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King Korg Vs System-8
Old 28th March 2018
  #1
King Korg Vs System-8

Hello there guys,

I'm thinking in buying one of these synthesizers, but I haven't tried one yet.

In my country the System-8 costs the double of the King Korg. Price is an issue, though if System-8 is waaaay better than the KK, I can save money for it.

Things that are important for me are:

1.- Sound Quality ("warmthness").
2.- Effects.
3.- Multi-timbrality.
4.- User interface (for synthesizing sounds mainly, as far as i know the s-8 is one knob per function).
5.- Keybed (i like that the king korg has 5 octaves vs the 4 of the system-8).
6.- Arpeggiator.

I intend to use the synthesizer for playing with bands, mainly some leads, FX and pads, so I can discard bass.

Thanks in advance.

Francisco.
Old 28th March 2018
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Exe2479's Avatar
 

The System-8 has the (much) better knobby physical interface, but in all other areas the KK is just as good, better or more versatile.
It is just not a specific emulation like the models on the System-8, but I guess that's not terribly important for you. KK build quality feels a little bit cheaper.
Old 28th March 2018
  #3
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EvilDragon's Avatar
KK has better polyphony and is definitely more versatile. Also has more patch memory. Both are bitimbral and have no aftertouch (although KK supports it via MIDI input, whereas I'm not sure if S-8 does).
Old 28th March 2018
  #4
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GregkoNYC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
I'm not sure if S-8 does).
Nope - it doesn't.

To the OP, the System 8 is a good synth regardless of emulations since its native engine is very good. The S8 can offer up very convincing warm/fat analog textures - great for pads, strings, brass, leads - pretty much whatever you throw at it.

The fact that its internal DA conversion is 24/96 helps produce a nice clean dynamic output.

The effects, while not "professional studio quality" are perfectly implemented for performance. Having access to depth and time for things like delay and chorus in real time, is a bit like adding additional modulation sources at the end of your signal chain right from the board - it's a very nice feature to have for live performance/ recording.

One thing it can't do, however, is sound like anything other than a Roland synth

There are lots of great options in the same price range as the System 8 - it's really competitive these days - so you'll have to consider your options.

Some of the major limitations to the S8 (other than what ED mentioned):
  • The firmware needs updating to improve access to dual/split modes as well as a few bug fixes (won't sequence over USB for example)
  • There is no patch editor/ librarian available other than with the $20/month Roland cloud subscription
  • There isn't an expression pedal input - does volume only
  • Roland has failed to launch a new plug-out since its release over a year ago

That said, I'm generally happy with mine and wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

Greg
Old 28th March 2018
  #5
Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Are the "favourites" in the KK in the main panel?

I have the system-1, does the system-8 improves the sound engine?

What can u tell me about the KK arpeggiator?
Old 28th March 2018
  #6
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliosMusic View Post
Hello there guys,

I'm thinking in buying one of these synthesizers, but I haven't tried one yet.

In my country the System-8 costs the double of the King Korg. Price is an issue, though if System-8 is waaaay better than the KK, I can save money for it.

Things that are important for me are:

1.- Sound Quality ("warmthness").
2.- Effects.
3.- Multi-timbrality.
4.- User interface (for synthesizing sounds mainly, as far as i know the s-8 is one knob per function).
5.- Keybed (i like that the king korg has 5 octaves vs the 4 of the system-8).
6.- Arpeggiator.

I intend to use the synthesizer for playing with bands, mainly some leads, FX and pads, so I can discard bass.

Thanks in advance.

Francisco.
Sound quality: System 8 has a warmer and more analog sound. The KingKORG is good but you can hear aliasing at the top. However, the KingKORG is a lot more versatile.

Effects... I’d call it a toss up. Maybe a nod to the KingKORG for its tube distortion.

Multi-timbrality. Both do 2 patches at a time, but the KingKORG has 24 voices as opposed to 8, so you are really limited on what you can do with the System 8.

User Interface goes to System 8. KingKORG isn’t bad but there’s a fair amount of menu diving. That menu diving gets you a lot more modulation options than the System 8, so I’d say it might be worth it if you want to create complex sounds.

