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There's probsbly not much point in adding to the official release from Korg, apart from perhaps the pricing is about what was speculated - around the same price as the microKORG XL at £489 UK/$749 LIST.
Perhaps a couple of nice touches are the LED above each key to show the status of each sample at a glance and the ability to re-sample oin the fly for live performances.
But here is the official word on it:
microSAMPLER SAMPLING KEYBOARD
A compact keyboard sampler that you can play to your heart's content
The compact and powerful Korg "micro" series is now joined by an incredibly fun-to-use performance sampler. Announcing the Korg microSAMPLER, a keyboard sampler that lets you enjoy easy-to-use full-featured sampling, a loop sequencer, and internal effects – all with an intuitive interface that's designed for realtime performance.
Our unique sampling method allows you to record, edit and map as you sample – directly from the keyboard.
A keyboard sampler that was made to be played
The microSAMPLER is designed for performance. In addition to triggering samples as on a conventional pad-type sampler, you can also play the samples at different pitches in a musical fashion, and even resample the result.
The controllers you need for an exciting performance are laid out on the panel for intuitive operation. The status of the samples assigned to each key (and the item being edited) is indicated by the lit state of the LEDs running along the top of the keyboard, ensuring excellent visibility even on stage.
Sample anytime, anywhere, anything
Both line input and mic input are provided to allow a broad range of input sources including electronic musical instruments, CD, and voice. A gooseneck microphone is included so you can sample on the go. To make it easy to sample from your portable audio player, a convenient caddy is located beside the mic jack. The microSAMPLER can run on batteries, so you can perform on the go – or capture samples anywhere. In addition, there's a resampling function that lets you play existing layered samples processed by an effect and played by the loop sequencer – and capture it all as a new sample. Since you can even sample while playing, the sampling process itself can become part of your expressive performance.
Five sampling methods to suit your needs
When sampling, you can select ONE SHOT, GATE, or LOOP methods; this greatly enhances the realtime character of your performance. In addition, you can use two completely new sampling methods "KEY GATE" and "AUTO NEXT" to sample more efficiently and creatively than ever.
-ONE SHOT sampling for single hits
This mode is for creating samples that do not require a note-off, such as drums and orchestra hits.
-GATE sampling for keyboard performance
This mode is best for creating instrument sounds that will be played back at different pitches on the keyboard.
-LOOP sampling for recording grooves and phrases
This mode is ideal for sampling looped phrases such as drums or vocals.
-KEY GATE sampling is best for grabbing multiple samples from the same source
With KEY GATE, you can take multiple samples from the same source or phrase and assign them to different keys as the source plays! The individual keys assign the sample and enable recording all at the same time. This intuitive method of sampling, editing and mapping in a single step is fun, intuitive and fast.
-AUTO NEXT sampling for automatically capturing phrases as multiple samples
For grabbing a groove as separate samples on individual keys, choose the AUTO NEXT mode and use Tap Tempo to match the BPM of the source material. The microSAMPLER will automatically divide the sample equally across multiple keys. Each key can be set to capture anything from a 64th note to a full two measures. This method lets you automatically perform the same type of sampling as KEY GATE.
A full-fledged sampling system that expands your creative potential
The microSAMPLER hosts a solid complement of top-end sampling features such as sixteen-voice polyphony, reverse playback, editing operations such as Normalize and Truncate, and a Time Stretch feature that lets you change the tempo without affecting the pitch. Selectable sample rates of 48 kHz, 24 kHz, 12 kHz down to 6 kHz let you sample at rates beyond CD clarity or add in that Lo-Fi vintage vibe. And yet the microSAMPLER is also designed to be easy to operate. Each bank contains 36 samples (a maximum of approximately 160 seconds of recording time for monaural samples at a 48 kHz sampling rate) and sixteen patterns of sequence data; the microSAMPLER lets you store eight such banks in internal memory.
Pattern sequencer with cool performance possibilities
The pattern sequencer uses an overdub operating style that lets you continually layer your performances. You can switch between patterns during playback for seamless performances. Up to sixteen patterns (16,000 notes per pattern or a maximum 64,000) can be stored in each bank.
Twenty-one effect algorithms produce powerful sonic transformations
Developed for Korg's KAOSS PAD series, the effect engine serves up a great selection of effects – so important when editing samples. The twenty-one effects include not only traditional delay and chorus, but also ring modulator and grain shifter, and even a Looper that's derived from the Loop Recording feature of the KAOSSILATOR Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer.
The new "natural touch mini keyboard," compact yet easy to play
The microSAMPLER features our new the natural touch mini keyboard, offering greatly enhanced playability and expressive power. By adjusting the proportion of the black keys and white keys, we've made chords easier to finger, and the touch has been improved so that rapid phrases can be played more easily. The box-shaped keys project a sense of quality, and also allow smoother glissandi.
USB port and Editor/Librarian software and for computer-based data management
By using editor/librarian software for the microSAMPLER, you can manage a gigantic sample library that's all your own. You can back up sample data to your computer via USB, load samples into the microSAMPLER, and back up the sequence data. Importing and exporting of WAV/AIFF data on your computer is also supported.
Keyboard: 37-notes (natural-touch mini-keyboard, velocity sensitive)
Banks: 8 User Banks (A-H), 1 ROM bank
- Sampling types: LOOP/ONE SHOT/ GATE/ AUTO NEXT/KEY GATE
- Sampling sources: Audio input (MIC/LINE), Resampling
- Sampling rates: 48kHz/24kHz/12kHz/6kHz
- Sampling time: Approximately 160 seconds per bank (159.7 seconds for mono, sampling rate 48 kHz)
- Polyphony: Maximum 14 notes (7 notes if using time strech play- back)
- Playback sampling rate: 48kHz
- Number of Pattern: 16 patterns per bank
- Maximum number of notes: maximum of approximately 64,000 notes per bank (maximum of approximately 16,000 notes per pattern)
- Resolution: 96 ticks per quarter note
- Number of measures in a Pattern: 1-99
- Recording method: Realtime recording
-Structure: 1Master FX During sampling, choose either master effect or audio-in insert effect
-Effect Type: Choose one of 21 types
- AUDIO IN (L/MONO, R jacks- Rear Panel)= Connector: 1/4” phone jack (unbalanced), Maximum input level: -17dBu@GAIN:max, Input inpedance: 7kΩ
- AUDIO IN (MIC jack – Front Panel)= Connector: XLR jack (balanced), Maximum input level: -40dBu@GAIN:max, Input source impedance: 14kΩ
OUTPUT (L/MONO, R jacks)= Connectors: 1/4² phone jacks (unbalanced), Maximum output level: +4dBu@10kΩ load, Output impedance: 1kΩ
Headphone jack= Connector: 1/4² stereo phone jack, Maximum output evel: 10mW + 10mW@32Ω load, Output impedance: 10Ω
MIDI connectors: IN, OUT
USB connector: B-type connector
Display: Custom LCD
Power Supply: DC 9V (When using batteries: six AA alkaline batteries), Battery life: approximately 3 hours
Weight: 1.9 kg/4.19lbs.
Accessories: AC adapter, Gooseneck Microphone
microSAMPLER Editor/ Librarian Software
A computer that satisfies the operating requirements of Windows XP or Windows Vista, and has a USB port
• Operating system
Microsoft Windows XP (SP3 or later), Windows Vista (SP1 or later)
An Apple Macintosh computer that satisfies the operating requirements of Mac OS X and has a USB port
• Operating system
Mac OS X version 10.4 or later
A sneak preview of the soon to be released Zebra 2 update
It looks kinda like SMR but it is definitely not!