Korg Summer Sale (until July 15th 2020) - up to 50% off

Discuss VST stuff here!
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avasopht
Posts: 2024
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 30 Jun 2020

https://www.korg.com/us/news/2020/0624/

Highlights:
  • Special Bundle v2: $299 $399
  • TRITON: $199 $249
  • M1: $39.99 $99.99
I've also seen people selling unregistered M1 Le licenses on eBay for £25-30, which can be used to get the Special Bundle v2 Upgrade for M1 Le for $199 during this sale.
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miscend
Posts: 1509
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Post 01 Jul 2020

I picked up the M1 last time. The M1, Wavestation and Triton are the ones to get if you don't want the whole bundle.

Billy
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Joined: 09 Dec 2016

Post 01 Jul 2020

Doesn't look like the rack extensions are on sale, which is a shame.
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Loque
Posts: 7472
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 01 Jul 2020

Are they "that" good or just average? How do they compare to synths like Legend, VK-2, Obsession, Diva, Thorn, Dune, ...

How are the patches? 80s dream or something usable later than year 2000?
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EdGrip
Posts: 1856
Joined: 03 Jun 2016

Post 01 Jul 2020

Keep being tempted to get the M1, but then deciding I'll probably buy an *actual* M1 eventually so...

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hurricane
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Joined: 14 Oct 2017

Post 01 Jul 2020

For ambient, new age, world, adult contemporary, and yes really late 80s/early 90s - the M1 and Wavestation are perfect out-of-the-box and super useful. Although I haven't tried, I bet you could make some Bass House or Trap types of sounds, but then again, if you make that style of music you probably wouldn't reach for the M1 or Wavestation. As for the Polysix, MonoPoly, and MS-20 - you obviously can make anything with those and they'd hold up great vs today's sounds.

Since we're Reason users, and before anyone asks "do I need these? how do they compare to Reason's stock synths?" I'll say that although they were released in the period between 2004-2007, they still sound amazing because they were created that way from the beginning and Korg didn't have to resort to crippling them with any CPU-saving sonic shortcuts like Propellerhead had to do (and RS still do) with their factory synths. You also wouldn't be able to replicate anything the M1/WS do without some mega tweaking and layering.

The updated resizable GUIs are great - especially Wavestation's - and there are TONS of free presets available (particularly for the M1 and WS) out there if you look for them. Also, since it appears that the 90s house music influence is infiltrating the charts more and more, the M1 and WS will come in handy and add some authenticity to your productions. And for synthwave, these are no-brainers.
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kinkujin
Posts: 166
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 02 Jul 2020

Yes, on the M1. I have it on ios and it's a great thing. Having it as vst would be fab and I'll have to think on that. $39.99 isn't chump change but it is a great synth imo.

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adfielding
Posts: 708
Joined: 19 May 2015

Post 02 Jul 2020

I grabbed Wavestation earlier in the year when it was $25 (right before they bumped the price up after the UI update) - I haven't used it in a whole lot of my music, but I think measuring the value of something in terms of pure utility isn't necessarily a good thing. It's a proper time-capsule synth for me, and I don't think I fully appreciated just how widespread the sound of the Wavestation was during its heyday until I started messing around with it myself. I had a ton of fun firing up random patches and thinking "oh hey, that sounds like season 2 of The X-Files" or whatever.

Personally, I'm on-the-fence about the UI update - but that's entirely on me, and it's solely because I'm weird and have a bizarre mid-late 00s soft-synth UI fetish (which also accounts for why I have a fondness for the Largo UI as well). Also, the initial interface update made it crash frequently with me - that problem has since been fixed in v2.0.2.0, but it left a bit of a nasty taste when it was working solidly beforehand.

For what it's worth, I've been vaguely tempted to grab the M1 for much the same reason as I grabbed the WS. PolySix is still my most regularly used of the older Korg soft-synths, and Mono/Poly is pretty darn good as well. It's a shame there isn't a RE->VST crossgrade option for any of this stuff, but that's life. I would have loved to have seen more of Korg's VSTs make it to RE land.

EdGrip
Posts: 1856
Joined: 03 Jun 2016

Post 02 Jul 2020

Ok I'm gonna stick to my "buy an M1" plan.