Keybed, System 8 is a bit better but neither win any prizes.

Both have decent arpeggiators. Nothing too special.
Old 28th March 2018
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Exe2479's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliosMusic View Post
What can u tell me about the KK arpeggiator?
KK Arp has a bit more options, most notably chords and up to 8-steps rhythmic user patterns. (unfortunetaly only 8, not 16 steps, which would have improved the usefulness a lot)
Old 28th March 2018
  #8
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EvilDragon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliosMusic View Post
Are the "favourites" in the KK in the main panel?
Yes, you push the Favorites button and the 8 category buttons below the main display become your 8 fav programs. You can have up to 40 favorites stored this way (5 presses on each of category buttons will cycle through up to 5 assigned programs for each button). Read the manual, everything is mentioned in there? KK is a lot more flexible.
Old 29th March 2018
  #9
Deleted efd8500
Guest
I've owned both (still have the System 8)

Sound quality wise the System 8 is warmer, much smoother actually vs the Korgs more cutting sound, I found the vacuum tube circuit was useful if used sparingly but could muddy some sounds.

Flexibility I would say they're both quite good, the Korg does have more filter types but the Roland does some cool things with its side-band filter that takes it away from the juno/jupiter sounds etc. Effects are better in the Roland but neither are great !

Interface, Roland easily wins, this for me was the part I disliked about the Korg

Keybed, Roland is better, I had one key that was slightly lower than the rest on my King Korg which was odd plus the general feel was much more plasticy and light.

System 8 is better IMO but the price is good for the Korg so a little unfair to compare in that sence
Old 29th March 2018
  #10
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EvilDragon's Avatar
IMHO effects are definitely more on Korg's side.
Old 29th March 2018
  #11
Deleted efd8500
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
IMHO effects are definitely more on Korg's side.
Not to confuse the OP, I agree that the Korg is better equipped in the effects dept, I just prefer the sound of the S8's effects, as noted earlier the S8 uses the effects in the patch settings better (modulation reverb etc) Delays sound wider.

I thought the KK was dead in the water these days, but it appears not so
Old 29th March 2018
  #12
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EvilDragon's Avatar
I also meant soundwise not just "better equipped".
Old 29th March 2018
  #13
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Sound quality: System 8 has a warmer and more analog sound.
Hmmmm, i'm not so sure about that (although its subjective and imo)

When I bought my JDXa, I spent quite a bit of time with the S8 and KK.

I found the KK to be much rounder and warmer sounding when going beyond the fashionable cliched presets. I did however hate its keybed. I think if the Korg had more sliders and knobs per function, it would encourage more exploring and expose its excellent VA engine.

For the money, KK wins hands down.

I just could not connect with the S8. It sounded vanilla. JDXa was a totally different story though.

This demo captures its character quite well, particularly in the 2nd half.

Old 29th March 2018
  #14
Deleted c74c961
Guest
i use my S8 for pads and atmospheres and i think it sounds amazing for that. the sideband filter is awesome for FX and sounds particularly good when used in conjunction with the effects and arpeggiator. this is the most underrated part of the synth, and the part most people unfamiliar with it aren't likely to consider. without it the synth package as a whole would suffer imo.

the UI is really great, i never made any patches before getting this synth but now i enjoy this process a lot. if i had to menu dive to do so, then i know i wouldn't even bother. you may be different. the amount of tweakable knobs at hand that usefully shape and change the sound with ease makes sound design a real joy.

the librarian can be used without subscription, though last time i checked the cloud software crashed on my PC everytime i tried it on boot. i am storing excess patches on SD card, though this isn't as seamless as it should be. volume and sustain pedal only is a real bummer, i would have liked to control cutoff etc too.

the S8 can do chords with the arp, and the sequencer has a good few tricks that can act like an advanced arpeggiator too.

twice is price is a little eye watering, though 1.5 years later and i am still extremely happy with the purchase and knowing what i know now, i wouldn't even consider the KK and would instabuy the S8 again in a heartbeat.
Old 29th March 2018
  #15
Yul
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliosMusic View Post
Thanks for taking the time to answer.

