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My brief Korg OASYS review
Old 03-23-2005, 03:10 AM
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Default My brief Korg OASYS review

I finally got my hands on one today and
spent quite a bit of time with the beast.

It sounds really good. I especially liked the 100+ meg
and the 500+ meg Steinway piano samples. Both were
uncompressed and sampled with no loop points...
all full decay, if not a bit mid-rangy.

The virtual synth pads and leads were some of the best
I've heard. I really appreciated what little aliasing if
any, that I didn't hear especially in the higher ranges
which is where it's most obvious. Extremely fast LFO's.

The drums were of high fidelity in recording quality but okay sounding in terms of realism. I don't think clavia's ddrum should be nervous any time soon. Same with guitars. In my opinion, I still think the guits on
the Motif are still my favorite. There were some really nice leads with
delay and distortion and the acoustic guitars are very good with more nuances like fret noise and string swoops integrated.
The orchestral instruments are very good as well. There was a very nice chamber type demo on board which made good use of the various marcatto attacks on violin and viola. I still think that Kurzweil reigns supreme here. Very nice choir patches and one bank of scat a tat tat voices that are reminiscent of my Kurz Take 6 library. Korg has the upper hand on all the rest here in the vocal department. The brass and woodwind instruments are excellent but I still favor the Kurz's as far
as realism go. As far as badass Deep Purple type and jazz organs the OASYS has everyone (hardware based) beat, with such unbelievable realism and control.

The modeled trumpet sounded really good but was a far cry from
the Yamaha VL-1's trumpet.

Noticeably missing are the two arpeggiators common to the Triton
series. However, the new improved KARMA functions offer more
than what's missing from the old arps. This by far is the coolest
implementation on the board. From what I gathered, one can use
KARMA to control and manipulate the playback of actual samples
used to create each program's sound... WAY cooler on a synth of
this magnitude.

In Combi mode there are now 16 slots for programs.
This is great news for those who thought the original Tritons
were pretty limited at only 8 programs for layering and splits.
To put things into perspective, however, Kurz K2xx's allow up to
32 layers in Setup mode.

The effects section sounds STELLAR. You can now have up to 12 inserts
in sequence mode while retaining the original number of 2 master

The keybed on the 88 key version is graded exactly the same as on the Triton Studio 88 series.

While Korg claims that the board is open ended as far as software goes,
it doesn't totally seem the case. I probably won't be able to put just about ANYTHING in it like in the Open Labs Neko. I think it may be good to go proprietary here because Korg can provide quality control assurance if they know exactly what is going to go inside the board at all times.

For live purposes I wish that the board had some sort of PATCH HOLD
feature...that same feature on the Kurzweil K2XX series which allows
you to switch from sound to sound with NO audible interruption.
You'd think that for $8,000.00 you'd get that included too.

The interface is beautiful and the BEST I've seen yet on any
standalone synth workstation...10 inch screen, illuminated sliders, illuminated rotaries and all. Rumor has it that a 15 inch screen was originally what was planned, but would have added considerably to the list price. If you're familiar with the Trinity
on up to the current Tritons, getting around will be familiar, quick and easy.

Am I going to get this board? Hmmmmm....I'm not so sure.
Do I absolutely need it? No I don't. If you're like me and have
the basic sounds and utilities found in today's typical workstations + a VA/analog board and something of an exotic such as a V-Synth, then
you may not need to get this board. In fact, what you have may even
be more versatile, depending on your situational needs.

However, if you've got the cash and are tired of keeping track of all
your gear, performance or studio stuff, then this may be the one
for all in one solution. I was pleased with the built-in 16 track digital recorder with 4 audio ins (two of which are mic pres).
The tracks I heard sounded great even though recorded in only 16 bit.

All in all Korg's got a winner on its hands here.

I'll try to post some pics of me and the OASYS really soon.

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Old 03-23-2005, 04:04 AM
LithoJazzoSphere's Avatar
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That was quite informative, Frank. Seems as though even at eight grand we still haven't discovered the holy grail. I still think this board is cool from all the reading and listening (particularly all those sample videos on the KARMA labs site), but I'm feeling better about my decision to put my savings elsewhere for gear this summer.
Make music, not war.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:07 PM
gusjdt Offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 489

It sounds tempting, but I'm going to wait the price out till it goes cheaper.
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:11 AM
Omega Monkey Offline
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Im gonna wait till I can get one on ebay for 600 bucks!
Let me find you your perfect synth.

For more info, go here:
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:15 PM
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ChrisMcCoy Offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: not far from Washington, D.C.
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Originally Posted by Omega Monkey
Im gonna wait till I can get one on ebay for 600 bucks!
By then you'll probably be able to buy something much nicer with your 600 bucks...wait and see...
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