The Korg KARMA Keyboard builds on the effects and synth engines of KORG's epic Triton. The Karma's revolutionary technology generates amazing phrases, grooves, and other effects ”- arpeggios, glissandos, fingerpicking and guitar strumming, portamento, pitch-bend moves, and more. Karma gives you the power to play impossible interwoven cascades of notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, and natural-sounding glissandos. Alter and randomize all of it in real time with a bank of knobs and switches. Create 640 user programs (384 preloaded), plus 256 ROM programs and nine drum programs with 64 drum kits. Combine up to eight programs set up in splits and layers for 768 possible user combos. The 16-track sequencer handles up to 200,000 notes and 200 songs (999 measures per song). Realtime Pattern Play/Recording for one-touch phrases.
Seven Years in the Making
At Korg they're always dreaming up innovative ways to make their keyboards more expressive, more powerful, and more musical. When they first learned about a brand new technology called KARMA, they knew they'd found one. Seven years after assembling a global team of skilled engineers, programmers and musicians, the Karma Music Workstation brings new music-making possibilities to life.
To start, its synth and effects engines are identical to Triton's - so you know how great it sounds. It's also compatible with Triton sound data and supports the same user-installable PCM and MOSS expansion options so your sound palette can grow. Plus, the Karma Music Workstation provides the same feature-packed 16-track sequencer that has made the Korg Triton the leader in music workstations. So what makes this new keyboard so special?
It's KARMA, Korg's revolutionary technology that generates amazing phrases, grooves and other musical effects that can be altered and randomized in real-time. With a bank of knobs and switches, you control elements like rhythmic complexity, harmony, melodic repeat, phrasing, panning...even the synth's sound and effects.
KARMA gives you the power to play impossible, interweaving cascades of notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, natural-sounding glissandos, intricate fingerpicking and guitar strumming, swooping portamento and pitch bend moves to name but a few. The only limiting factor is your imagination.
Karma like this only comes around once every seven years. Fortunately for you, the wait is over.
KORG's finest tone generator -- the HI synthesis system
The 62-voice Karma Music Workstation features the same world-renowned HI (Hyper Integrated) synthesis system as Korg's TRITON Music Workstation/Sampler. It includes 425 high-quality PCM multisamples and 413 drum samples covering a wide range of musical needs”32 Mbytes in all. And an array of editable parameters let you tweak every sonic detail.
The effects section provides 102 effect algorithms, and you can use 5 insert effects, 2 master effects and a three-band equalizer simultaneously. Effect routing is very flexible, enabling you to send sound through any combination of effects and on to any of the four outputs.
Alternate Modulation and Effect Dynamic
Modulation are also provided, letting you modulate parameters such as pitch, filter, amp, EG and LFO. Delay time and LFO can also be synchronized to MIDI clock or tempo. You can even sync the sounds or effects with the tempo of the KARMA function or the sequencer playback.
KORG's superior programs and combis
The Karma Music Workstation contains a rich assortment of sounds created by KORG's legendary voicing team, acclaimed by professional musicians around the world. There are 640 user programs (384 preloaded), plus 256 programs and 9 drum programs compatible with GM level 2 in ROM. Drum programs can select from 64 user drum kits (16 preloaded) and the 9 GM drum kits.
A Combination lets you use up to eight programs set up as splits and layers, and you have immediate access to as many as 768 user combinations (384 preloaded). KARMA settings have been made for all preloaded sounds, so you can simply select a sound and play phrases immediately.
Install option boards to add PCM sounds or a DSP tone generator
In addition to the internal PCM sounds, the Karma Music Workstation can accommodate the same optional EXB-PCM series PCM Expansion Boards available for the TRITON. Each board adds 16 Mbytes of PCM data plus programs and combinations that use this data, further broadening your sound palette. However it does not include new GE's or GE assignments.
