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Korg Oasys 76 Key

Korg Oasys

4 4 out of 5, based on 5 Reviews

Korg's high power keyboard, released in 2005, is still stuck in the same design philosophy with zero improvement from previous systems and a slightly above average soundset.

1st January 2012

Korg Oasys by Deleted User

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.5
Korg Oasys 76 Key

Korg Oasys

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.

Fun: 6
Ease of use: 6
Sounds: 7
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.

4th January 2012

Korg Oasys by LG22886

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Korg Oasys 76 Key

One of, if not the best Keyboard every produced, most certainly one of the best keyboard workstations made. The Sound quality is almost 3D using the oasys, that's really the only way to describe it. When it comes to synths, basses, gritty sounds, clean sounds it's a beast. My only gripe about the sound quality is that some of the acoustical sounds such as piano, acoustic guitar, so forth you can tell are limited by the sampling technology of when this board was produced, and I feel the focus on their Kronos in this area was a good move. As a colleague of mine state's "Korg blew their nutt, when they made the Oasys" and it's true. When this board came out, the HD recorder in it really allowed this piece to be a fully integrated studio, and my only real issue with the board was 1. It's price 2. Lack of support due to price. At the end of the day the Korg Kronos is a nice piece, but man I wish they would have been able to have that Oasys sound due to the wav-rom a/d d/a converters and all of the i/o as well as a cd burner, really a great utility and a beast in the studio.

5th January 2013

Korg Oasys by Scoopicman

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Korg Oasys 76 Key

The OASYS is a jack of all trades board. Everything that came before it is taken to a new level with this beastie - over a gigabyte of ROM samples are included, Wave Sequencing that can incorporate user samples, MOD-7, the FM synth, can load DX7 programs as well as input samples a la the Yamaha SY99. Add to that physical modelling engines for organ (CX-3) and plucked strings (STR-1). Excellent engine emulations of the MS-20 and PolySix synths are in there, adding many more modulation routings and polyphony. (172 notes for the PolySix!)

I've been using the OASYS since 2005 and it is still my main production tool in 2013. While most synths have a two or three year cycle before a new model obsoletes it, the OASYS was developed for four years. Originally it only had three engines - HD-1 (ROMpler/Wave Sequencing), CX-3 (organ modeller) and AL-1 (virtual analogue). More synths (listed above) and samples (EXs 3 Brass & Woodwinds) were added, as well as many new functions like Poly Unison, etc.

Obviously the samples from 2005 were good enough that they are all included in today's Kronos successor. Loading new samples is a snap, thanks to the internal Hard Drive and Pentium 4 processing speed. The user has up to 1.5 gigs of RAM to load samples into. That's not so much now, but it was huge in 2005, when most everything else maxed out at 128 megs. Still more than adequate, though.

Recording audio tracks in Sequence mode is also nice, because the song files (with audio) load very fast. I've used this recording feature to cope with the Access Virus' lack of polyphony with complex sounds. And, BTW, the OASYS makes for a wonderful mixer - 4 analogue inputs (plus S/P DIF and optional ADAT digital input/output card), 10 analogue outputs (1-8, L/R) and a Bus Routing system that is utterly amazing.

You can record a singer dry on one channel, with reverb on another, pitch shifted on another and further effected on a fourth channel. A lot of people gripe about the sequencer, but it can record 20 tracks in one pass! (4 audio, 16 MIDI.) Audio files from Sequencer recordings can be rerouted through additional track effects or can even be opened up by the sampler for filtering, transposing etc.

Unlike what is stated in a previous review, the screen brightness is adjustable (Global - LCD setup). Also, the OASYS bested the previous generation of workstations (namely the Triton series) in almost every way - 32 bit FX, Sysex recordable sliders/knobs, new voice architecture with multiple velocity splits and a much better sounding oscillator.

As stated, eight years later, the OASYS is still a monster. Fortunately, the current Kronos will give you the power of the OASYS, but with a more modest interface.

30th September 2013

Korg Oasys by Denny C

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Korg Oasys 76 Key

I would almost completely agree with the last reviewer, Scoopicman, in general. My rating would be a little different. For sound quality and features, it is definitely awesome. The only other board that will let you record vocals ,as well as super quality audio, is the Kronos(ok, and the Fantom G). This indeed makes the Oasys a great platform for the singer/songwriter. I don't want to compare these two, as I do have both and it is too lengthy of a discussion to intricately contrast the two for this snapshot.

However, this is where the 'ease of use' and 'bang for the buck' come in. As with the Kronos, there is a steep learning curve for tweaking and utilizing the patches exactly as they sound in the presets---while in sequencer mode. I am used to the Korg system by now, so it is coming along for me. Once you are accustomed to the Korg system, the basic stuff will flow smoothly. And if you are intimately familiar with the Korg sequencing, you could possibly rate this as a 4 or so in the 'ease of use' category. That is my thinking for the 'ease of use' category.

As far as bang for the 'bang for the buck' scoring, if you paid $7-8000 when it came out, today you might rate it a 3 or even 2. But that is what makes this category so difficult to quantify, because of the superb sound quality of the instrument. And I can't forget to mention the build quality, which is rock solid. So, if you bought one today for $2500 to 3000, you might rate the 'bang for the buck' a ringing 4.

This board is an extremely nice addition to any rig.

  • 1
3rd May 2020

Korg Oasys by Aurelius Music

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Korg Oasys 76 Key

To say that the OASYS is the greatest instrument ever made is a GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT.

There's NOTHING like it. After 13 years of owning this amazing board, that sound NEVER ceases to amaze me.

There are certain programs that I have heavily modified that every time I play them.....MY GOD! I am freaking flabbergasted at how insanely good it sounds! The pianos are still insatiable 15 years after its launch. The fact that you can hear the dampers, leaves almost every instrument I have ever laid my hands on afterwards making me feel like there's no depth....except KRONOS...but we all know what the KRONOS is.....

Sequencing on the OASYS, while it leaves a LOT to be desired, works incredibly well...For what it is, it's flawless.....It works and it does what it does effortlessly. I've really learned to appreciate it more than ever before, despite its shortcomings because the entire instrument it's a joy to use....and create with.

That massive screen is glorious. Like every time I sit in front of it, I am mesmerized by that gorgeous screen. It just makes the whole instrument ooze class, luxury and inspiration in every sense of the word.

The 7 synth engines are to die for.

MOD-7 is an insane digital modular FM synthesizer with a staggering NINE EG's, 6 Oscillators that can be configured as either a modulator or carrier, and the most incredible control of waveforms I've ever seen in ANY synthesizer. The face that you adjust the CURVE of the ADSR in EVERY section of the synth is something I have NOT seen anywhere else....

AL-1 is the cleanest, most unbelievably capable virtual analog synth in existence. And like MOD-7, you can also adjust the CURVE of the ADSR in every section.

Then you've got STR-1. From incredibly realistic sounding guitars all derived from a beautiful combination of physical modeling and PCM sampling, to some of the most incredible EP's and pads I have ever heard in my life, this is one synth you could spend YEARS on and not even remotely scratch the surface of it's potential. It's THAT deep.

HD-1 is the ultimate ROMpler engine, truly in a class of its own.....From the pianos and EP's to the guitars to the pads, drums and polysynths, leads, basses, etc...To say there's NOTHING in existence today that even REMOTELY equates to what HD-1 gives you is also a GROSS understatement.

If you're in the market for a high end keyboard, this is IT....There's NOTHING in existence that'll give you what the OASYS gives you....except KRONOS....but even THEN....The OASYS is still king.....and always will be in my heart....

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