Korg Electribe Sampler by besairedt
I've had the new electribe sampler for about two weeks. Unfortunately I didn't have my hands on any of the previous electribes (I've read manuals and watched videos though) but the new one did not impress me. I've worked with other groove boxes so I have something to compare
But lets start with pros:
- Design is great! When you just unpack it you want to play it right away!
- It's very user friendly and playing with this box is fun
- The cut down synthesis feature you can substitute with single cycle wave forms
- It feels solid and reliable (it's a great step for korg)
But there are really significant and intolerable (imho) down sides:
- The sampling time is even smaller then on the old ones! C'mon Korg it's 21th century! What the heck is 270 sec in mono?!!!
- The fact that you have a SD-card slot doesn't make life easier: all your samples you have to load on start up from SD to internal memory and it's a looong process (at least you have auto load, but don't forget to export all your changes to the card before turning the thing off otherwise you're screwed!) I've had just a bunch of short samples (only around 20% of available space) and it took about 40 sec to boot the bloody machine
- You're restricted to no longer then 4 bars. You kinda have the option to switch the sequence from 16th notes to 32nd but don't let it fool you: in this case your sequence becomes 2 bars. Seriously Korg?
- No song mode. No comments. There's some weird way to record your performance to file and then play that file back but why? Why?? Even the TE pocket operators for 50$ have some kind of pattern chaining
- Absolutely terrible sample import. You literally have to import each sample from SD card manually one at a time. I mean it: pick a sample on a card, then press import, then scroll to the available sample slot and then go back to import the next one. 100 samples took me a freaking hour to import. Not to mention that then I forgot to export it back to SD card and turned the device off. Yes I had to do it over. Maybe they've solved this issue with the update but I'm not really sure
- Stereo samples still take two tracks/pads
- Midi implementation just sucks. The pads are restricted to channels 1-16 and you can't filter incoming midi separately. Let's say you have another sequencer controlling your stuff. And you want to use all the electribe's pads/tracks. Where do you put electribe in your chain to make it response only on certain midi channels leaving the rest for another gear? I don't know. You might think about midi filter? No sir! It will filter the entire incoming midi stream for all channels and the options are cut down to receive notes, CC, or nothing for all tracks.
- The knobs transmit midi CC values. The Motion Sequence feature records your knob tweaking into sequencer. But it doesn't transmit it over midi. Duh!
- And the sound quality after all: I've made a blind test by importing the same sample of kick with very fast and snappy attack transient to korg electribe sampler and Roland sp-555 (which uses compression while korg claims to playback wavs). The exact same sample sounded great in old roland and lost it's attack in korg. I tend to think that they have used some cheap converters or.. I don't know.
This box unfortunately was a huge disappointment for me. Heaven knows I tried to love it but it's just to much flaws