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SebAudio
Posts: 115
Joined: 08 Mar 2015

Post 02 Jul 2020

The sounds of M1, WS and Triton are very « classic » and so « cliché » and it seems difficult to use them as anything else than a « cliché » sound. And programming your own sounds leads to the same kind of sounds since they rely on the provided samples and the synthesis is an ersatz of a substractive synth. But they can be great in the « cliché » context.

danc
Posts: 488
Joined: 14 Oct 2016

Post 02 Jul 2020

SebAudio wrote:
02 Jul 2020
The sounds of M1, WS and Triton are very « classic » and so « cliché » and it seems difficult to use them as anything else than a « cliché » sound. And programming your own sounds leads to the same kind of sounds since they rely on the provided samples and the synthesis is an ersatz of a substractive synth. But they can be great in the « cliché » context.
The M1 has some really great pianos, organs, mallets etc which are super tight and stand forward/proud in the mix - especially useful for electronic genres like house, dnb, techno etc.
Creating, producing and mastering music in Reason 11 and Studio One 4.5 (WIndows).


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avasopht
Posts: 2024
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 02 Jul 2020

SebAudio wrote:
02 Jul 2020
The sounds of M1, WS and Triton are very « classic » and so « cliché » and it seems difficult to use them as anything else than a « cliché » sound. And programming your own sounds leads to the same kind of sounds since they rely on the provided samples and the synthesis is an ersatz of a substractive synth. But they can be great in the « cliché » context.
I find they're great for putting down ideas, developing ideas, and general playing. You've got a strong and comprehensive selection of sounds with a usable browser and editor, and minimal loading time, which makes for a great bread and butter device for composition and playing.

They are, after all, Korg workstations.

I guess it also depends on what type of music you're creating, and what other sound libraries/synths you're using with it. But I tend to find people have far fewer complaints when playing on the hardware workstations.

One point they made at one Music Production course was that the top producers typically get them 6 months before they're released, so by the time you've bought them all of the presets are already "exhausted" - so you have to create your own tweaked patches and combis to create a unique sound and stand out. I think that plays into your comment on them being "classic" and "cliché".

I tend to find people have fewer complaints when playing on an old hardware workstation. The Triton just about passes the critical threshold for acoustic instruments. They won't sound like a live symphonic orchestra, but they have convincing enough, well-textured, and highly expressive instruments.

Maybe (/hopefully) Roland will prompt them to start offering plugins for current sounds rather than focusing solely on legacy collections.
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SebAudio
Posts: 115
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Post 03 Jul 2020

avasopht wrote:
02 Jul 2020
SebAudio wrote:
02 Jul 2020
The sounds of M1, WS and Triton are very « classic » and so « cliché » and it seems difficult to use them as anything else than a « cliché » sound. And programming your own sounds leads to the same kind of sounds since they rely on the provided samples and the synthesis is an ersatz of a substractive synth. But they can be great in the « cliché » context.
I find they're great for putting down ideas, developing ideas, and general playing. You've got a strong and comprehensive selection of sounds with a usable browser and editor, and minimal loading time, which makes for a great bread and butter device for composition and playing.

They are, after all, Korg workstations.

I guess it also depends on what type of music you're creating, and what other sound libraries/synths you're using with it. But I tend to find people have far fewer complaints when playing on the hardware workstations.

One point they made at one Music Production course was that the top producers typically get them 6 months before they're released, so by the time you've bought them all of the presets are already "exhausted" - so you have to create your own tweaked patches and combis to create a unique sound and stand out. I think that plays into your comment on them being "classic" and "cliché".

I tend to find people have fewer complaints when playing on an old hardware workstation. The Triton just about passes the critical threshold for acoustic instruments. They won't sound like a live symphonic orchestra, but they have convincing enough, well-textured, and highly expressive instruments.

Maybe (/hopefully) Roland will prompt them to start offering plugins for current sounds rather than focusing solely on legacy collections.
Using HW workstations is indeed a very different experience. I was commenting the use of the VSTs which will inevitably be there among a plethora of acoustic, electronic sounds and samples provided by other soft synths. I understand that the memory limitations and sample rate of the time led to « tight » samples that somehow defined a sound you don’t have instantly with newer soft synths. But I’ve found after listen to the vst that the « korg workstation sound » wasn’t going to be anything else than the « korg workstation sound » of the 90s even if you program your « own » sounds

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VIVIsect
Posts: 110
Joined: 28 May 2017

Post 03 Jul 2020

I got the Legacy collection for free when I bought a Korg MIDI controller a couple years back. Always overlooked it because I have too many soft synths as it is. When the GUI updates rolled out, I decided to finally give them a shot. Really fell in love with Mono/Poly. Really great for certain types of bass/pad/lead sounds. I feel bad for neglecting it for so long.