KARMA can be expanded by the installation of the ultimate DSP tone generator --- the 13 oscillator 6-voice MOSS (Multi-Oscillator Synthesis System) tone generator featured on the Z1. This lets you use all synthesis methods --- PCM, analog, VPM (variable phase modulation), and physical modeling --- on a single instrument. When the MOSS tone generator is installed, 128 MOSS programs are added. You can create combination programs that use multiple MOSS timbres together with HI sounds.
MOSS (MULTI OSCILLATOR SYNTHESIS SYSTEM)
The MOSS sound generator consists of Voice, EG and LFO sections. The voice section contains two powerful oscillator blocks OSC1/OSC2 that let you combine up to two of thirteen types of oscillator algorithm (resonance, organ model, electric piano model, standard, ring modulation, VPM, brass model, reed model and more), a sub oscillator, and a noise generator. The voice section also contains a filter block featuring two multi-mode filters that cover the range from analog synth sounds to complex sounds such as the body resonance of violin or guitar, or even human voice. To this are added five EG units and four LFO units, providing a rich variety of tonal and pitch changes for each voice.
Sound Source: 6 voices, 2 oscillators (max.) + sub oscillator + noise generator
Oscillator Types: 13 (Standard, Ring Modulation, Cross Modulation, Oscillator Sync, VPM (Variable Phase Modulation), Comb filter oscillator, Resonance oscillator, Organ model, Electric piano model, Brass model, Reed model, Plucked string model, Bowed string model)
[* Developed under license of physical modeling patents (listed in http://www.sondius-XG.com) owned by Stanford University, USA, and by Yamaha Corporation.]
16 track sequencer + KARMA functionality equals enhanced music production
The Karma Music Workstation contains a 16-track sequencer with a capacity of up to 200,000 notes and 200 songs (up to 999 measures for each song). Phrases generated by the KARMA function can be recorded directly, and you can add manually-played and step-recorded phrases to create a song quickly and easily.
The RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) function lets you play back a phrase by pressing a single key, and 150 drum and percussion patterns are provided. Many other convenient functions help you produce songs efficiently, such as Template songs, which allow you to call up a pre-arranged group of instruments and effects, and a Track Play Loop function that lets you specify looped measures independently for each track. A Cue List function lets you assemble your final song from up to 99 different sequences for easy arranging.
Songs you create can be saved in SMF (Standard MIDI File) format or in a KORG TRITON compatible format so that data can be exchanged with other devices. (Note - The TRITON arpeggiator function cannot be reproduced on the KARMA Music Workstation.)
The Song Play mode allows you to play back SMF files directly from floppy disk. You can perform on the keyboard along with the playback, or use the KARMA function in sync with the playback tempo.
Four channel audio output
In addition to the L/MONO and R main stereo audio outputs, you can use two independent audio outputs for a total of four channels of audio output. Oscillators, drums, timbres/tracks, and the signals from the insert effects can be freely routed to any output.
KARMA. The new music-generation technology that takes music production into a new dimension.
The KARMA Variable Performance Modeler featured on the Karma Music Workstation is a completely unique function that lets you generate music in a whole new way. Based on the notes and chords that you play, KARMA will automatically generate and mold phrases and patterns. Now you can instantly create sophisticated phrases and musical changes that would have required lengthy arranging and step input if done manually.
Since the KARMA function lets you control numerous musical elements such as rhythm, duration, harmony, scale, ad-lib/humanize, random variation and tone, it can produce phrases and patterns far beyond the current range provided by conventional arpeggiators or static pattern playback functions.
For example, you can create spectacular cascades of intricate interweaving notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, natural sounding glissandos for acoustic instrument programs, guitar strumming and finger-picking simulations, random effects, auto-accompaniment effects, gliding and swooping portamento and pitch bend effects and new sound design possibilities.
GEs bring KARMA to life
The basis of the phrase or pattern is a Generated Effect (GE) and the KARMA Module Parameters that control that GE. One KARMA module can be used in Program mode. Four KARMA modules can be used in Combination/Sequencer/Song Play modes, so that separate modules can generate independent phrases to play different sounds such as drums, bass, guitar, and piano to create a full ensemble using the KARMA function.
