Krome Music Workstation from KORG

20 November 2012 | 9:38 am | Chris Steller

Krome is a serious contender for your hard-earned!

The newest workstation from KORG continues the Japanese company's determination to provide more features for the working musician's dollar. Krome is the next model in line from the successful M50 and also utilises many features introduced last year by its up-market sibling, the Kronos. Krome comes in three models, of course: the 61- and 73-key workstations feature a semi-weighted (synth-style) keyboard, while the 88-key model is weighted, utilising KORG's NH keyboard, which is graded in weight from low to high notes. The look is simple and efficient. On the back are stereo outputs, inputs for pedals and USB connection to your computer, plus an SD Card slot for data storage.

Functionality is what you'd expect in this price range, with the 7” colour 'TouchView' display as your GUI, making parameter access easy. A new menu in the top left of the screen allows you to jump around to the different functions and return with ease.

Krome uses EDS-X, another of those awesome KORG acronyms that can leave you guessing for a long time. It's loaded with nearly 4GB of sounds: Kronos-derived full-length, unlooped piano and drum sounds; electric pianos with eight-level velocity switching; 640 programs and 288 combinations, plus 32 drum kits out of the box, with more memory slots for your own sound creations. It also has 256 GM2 programs and 9 GM2 drum kits, making standard MIDI file playback a breeze. All of the bread and butter capabilities are there: Four types of filter routing, two multi-mode filters per oscillator, plenty of useful effects, EQ for each program or song track, and great drum sounds, with a pattern assigned to each program for instant inspiration/jamming fun.

The on-board sequencer features 16 MIDI tracks plus a master track, plenty of memory and templates for easy setup. The Cue Lists, with up to 99 steps in a list, are a great way to set up jukebox-style playback or assemble a different version of your song.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

There's also a comprehensive pattern generator, drum tracks and polyphonic arpeggiators for helping with instant inspiration when you're stuck for ideas.

This review was done on the 61-key model, so you'll have to judge the weighted 88-key for yourself. Krome's main piano sample had me wanting to actually play piano because of its quality, which is amazing in this price range. As a matter of fact, the Krome piano sample is probably bigger than the entire ROM block in most of the competition's offerings. The GUI is easy and the layout is efficient, the sequencer works well and there's a downloadable editor (standalone or VST/AU plug-in), and the little blue LED in the 'R' on the back of the unit is cute. The mini-jack headphone output is a bit annoying (why?), but everything works well and the video manual is a very easy to understand guide to using the features of Krome, presented by product specialist, Steve McNally. Krome is a serious contender for your hard-earned!