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Korg NX5R

Korg NX5R

3.25 3.25 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

A mediocre ROMpler from Korg.

29th January 2012

Korg NX5R by loneraver

  • Sound Quality 1 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.5

The Korg NX5R, released in the late 90s, was an update on the Korg NS5R by the inclusion of a XG daughterboard. Soundcard daugherboards were not uncommon for computer gaming soundcards in the 90s but on a ROMpler, it was rather unusual.

The first impressions with the synth is that it looks like a fancy aftermarket car audio system. Don't let that fool you, it is a ROMpler with more presets than you can shake a stick at. Sadly, the presets are a bit more filler than you would might want. A large percentage of the presets are full of oneshot loops that sound nice at first but when you realize that many of these rhythmical sounds (which is many) don't sync to tempo and change speed with which key you press, you come to understand how limiting these sounds are.

The synth engine is rather complex. There are a number of things you can do to shape your sound (if you really want to). Sadly, it's full of deep menus which makes this rather confusing. You end up feeling like you are trying to remember how to reset the clock on your car radio around daylight savings time. But not only are the menus rather confusing, the components aren't really that sonicly pleasing. There is a really bland digital non-resonating filter that does nothing to the ROM samples.

The presets that aren't filler aren't bad. There are some really nice dance pianos and a handful of good pads. These sounds are good on their own but unfortunately don't mix well together, which is a shame because it has 64 note polyphony and 32-part mulitemaraly.

In short, Korg has a had a history of making great workstation synths. Sadly, this is not one of their greats. Not by a long shot.

29th February 2012

Korg NX5R by Magpel

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4

I am afraid I can not disagree with the original posters top line judgment.

Korg rode the N-series sample set for a long long time. Would hardly be suprised if they are still out there in the newer units.

First a couple of univerally acknowledged truths. Korg, at least the old Korg, couldn't do acoustic pianos. Just the worst, no competition. And when you are packing a couple thousand presets int o 12 MB, your orchestral samples are going to lack realism a little bit.

But there is something I must say. The Korg sound designers have always had a nice touch with quirky, trashy and comic sounds, and I found some on this unit that I used a lot during its years as a principal sound source for me. I also found some bass sounds that were oddly excellent, and a couple of EPs.

One positive this unit and the ROMplers or its day show is how much more resourcesful the sound designers had to me, how much more programming art was a factor in the quality of a unit.

The other thing to note is that this unit really had poor output electronics. It started kinda noisy and got worse. That, and GigaSampler, was what finally drove me to put it away. Now I can't find it.

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