Synth Site: Korg: X3 Synthesizer Workstation: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.0 out of 5
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DiosHaMuerto a hobbyist user from Colombia (SouthAmerica) writes:
1. Wierd Combi Sounds to feed up my sampler.... 2. To Program Drums Patterns (loops) is easy and adding distortion effects gives industrial or heavy rythms.... 3. One of the easyest sequencer in a workstation... 4. Captures all the SYSX from my AN1x and they tag along well, with the Phatness of the AN1x and the mystical sounds and distorted drums from the X3.....

Nos vemos en las curvas.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-23-1999 at 10:36
Scott a part-timer user from USA writes:
I bought my X-3 new in '92, and still, it is the mainstay of my rig. After you get familiar with it's sounds, composition is a breeze. The sequencer is one of the best/easiest to use, and all of my comps are done on this. The ability to control all of my other synths/modules makes it indispensable. The sequencer will accept sysex dumps from other machines, making it a valuable storage medium as well.

It does suffer from the lack of resonant filters, but once you get around that, you can work with it where it really shines. Pads. Moving, swirling, evolving, revolving. This thing can add thickness to any piece. It does have a tendancy to sound "dark", but depending on your style, this can be a bonus. Used in conjunction with one of the more punchy, bright Roland boards, and a touch of analog, this board shines. Call me sick, but I really enjoy the action of the keyboard, and find it second only to my D-50 in terms of expressive control. Gigged with it for years, wouldn't live without it. Korg supports free ROM upgrades, the final version was V.50.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-02-1999 at 11:24
Nathan Mann a part-timer user from USA writes:
I owned an o1/Wfd for four years and an X3R for 6 months, though I used it in my band for 3 ys. One thing that you have to be ready for is that Korg synths have grainy samples and are all mids compared to other brands of synths. The X3 suffers from Korg's typical lack of resonant filters and has the unfortunate absence of the 01/W's waveshaping. On the positive side, the X3 makes due with only 2 oscilator patches compared to up to four in other synths, which frees up a lot of polyphony. The X3, like other Korg synths of the era, have very limited drum kit editing parameters, such as key#, level and panning, but drumkits are filtered and pitched as a whole within a patch. So many wierd variations can be had from one drum kit. Drum kits can be layered/split in any 16-part multitimbral arangement you wish and aren't hard wired to any particular channel or part as in some other synths. The effects section is undeniably an improvement over the 01/W. Two effects processors can produce either one stereo effect, or a pair of mono effects, such as chorus/delay. These mono effect pairs are preset combinations that cannot be changed. Vital to the X3s effects are the variety of effect routings available. With the four 1/4" outputs on the X3R module, four patches can each be assigned a separate output with a separate mono effect on each. It's not a terrible workstation, but the X3 doesn't have the synthesis parameters to satisfy the power user, nor does it have the somewhat intuitive sequencer functions of the "O" series.

posted Monday-Mar-15-1999 at 22:02
Pete a professional user from Canada writes:
This synth is a great buy for the money, great sounds ,great master controller. I love it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-16-1998 at 01:50
Tivor X-09137 a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Great machine. This was my first "real" synthesizer, and I have never regretted buying this thing. I've had it for about five years now, and I've used it to create many backing tracks in the comfort of my bedroom as well as to take it up on the stage. It hasn't let me down once. (I got an SKB hardcase for it, which surely had a big role in keeping my X3 reliable) Sounds are quite good, although they do lack that "edge." For general-purpose and pop arrangements, X3 is more than capable. 32-note polyphony isn't that big by today's standards, but they are certainly good enough for many sequences. The effect section is great also, and the internal mixer is versatile enough, and with the capable internal sequencer, you can really make some happenin' sequences with it. You gotta check out the demo songs that came on the disk. TOP-NOTCH!! It goes to show what the machine is capable of in the hands of a capable programmer.

Positives. Good sequencer, 16-tracks and 30000+ notes. Decent sounds. Some of the layered pad sounds are really funky. General MIDI (well, maybe that's a negative, depending on your perspective). 47 internal effects which sound pretty darn good. 32-note polyphony doesn't hurt, and internal disk drive (which reads MS-DOS formatted disks) is a big, BIG plus. I love the keyboard action, and I really dig that Korg joystick controller. It definitely has its advantages over regular wheel pitch bend and modulation controls. And as far as I can tell, it's really sturdy. Very reliable.

Negatives? Well, there are a few. The sounds are, as I mentioned above, not that sharp. If you want some sharper-than-razor-blade techno/industrial sound, look elsewhere. The sounds really lean toward general purpose pop. If you have your musical sights solely locked on techno/dance/industrial/etc, this isn't the machine for you. But if you're like me and would like to try many different musical genres, this is a great place to start.

Another negative: there are only 2 internal effects. While there are many choices for effects, being able to use only two at once really hurts. You can't change your effects in the middle of a song either. You COULD have two songs with different effect settings (the internal sequencer lets you "link" ten different songs together) play after one another, but during the song transition, the effects go off-line for about a second. This results in reverb tails abruptly getting cut off, etc. This limitation hurts the versatility of effects section. For many of my sequences, I ended up using just a reverb and a chorus (or delay). I wished on more than one occasion that I could use one more effects so that I can bring in the flanger or phaser, etc. Having only two audio outs didn't help either.

Lastly, the sounds are a pain to program. The manual doesn't help much either. This was the first synthesizer that I tried any sound programming, and the manual and the sound programming structure was of no help for me to learn the intricacies of the art. I seriously recommend using a computer editor for sound programming.

So..., in conclusion, I think this is a fine first-keyboard for music students. I know there are a more capable machines out there now, but for an all-in-one workstation, I can't imagine a much better machine. I have no idea how much an X3 goes for in a used market, but I doubt they'll be very expensive. (I bought mine for $1500 in 1993) Unless you are firmly decided on techno/dance genre, this is one heck of a machine, especially as the first keyboard in a growing MIDI setup.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Sep-16-1998 at 18:01
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