The GE that is the basis of the phrase or pattern controls how note data from the keyboard is developed as well as how rhythm, chord structure, velocity, and more are controlled. With approximately 400 parameters in a single GE, the KARMA function can control virtually any type of tonal or phrase change. These parameters include elements like harmony, scale, ad-lib/humanize, rhythm randomization and complexity, phrase variation, tone, pan, effects, pitch bend, volume, velocity, duration, MIDI control changes, chord control, Melodic Repeat (TM) (MIDI delay/repeat), and pitch change.
Up to sixteen of these parameters are available for realtime control over a GE, and can be adjusted by operating the Realtime Control knobs and switches while you play. The KARMA Music Workstation provides over 1,000 different GE's organized into 17 categories, and new GEs can be loaded as they are made available. By simply selecting a GE you can create music in many different genres, using a variety of instruments and performance techniques.
Unleashing the Power of KARMA GEs
Check out "Unlocking the Power of Karma "Getting Creative with Karma GE's, which includes mp3 examples and some cool tips on using GE's with different sounds.
Check out the technical tips article "Taming KARMA GEs" to find out how to maximize the performance of the KARMA Music Workstation.
KARMA puts you in control
With KARMA, every aspect of a musical phrase has been separated into independently controllable attributes. Each of these attributes is controlled by a separate group of parameters, which can be individually varied or changed in groups in real-time as the music is being generated; or changed all at once with the selection of a program or combination. While the Karma Music Workstation generates phrases, you can tweak the onboard controllers so your performance will never sound "canned" or static.
You can use the eight knobs and two switches to vary different combinations of the RT (Real-time) Parameters that have been optimized for each GE by Korg's sound programmers. The two scenes available allow you to save two settings of these controllers for instant recall. You can also manipulate parameters with MIDI control messages. There has never been a system that provides this level of interaction and variability, and the results that can be achieved will inspire you to new levels of creativity.
Synthesis: ROM, Virtual Analog
ROM Size: 32
ROM Resolution: 48 kHz
Osc Modulation: After Touch, Continuous Controller, Envelope, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Sequencer, Sync Hard, Velocity
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Monophonic, Polyphonic
Types: 12dB Slope (2-pole), 24dB Slope (4-pole), High Pass, Low Pass, Resonance
Filter Modulation: After Touch, Envelope, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Sequencer, Velocity
LFO Parameters: Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Square
Polyphony & Tuning
Modes: Mono, Polyphonic, Split
Patches RAM: 640
Multipatches RAM: 768
Storage: Floppy 3½ inch, Internal
Polyphonic KARMA Engine
Real-time GE patterns
1000 preset patterns
5 insert effects (stereo in/out),
2 master effects (mono in/stereo out),
1 master EQ (3-band stereo), all usable simultaneously
102 effect types (available for insert effects or master
Effect dynamic modulation function
16 timbres, 16 tracks + 1 master track
Maximum capacity: 200,000 notes
20 cue lists
150 preset patterns, 100 user patterns (for each song)
16 preset/16 user template songs
Supports KARMA format, TRITON format and SMF
(formats 0 and 1)
RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) function
(One set is available for each one song)
Chips and Operating System
Keyboard: 61 keys, Non-weighted, Plastic
Controls: Aftertouch, Velocity, Buttons, Knobs, Sliders, Joy Stick, Pedal - Control, Pedal - Sustain, Tempo Knob, Arpeggiator, Sequencer
Display Type: LCD, LED, Numeric, Backlit
Display Count H: 240
Display Count V: 64
Dimensions (WxDxH): 1100 × 320 × 119 (mm)
Weight: 10 kg
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main, Stereo 2, Stereo Headphone
Audio Output Count: 6
MIDI Ports: IN, OUT, THRU
General MIDI: GM2 - General MIDI 2
DAC Bits: 16
DAC Frequency Rate: 48
Power: 120V AC 20W
Year Released: 2001
References & Sources