Synth Site: Korg: Electribe ES-1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Kurtz a hobbyist user from ATL GA writes:
You can get smartmedia cards and converters at Best Buy / Circuit City / or Pretty easy to find, any store that has digital cameras will probably have them. This beat box is excellent. I've been making beats on the computer for a while, but after I got this thing, I noticed an almost immediate improvement. Nothing is better than hands on control when it comes to beat making. I didn't look at the mpc much because it was out of my price range, but I think I would have gotten this box instead just because I love x0x programing. If you are into hip hop or drum n bass you should definetly check out this drum machine.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-11-2000 at 22:44
NUBEY a professional user from USA writes:
$349-$399 american and you want a SCSI connector... Christ be realistic.. Maybe RCA connectors in and outs, but a SCSI port isn't cheap by any means.

Great little mahcine, more like what the Akai MPC's should've been, a good drum sampler, unless you've got an E-mu SP sitting aroun this will make an excellent and I mean excellent substitute for that. Bottom line, these are frickin' wonderful you'll be writing neitherworldy beats in no time flat, just start by nixxing the blah on board samples and go sample your wife doing the dishes or some other bizzare household noise and use them for cymbals, snares etc. Trust me folks this machines only as good as your imagination, it's wholly open ended --- GET ONE NOW!


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-11-2000 at 11:21
john howard a part-time user from san francisco writes:
this thing is pretty damn cool for the money i think. i bought it for a sort of substitute for an mpc2000 and i am mostly happy. the only complaint so far is no scsi (or expadability for scsi) and the fact that it takes two buttons to mute pads (but one to solo...duh... go figure). as far as the computer editing and storage goes, i heard that you can buy a zip drive smart media card converter that makes it possible to load samples onto your smart media via the converter. i will try to find out where to get them and let all y'all know. as far as a live sample box is concerned, this thing is super easy to use and quite functional for live performance.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Sep-10-2000 at 21:59
Tom a hobbyist user from USA writes:
A lovely little beast is the Korg ES-1 (A birthday gift from my wife), combined with a smart media card reader it is very versatile, though I do wish there were some easy way on the pc side to view/edit patterns/songs, just a little midi based sequencer etc. Did not like the fact that I could not easily take it on trips with me (no battery option), so I just finished making a battery pack for it.

Battery pack for Korg ES-1: Radio Shack item # 274-1573A (pkg of 2) This is a Coaxial DC Power Plug 5.5mm outer diameter, 2.5mm inner diameter, cost $1.69 Radio Shack item # 270-386A This is a 2 "D" Cell battery holder, $1.59 Radio Shack item # 270-396A This is a 4 "D" cell battery holder, $1.79 Some Solder, a soldering iron, and more wire if you want more length between your Korg and the battery.

Take the red wire from one of the battery holders and solder it to the black line from the other holder. The 6 "D" cells now connected in a serial fashion will provide the required 9v for the Korg. The power connector unscrews to remove the metal connector from the plastic wire shield. Pull the wire to be connected through the plastic shield (making sure it is oriented properly to screw back to the rest of the connector when you are done.) Run the red wire (or the longer wire you have soldered to it) and solder it to the DC power connector so that it is connected to the External side of the power connector, and the black wire so that it is connected to the inner conductive cylinder. Screw the plastic shield back onto the DC power connector. If you need to use electrical tape to tidy up a bit do so. Put 6 "D" cells following the directions imprinted into the battery holders (should be in alternating directions with the + of the last battery attached to the red wire).

Now plug in your Korg, turn it on and have a blast...... (please be carefull, don't goof your wiring.....I can not be responsible for the safety of your device...........) I have had mine running on battery power now for the last two days, and so far no problems, but I have not tried everything out.....Please back up your Korg while on the power supply first...dont want to loose anything if your battery dies during an operation! You Could of course use "C" or "AA" batteries with appropriate holders, I went with "D"'s simply because of their charge capacity. I am guessing that I will get between 10 and 20 hours run time per set of batteries. So far 5 hours running and no sign of problems...I would not use a 9v battery despite the relative ease of connecting it up because of the low capacity.

As for the Korg ES-1 itself, it is a blast to play with. The time-based method of assigning sample playback times is easy to grasp and use. I do wish that there was more memory and that we had more "Parts" or samples available to use with each pattern (enough to provide several instruments with several octaves worth of samples would have been ideal (a small dial to select a bank next to the sample ("Part") buttons would have been sufficient. I also wish that Songs, Patterns and samples would save to Smart media cards individually and in formats that could be worked with. As it is now, you can not work with a sample taken by the ES-1, as it saves a single file backing the entire device to a proprietary file. Saving WAV's and Midi's (for the patterns and songs) would be infinitely more useful. At least you can work with WAVs and AIFFs externally then load them off smart media cards (using the filename trick "00 thru 99.wav") but patterns and songs only exist ON the Korg, there is no import ability, and your work can not be transfered elsewhere when you have it the way you want it. Finally, It would be nice to have each effect indepedent of each other, and a true pitch conserving time-stretch would be a real plus.

Now, I have come up with quite a list of "flaws" or improvements. But given the sheer flexibility, power, ease of use, and just plain fun to use of the Korg ES-1, and given the portability with its new "battery" I give it a 5 out of 5 (4.5 would be correct, but since I have to pick a 4 or 5, this will have to do). For the price it is quite a bargain........

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Aug-29-2000 at 18:32
Jason Slaughter a part-time user from Detroit, Michigan, USA writes:
Basicly, the ES-1 is a dream for doing on-the-fly improvised drum programming.

I do live improvised electronic music, and other than possibly the EMU SP-1200 (and to pay $1000 for a 12 bit sampler? HELL NO!!), nothing fit the bill better than the ES-1. I was looking at other samplers to use, and all of them had their option buried under menus, and required a whole lot of complex stuff to sequence. With the ES-1, everything you need to do has a button or knob, and can easily be accessed in real time.

The ES-1 sequences like the old Roland X0X beat boxes... Imagine having a 909 that samples, and that is what you have with the ES-1. Changes to a pattern do not take place until a pattern reloops. That means that while a pattern is playing, you can go in and reprogramm, and be constantly changing your music... In 10 years, the ES-1 will be concidered a classic. The only drawback is only one output... but that is a small price to pay... Straight up, the ES-1 is the ONLY sampler that lets you easily program your own beats IN REAL TIME. That alone gets it a 5 out of 5!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-21-2000 at 23:32
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