Korg R3 Synthesizer / Vocoder Keyboard
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 str... read more
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A hidden gem, with one caveat
A lot of people look at this synth and assume it's some sort of 'less successful' MicroKorg. I got it in 2007 or so when it came out, because just playing with a few presets tells you that actually, what we have here is a kind of budget Korg Radias, and it will make sounds that the MicroKorg could only dream of. It can sound superb,
So WHY, oh WHY, Korg chose to put such a powerful synth inside a such a flimsy, cheap, crappy box, the sort of build quality that wouldn't pass muster as a kid's toy, is beyond me. I mean, how much would it have taken to make the casing decent and strong? Korg killed what should have been a killer synth here. I still use it occasionally, if I can get the power cable to connect to the input jack without slipping out!
edited 5 months ago
Updated .. So far ....
Ok, Sorry for the delay. I was just reading some of the earlier reviews. Ouch... some harsh. Well this is not the Radius of course... it's missing all of those wonderful twiddly knobs. But, yes it has the actual real-life Radius just half the voices, but the Korg Editor provides the ability to swap out a variety of patches now.. I can't speak to years ago, but the" synth revival -Reneissiance" that is occuring, albeit pushed harder and farther ahead by the lockdowns that occured and are still occurring as of this writing. Reverb has become a ghost town for certain types of synths. The R3 is still far down the list of most popular, but good luck finding an abundance of them because they are coveted. The Vocant/Vocoder recorder and "first gen" Motion Sequencer" that is essential the same that is in Volcas. I certainly can't tell the difference other than the Volca's version is much more mature and made very easy by the fingerboard.
The R3 is just crazy easy to use with 4 knobs. It reminds me in a way of the Moog LilSubFatty desktop synth the way the menus are used to select parameters. Its not to some peoples liking, but for performance... this is perfect.
Thanks to Korg for making all the MS2000 series and MicroKorg series patch sets available for the R3. Nice touch hav ing all those original vocoder patches. Using the coder over a Wurly is incredible. You can router any of the 128 patches into our thru(with) the vocoder mics, and yes you can have from 1 to 100(utilizing a mixer.. of course) and any other sound device you can think of ... modular, Kaossilator (oh yeah!), Ableton, and seriously just anything. Its a serious F'n fun synth unlike any other. The routable matrix is the hidden genius. Its a 12v system... Yes... it has a 3.3 and 5 v sub system as well. great for patching and bending. The audio input and output is a 24bit A/D converter so you're going to get really pristine quality from the XLR and Line jack input.
The 4 Midi ports via USB surprised the likes of me.. so it has MIDI in and out but it also provide "RS SOUND" Midi Out which is great for using it with the iPad Pro as its modulated and remodulated sound is recordable in GarageBand for iOS or any Android or iOS App supporting USB Audio which is just about everyone. More to come...
The Korg R3 is by far a secret weapon. In capable hands you have a portable magic black box follow me on this. It has the Radius Engine, it has a Vocoder, a "Vocant" Formant Motion recorder to record Vocant waves\env motion, I kid you not... oh boy am I going to have fun with this... more to come. (im busy mapping all my VSTs the controller is both a Host controller and synth too. THe knobs can be mapped to any MIDI CC/ control # or LBS and more oh my!
(First Entry) It hasn't arrived yet... but I have read the user manual cover to cover... The R3 contains the Radius Engine which is what I wanted for my studio. Not all the features of the Radius engine are in the 3 Octave R3 version but enough was brought over to let this EDM cowboy VOcate this S#$t out of my music.... Hellop Kraftwerk!!! and David Gilmore. lol let the growls begin lol Korg has 2 packs that were customized for the R3. All of the MS2000, MS2000R and MS2000B all available for free to enhance the R3... want an MS2000 just patch it. The modular routing is the magic that allows for
The details I wanted (Wikipedia) A dual filter, which not only allows you to use two filters in various configurations for each timbre, but also to "morph" different filter types.
Formant Motion Record allows you to record spoken phrases and then trigger them with the keyboard using Vocoder function. (think Volca Motion Sequence capture)
Modulation Sequencer, a "virtual analog sequencer" that mimics analog sequencing, 3 * 16 step. (again Volca got it from this tech)
Virtual Patching, originally developed on the Korg MS2000, six "virtual patches" allow any of 15 modulation sources to be routed to any of 15 modulateable parameters. (think holy sh$t badd ass)
Ill update when I get it next Tuesday ...
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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.