Korg TR88 88-Key Weighted Synth Workstation

No longer available at zZounds
64MB PCM ROM. Portable SD card data storage.

Korg's new family of workstations is now complete, with the addition of the TR88. Identical to the 61 and 76-note models, except featuring a finely balanced 88-note weighted-action keybed.

Start with Korg's proven Hyper Integrated sound engine - the synthesis system that has made the TRITON a world-wide standard. Add in a comprehensive 64 MB ROM which includes many new sounds - as well as Korg classics. Bring it all up-to-date with totally new features including USB MIDI capabilities and reliable, portable SD card data storage. Package it all in a sleek black body housing Korg's classic 16-track sequencer, superb effects engine, and top it off with a clear and user-friendly interface.

Introducing the KORG TR Music Workstation; it's brimming with rich, brilliant sounds for musicians who may not be rich, but just might be brilliant.

Proven HI Synthesis
The TR Music Workstation is based upon the acclaimed HI (Hyper Integrated) sound that made the TRITON series the choice of professional musicians the world over. It boasts 64 MB of PCM data (twice the size of the original TRITON!), and a 48 kHz sampling frequency that exceeds CD standards to deliver highly expressive and professional quality sound. This expansive amount of high-quality PCM data is enhanced by multi-mode resonant filters, abundant modulation schemes and sophisticated effects to create Korg's distinctively rich and brilliant sound with the warmth and fatness you expect. The new TR is also compatible with many TRITON read more family sounds and songs.

Abundant 64 MB Sample ROM
The new sampled waveforms include stereo-sampled piano (taken from the same sampling session as used on the OASYS!), electric piano, nylon-string guitar, acoustic guitar and strings. With multi-level dynamics and natural instrument articulations and vibrato, these waveforms produce expressive and realistic sounds. There's also a full complement of excellent drum sounds and patterns covering a broad range of styles for music production and performance. The TR Music Workstation provides 470 high-quality multisamples and 518 outstanding drum samples, giving you a broad selection to work with.

Modulation Drives Distinctive Sound Creation
Modulation is what creates the motion, nuance and articulation that are such an important part of synthesizer artistry. The TR Music Workstation's Alternate Modulation provides a total of 42 types of AMS (Alternate Modulation Source) including EG, LFO, keyboard tracking, and joystick (as well as controllers such as knobs and pedals) to create extremely sophisticated sounds. These can be programmed in, or operated in realtime to give your sounds a high degree of expressive life.

High-quality Effect Section
With development borrowed from Korg's acclaimed D-Series digital recorders and TRITON workstations, the TR offers a broad palette of 89 types of effects to enrich your sound creations. The effect section consists of two Master effects, one stereo Insert effect, and one Master EQ (stereo three-band) together with a sophisticated mixer section that lets you control the routing of these individual components. Many of the effects offer realtime modulation of parameters and tempo-based synchronization, for total integration with your tracks.

Effect settings can be made independently for each Program, Combination, and Song, helping you bring your overall sound to perfect completion. With the optional EXB-SMPL sampling upgrade board installed, you can even sample through the Insert effect for even more sonic possibilities.

A Multitude of Fresh Programs and Combinations
The TR contains a wide range of new high-quality Programs and Combinations created by Korg's renowned international voicing team. The new stereo piano is velocity-switched between two levels, providing realistic response to your playing dynamics. Even more realistic electric pianos, choirs, guitars, strings, woodwinds and drums are also provided. There's also a rich collection of synth and sound-effect programs that are ideal for dance music. In addition to the 512 preloaded Programs, there are 128 GM-compatible programs and nine drum kits*. Unlike many other keyboards, all Program locations are RAM so you can adjust sounds to your liking, or replace them as you wish.

* The sound mapping of the nine drum programs is compatible with GM Level 2.

You can use up to eight Programs simultaneously in a Combination to create extremely rich and complex sounds. Combinations can contain 'layers' that play multiple sounds simultaneously; 'splits' that assign different sounds to different regions of the keyboard; and 'velocity layers' that dramatically change the sound or switch Programs in response to your playing dynamics. Control assignments can give your sound and performance even greater impact.

Up to 512 Programs, 384 Combinations, and 24 drum kits that you create can be stored to internal rewritable memory locations. This data can also be stored or transferred to your computer via an SD card. Best of all, the TR is compatible with many sounds available for the TRITON and Karma keyboard products*, so you can enjoy the many commercial and user-created shareware collections available for the best-selling line of keyboards ever made.

