The Vox Continental, the transistor-based combo organ made famous by the Animals and the Doors and later embraced by new wave, ska and indie bands, is returning, reborn as a thoroughly modern stage piano/organ. The 21st-century Vox Continental features four independent sound engines that can be split or layered, providing a broad palate of organ, piano, electric piano and synth sounds, plus digital and valve-based effects and a wealth of performance-friendly controls.
The new Vox Continental is available in 61- and 73-note versions, both of which come complete with a sturdy-looking A-frame stand and an expression pedal. This sense of stage-readiness is reinforced when you look at the control panel, which features dedicated controls for most functions, arranged around what Korg are calling a multi-ribbon LED touch strip. This row of nine control strips can be used to adjust everything from the organ drawbars to the built-in EQ to the synth’s envelope, filter and LFO parameters. There are also 16 scene memories, arranged in four banks of four. The organ engine provides three different flavours of combo organ – Vox Transistor, the Farfisa-style Compact and the “clonewheel” Korg CX-3.
The electric piano engine features tine, reed and FM variants, while the piano section offers the choice of grand, upright and electric grand pianos. The final key/layer section is the most wide-ranging, with mono and poly synth sounds and PCM-based brass, string and instrument sounds. As well as dedicated organ effects like rotary speaker, vibrato/chorus and Farfisa-style percussion and multi-tone boost, the Vox Continental provides valve drive and dynamics controls and a digital effects section with tap-tempo delay, reverb, compression, drive, wah and modulation effects.
At the rear, expression pedal, rotor speed and damper pedal inputs are joined by balanced and unbalanced stereo outputs, MIDI in and out and two USB ports. The Vox Continental should be available by the time you read this, with the 61-note version priced at $1,999 and the 73-note version priced at $2,199.