I have the system-1, does the system-8 improves the sound engine?
Good question - anyone would know? I am interested too.
Old 29th March 2018
  #16
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
Hmmmm, i'm not so sure about that (although its subjective and imo)

When I bought my JDXa, I spent quite a bit of time with the S8 and KK.

I found the KK to be much rounder and warmer sounding when going beyond the fashionable cliched presets. I did however hate its keybed. I think if the Korg had more sliders and knobs per function, it would encourage more exploring and expose its excellent VA engine.

For the money, KK wins hands down.

I just could not connect with the S8. It sounded vanilla. JDXa was a totally different story though.

This demo captures its character quite well, particularly in the 2nd half.

Oh, there’s no doubt that the KingKORG is a better bang for the buck, and I really like the KingKORG too. I’d choose it over the KingKORG as well. However, it’s not a matter of opinion that it aliases in the higher end, where the System 8 doesn’t, or at least I can’t hear it. Even Diva does a bit better than the KingKORG. Maybe it’s your opinion that it’s vanilla, but it’s really high quality vanilla. Also, the sounds you can get with it using its alternate oscillator modes is pretty spicy. Through the System 100 plugout in there and you could get pretty weird.
Old 29th March 2018
  #17
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yul View Post
Good question - anyone would know? I am interested too.
Yes, I think they did improve the native engine. I never was that impressed with the System 1 engine and I really like the System 8 engine. I noticed it straight away.
Old 29th March 2018
  #18
can't find any promo of Roland saying they'd upgraded the ACB; they would've said something imo.*

i think it's the same acb as the System 1 (which i like tbh... usually play in 4 voice mode) but the S8 has more voices, oscillators, waveforms, filters, etc; i think it's the split/layer feature which is always great in a playing synth; love layering Roland sounds

side
really hoping Roland make an S16 with 61 key and vel/at... mostly cuz i want more plugouts, shocked shocked i tell you there is no jupiter 4 yet


*if there is pls let me know! be interested to read
Old 29th March 2018
  #19
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flat's Avatar
I do wonder if Korg will bring out a KK deluxe version, perhaps in the Prologue chassis with better quality keyboard and festooned with knobs and sliders.

They don't have a flagship VA atm, so its a possibility I guess and they have a history of using existing chassis in other producrs (Trinity/Z1, Krome/KK etc)
Old 29th March 2018
  #20
Considering what u guys say, my conclusion is this one:

1.- Sound and FX: Both can sound pretty good and both have nice FX.
2.- Keybed: It seems that the S8 is better in terms of quality, though KK has one more octave and I think that's useful for using two different patches.
3.- Multitimbrality: Tie.
4.- Arpeggiator: Tie.
5.- UI: Much better in S8.

Should I pay twice the price for the better UI of the S8? I don't think so...

How much menu diving has the KK? Is it too annoyinhg?

Until now, the KK wins for me.
Old 29th March 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
I do wonder if Korg will bring out a KK deluxe version, perhaps in the Prologue chassis with better quality keyboard and festooned with knobs and sliders.

They don't have a flagship VA atm, so its a possibility I guess and they have a history of using existing chassis in other producrs (Trinity/Z1, Krome/KK etc)
KingKorg is their flagship VA, they don't make them like they used to. It's original price was close to what the prologue 8 is going for.

Anyway, I'm personally wishing for a Peak-like module, although they don't need to build it as nice as Peak.
Old 29th March 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
I would say a good UI defines how playable and programmable a synth is, so yes, it is worth the cash. I've relegated synths to sales, closets, attics for their awful UIs.

The King Korg to me, has always been more of a VA synth targeted at the more "keys player" who wants something for a band, as most of the presets are that sound, and its interface is more shaped at easy to grasp knobs. Like a Microkorg that finally grew up into a 61 key synth. I don't think this is a bad thing, it just had a different goal. So maybe you should give it a go?

That being said, The System 8 is a grown up version of the System 1, which was targeted as a "We know you've been clamoring for a full interface VA synth from us for years, here's a green lit box" I really enjoy patch creation on the System 8, and I love the fact I can visually have access to the egs. Running an arppegio and increasing the release slider is great. Having the motion control in the little sequencer per patch is more useful to me than the (often criticized) lack of tons of LFOs.
Old 29th March 2018
  #23
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login's Avatar
I tried both extensively, the king keybed is inferior, the sound to me is more vanilla but it has some features that take it to places where the S8 can't and viceversa.

