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Korg R3 Synthesizer Vocoder

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Description
The Korg R3 is powered by the MMT (Multiple Modeling Technology) analog synthesis-modeling sound engine and delivers 2-timbre/8-voice performance in an easy-to-use 37-key 'board. 128 programs deliver crucial synth sounds from leads and pads to strings and percussion with 2 oscillators, 3 envelope generators, 2 filters, an amp section, effects, and a noise generator available for each voice. In addition to the vocoder which works with the onboard mic input, it has a modulation sequencer for precision 16-step control of modulation movement.

MMT synthesis
The versatile range of built-in oscillator algorithms covers everything from familiar analog synthesizer waveforms, to unique digital waveforms and even live audio input. For each voice, the R3 provides two oscillators. Oscillator 1 (OSC1) gives you a choice of seven waveforms including sawtooth, pulse, formant, noise, and DWGS, as well as allowing you to select an external audio source connected to the AUDIO INPUT 1 and 2 jacks. To enhance the basic analog synthesizer waveforms such as the sawtooth, pulse and triangle waves, you can apply cross modulation, pulse-width modulation, unison voice-thickening, or even VPM (Variable Phase Modulation).

Oscillator 2 (OSC2) gives you a choice of four waveforms such as sawtooth and sine, and can also be used as a modulation oscillator to apply sync modulation, ring modulation or a combination of the two for distinctively analog synthesizer sounds. The noise generator (NOISE) produces white noise, and provides a useful way to create breath noise for wind instrument sounds, or to produce evocative sound effects. The sawtooth wave and pulse wave use the same basic low-aliasing design as the AL-1 Analog Synthesizer found in Korg's flagship OASYS synthesizer.

Two filters with selectable routing
The R3 features a dual filter structure that can be configured in series, parallel or an individual structure allowing each oscillator to have its own dedicated filter. Filter 1 is a multi-mode resonant design that lets you continuously vary between various low-pass, high-pass and band reject characteristics. Filter 2 has a switchable, multi-mode resonant design that also includes comb filtering, which can be made to feed back in order to boost multiple series of overtones, giving you amazing potential for generating unique tonal changes.

Amp section with a Drive/Waveshaping circuit
The Drive circuit lets you create the subtle yet distinctive distortion typical of an analog synthesizer, or generate new overtones by deeply overdriving the sound. The Waveshaping circuit gives you twelve types of transformation including hard clipping, and can be used as a decimator to produce typically digital roughness by converting the sampling frequency. It can even be used as a sub-oscillator, opening up new sound-making possibilities. The Drive/Waveshaping circuit can be placed either before the amp section or immediately before Filter 1 to give you different nuances of sound. With additional parameters - such as the Punch Level setting that emphasizes the attack, giving greater impact to percussive sounds - you have the tools to enjoy radical creativity that's not restricted by concepts of the past.

Multiple EGs and LFOs
Each voice provides three ADSR envelope generators (EG) for classic analog synthesis control over pitch, filter and amp characteristics. The classic and intuitive four-stage ADSR design has been enhanced with five different attack and release curves, allowing the EG contours to be crafted with new levels of precision and articulation.

Two LFOs with six waveform choices can be used to apply cyclic modulation to synth parameters. High-speed digital processing ensures that vibrato, wah, and tremolo will produce extremely smooth tonal changes, and each waveform can be extensively modified via the Shape control, greatly expanding the versatility of the LFO section for creating highly complex types of modulation.

Virtual Patches for sophisticated sound-creation
The R3 provides six Virtual Patches that simulate the patch cord functions of the PS series and MS series - classic Korg synthesizers of the past. There are twelve modulation source including EG, LFO, velocity, and keyboard tracking (the position at which you play the keyboard) that can be used to apply modulation to fifteen different destination parameters such as pitch, oscillator 1 control, or filter 1 type.

Dramatic tonal changes from the Modulation Sequencer
The Modulation Sequencer can apply a time-varying change to a specific parameter, similar to CV control on an analog synthesizer. You specify the value of each of sixteen steps, and then choose how to play back these steps (forward, backward, looping etc.) to vary the sound in unique ways. There's also a Motion Rec function that lets you capture and replay realtime knob movements.

Formant Motion produces personalized Vocoder sounds
The R3's powerful vocoder function lets you use your voice to add a distinctive tonal character to the sound of the oscillator, creating "speaking" tones. The vocoder consists of sixteen filter bands, and can replicate the classic vocoder sounds of the past, as well as letting you dramatically transform the timbral character by adjusting the level and pan of each frequency band to create absolutely original vocoder sounds. The R3 comes with an XLR-connector gooseneck microphone, so you can start enjoying this superb vocoder functionality right away.
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Technical Specifications
Type: Digital
Synthesis: Virtual Analog
Oscillators
Oscillators: 2
Waveforms: Pulse, ROM, Saw Up, Sine, Square, Triangle, White Noise
Osc Modulation: Continuous Controller, Envelope, Input, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel, Glide / Portamento, Ring Modulation, Sequencer, Velocity
Envelopes
Envelopes: 3
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Filters
Filters: 2
Types: 12dB Slope (2-pole), 24dB Slope (4-pole), Band Pass, Comb, Formant, High Pass, Low Pass, Resonance
Filter Modulation: Envelope, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Mod Wheel, Pedal, Pitch Wheel, Sequencer, Velocity
LFO
LFO: 2
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 8
Timbrality: 2
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Mono, Polyphonic, Split, Unison
Patches
Patches RAM: 128
Storage: Internal
Arpeggiator
Six Types: UP, DOWN, ALT1/2, Random, Trigger, Individual step
on/off function
Effects
Timbre: 2 band EQ, Insert effect (per timbre)
Program: Master effect
Sequencer
16 formant motion data sets (7.5 second x 16)
Case
Case: Keyboard
Keyboard: 37 keys, Buttons, Plastic
Controls: Modulation - Audio Input, Buttons, Knobs, Mod - Wheel, Modulation 1/4" Jacks, Pitch -Wheel, Pedal - Sustain, Tempo Knob, Velocity, Pedal - Volume
Display Type: LCD, Backlit
Display Count H: 8
Display Count V: 2
Display Notes: Sub display x4: 8-charactors x 1 line LCD module
Dimensions (WxDxH): Sub display x4: 8-charactors x 1 line LCD modul
Weight: 6.17 lbs.
Connections
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main, Stereo Headphone
Audio Output Count: 3
Inputs: 1 x XLR Mic Input, 2 x1/4" Mic/Audio input
MIDI Ports: IN, OUT, THRU, USB
Power: 12V, 6.5W
Production
Year Released: 2007
Manuals & Documents

Product Links
Company Product Sites:
[+] i.korg.com
Pricing
Used Price: $60-$364.99 - convert
Shopping
References & Sources

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CIIIGoff

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

This has been my primary keyboard instrument since 2010.  Not very intuitive from the perspective of a learning curve, but after years of experimenting, I've found the potentials of this thing stretch far and wide.  It's especially good for me, because vocals are sort of my thing.  The synthesizer aspects of this are all over the place with this machine too, which is great for achieving a variety of unique sounds and rhythms.  I have found that plugging record players, tape players, mp3 players, etc. into the audio inputs can create true magic as well.  Here's an album I did that centers almost exclusively on the R3:

Files For Smoother Louver Lovers

Thanks  for reviewing this JJ!

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