* The TR can load sounds made for the TRITON 'Classic', Le and Karma music workstations - only Insert effect 1 is loaded, the other four are ignored. Karma settings will also be ignored. Sounds created on the TRITON Studio and Extreme can be loaded, but the accuracy/reproduction will vary when the sounds use multisamples/drumsamples that are not available in the TR.

A Comprehensive Music Production System
The TR's 16-track sequencer provides a capacity of 200,000 notes and up to 200 songs, creating a comprehensive music production system offering superb functionality and excellent operability. You can record in realtime or step time, and a host of powerful editing tools are provided.

Setting up for a new song is easy. Choose a template song (16 preset, 16 user) that has sounds and effects already set up; or use the Auto Song Setup feature to instantly set up the Program or Combination you are currently playing into a new record-ready song, complete with all effect and arpeggiator settings. Either way, you can begin recording immediately, before you lose that flash of musical inspiration.

The Cue List allows you to build your arrangement up in sections (up to 99), and then convert them into a single song for consecutive playback or to create new song structures. You can build songs using 150 preset drum patterns and 100 user patterns, as well as take advantage of the Track Loop function to loop specified regions of measures within each track.

Song data can also be saved on an SD card in SMF (Standard MIDI File) format 0 or 1, letting you exchange data with most MIDI sequencers. Share your ideas with other musicians who are computer-users, or move your songs into your computer for further editing, notation, or integration with other applications. Once again, Song data can be loaded from the TRITON and Karma line of music workstations*, for compatibility with tens of thousand of users around the world.

* Only Insert Effect 1 will be loaded, the other four are ignored. Karma settings will also be ignored, as will Tone Adjust settings from the Studio and Extreme.

Expand Your Creative Song-writing Potential
The TR Music Workstation contains powerful polyphonic dual arpeggiators as well as Korg's inspiring RPPR feature, offering amazing levels of expressive power and high-impact playing. Performances enriched by these unique composition tools can be recorded directly into the internal sequencer in realtime.

Ultra-powerful Arpeggiator
The richly expressive dual polyphonic arpeggiators generate powerful performances. In addition to five basic preset arpeggio patterns, the TR contains 200 patterns suitable for use with all different types of sounds, either fixed-note drum patterns or variable pitched parts. You can use one arpeggiator in Program Mode, and both arpeggiators simultaneously in Combi mode, and even record their output directly into the internal sequencer.

The possibilities are endless. For example, two different arpeggio patterns can be applied to two separate key-split sounds of a Combination, or you can use velocity to switch between two arpeggio patterns. Together with original patterns that you create, a total of 216 different patterns can be stored in internal memory. Arpeggios can be synchronized with MIDI clock, so they run in time with the internal sequencer, BPM-based effects, and more.

RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) Function
The RPPR function lets you record a simple sequenced phrase or pattern, assign it to a key, and then play that pattern back in realtime simply by pressing the corresponding key. This gives you amazing possibilities for realtime performance; you can switch to different patterns with each key (and even use multiple keys to play different phrases simultaneously), or add additional patterns by pressing more keys. 150 preset drum patterns are built in, and 100 more can be created and stored for each Song.

USB Connector for Easy System Connections
The rear panel provides a USB connector (type B) that lets you make MIDI connections with your computer using a single cable - no MIDI interface needed! It's easy to connect the TR to a computer-based DAW for recording, or to use it with notation software, educational courses and much more. Transmission and reception of system exclusive data is also supported, allowing you to manage sounds and other types of data on your computer for smooth and professional song production.

High-capacity SD Card for Efficient Data Management
The TR Music Workstation uses compact and high-capacity SD cards to save and load sounds, sequences and sample data. The reading speed is extremely fast, so data management is quick and easy. SD card capacities from 16 MB to 1 GB are supported, and you can easily transfer data to your computer via readily-available card readers.

Inviting, Intuitive Interface
The TR Music Workstation is designed to be not only powerful, but also smart and speedy. The 240 x 64 pixel LCD features an adjustable contrast for optimal viewing in any situation. You can quickly and efficiently find the sound you want by using the 'category select' function. Category select is available not only for Programs and Combinations, but also for PCM waveforms and effect algorithms, speeding-up your sound editing. When searching for a desired Program, you can use the Audition key to automatically play a phrase that's appropriate for the sound being selected.

