Korg Oasys by Deleted User
The Korg Oasys is a waste of time and money for most musicians. It excels in ways that are slanted towards its technical specs and build quality. In its creation, the designers rarely defined new genres or new ways to create music. The endless potential of giant touchscreen interface was right in front of them and they did not utilize it. With expectations high and a high price on a limited flagship model, it is necessary to take risks. One thing that is never a risk is making the interface easier to use. Adding more experimental sounds in addition to traditional ones, with such a large hard drive, would have also not have been very risky. These are things that are worth doing on a flagship model because it makes descendants (like the Kronos) better machines. None of these things happened on the Oasys. Improving the interface and taking more risks would also have made Korg keyboard workstations more competitive with the computer DAW market. Despite its placement as exclusive and powerful flagship, Korg Oasys rarely exceeded previous generations and cannot be recommended when brand new machines from Roland & Yamaha that are easier to use and have more sounds to play with.
A good workstation should make it fun to make new music. The Korg graphics, while familiar to Korg users, are a logical nightmare to navigate. Several different text styles, tabs with their own tabs, and an ever-changing function menu make you re-learn instead of re-think music itself. Roland and Yamaha both have a more consistent design philosophy on their boards, even without a touchscreen. Thinking, or clicking around aimlessly into menus with your finger till something works on the Oasys is required. It is not the most responsive touchscreen either. A one-push category change button ends up being two or three pushes on the screen. This machine cannot be recommended unless you are already a Triton or Trinity user. Both the hardware and graphics of this heavy beast take the fun away.
A good workstation should have amazing sounds. The Oasys's original sound set caters mostly to traditional sounds from the 60s, 70s, & 80s. It has very good pianos, electric piano, organs, electric bass and acoustic drums. All these things are traditionally available elsewhere obviously and could be recorded on this instrument with the hard drive. The Strings, Ethnic sounds, guitars, woodwinds, and even Synth categories are average/poor in "wow" factor and even useability. Not many were experimental. Many of the Combis do have a "wow" factor and are fun to play but you may not consider them for your productions depending on your taste. Making your own sounds can be slow due to the interface choices already mentioned. Many sounds are useful, very high quality, but in general it is not amazing or new.
Sound quality on this machine was generally excellent. The outputs are clear and there is no problem in this category. It is a digital sound and does what it supposed to. The FX are generally good. However, in comparison, Roland's FX are more numerous and easier to understand with more parameters. Since the FX can be more of musical taste I'd just say that they sound good and leave it out of my rating. The Oasys digital sounds are clear as day and the board a great platform for demonstrating its sound engines.
Build quality is also excellent. This one is sure to last. Keys feel tight, as well as the knobs, faders and ports. Keys have a click-down type feel which you must get used to if you are a Roland player. The touchscreen is somewhat rugged, but it has no brightness control (not cool). This thing is too heavy and too deep. It may not work out for if you have a cheaper stand. It barely works in mine. It is not something I'd travel with.
Ease of use: 6
Sound Quality: 10
Build Quality: 9
Overall: 5 (not an average)
The Korg Oasys is a well built traditional keyboard. That is not good enough for a flagship product. The Oasys needed to be fun, easy, and have experimental sounds & features on top of that. This keyboard is definitely a sell, unless you got it for a low price and want some traditional, high quality sounds geared toward rock genres. If you are just playing, many other keyboards are just as good and are much lighter. It will definitely last you a long time, but for top producers spending lots of cash either new or used, Oasys is just not good enough and wasn't a break-out product.