Korg unveils 2018 line-up: new Prologue poly synth, Volca Mixer, drum machine, more

Well, it’s that time of year. NAMM 2018 is just around the corner now and we are already seeing many of the big time music production company’s showing off their 2018 lineups. Arturia has certainly been busy the last few days with the second generation MiniBrute, Mini Brute 2S and RackBrute, not to mention the new interfaces from Focusrite and Universal Audio.

We suspected Korg wouldn’t be far behind Arturia here, and we were right. The company has now unveiled a brand new poly synth, a drum machine and the latest addition to its popular (and extremely affordable) Volca line…

First up is the brand new Prologue polyphonic analogue synthesizer. As the name implies, this is essentially an extension of the existing Monologue and Minilogue synths. You’ll find a similar livery and overall design with that gorgeous oscilloscope-like display. The larger and more powerful Prologue is available in 49 (8-voice) or 61-key (16-voice) variations with 4 voicing modes: Poly, Mono, Unison and Chord.

It also features a built-in arpeggiator, a pair of multi-wave oscillators, mixer, voltage-controlled filter with resonance and loads of DSP-based (not analog) effects. This is a dual-timbre synth allowing you to basically split the instrument into two different sounds with various performance modes. One of the more interesting elements of the new device is the ability to employ user-generated waveforms (as oscillators or sound sources) and effects. We don’t see features like this on hardware synths very often and it sounds like you’ll be able to download more content for other creators in the future. More details in the launch video below:

It will make its first appearance at NAMM 2018, but we know it will begin shipping this month sometime. The 8-voice model will ship for $1499.99 and the 8-voice for $1999.99. That’s getting pretty close to Dave Smith poly prices here, so consumers will have some serious decisions to make once it hits store shelves.

Next up, Korg has now unveiled the new $169.99 Volca Mix. The small, portable 4-track mixer is designed to integrate directly into mobile hardware setups, most specifically ones driven by Korg’s other Volca gear. But it also has some master analog effects built-in:

The volca mix is equipped with master effects powered by all-analog circuitry. In addition to an expander that broadens a mono source into a stereo sound image, there’s a dynamic range compressor that compresses the high-frequency range according to level changes of the low-frequency region, as well as a side chain effect that’s indispensable for dance music. Use these to dynamically vary the mix, adding a professional feel to live performances with the volca.

Beyond that, Korg is introducing the new KR-55 Pro drum machine. A continuation of its Rhythm Machine Line, the new box has Korg’s “Real Groove Technology” to offer patterns from real drummer data. This isn’t exactly the kind of drum machine you program, but rather one that has loads of preset patterns and drum sounds ready to go.

Packed with 24 high-quality rhythm styles, each fine-tuned to accurately reproducethe sound and experience of playing with a percussionist, this rhythm machine can provide simple, straight-forward drum tracking for musicians of any genre. Each style includes multiple patterns, providing accompaniment for endless recording,thanks to the sophisticated chain function. 

The KR-55 Pro will be available this month for $299.99.

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