Controllers Maximize Your Performance Potential
The TR Music Workstation's 4-way joystick lets you freely vary the pitch and apply modulation effects such as vibrato or wah. There are also four assignable knobs plus two assignable switches and foot pedal jacks that you can use for applying alternate modulation, providing you with a full range of control that is indispensable for burning up the stage or cutting sizzling tracks.

Upgrade to Full Sampling
Add the EXB-SMPL sampling upgrade option board and transform your TR into a full-blown sampler. The TR's sampling mode supports 48 kHz 16-bit linear mono/stereo sampling, with a full range of high-end waveform editing functions including time slice, time stretch/compress, crossfade loop, and more. The EXB-SMPL is user installable and lets you connect external SCSI devices to the TR, so you can take advantage of a wide range of storage media as well as CD-ROM sound libraries (ISO9660 and AKAI-format discs are supported). You can load AIFF/WAV files and AKAI
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Tone Generator: HI synthesis system, 48kHz sampling frequency, 64MByte PCM ROM, 470 multi-samples + 518 drum samples

Polyphony: 62 voices, 62 oscillators (single mode)/31 voices, 62 oscillators (double mode)

88 weighted keys; velocity and aftertouch sensing

Effect Section:
Stereo digital multi-effect system- all usable simultaneously
2 Master effects (mono in, stereo out)
1 Insert effect (stereo in/out)
Master EQ (3-band stereo)

Number of Effects: 89 (available for insert effects or master effects)

Programs/Combinations: 512 programs/384 combinations/24 Drumkits, GM - 128 programs + 9 drum kits (ROM)

16 timbres, 16 tracks, resolution 1/192,
150 preset drum patterns/100 user patterns (for each song),
200 songs, 20 cue lists,
Maximum capacity: 200,000 notes,
Supports TR/TRITON format (.SNG file), Standard MIDI Files (format 0 and 1)

Dual Arpeggiators: Two arpeggiators, useable simultaneously (Combination, Sequencer modes),
5 preset arpeggio patterns; 216 user arpeggio patterns (200 preloaded)

RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) Function: One set available for each song.

Controllers: Joystick, 2 assignable switches, 4 assignable knobs, Audition switch, Category switch.

Control Inputs: Assignable switch/pedal, Damper (half/damper supported)

Outputs: MAIN=L/MONO, R, Individual-1, 2, Headphone

SD Card/MEDIA Mode Functions: Load, Save, Utility, Data filer functions (Save/Load of MIDI exclusive data)
CD-ROM (ISO9660 level 1, AKAI S-100/3000 format) loading available (when EXB-SMPL installed)

Media Slot:
SD card slot
2.7~3.6 V compatible
16 MB~1 GB memory capacities supported

USB-B connector (USB ver.1.1 supported)


Graphical User Interface: 240 x 64 pixel LCD display with back-light

Power Consumption: 13 W (when EXB-SMPL and 2/32 MB SIMMs are installed)

Accessories (Included): AC/AC power supply

EXB-SMPL Sampling Upgrade (sold separately):
48 kHz, 16-bit linear
Memory capacity=64MB* (when 2/32 MB SIMMs installed, 16 MB SIMM included with the EXB-SMPL)

4,000 samples / 1,000 multisamples (128 indexes are available per multisample), Time Slice, Time Stretch/Compress, other editing functions

AIFF, WAVE, AKAI (S3000/S1000 samples and mapped multisamples only), Korg format sample data loading are available

Sample data exporting as AIFF, WAVE format available

*User-installable. Use 16 MB or 32 MB 72-pin SIMM modules that are either Fast Page or EDO-compatible, with an access speed of 60 nsec or faster, 11-bit addressing required. For details refer to a TR dealer near you.

Dimensions (WxDxH): 55.67 x 14.37 x 4.84 in.

Note: Specifications subject to change without notice.

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 631-390-6800

Submitted July 12, 2006
Korg TR88 Workstation Customer Review
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Hopefully I will be happy for 3 or 4 years.. then I can afford the latest THEN.....
The sound quality is very good - the SELECTION of the sounds leaves something to be desired for classical composition, but is GREAT for contemporary stuff
Easy to select voices by category ... but arranged strangely in sequence...
Ease of Use
Definitely a learning curve, and the manuals are TERRIBLE for creating your own combos and programs
Seems to be very reliable - and mine gets banged around a lot - I have it on a stand, and I have to manually shift it around the room.. withstands dropping and bumps well!
Manufacturer Support
fortunately haven't needed it ... yet!
Musical Background:
Active Composer
Musical Style:
Classical, Film Scores
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