A couple of brief thoughts about the Korg MicroKey System.
At first glance, these little keyboards would seem to be a last resort to most Keyboard players. Of course they’re invaluable for use on the move, in a portable situation. They have a remarkable ‘playability’, a legacy of their bigger and older brethren, and things like the Pitch bend and Modulation wheels are as good as you’d expect for a keyboard with this sort of lineage, but somehow, they don’t seem to represent a ‘real’ keyboard in the sense that we’re all familiar with.
However, a couple of things struck me the other day, First how much actual playing do you do when you’re in studio mode. I mean ok, if you’re a virtuoso keyboards player or a jazz pianist, the point doesn’t stand, but for those of us who can ‘play’ but don’t record actual perfomances (In my case, I programme all my string parts in one at a time, my horn section riffs are done piece by piece, and holding down Pads, or Organ tones is easily achievable on these smaller key) they really are worth a look in terms of space saving and ease of operation.
Secondly, these particular MicroKeys from Korg are coming bundled with some pretty serious software. The microKEY37 includes a download code for FREE Korg M1Le software, giving you all of the preset sounds and all of the PCM waveforms of the original M1, which was a killer keyboard in its day, and still sounds fine up to present.
Also included are licenses for Applied Acoustics Systems’ Strum Acoustic Session, Lounge Lizard Session (probably the best of the Electric Piano modellers) and Ultra Analog Session as well as a license for Toontrack’s software drum sound module EzDrummer Lite, and a discount coupon for Ableton’s “Live,” “Live Suite,” and “Live LE” DAW software, one of the most creative and talked about programs happening at the moment. These are some pretty compelling reasons to get yourself one of the baby keyboards, microKEY 25 or 37.
microKEY 61 comes with “Korg Legacy Collection Special Bundle,” providing software versions of five of Korg’s best known and best loved synthesizers: the MS-20 analog monophonic synthesizer, the Polysix polyphonic synthesizer, the Mono/Poly analog synthesizer, the M1, and the Wavestation digital synthesizer, as a suite of 19 of Korg’s sought after effects plugins.
If you’re thinking of re-vamping your studio, or even just adding functionality to your laptop set-up, these little beauties are well worth a look.