When Korg first announced the OASYS platform, they were keen to point out that it was an open system and would grow over time with new OS and software features. True to their word there's a new Exi (Expansion Instrument), the STR-1 Plucked String. The STR-1 represents an advancement in physical modeling, which allows you to pluck, strike, scrape or otherwise excite the string with 16 different pluck types, noise, or any of the onboard or RAM-based PCM waveforms.
The string itself utilizes an advanced, highly controllable design, with modeling of both physical materials and playing style (including damping, dispersion, nonlinearity, harmonics and more). An audio input through the STR-1 provides modeled feedback, for realistic interaction between the instrument and the amplifier.
The string timbre can then be shaped further by using many OASYS
voice elements like filters, LFOs, a step-sequencer, Vector control and more, as well as layering with any other EXi (including using two STR-1s together).
This comprehensive set of synthesis tools makes the STR-1 capable of creating both traditional sounds (acoustic and electric guitars and basses, clavinets and harpsichords, harps, bells, electric pianos, ethnic instruments, etc.) and unique, experimental timbres. Since its based on physical modeling, sounds can expressively change their tone in ways that are impossible for sample-based sound generators to imitate.
This new EXi has a retail value of $299, but Korg is offering it free to to existing and future users.
New Voice Enhancements
OS Version 1.10 also offers some new additions to the OASYS. The most anticipated is support for up to 2 GB of memory. By adding a 1 GB DIMM memory module, users can keep both the EXs1 and EXs2 expansion
libraries in memory at the same time, with room for almost 700 MB of samples still available. Alternatively, by not loading either EXs library, approximately 1.5 GB of sample RAM will be available for loading new sounds or creating custom samples.
A new type of AMS Mixer (Alternate Modulation Source) has been added, supplementing the OASYS already vast offering of AMS choices. The new Gate AMS Mixer lets you set up two different AMS sources (or fixed AMS amounts), and then switch between the two using a third AMS source.
Other enhancements include the ability to set a pedal to control Inc/Dec navigation, so you can move through Programs, Combinations or even change Sequencer tracks hands-free, and the ability to filter out half-damping when using a sustain pedal on non-piano sounds.
OS Version 1.10 will be available in early December.