Korg Announces M50 Music Workstation
Korg has announced the M50 Music Workstation, a scaled-down and more affordable version of its M3 XPanded flagship model. The M50 features a modern design, an angled control panel for easy viewing with Korg’s TouchView interface, and their EDS (Extended Definition Synthesis) sound engine. Initially it will be available in two models, 61- and 88-note.
The EDS (Extended Definition Synthesis) sound engine has been enhanced with a three-stage velocity-switched stereo piano programmed in conjunction with samples of the damper resonance, producing a more natural sound. Also new are a number of vintage keyboards, including the classic Korg SG-1 Sampling Grand, numerous authentic electric pianos and clavs, along with 1960s-era tape playback strings and flute sounds.
M50 offers a 256 MB of PCM data shaped into 608 Programs, as well as 384 Combinations by Korg’s voicing staff, covering all the acoustic, synthetic and imaginative sounds. User-edited data can also be saved into the internal memory, with space for 640 Programs, 512 Combinations and 48 Drum kits. The M50 offers several advanced sound-shaping features, including low-aliasing oscillators, a Filter topology and EGs (Envelope Generators), plus a Drive parameter and AMS (Alternate Modulation Source) Mixers.
The M50 provides 5 Insert Effects, 2 Master Effects and 1 Total Effect, along with 170 Effects types; up to 32 Effects Presets are available per effect. An independent three-band EQ is available for each Program, the Drum Track and each of the sixteen timbres/tracks.
The Drum Track gives users over 670 natural-sounding grooves to jam with in Program and Combi modes. Dual arpeggiators offer up traditional arp performance with five preset patterns (UP, DOWN, ALT1, ALT2, RANDOM), as well as polyphonic arpeggiation that can generate everything from simple phrases to complex rhythmic gestures – even fixed note drum and percussion grooves. Two patterns can be used simultaneously in Combination mode or Sequencer mode to create complete ensemble backing, especially when used in conjunction with the Drum Track.
An intuitive sequencer provides 16 MIDI + 1 Master tracks with all the tools needed to capture and easily shape musical ideas into polished productions. It features up to 128 songs, allows users to record 210,000 notes and offers a high resolution of 480 PPQ (parts per quarter-note).
The proprietary M50 Editor and Plug-In Editor software lets users edit the sounds using a computer, and allows the M50 to act as a plug-in instrument for their DAW (VST, Audio Units and RTAS are supported). The editor librarian also enables users to exchange sounds between the M50 and M3. Further, an SD card slot provides easy and affordable management of Programs, Combinations and Sequences, as well as sounds, songs and other data.
The M50’s interface contains their proprietary 320×240 pixel TouchView display, a joystick and multiple switches and triggers. The 61-key M50-61 uses a new semi-weighted Natural Touch keyboard, while the 88-key M50-88 features the Weighted Hammer Action 3 (RH3) graded action keyboard, which accurately simulates the feel of an acoustic grand piano. For players on the go, the M50-88 is by far the lightest weight 88-key hammer action keyboard Korg has ever made.
The Korg 61- and 88-note Korg M50 Music Workstation will be available in November for $1,499 and $2,499 respectively. A 73-key version will make its debut at the upcoming NAMM show in January. More information on the Korg M50.