Korg miniKorg 700FS Synthesizer

 

Korg has announced a new synthesizer, the miniKorg 700FS that is a modern nod to past innovation.

 

Korg goes back to its roots (miniKorg 700) with the miniKorg 700FS, a new version of its first analogue synth. The miniKorg 700 released in 1973 was Korg’s first mass-produced analogue synth, and now after almost 50 years later, it is back. The new miniKorg 700FS is actually a revival of the MiniKorg 700S, which was launched in 1974 and added more functionality, but make no mistake, this is Korg going right back to its synth roots.

 

Unique ‘sub keyboard’ can be used for phat leads and basses.

 

Looking back, the miniKorg 700 was a simple and slightly unusual instrument, and the same could be said of this new version, which was designed in collaboration with Fumio Mieda, the creator of the original. A good number of the controls are positioned below the keyboard on the front panel, the theory being that this makes them easy to access when the synth is positioned on top of a main keyboard such as an organ or electric piano. This is because the miniKorg 700 was originally conceived as a sub keyboard – one that might be used for additional lead or bass sounds during a performance. The FS can be used in the same way. While the original miniKorg 700 was a single oscillator monosynth, the S model added a second oscillator, and this is included in the FS version as well. As such, you can create even phatter, detuned sounds. Like the S, the FS has a ring modulator, too.

 

The miniKorg 700FS features that are completely new include a spring reverb effect, a joystick for pitchbend and modulation, and aftertouch on the 37-note keyboard, an arpeggiator, while connectivity includes a USB port, MIDI IN and a CV/Gate In jack. A memory button enables you to store your favourite patches.

 

Perhaps, you are already be familiar with the filter circuit from the miniKorg 700, as it was included in the Volca Keys and Volca Bass. The filter can be tweaked using the unique Traveler controller; this consists of two sliders sitting below the keyboard for adjusting the cut-off frequency. The upper one controls the low-pass filter and the lower one takes care of the high-pass filter.

 

Befitting the vintage feel and look, the miniKorg 700FS comes with a luxurious looking hard case, to enable you to keep it safe when it is out on the road.

 

Find out more on the Korg website. A price and release date are still to be confirmed.

 

 

Hammond SK Pro Stage Keyboard

The SK Pro represents the latest generation of organ-focused, do-it-all keyboards from Hammond. The Hammond SK Pro stage keyboard is not just an organ, it is also a synthesizer; – Piano and Ensemble sections also included.

 

The Hammond SK Pro features 61- and 73-note versions, a comprehensive organ section also (among many other things) a dedicated monosynth.

 

The new Hammond stage keyboard powered by a physical modelling engine, this offers six different oscillator configurations, along with filter and amplitude controls. Hammond says that this provides players with the sounds and hands-on feel of a real analogue synth. The organ is powered by the Modeled Tone Wheel 1 (MTW1) engine from the Hammond XK-5 organ, and there is a new digital Leslie speaker emulation. In addition, the keyboard includes a Virtual Multi-Contact function that is designed to give you the feel of a real Hammond. The Piano/Ensemble section features new sampled grand and electric piano sounds, and all sounds are fully editable.

 

Each section has both factory and user patches, and you can also create combinations that feature tones from any or all of the sections. These can be assigned to Favourites buttons for instant access. All sections have access to effects, too – overdrive and two types of DSP multi-effects.

 

The new instrument is what makes Hammond is famous for but the SK Pro is noteworthy for being the first portable Hammond to also feature a dedicated monosynth.

 

The Hammond SK Pro 61 and 73 key versions should ship at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

 

 

Yamaha new YC Stage Keyboard Series


Yamaha YC73

Yamaha YC88

 

Yamaha has announced the larger versions of the YC61 offer drawbars, FM synthesis and much more. A year on from the launch of the YC61 stage keyboard, Yamaha has added two larger siblings to the range, the YC73 and YC88. Alright, you are unable to gig with them right now – for obvious reasons – but Yamaha certainly look up to the job when you are ready to venture out again.

 

The Yamaha YC73 features 73 balanced keys and is very much an all-rounder when it comes to performance, while the 88-note YC88 is meant for players who prioritize the touch and feel of an acoustic piano. There are Natural Wood keys with triple-sensor action, synthetic ebony and ivory key tops.

 

As with the YC61, the new models are loaded with vintage keyboard tones, and offer drawbar control for organ players. The organ sound engine is powered by Yamaha Virtual Circuit Modeling (VCM) technology, which promises to recreate an organ behaviour right down to component level. The same technology is used for the rotary speaker effect. There are nine drawbars, and you also have control over the percussion and vibrato/chorus and you can customize the key click and leakage, too, and the organ section also includes FM synthesis.

