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Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

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Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby mitya33 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:02 pm

Hi all

Currently deciding between the above and the Nord Stage 3 for piano work primarily and getting into making electronic music secondarily.

The Kronos seems to do everything but at the cost of being user friendly. It seems fiendishly comex; would anyone confirm or deny this suspicion? How long do you think it might take of learning before I started to get some mileage out of it?

I'm totally new to synthesis and synthesisers, so assume nothing!

Thanks in advance, Kronos users.
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Re: Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby desmond » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:08 pm

Generally, if you want more features, the unit is going to be necessarily more complex.

As you want this to be a do-everything tool, then having a lot of features makes sense, and you'll have to learn how to drive it. The alternative is having less features, but needing to rely on other gear, or a DAW, to take up the slack and do the things the keyboard cannot.
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Re: Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby Dave B » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:10 am

So breaking down your request :

a) is it complex? Yes. But not overly so - many would say that Kurzweils are more implacable and the Korg user interface has been this way for .. oooh ... 20 something years now so it shouldn't be a shock to all but the newest of newbies.

b) how long before you get something useable out of it? Probably an afternoon to a couple of days to get things running. To learn everything would take a while - if you are starting from scratch, there's a lot to learn. But if you absorb it all, there's almost nothing about synthesis that you couldn't tackle.

It's like everything - if you want lots of options and power, then you need to put in the time to do it. I'm not convinced that starting with a hyper powerful machine is the best way for you, but you seem committed to that approach. Me? I'd start with a DAW and some simple synth plugins to learn on. Or get a decent new analogue synth and explore that - layering it in a simple DAW. But hey ho ...
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Re: Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby mitya33 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:02 am

Thanks guys for the replies.

I'm not so much committed to a complex piece of kit as merely trying to satisfy my rather particular (and arguably incompatible) set of criteria, which is that it must perform as a quality piano first and be a good synth second so I can get into composing electronical music. And third, I'm trying to avoid PC screens and so do my music making at the instrucment, since I'm at the PC all day anyway for my job.

I'm finding myself drawn to the Kronos for its "do everything on me" approach and the Nord Stage for its... Well, I just tried it and really liked it. Plus I like the immediacy of affecting the sound with those rotaries. But the synth is much shallower in terms of complexity, which some have pointed out that, for a noob, could be a plus, can always add more gear later. Whereas the Kronos seems a bit like "buy me and you'll sever need to buy anything ever again."

Continued thanks!
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Re: Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby IAA » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:13 pm

It’s certainly a dilemma - my view is that the Kronos is intuitive if you want to select presets and modify those sounds, even sequencing at a basic level - midi tracks and audio is not that difficult. However it’s got loads more to give and that will take time, but there is a great community over at korg forums.com.

I’m predominantly a pianist with a love for synthesis and I think the Kronos pianos are fantastic and I use them all the time even above some high end sample libraries in my DAW.

i can’t imagine ever running out of options with the Kronos, it’s not for everyone but it’s the backbone of my studio and my songwriting. Sometimes it’s great to sketch a piece using the sequencer and develop in the DAW later.

I like the RH3 action on the 88 note, some don’t, but that’s a very personal thing for a pianist. You’ll know pretty quickly if you can demo it.

The additional libraries of sounds from the korg shop are an easy way to expand if you don’t fancy sampling yourself although I’ve had great results sampling my minimoog and mellotron into it.. :D

Good luck either way..


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Re: Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby BobTheDog » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:52 am

If you want to get away from the PC and you want to record what you play then you probably need a workstation of some kind.

The Nord doesn’t have this ability.

The Kronos does, with the Kronos you could record an entire song. You can even attach a CD burner to it and create an audio CD containing your songs.

The Kronos can also record audio, so with the correct mic you could record vocals or anything you fancy.
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Re: Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby The Elf » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:06 am

I have to say that I find the Kronos incredibly complex and convoluted.

When I was recently trying to turn off velocity control on a sound I found that I had to go to a dozen different pages to achieve it, none of which seem designed to make it simple, obvious or clear. And don't get me started on saving/loading sounds - baffling!

The Kronos is a clever beast, but friendly it ain't.

When it comes to programmability give me a Kurzweil VAST workstation any day...
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Re: Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby BobTheDog » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:41 am

I get your point but a lot of synths are like that, there is no global switch to turn velocity off. The difference is it is usually easy to find the modulations where on the Kronos it can be a pain in the arse, especially as every engine is different.

Annoyingly on the Kronos it is easy to globally set velocity, pitch bend etc as long as you load your program into a combi or sequence. Then you can set one parameter to set fixed velocity. Why they didn’t add this to programmes who knows.
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Re: Korg Kronos - too much for noob?

Postby mitya33 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:48 pm

I finally settled on the new MODX8.

Guess we'll soon see how complex that proves to be, but I'm willing to learn.

It was with a heavy heart that I rejected the Nord. It's cool for so many reasons, but ultimately three things killed it for me:

1) In my very in experienced opinion, it's overpriced - even at its current price of £2,800; at its list price of ~£3,500, it's absurd. If this view is contentious, then consider that the MODX8 is almost exactly half the price.

2) A third of it I'll never use, namely the organ section. I'm here for pianos and synth.

3) The synth, while beautiful-sounding, is never going to be as deep or with the same potential for multi-layered, evolving sounds, as something like the MODX.

So there you have it. As for the Kronos, I just couldn't get over the line; not inviting in the slightest, I felt, and it's just a replacement so who knows what NAMM will bring.

Thanks for all your advice along the way!
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