Synth Site: Korg: Electribe EMX-1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Micky a part-time user from US writes:
Had mine for two weeks now so I thought I would write a little review. So far it is the best all around groove machine I have laid my hands on in this price range. The other one which I would put this up against is the "Elektron Machine drum SPS-1" Although each one has a different idea behind it the are both patter based sequencers and the EMX-1 for sure holds it's own. The motion sequencing on the Machine Drum is a little bit better than the EMX-1. And has much better control over external gear. This is only due to the fact that when you assign different Midi controllers to the knobs on the EMX-1 they are not saved in its global memory. So if you use it as your main sequencer you will have to reassign your controllers each time you turn it on. This is not a problem but Korg should of let you have the option to save you settings that way. Otherwise the syth parts sound great and are very tight on the VA side of it. A little bit better sounding than I thought it would sound like. The drums are what could be expected for samples, but being that you are spending allot more on this than the first Electribe models Korg opted to give a hell of allot more drum samples to you being 207 total different drum samples. The bass drums and HiHats are the best as the EMX-1 is geared towards dance and modern beat sounds. The sytn section does lake allot of the old school controls over the sound like a ADSR filter, but the EG control is great sounding and applies diffrent EG algorithms to the syth type selected. On of which being additive that sounds really gritty and very FAT sounding. Also another syth feature that stands out is the unison up to four detuned voices per synth part! That’s 20 detuned voices altogether. But remember that each syth part can only play one note at a time (mono) Which really is not a problem in my honest opinion because most modern "electronic" music uses one voice at a time for each part (i.e. track) If you ever do need to use Chords of two or more you can just assign the syth parts to the same Midi channel for instant chord programming. I have owned a Machine Drumm, Em-1 and an Emu command station. If your looking for something to play Midi files don't buy this, get a Emu Command station or an MPC 1000, both do real time recording and have swing, but can also do step recording etc. But I have really enjoyed working with the EMX-1 just do to its interface. I get allot of inspiration from it for cranking out harsh electronic sounds and for controlling my other gear. Build quality 5, Sounds I give an honest 5, because it really sounds great and lively. Synth I give a 4 do to lack of sound control. Sequencer I give a 4 because the synth parts are monophonic but the motion sequencer is dead on. Overall I would have to say 4 out of five for this one. Great value for the money. It can't do everything like a full on liner sequencer like triton or computer based. But it does get you in touch with getting your beats and melodies out in a very easy and quick way. Lets just say if you have other synths and you like electronic music this could be all you need for producing great sounding songs.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-09-2003 at 16:28
Sarif a part-time user from net writes:
Bought it, love it, sound is good but tubes bring out the flavor.... Best for dance, electronic, or rap types.... If I lost it I would for sure buy another and the best part is that it has a smart media card slot for back ups!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-08-2003 at 23:48
kev a hobbyist user from US writes:
Great machine! this sounds great, it really pushes the limit for groove boxes etc. Synth sounds are great and easy to work with, but you can take the sound programming deep as well. Not as deep as a stand alone syth of course. But it does great. Drums sounds are great as well but I wish you could load your own, but thats what the ESX1 is for. This is for sure one of the most power packed boxes ever and the step sequencer is easy to use! To bad its only mono in....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-08-2003 at 23:45
isaac paris a hobbyist user from fairbanks writes:
I use a roland 307, and wanted a groovebox with a way to get the sounds off onto cards or discs or somwthing because i was frustrated that i filled the memory. This groovebox is good in that it has MUCH more space, and you can delete the presets and put your stuff on over it, but it doenst have a smart media card slot or a disc drive. The sounds are great, but It was a little suprised to find that its monophonic! the sounds you make with the oscillators can only be one note at a time, chords are available only for the piano- organ, strings- electric piano sounds and then its like, maj min maj7 min7, up the keyboard. that was pretty disapointing. Soft, pretty sounds are hard to get with this machine, there are SO many ways to get nasty PHAT Bwaap synth sounds and hardly any ways to get the hums and string effects. It works as a midi controller, but like i said I am accustomed to a Roland MC groovebox which has a part select and a part mute button. this has only a part mute button, to unmute a drum track it also SOUNDS the drum part- so you better do it on the rhythm (thats annoying) and the. the part select is just pushing the key- and it doesnt automatically change the midi channel to the part you select, so if you want to play patch 1 and then patch 2 during the same performance with the same midi controller you have to manually change the midi channel- i dont remember if you CAN do that during performance, but i am spoiled with that part select button that lets me change between patches instantly.

now to say some good things about it- I love having all the parameters to tweaking the sound RIGHT there on the synth as Dials- that kicks ass, the filter was great, the effects were unique and its nice that you can use up to three (you cant do that on the MC307- just use reverb, delay and then your choice of distortion, compression etc) I liked the effect that grabbed a sound and played it over and over again fast- some Aphex twin inspired s#it there! the sounds were good and the thing looked great. it was a shame it wasnt polyphonic and had a part select button- I would have kept it! I tried it for a week at home and mailed it back- it wasnt what I wanted, im sure it could make some great sounds- but i was frustrated by these limitations, and for that price i wanted a machine that improved on the irritations i had with my MC.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-08-2003 at 05:22
nafta a part-time user from USA writes:
Great machine, and it even doubles as a MIDI controler, you can assign any MIDI CC: to any knob and record its motion into the sequencer and have it automate your other synths! Some of these reviews are really weak and pathetic stabs at a machine that has a very specific marketing target. Also the machine has a very specific use in mind and the sequencer by far is just a breeze to use. I use logic audio for sequencing, and it is by far better and more powerful to use than the EMX. But IMO you lose out on working with hardware. I have opted to really take a chance with this thing because of how my music sounds using it! I have been looking for a "stream lined" hardware sequencer with usable automation. And this one is great just for sequencing alone! As for the onboard sounds its great as well, sure you are a bit limeted with drum pcm sounds but you can use the syths for drums as well, or you can just trigger your other syths with the drum parts, this IMO is friking kewl has hell and easy, If you enjoy electronic music like Industrial, or IDM/EDM this machine could really make some history. But for users who feel that the onboard sounds get boring than they could of bought the ESX version, but by far the EMX is a do it all XOX box and I have switched back from a computer running logic to a machine that has totally "stream lined" my track writting proccess, you can even program the tracks on a computer and then just record them all at once onto the EMX for a easy as hell computer editing interface! The onboard sounds are great to me and users who feel that they get tired of using the same hihats or bassdrumms must not be doing something right because how many diffrent hihats or bassdrumms do they need to be happy? this machine has more than enough for any electronic based music! If you have to switch drum sounds all the time you are just cought up in that clich` of people who feel that they need to have every sample of drumms out there! they are never satisfied. To bad because they could make some great music with the EMX.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-08-2003 at 00:31
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