M3 Gets Bigger

Korg announce the M3 XPanded Music workstation/sampler      12/09/08
M3 Gets Bigger

Korg have announced the M3 Xpanded which features updated internal PCM plus 384 Mbytes of free sample expansion, delivering a staggering number of sound variations. They say that the sequencer and interface have also been enhanced, significantly increasing its power as a music workstation. Here’s all the details that they have given us…
Main features of the M3 Xpanded
  • New piano and classic keyboard samples have been added to the internal ROM, along with new Programs.
  • Three new sample expansions (128 MB each) of brass, woodwind, and acoustic piano data have been included for free, bringing the total to 640 MB (when calculated as 16-bit linear) of high-quality PCM– 2.5 times that of the original M3!
  • A Piano Roll event editing screen, Track View arrange/edit page, and MIDI system exclusive editing functionality have been added to Sequencer mode, helping you to fine tune your tracks and arrangements with greater detail.
  • The KARMAâ„¢ function which generates unique, interactive phrases has been expanded to Version 2.2 with many new features, including 1,024 locations for user GEs when used with exclusive KARMA M3 software from Karma-Lab.
  • The acclaimed TouchView graphic user interface has been made even easier to use. Now you can touch and drag the onscreen knobs and sliders for easy editing and mixing.
  • A velocity meter function has been added for realtime display of Timbre/Track activity in Combination and Sequencer modes
. Newly enhanced PCM memory delivers an enormous range of powerful sounds
The 256 MB of PCM memory on the original M3 has been revised to include a number of newkeyboard instrument sounds. New samples of various vintage keyboards have been added, including two acoustic pianos, tine and reed electric pianos, and four clav settings. .
In addition to this, the M3 XPanded includes for free all of the data in the EX-USB-PCM01/02/03 libraries that were originally planned as options, as a “thank you� to loyal Korg owners. This adds 128 MB of brass, 128 MB of woodwinds, and 128 MB of of a new piano, for an extra 384 MB of sample data that brings the M3 XPanded to an incredible total of 640 MB (when calculated as 16-bit linear data) of PCM waveform memory. .
160 new programs and 32 new combinations using this data have also been added. In conjunction with the 512 programs of the original M3 and the 512 programs added in M3 version 1.2, together with 32 vocoder programs, this means that you now have a total of 1,216 (EDS) onboard programs and 416 combinations available for use. .
Updated preset PCM and sounds
The 256 MB of PCM ROMfrom the original M3 has been enhanced to include even more keyboard sounds:
  • A new acoustic piano sampled in stereo at three velocity levels plus realistic damper resonance imaging has replaced the original piano sound.
  • A much-requested mono piano has been included for live musicians who cannot always use stereo amplification
  • The classic sound of the original Korg SG-1D stage piano has been added, long a favorite of musicians in many genres of music
  • Vintage E-piano keyboard PCM data (both tine and reed based) sampled at four velocity levels, delivers incredibly expressive and realistic sounds featuring Korg's REMS amp modeling technology.
  • Clav includes all four tablet sounds (AC, AD, BC and BD settings) each with soft and loud velocity levels, naturally and realistically reproducing tonal changes in response to your playing dynamics.
  • Classic tape-playback string and flute sounds are also included, lending a truly vintage vibe to your music.
EX-USB-PCM01 Brass and Woodwinds 1 / EX-USB-PCM02Brass and Woodwinds 2 libraries created with painstaking attention to natural-sounding playability
  • Approximately 256 of PCM data, with 128 programs and 32 combinations ideal for a wide range of productions including orchestra and pop.
  • Instruments from top-ranked manufacturers have been sampled with numerous variations to meet any musical need. Flute sounds include piccolo and alto flutes, trumpets include piccolo trumpet as well as cornet, clarinets include a bass clarinet.
  • For each instrument, we've sampled a diversity of performance variations such as trills, falls, growls, and staccato. The M3's EDS synthesis engine is used to reproduce sounds that are richly expressive even for a single note --- something which is difficult to achieve simply by playing back a sample.
EX-USB-PCM03 Concert Grand Piano realistically delivers the richness and natural resonance of a top-level full concert grand piano
  • Approximately 128 MB* of PCM data, with 6 programs and 6 combinations suitable for all productions ranging from classical to rock and jazz.
  • A top-level full concert grand piano has been lavishly sampled in stereo with four-way velocity splits. Taking care to preserve the stereo sound image, we recorded the piano with as simple a mic setup as possible so that every detail from the attack on the strings to the decay was captured with a natural sense of stereo. We also included waveform data capturing the natural sympathetic string resonance that occurs when the damper pedal is pressed, making the sound extremely rich and natural, and ensuring superbly expressive sound even for players who make extensive use of the pedal.
An M3 XPanded in which the EXB-M256 memory expansion board is not installed can load only one of these three sets of PCM data at a time --- the 128MB brass (EX- USB-PCM01), the 128 MB woodwind (EX-USB-PCM02), or the 128 MB stereo grand piano (EX-USB-PCM03) --- for a total PCM memory of 386 MB. Adding the EXB-M256 allows all three titles to be loaded at the same time, and still provides almost 128 MB of additional user sampling. We recommend that you install the EXB-M256 in order to take the fullest advantage of these PCM expansions. .
Sequencer mode adds new screens and convenient functions, and operation is even smoother than ever before
Sequencer mode now provides a Piano Roll editing screen, Track View arrange/edit page, and the capability to edit MIDI system exclusive data, allowing you to produce tracks even more efficiently.
  • Piano Roll screen
    The piano roll screen shows event data such as notes, velocities, and control changes in an intuitive graphic way. You can use touch-drag operations to edit, delete, or create note events or control events. Many users find this an especially helpful way to see note lengths clearly, as an example.
  • Track View page
    This page shows an overview of each track's events, such as notes, velocities, and control changes. Here too, you can use touch-drag operations to move, copy, or erase measures and tracks.
  • MIDI system exclusive data editing.
    In the Event Edit dialog box of Sequencer mode, you now have the capability of viewing recorded MIDI system exclusive data displayed as the native parameter names, which makes it simple to know what each event is. You can now also edit the values of these parameters, for the utmost control over your music. Create and Erase Exclusive Data commands have also been added for easily inserting new changes.
The "KARMA" phrase generation function advances to version 2.2, with an expanded user GE area
KARMA v.2.2 adds user GE (Generated Effects) memories and includes a variety of new functionality such as selecting the timing (quantization) of scene changes and module triggering. For the first time ever, you can now switch GE’s in realtime while KARMA is playing, with seamless transitions. . By using KARMA M3* (dedicated software for the M3), you can edit or create original GEs on your computer. There is room for a total of 1,024 new or edited GE’s in the M3 XPanded (128 x 8 banks). * Produced by Karma Lab (http://www.karma-lab.com). Supports Macintosh and Windows. English version only. .
700 effect presets have been added
Each of the effects algorithms in the M3 now have high-quality presets available, which were created by professional sound designer and engineers. A total of 700 effects presets make it quick and easy to get the sound and mix you desire from wealth of effects processing available. .
149 added drum patterns
With the addition of 149 new realistic drum patterns, the number of preset patterns has increased to 671, giving you additional possibilities for song production with the sequencer, for live performance, or for use with the RPPR (Realtime Pattern/Play Recording) function. .
Improved user interface
The acclaimed TouchView interface now adds Touch Drag Editing functionality, allowing you to operate knobs or sliders by touching and dragging them directly onscreen. Now you can specify measure regions or move notes by dragging in the newly added Track View page or Piano Roll edit screen of Sequencer mode. Velocity meters have also been added to Combination and Sequencer modes, providing a realtime indication of the note-on velocity values, and showing you at a glance which timbres or tracks are currently playing. Many more of the M3's numerous functions have been enhanced for even greater ease of use.
Users of the current M3 can upgrade to the M3 XPanded by downloading data from the website of their regional distributor. Download availability is expected to begin at the end of September 2008.
Pricing and Availability:
Price: £ TBC
Available: October 2008
More information:
  • www.korg.com


