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Korg microKORG synth

Korg microKORG

3.9 3.9 out of 5, based on 5 Reviews

Synthesizer and vocoder functionality in a compact package.

1st April 2012

Korg microKORG by Pale Pyramid

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Korg microKORG synth

This review is about the korg micro KORG . It's pretty ubiquitous on stages of local clubs do to it's low price , flexibility and wide spread availability at music stores and online retailers . The sound engine is taken from the MS2000 which came out in the year 2000 . the MS allows for full access to it parameters with dedicated buttons knobs much like vintage synths prior to 1983 . It's a digital synth with an analog modeling engine . The microKORG has the same sound and goal in mind but it is, well, micro . It has mini keys for one and only a few knobs that share parameters


It is surprisingly sturdy given it's small thin plastic frame and thin wooden edges . it's toyish in a way that old small Casio's are . The upper portion of the display is metal . The plastic is hard . They key's look child like but is deceivingly comfortable to play .


There are knobs for control filter cut off, resonance, envelope attack and release time , and tempo . They can be reassigned to control anything else in realtime . The idea is that you read below off a printed list and reassign in this manner . It has MIDI . It also has a mic mounted vocoder which comes included . You can replace this with your own if you'd like . It has 128 programs . I find the presets silly but it gives and idea of what you can do and you with this synth . They are easy to overwrite . The MicroKORG has 2 oscillators and 71 waveforms . Only 4 voices of polyphony , so be aware . A multi mode resonant filter . It has a 6 pattern arpeggiator , built in effects and much more . You can do quite a bit with this little synth .


I would describe it as bit thin but convincingly analog . The filters are a give away that it's digital but are very useable none the less . The thinness is a good thing . I find It easily fits in a dense mix where some of my older analogs need some EQing before they can share the frequency spectrum with the rest of the mix . I like it for pads . A pad should fill in space , not take it up . The arpeggiator is pretty cool as well . I don't have a vocoder on my other synths . I never use it but it's nice to know if i need it it's there . It's by no means the best sounding vocoder, nor the microphone that comes included . But it's useable .

CONCLUSION - This is bang for the buck's best synth deal . There are plenty of other synths I pine for but they don't have a $400 new price tag . Build is sturdy enough for gigging . Size wise it's easy to transport . It may take an introductory amount of time to learn to program it .

Last edited by Diogo C; 27th July 2015 at 04:03 PM.. Reason: Added image and URL.

  • 1
3rd April 2014

Korg microKORG by maksym

Korg microKORG synth

The korg micokey is a perfect midi controller for bother beginners and veterans.

For beginners, it allows a simple UI, easy to learn, and not to complicated to set up.

For veterans, it is a very portable, fast and ready to use keyboard for the musician on the go

20th August 2014

Korg microKORG by HumbleMusicMan

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 2 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Korg microKORG synth

This is an amazingly versatile classic portable analogue synth. If that is all you need, you will be shocked and awed by it.. However in the modern world of plug & play midi, setting up the microkorg as a midi trigger synth is a nightmare of 90s proportions, let alone using it's mid boggling array of sounds through your own sequencer. Like when Logic was first released and you needed PHD in physics to configure the "environment", the microKorg can not compete with any basic midi or even virtual soft keyboard for plug and play functionality. If you want to use the incredible breadth and depth of sounds and still trigger you Pro Tools, Logic, Reason etc sequencer. Forget it. If the Korg people added simple step by step instructions to enable basic midi out funtionality, this keyboard might have a chance of being used throughout the 21'st century. Otherwise, it's just another fun antique.

25th July 2015

Korg microKORG by jbottrop

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Korg microKORG synth

The microKORG can be found in a lot of studios, and that's for a reason.

Though it is not the best sounding synth in the world, it does sound very good. And yes, it does easily fit into most mixes. 4-voice polyphony is not much, but what can you expect for a synth that cheap. I use it a lot for pads, and sometimes even for bass (which is does surprisingly good).

Programming it is very easy to understand, but kinda combersome to do, because of that matrix approach where you only have five controllers and a switch to choose what the controller do. For live programming during performance, it's not exactly ideal. But if you take your time, you can do some really nice sound design with it.

Definitely a keeper.

25th July 2015

Korg microKORG by keystation

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Korg microKORG synth

I came to the Microkorg a bit late in the game. I bought it from a guy on Craigslist for $210. It has been the best $210 I have ever spent.

I was barbecued in a thread on this forum for declaring that the Microkorg was a "modern classic" and now the is the time to buy one in good shape for reasonable money. But I predict that those synth snobs who look down on the Microkorg today as being a "toy synth" will be someday paying north of double the $399 retail price just to have one in their rigs.

The Microkorg is a powerful little synth that is made for musicians and not just synth nerds. The Microkorg runs the same VA synth engine of the long-departed, bigger, more complicated and more delicate, MS2000. Thanks to its low price, simple interface and powerful synth engine, Microkorgs still regularly appear in gigs and studios. However, (sadly) MS2000s have mostly been relegated to closets, or (worse) sent to the local electronics recycler.

I will not use this review to go through the technical details of this synth other than to say that to say that the Korg did a great job of building a stealth-fighter of a synth where most of the magic occurs underneath the control panel. Even though I'm a long-time synth nerd, I like that the Microkorg's VA techology helps my creativity without getting in the way. I have other synths with plenty of knobs, sliders, switches and jumper wires around to add more "spices" to my mix, but most of the time, I find the Microkorg to be a great starting point in my musical process.

As for the limitations: Yes, MIDI implementation is a bit spare and could use some updating, probably reflective of technologies available at the time the Microkorg was introduced almost 15 years ago. Mini keys seem to generally offend most musicians, although the Microkorg's mini keys do have a decent feel. No, the Microkorg will not replicate a classic Minimoog's 3-oscillator sound, but Moog doesn't play in the sub-$500 mini poly synth market, either, so it's a wash.

What fascinates me is that the Microkorg is still in production since 2002 and you can buy one new for $399. They also have the "newer and improved" Microkorg XL available for $100 more, although that model, while OK, just doesn't turn me on. But in the e-Bay and Craigslist world, a good, clean, fully-op used Microkorg can be had for $200 to $250, which is what many of us spend a year on cables. If that isn't a deal, I don't know what is!

Attached Thumbnails
Korg microKORG synth-thumb_img_0530_1024.jpg  
29th December 2017

Korg microKORG by Snuppeluppen

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3
Korg microKORG synth

Cheap synth by korg, cheap in price, cheap in sound. The synth is not very deep and is only capable of four voice polyphony. The sound itself is what i would call metallic, thin and inorganic. The filter is terrible, and its build quality is not good. Its pros is that it fits well in a mix and it has its own caracter, and is also really affordable. Its industrial sound can also be considered as a plus for some.

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