You are here

Korg to launch Keystage MIDI keyboards

MIDI 2.0 and polyphonic aftertouch

Korg Keyscape 49 61 MIDI 2.0 MPE polyphonic aftertouch controller keyboards

Korg have announced the upcoming launch of the Keystage 49 and Keystage 61, a pair of new MIDI controller keyboards that offer MIDI 2.0 connectivity as well as boasting support for polyphonic aftertouch and MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression).

MIDI 2.0 & Performance Features

The company say that the new controllers are the first keyboard to adopt the MIDI 2.0 Property Exchange feature, which allows compatible devices to discover, retrieve and set properties including preset names and parameter settings, simplifying the process of configuring devices to work alongside each other. When connected to MIDI 2.0-capable software, Keystage will automatically map parameters and place their names on its OLED display, which will continuously update to ensure the precise values are on show at all times. As the new standard is backwards compatible, the devices will still work with older MIDI equipment, too.

Both the 49- and 61-key versions employ a newly developed semi-weighted keybed, and plenty of expressive control is on offer thanks to the inclusion of polyphonic aftertouch and MPE. There is an onboard arpeggiator equipped with a vast collection of patterns, as well as comprehensive customisation options such as aftertouch-triggered ratchets, randomisation, gating and more. Additionally, a Chord Mode provides users with access to 32 pre-configured chord sets, with an extra 32 slots available for saving custom variants.

Helpfully, there is also a built-in audio interface with a single stereo output, along with a headphone output, making it possible to perform with the Keystage using software instruments without the need for a dedicated external interface.

DAW Integration

The controllers offer plug-and-play compatibility with a range of popular DAWs, providing users with hands-on control over transport controls and a range of parameters. At launch, there will be official integration with Ableton Live and Korg Gadget, and can be used with Cakewalk, Cubase, Digital Performer, FL Studio, GarageBand, Logic, Pro Tools and Studio One.

The official integration with Ableton Live means that Keystage will detect the device current active in the DAW, and automatically map its first eight parameters, and will reconfigure itself upon a new device being selected to ensure that users are able to focus on their performance rather than switching between settings. For those who aren’t already Ableton users, a licence for Ableton Live Lite is included with each Keystage purchase.


In terms of connectivity, MIDI I/O is available both on five-pin DIN sockets as well as via USB, and a pair of quarter-inch TS connectors can be used to connect expression and damper pedals. An unbalanced stereo audio output is provided on a pair of quarter-inch TS sockets, with a quarter-inch TRS connector offering a stereo headphone output. The controllers can be bus-powered via the USB connection, or by an optional 9V DC power adapter.

Pricing & Availability

Shipping information for the new controllers is yet to be confirmed, with pricing as follows:

  • Keystage 49: $599£499 including VAT
  • Keystage 61 $699£599 including VAT

Also in the news