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    5 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
    Dave Boulden    Said...

    Been anxiously waiting to buy the much fabled EXB-USB expansions for my M3-88, but certainly didn't forsee this move! Well done Korg.

    12-Sep-08 05:13 AM

    matt z    Said...

    This update is available in the US today, at korg.com, in the Info Central section. Installing now, will get back with comments about it.

    12-Sep-08 01:57 PM

    matt z    Said...

    I have to say, the M3 2.0 update is really solid. The new drag-n-drop functionality does make patch building and sequencing go a lot quicker.

    The real star here is the new EXB-USB expansions. The piano blows the original away, lots of detail and nuance.

    I am usually not a fan of Korg's brass patches, but I have to say that the brass pcm+patches that are included in expansion are a serious improvement.

    The new woodwinds are also a strong addition, the flutes are crisp and expressive.

    These expansions could have easily cost hundreds, but Korg put them out as a free upgrade for M3 users! Very, very cool.

    12-Sep-08 09:58 PM

    shekhar dhain    Said...

    6 months ago, i still didnt think the M3 was cutting it with the motif xs ( which i own and have used heavily for about a year on loads of soundtrack jobs) around as VERY stiff competition...and this goes and happens! :-D

    I'll endeavour to check the m3 out again once the upgrades have become "kosher"..who knows, i might even buy one! ;-)

    17-Sep-08 11:05 AM

    Kerzwhile    Said...

    I really think this is a great move to help sell more M3's BUT its Deff. gonna hurt the Oasys sales!!! I Know they are TOTALLY diff. beasts but tons of the Oasys rom is now in the little brother! Come On Korg, Lets get more Oasys updates! How about some granular synthesis?? ;)

    24-Sep-08 02:25 PM

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