The S8 was way more fun to edit and program, and it has the sequencer.
Old 29th March 2018
  #24
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robwood View Post
can't find any promo of Roland saying they'd upgraded the ACB; they would've said something imo.*

i think it's the same acb as the System 1 (which i like tbh... usually play in 4 voice mode) but the S8 has more voices, oscillators, waveforms, filters, etc; i think it's the split/layer feature which is always great in a playing synth; love layering Roland sounds

side
really hoping Roland make an S16 with 61 key and vel/at... mostly cuz i want more plugouts, shocked shocked i tell you there is no jupiter 4 yet


*if there is pls let me know! be interested to read
Well, I just loaded up the System 1 plugin and the System 8 plugin and matched them parameter for parameter and the System 8 sounds pretty different. I don't know if they "improved" it, but beyond the additions, the System 8 is definitely not just twice the voices of the System 1.
Old 29th March 2018
  #25
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EvilDragon's Avatar
S-8 also has just a single LFO. At least KK has 2.
Old 29th March 2018
  #26
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
S-8 also has just a single LFO. At least KK has 2.


All that fuss and hissy fits about the Prologue only having 1 LFO, but its all ok for the System 8.

Strange how people have different standards & attitudes for different brands

Free pass for mythical Roland once again! Well of course they made the Jupiter 8, so everything they touch must have fairy dust & vegas mode and is immune to any questioning!
Old 29th March 2018
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by space skeleton View Post
I would say a good UI defines how playable and programmable a synth is, so yes, it is worth the cash. I've relegated synths to sales, closets, attics for their awful UIs.

The King Korg to me, has always been more of a VA synth targeted at the more "keys player" who wants something for a band, as most of the presets are that sound, and its interface is more shaped at easy to grasp knobs. Like a Microkorg that finally grew up into a 61 key synth. I don't think this is a bad thing, it just had a different goal. So maybe you should give it a go?

That being said, The System 8 is a grown up version of the System 1, which was targeted as a "We know you've been clamoring for a full interface VA synth from us for years, here's a green lit box" I really enjoy patch creation on the System 8, and I love the fact I can visually have access to the egs. Running an arppegio and increasing the release slider is great. Having the motion control in the little sequencer per patch is more useful to me than the (often criticized) lack of tons of LFOs.
I agree with you, though I think you are mistaken with the EG's of the KK. I was reading the manual and there is 4 EG controllers on the front panel, you have to switch from filter eg to amp eg, but is a one button operation. Though I agree with you that faders are much sexier than knobs.
Old 29th March 2018
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Having owned both, I connected much better with the KingKorg, and found it very versatile. The digital waves (from the DW8000/6000) are really fun to layer in, and the knobs are larger and more tactile than the S8 - at least for me. At the price difference, the KingKorg is more of a no brainer, and I love the full 5 octaves too.
Old 29th March 2018
  #29
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login's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post


All that fuss and hissy fits about the Prologue only having 1 LFO, but its all ok for the System 8.

Strange how people have different standards & attitudes for different brands

Free pass for mythical Roland once again! Well of course they made the Jupiter 8, so everything they touch must have fairy dust & vegas mode and is immune to any questioning!
When it was released is was pointed and criticized extensively.
Old 29th March 2018
  #30
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
All that fuss and hissy fits about the Prologue only having 1 LFO, but its all ok for the System 8.

Strange how people have different standards & attitudes for different brands
Can you actually name a specific individual here who whitewashes the single LFO, or lack of aftertouch for that matter, on the System-8 but talks about it as unforgivable on the Prologue? Or are you just building a strawman to get upset about?

It's true there are plenty of people here who don't see a single LFO as a serious limitation. And that there are people who do. They're just different people in the same community. I don't even doubt that there are a few who are willing to overlook a limitation when something else about a specific instrument speaks to them. I'm still considering the Prologue despite both of those limitations, even though they're a pretty big deal from my perspective. And it's not because I'm some Korg junkie.
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