125th AES CONVENTION, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 3, 2008 — Korg unveils the M50 Music Workstation, distilling the sonic essence of its acclaimed M3 XPanded flagship into a seriously portable and affordable new instrument. Packed with up-to-the minute sound and features, the M50’s streamlined, modern design includes an angled control panel for easy viewing and Korg’s exclusive full-size TouchView interface for the first time in a mid-priced instrument. Drawing on Korg’s long history of workstation expertise, the M50 is both an ideal performing instrument and a full-featured studio solution for all musicians, available in both 61- and 88-note models.
The EDS (Extended Definition Synthesis) sound engine delivers stunning sounds and brilliant effects. New additions include a three-stage velocity-switched stereo piano programmed in conjunction with samples of the damper resonance, producing an extraordinarily natural sound. Also new are a number of vintage keyboards, including the classic Korg SG-1 Sampling Grand, acclaimed by artists around the world, numerous authentic electric pianos and clavs, along with legendary 1960s-era tape playback strings and flute sounds.
The M50 offers an enormous 256 MB* of PCM data shaped into 608 Programs, as well as 384 Combinations by Korg’s renowned voicing staff, covering all the acoustic, synthetic and imaginative sounds that current players demand. User-edited data can also be saved into the internal memory, with space for 640 Programs, 512 Combinations and 48 Drum kits. The M50 offers several advanced sound-shaping features, including low-aliasing oscillators, a powerful Filter topology and detailed EGs (Envelope Generators), plus a Drive parameter and AMS (Alternate Modulation Source) Mixers.
*(when calculated as 16-bit linear data)
The M50 provides 5 Insert Effects, 2 Master Effects and 1 Total Effect, along with 170 Effects types; up to 32 Effects Presets are available per effect. An independent three-band EQ is available for each Program, the Drum Track and each of the sixteen timbres/tracks.
The Drum Track gives users over 670 natural-sounding grooves to jam with in Program and Combi modes, and to help stimulate the songwriting process. Dual arpeggiators offer up traditional arp performance with five preset patterns (UP, DOWN, ALT1, ALT2, RANDOM), as well as advanced polyphonic arpeggiation that can generate everything from simple phrases to complex rhythmic gestures – even fixed note drum and percussion grooves. Two patterns can be used simultaneously in Combination mode or Sequencer mode to create complete ensemble backing, especially when used in conjunction with the Drum Track.
An intuitive sequencer provides 16 MIDI + 1 Master tracks with all the tools needed to capture and easily shape musical ideas into polished productions. It features up to 128 songs, allows users to record 210,000 notes and offers a high resolution of 480 PPQ (parts per quarter-note).
The proprietary M50 Editor and Plug-In Editor software lets users edit the sounds using a computer, and allows the M50 to act as a plug-in instrument for their DAW (VST, Audio Units and RTAS are supported). The editor librarian also enables users to exchange sounds between the M50 and M3. Further, an SD card slot provides easy and affordable management of Programs, Combinations and Sequences, as well as sounds, songs and other data.
Korg’s proprietary 320x240 pixel TouchView™ display ensures excellent visibility and operability, making it easy to select sounds and adjust parameters. Other controls include a joystick and multiple switches and triggers.
The 61-key M50-61 uses a new semi-weighted Natural Touch keyboard, while the 88-key M50-88 features the Weighted Hammer Action 3 (RH3) graded action keyboard, which accurately simulates the feel of an acoustic grand piano. For players on the go, the M50-88 is by far the lightest weight 88-key hammer action keyboard Korg has ever made.
The 61- and 88-note Korg M50 Music Workstation will be available in November with MSRPs of $1,499 and $2,499. A 73-key version will be available in early 2009 with pricing TBA.