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I plugged in the in and out midi cables into the korg and the usb into the mac and Garage band recognises it and tells me that there is 1 input avaliable. But after this there is nothing. I cant hear the sounds from garage band at all and there is no sign of garage band recieving anything from the KORG.


I was concerned on first looking at the Microkorg that I was in for hard time programming the machine, given its relative paucity of controls (see the 'User Interface' box later on). To a great extent, I'm afraid my fears were realised. If you are heavily into sound programming, I'd strongly suggest you find a suitable computer editor, or get used to 'ship-in-a-bottle'-style twiddling. Also, thanks to the absence of any other form of screen, Korg have had to resort to cryptic LED messages to display some of the parameter values, and it will take time to become familiar with these.

At best, the Microkorg is four-voice polyphonic, and the voices are allocated depending on the voice assignment set for each of the two Timbres. If both Timbres are layered together in Poly mode, the synth will become two-note polyphonic. Mono mode is provided to emulate a true monophonic synth, whilst Unison mode layers all four Voices together with a variable degree of Unison Detune to create a richer, fatter sound.

The Microkorg's two LFOs are near-identical, with the exception that LFO2 offers an triangle wave rather than LFO1's sine wave, and also contains an unusual 'positive-only' square wave in place of LFO1's more usual positive/negative square wave. A positive-only wave can be useful, for example, where you might want a pitch warble to flip between the played pitch and a higher interval, whereas the more usual positive and negative wave would warble the pitch at above and below the played pitch. There's no positive-only equivalent for the sine or triangle wave, though, which could have been useful in simulating guitar vibrato. Key sync of the LFO is possible, as is tempo sync, so modulation can be synchronised to either the internal arpeggiator tempo, or an external MIDI Clock source at a variety of cycle values, from four beats per one cycle to one beat per two cycles.

As mentioned earlier, four so-called virtual patch routings are available, and it is here where much of the Microkorg's strength lies. Each Patch allows the selection of a modulation source and its application to a modulation destination, with a variable positive/negative intensity. Modulation sources include both LFOs, both envelope generators, velocity, keyboard tracking, and the mod and pitch wheels. Destinations include pitch, Osc2 tuning, noise level, filter cutoff, amplitude, pan and LFO2 frequency. As you might well imagine, this gives you scope for a whole world of modulatory mayhem, and some of the factory presets show what can be achieved with a little thought and application.

The Microkorg is supplied with its own mic for vocoding purposes, and although it's a little physically flimsy, it makes a fine job of it.Photo: Mark EwingThe cutoff points of the filters can be shifted up or down to raise or lower the overall frequency response of the vocoder effect (carefully set, this could allow you to simulate a male vocal from a female voice, or vice versa), and resonance may be added to colour the sound. The current vocoder frequency response can be 'frozen' at any time by pressing the Formant Hold button. For editing purposes, the filters are arranged as eight pairs, or 'channels' and, at the output of the carrier signal, each channel has an individual level and pan control. The Envelope follower sensitivity is adjustable, as are gate threshold and gate attack time. Controls are provided to determine how the modulator signal's high-frequency content will be treated, either passing through unhindered, or being heard only when a note is being keyed. The volume of the passed high frequencies can be altered for subtlety or overly sibilant effects, and experimenting with this can aid intelligibility if the modulator is a voice.

The Microkorg has are two onboard effects types: modulation and delay. Modulation effects are confined to three basic types: a flanger/chorus, ensemble effect and phaser, and the only controls provided are speed and depth. The Delay effects also come in three flavours: stereo delay, cross delay (where feedback is interchanged between left and right) and left/right delay (ie. stereo ping-pong). Despite their simplicity, the effects are of good quality. I particularly liked the phaser: it seemed capable of bringing out a certain 'graininess' in the synth's sound that reminded me of an old MXR stompbox.

While we're on the subject, the Microkorg's MIDI capabilities are not to be scoffed at either. Local control can be switched on or off, and the synth will respond and transmit on any of the 16 channels, although there doesn't seem to be an Omni option. The Microkorg will also send or receive MIDI Clock messages. In addition to the usual discussion of note, control and SysEx implementation, Korg have included a very comprehensive section in the manual detailing the Microkorg's many MIDI NRPN messages. These allow the user an exacting degree of control over the arpeggiator (even allowing it to be switched on or off over MIDI) and the vocoder, to name just two parts of the synth. If you're not afraid of using controllers, there's a great deal of power to be tapped here. I tried a few examples using a combination of controllers sent from Cubase and my old Kawai MM16 fader bank, and can happily report that everything worked fine.

Then there's the price... if the Microkorg had cost three hundred quid instead of four hundred, I could have forgiven it a lot, but as it is, there are other synths within reach that are also worthy of a close look, such as Novation's A-Station. The second-hand market is also beginning to pass down machines such as Roland's JP8080 (which also contains a very capable vocoder), and even Korg's own MS2000 and MS2000R are also available at a not-too-dissimilar price.

I am trying to play my microkorg in Logic Express8 and not sure how to do so. I want to be able to play the Microkorg "sounds" in logic and not use it as a midi controller. I am running a mac 10.5.8 and Logic Express 8. I also have a M-audio fast track pro interface as well as midi cables and no I have not installed the m-audio driver because I'm not sure if I need to do so. If anyone could give me a step by step instruction I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You so much.

You may or may not have to install any drivers, I've never worked with a fast track.. but you should be able to hook that up to your computer and then in logic change your audio preferences to have the input/output routed through the fast track. You won't need midi cables, but run either L R audio cables from the outs on your korg or a 1/4'' from the headphone jack into your box.. Monitor the sound with headphones plugged into your fast track to make sure you're getting a signal..

if everything so far is ok make an audio track in logic and you should see the meters jumping when you play the korg.. you may have to adjust levels on the synth volume (maybe about 1-3 o clock) and on the input dial on your fast track.. play the hardest, nastiest part you think you might do and if it's close to clipping but doesn't hit the red you should be good to go.

But then I've tried to search a lot of info about how to connect a Microkorg to Logic Pro and I'm still confused: do I need something extra like a sound card? How do you basically connect it to your Mac?

This set contains 2 alternative sound banks (128 presets in total) for the Microkorg XL and XL+. The sounds match the synthesizer categories as well as the factory bankset. The genres are more contemporary - we did more up-to-date sounds in various styles like Trap, Dubstep, Deep House, Minimal/Dub Techno, Neurofunk and others. All the presets have designations on the pitch/modulation wheels and the 3 assignable knobs. 041b061a72

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