats on this.My friend has a Yamaha MM6 and he regretted buying it after trying and hearing the Microstation. I highly recommend it. The small keys get some getting used to, but I did in about a week of using it. Once you learn how to work it, which was a little complicated since it was my was first hard synth, then you won't be able to put it down.
Style of Music: Hip-hop and Rap
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