Korg microKorg 2 opens “a new chapter in synth history” the long-awaited successor to one of the world’s best-selling synthesizers


Korg unveils the sequel to one of the 21st century’s most iconic instruments and a ‘first synth’ for a whole generation of music-makers.

Ahead of the 2024 NAMM Show, being held January 25-28, 2024 in Anaheim, California, Korg has announced microKorg 2.

Here we were thinking that Yamaha’s Seqtrak might steal the show at NAMM this year, but it turns out we may have been mistaken. Korg has just unveiled a raft of new products to be shown at NAMM 2024, the most exciting of which is the long-awaited successor to the beloved microKorg.

Released in 2002, the microKorg was an affordable but deceptively powerful synth that became hugely popular with everyone from amateur knob-twiddlers to world-famous artists – Tame Impala and The Prodigy can be counted among the synth’s fans. One of the 21st century’s most iconic instruments, the microKorg was a ‘first synth’ for a whole generation of music-makers.

22 years on, Korg has announced the microKorg 2, which it tells us captures the essence of what made the original a global success while bringing an array of new features to the table. On first glance, the most noticeable upgrade is the synth’s 2.8-inch colour display, which offers advanced control of the synth’s parameters alongside to animated effects and an oscilloscope view that visualizes your patches.

Like its predecessor, microKorg 2 is built around a virtual analogue synth engine. The synth’s polyphonic architecture can handle up to eight voices, and sounds can be layered in Dual mode to create multi-timbral patches. The synth is equipped with 512 presets categorized into eight banks labelled by genre, and custom sounds can be saved in its 64-slot patch memory.

microKorg 2’s sounds can be processed through a range of effects that are grouped into three categories: modulation, delay and reverb. There’s also a two-band parametric EQ for further sound-sculpting. Like its little brother, the synth is equipped with a powerful vocoder and vocal processor and comes bundled with a goose-neck microphone.

In addition to classic vocoder effects, microKorg 2’s vocal processor offers Auto-Tune-style pitch correction and a harmonizer for creating layered and pitch-shifted vocals. Another new feature for the microKorg 2 is the loop recorder, a handy tool for recording performances to create layered compositions.

Like the original, microKorg 2 is outfitted with a 37-key velocity-sensitive keyboard, but we’re told that the new version has been redesigned to enhance playability and provide a natural feel. Measuring 54cm in width and weighing a touch above 2kg, microKorg 2 is a portable instrument that can run on mains power or six AA batteries.

As for I/O, the synth is equipped with stereo line out, headphone out, MIDI in/out, aux in and two microphone inputs. There’s also a USB-C port and a jack for a damper pedal.

microKorg 2 will be released in June of this year. We’ll be checking out the synth at NAMM next week – keep an eye on the homepage to see it in action.

 

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