Korg Reimagines Keytar, with microKORG XL+ Sounds, Ribbon Controls, Slick Wooden Body [Details]

Korg’s RK-100 turns 30 this year, marking a milestone for one of the first keytars. (KORG is using the term “keytar,” not the less-pleasant-sounding “strap-on,” and who am I to argue?) It’s easy to forget that part of the reason that keytars made an appearance briefly in the mid-1980s was that the role of the synthesist had changed. This was not simply a ploy for keyboardists to prance about onstage. The rise of electro and synth pop meant that the keyboardists themselves had found a more central role in the music and sound, a lead, front-of-stage part in the band …

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DIY Ribbon Controller, Creative Commons-Licensed, with Arduino, Reaktor, Crackling-Good Case

Ribbons are so in this year. Thanks to Trent Reznor picking up the Dewanatron Swarmatron, they’re even winning Oscar Awards (after a fashion). Coagula aka Giuseppe Di Cillo has been in touch with me for some time about his evolving DIY ribbon controller. Now he’s pulling out all the stops: his full version includes a professional-looking case, extensive touch sensors, and even a display and menu system. It’s not quite the gorgeous, analog-savvy Eowave Persephone, but it’s a beautiful DIY project and a terrific learning opportunity, as well. He’s shared a complete tutorial, specifications, and tips, all under a Creative …

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Korg Monotribe: Questions and Answers, More Details

Korg’s Monotribe became the surprise hit of gear announcements at this month’s Messe trade show. It’s little, it’s cute, and it seems entirely focused on synthesis and pattern-making fun. Plenty of videos have circulated, but odds are you haven’t seen the Japanese-language demo above (well, Japanese titles – the video itself speaks the international language of synth). It’s a nice jam on Monotribe and the recently-released Kaoss Pad Quad. Korg’s James Saveja answers some questions for CDM, rapid-fire style. CDM: Can you describe the drum voices? James: Drum voices are all analog. A nice punchy snare, kick and hat part. …

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