 

In addition, there are also two Keys sections, with Yamaha AWM technology being used to power acoustic and electric pianos, strings, brass, analogue-style synth sounds and more – FM synthesis is included here, as well. And, there are two easily-tweakable effect sections here also. You can split the Organ and Keys sections across the keyboard or plug in another MIDI keyboard to take control of one of them, which would be useful on stage.

 

OK, you can still opt for the Yamaha YC61, too – this includes the semi-weighted waterfall action that is preferred by organ players.

 

Both the YC73 and YC88 will be available from next week.

 

Yamaha YC88

 

 

Roland FP-X Piano Series

 

Roland has announced the FP-X series. Roland’s FP pianos have long been favorites in homes around the world, and the range has now been updated with the launch of 3 new FP-X models.

 

The new Roland FP-X digital piano range has something for every type of player, entry-level, mid-range and high-end options available.

 

  • NAMM 2021 is cancelled.

At the top of the range is the FP-90X, which features Roland Pure Acoustic Piano Modeling technology for ‘ultimate piano realism’. This also offers a PHA-50 progressive hammer action keyboard with escapement that incorporates the very latest sensing technology and a combination of wood and ivory-feel materials for top-notch playability whereas, the mid-range and entry-level range, the more affordable FP-60X and entry-level FP-30X, meanwhile, get Roland SuperNATURAL piano engine and an 88-note PHA-4 keyboard with progressive hammer action, escapement, ivory-feel keys and high-resolution sensing.

 

The sound palette of all the models goes beyond acoustic pianos, and each has a set of built-in speakers and the option to plug in two sets of headphones. There is Bluetooth audio, too, so you can stream songs to your piano and play along with them.

 

Available in black or white, the FP-90X, FP-60X and FP-30X will be available in February. There are optional stands and pedals for each model, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M-Audio OXYGEN PRO Midi Keyboards

M-Audio has unveiled the Oxygen Pro USB/MIDI keyboard controllers. The venerable controller brand has been brought up to date. M-Audio Oxygen Pro MIDI keyboards offer smart features and maximum control. M-Audio has been producing Oxygen-branded MIDI keyboards for the best part of two decades, and now there is a new range of them – Oxygen Pro. This comprises 25-, 49-, 61 and 32 mini key versions, all of which promise to give you maximum control of plugin instruments and DAW.

 

All models are USB-powered and have an OLED screen, smart chord and smart scale features, auto-mapping, an arpeggiator and note repeat. The Oxygen Pro 25, 49, and 61 all have 16 RGB backlit velocity-sensitive pads, nine assignable faders (not include the Pro 25), eight assignable knobs and a 5-pin MIDI output; the Oxygen Pro Mini is more compact and gives you eight performance pads, four knobs and four faders.

 

In addition, the auto-mapping features apply not only to a range of DAWs – MPC Beats, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Studio One and Steinberg Cubase, but also the bundled Air Music Tech virtual instruments -Velvet, Mini Grand,DB-33, Boom, Vacuum and Xpand!2.

 

And the Smart Chord option, meanwhile, enables you to play full chords from a single key press, while Smart Key locks the keys to a selected scale so that you can’t play any wrong notes.

 

Features:

 

  • Best-in-class, velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted keys with aftertouch and assignable zones
  • (16) RGB, backlit, assignable, velocity-sensitive pads with Note Repeat for beat production, cliplaunching, and more (8 for Mini)
  • (8) assignable knobs for controlling virtual instruments, mix plugins, DAW controls and more (4 for Mini)
  • Preset and DAW buttons for auto-mapped DAW controls & plugin parameters
  • Smart Chord mode enables playing of enharmonic or custom chord voicings
  • Smart Scale mode eliminates wrong notes making it easy to craft a perfect song
  • Arpeggiator with Type, Octave, Gate and Swing controls
  • Ergonomically designed pitch and modulation wheels & ¼-inch sustain pedal input
  • USB-MIDI connection and 5-pin MIDI Output for controlling external MIDI gear
  • Intuitive layout featuring an OLED screen for quick control edits
  • Includes MIDI editor software and a complete software production package

 

The Oxygen Pro series is available now, with prices as follows – Oxygen Pro Mini  £99.99, Oxygen Pro 25  $199, Oxygen Pro 49  $249 , Oxygen Pro 61  $299 .

 

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