Korg MicroSampler Bucks the Trend

Bah, who needs software?      07/09/09

Another leak from that dealer conference in Japan last week saw the unveiling of the new microSampler - what appears to be a hardware sampler. 

While the rest of the world appears to be fixated with software based samplers, Korg have taken the view that there's little going in in the hardware sampler world. Looks like they could be more than right -  many live acts struggle to deal with the logistics involved in taking computers on the road, unless they have an spent a few quid on cases and ruggedization of their gear.

News is thin on the ground due to a worldwwide press embargo till mid September, but here's what we've found (via Synthtopia.com) on some preliminary specs.


  • 37 key (Natural Touch Mini Keyboard with Velocity)
  • 8 user bank (A ~ H), 1 ROM bank
  • 5 types of sampling (LOOP / ONE SHOT / GATE / AUTO NEXT / KEY GATE)
  • Sample rates of 48kHz – 24kHz – 12kHz – 6kHz
  • Approximately 160 seconds per one bank (Mono / 48kHz sampling rate at 159.7 seconds)
  • Up to 14 voice poly (stereo / mono regardless)
  • 64,000 note sequencer (one per bank notes (16,000 notes max in one pattern))
  • 96 ticks / quarter note resolution (real-time recording)
  • MIDI IN, OUT and USB
  • DC9V or alkaline 6 x AA batteries = giving 3 hours battery life approximately
  • 516 (W) x 238 (D) x 65 (H) mm
  • Weight of 1.9kg
  • Software editor for Windows: Microsoft Windows XP SP3 or later, Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 or later Mac: Mac OS X 10.4 or later

Obviously the key to the survival of most samplers is their ability to read and translate other formats. It's not clear as yet, whether Korg have taken this challenge on or just done their own thing - we will see....








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8 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
I Don't Like Music    Said...

Man, I was hoping for another virtual analog. A sampler? What's next? A fun-sized Wavestation? Surely we haven't exhausted the possibilities of a sawtooth wave and a low pass filter?

07-Sep-09 02:39 PM

Nick B    Said...

Actually, I think it's not a bad idea, there are no current hardware samplers out there, if you want to trigger loops, then you can use Ableton and a lappy for sure, but this is more self contained. I am more interested in the machines ability to play keygrouped multi sample stuff, but I've not heard anything about that yet.

07-Sep-09 02:58 PM

S R DHAIN    Said...

samplers are a RISKY proposition at the best of times- witness boss/roland and even KORG themselves not selling the sampling grooveboxes as well as the others in the range - so KORG must have looked into this a bit more this time to build a sampler with keys , which is a real throwback to the early 90's. As nick has stated, a lappy with abelton still takes a LOT OF TIME to set up, by which time to be honest, youre not gonna be breaking the sound programming barriers on stage in a jiffy. Not unless youre a top draw act like kraftwerk..

That aside, if it has all the right SOUNDS out of the box useability is top notch and the price is about 500 quid or less, then its a winner.

07-Sep-09 04:38 PM

Spoony G    Said...

I think this looks really interesting. I was pleasantly surprised to read that it has a built-in sequencer, but the specs of it are pretty thin (64,000 notes isn't much).

It just seems silly to have it, but then to skimp on it.

But even with the sequencing limitations, it looks like it could be really cool.

And I really love the way that Korg is putting out cool sub-$1,000 gear. The sub-$1,000 synth market is huge, but for some reason, continues to go mostly untapped . . . except by Korg.

Roland seems to think that if a synth's under $1,000, it HAS to be cheezy.

And hats off to Korg for thinking different, and putting out a completely new product . . . aside from Electro-Harmonix, most new gear nowadays are just sequels and retreads of older gear.

08-Sep-09 03:45 AM

Nick B    Said...

I have a source, who's taken a look at the manual and he says that keygrouping and multisamples does not appear to be part of the ethos of this sampler.

I guess thats a shame, but perhaps it will compensate in other ways.,

08-Sep-09 04:39 AM

Bjarne D.    Said...

That was one crappy demo... But kind of a cool product though!

08-Sep-09 04:41 AM

S R DHAIN    Said...

no keygrouping and multisamples means its a repackage of the es-1 and/or esx . A nice looking repackage, nontheless, with a zeitgeist infused retro look

08-Sep-09 05:20 AM

jasonmd2020    Said...

"Obviously the key to the survival of most samplers is their ability to read and translate other formats. It's not clear as yet, whether Korg have taken this challenge on or just done their own thing - we will see...."

With a USB port and a software editor I'm pretty sure you can download sounds to it. My question is: What memory format does it use?

08-Sep-09 07:25 PM

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