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avasopht
Posts: 2024
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 05 Jul 2020

SebAudio wrote:
03 Jul 2020
Using HW workstations is indeed a very different experience. I was commenting the use of the VSTs which will inevitably be there among a plethora of acoustic, electronic sounds and samples provided by other soft synths. I understand that the memory limitations and sample rate of the time led to « tight » samples that somehow defined a sound you don’t have instantly with newer soft synths. But I’ve found after listen to the vst that the « korg workstation sound » wasn’t going to be anything else than the « korg workstation sound » of the 90s even if you program your « own » sounds
Yeah, that's pretty much it. Kind of why I passed on it when the Triton Collection was released, although I'd say the Triton is more the sound of the 00s and the M1 the 90s.

The last week I've been playing with it a lot and really enjoying it.

I've also a newfound respect for the M1 as well, and think the M1 and Triton can sit nicely alongside the more up to date acoustic instruments and synths I have.

If anything, I'm finding it a much better for jotting down ideas and starting tracks than anything else I've got. Its got a timbre I've a greater affinity for and I like how the patches load instantly.
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kinkujin
Posts: 166
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 07 Jul 2020

avasopht wrote:
05 Jul 2020
SebAudio wrote:
03 Jul 2020
Using HW workstations is indeed a very different experience. I was commenting the use of the VSTs which will inevitably be there among a plethora of acoustic, electronic sounds and samples provided by other soft synths. I understand that the memory limitations and sample rate of the time led to « tight » samples that somehow defined a sound you don’t have instantly with newer soft synths. But I’ve found after listen to the vst that the « korg workstation sound » wasn’t going to be anything else than the « korg workstation sound » of the 90s even if you program your « own » sounds
Yeah, that's pretty much it. Kind of why I passed on it when the Triton Collection was released, although I'd say the Triton is more the sound of the 00s and the M1 the 90s.

The last week I've been playing with it a lot and really enjoying it.

I've also a newfound respect for the M1 as well, and think the M1 and Triton can sit nicely alongside the more up to date acoustic instruments and synths I have.

If anything, I'm finding it a much better for jotting down ideas and starting tracks than anything else I've got. Its got a timbre I've a greater affinity for and I like how the patches load instantly.
This is fascinating and pretty much rings true for me too with workstations. There is a cohesiveness to my older tracks when using a Yamaha W7 (favorite of mine and finally got another) ... stuff just gels and it has it's own sound. I've always chocked this up to my own inability to mix properly/interestingly, but really workstations have a "sound". Particularly if you stay within it for full tracks, like I used to.

Now the challenge is to get better at mixing those workstation sounds with other vst's, synths, whatever. For me, that is.

This post has convinced me to finally get the M1 vst. I really do enjoy Korg synths.

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avasopht
Posts: 2024
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post Today

kinkujin wrote:
07 Jul 2020
This post has convinced me to finally get the M1 vst. I really do enjoy Korg synths.
M1 is easily the star of the show.

I just launched the standalone a few minutes ago and some random sound was loaded (CosmicRain) immediately absorbing me into this patch.

It seems to have had a lot of love and care put into its combis and program patches. You can pick up an M1 license on eBay right now for about $30.

The trick behind the M1 and Triton and why I think they've aged much better than the Roland SRX patches is that Korg embraced the limitations of the time to create a "realistic-synth" sound using well-engineered "oscillators", while Roland tried to create authentic-sounding acoustic sampler patches.
kinkujin wrote:
07 Jul 2020
I've always chocked this up to my own inability to mix properly/interestingly, but really workstations have a "sound".
I had the BitleyTM Fairlight Refills for years before I learned to fully make use of the sound. First thing though, is turning down the reverb on any soaking wet presets ;)

At first, I'd use the odd sound in a track and process it heavily with all sorts of effects. Nowadays it's easy to do entire tracks with it.

Over time I've harnessed a sound of my own with it.

I often use lo-fi effects and Buffre to make it sound like it's sampled, or breathe life into it with distortion. One of my best horn sections came from a Fairlight brass instrument with a little distortion, but somehow it sounded (at least to me) like it was a real horn section going through some warm tubes or something.
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