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#2124517 07/28/13 11:16 PM
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So I passed my PX-5S on to a home where it will hopefully be fully appreciated. It's a great piece of kit at such a manageable weight, but unfortunately the sounds, while good, didn't really do too much for me.

Before Christmas I had tried out the Korg Krome 73, and then traded up to the 88 to get a usable, more piano-like action. As someone who didn't want either the weight or the (awesome) functionality of the Kronos - not to mention the price - the Krome seemed like a good compromise. What I hadn't taken into account was the size of that beast. One gig in a basement club with narrow stairs and a postage stamp stage area, and I realized it wasn't going to work out, so off it went. I had also worried about the flimsy power connector, and lengthy (1 min.) boot-up. However, as time went on, I realized I missed a lot about the Krome, and in particular the EPs.

The Krome's much vaunted unlooped APs are good and very playable, although perhaps not quite as characterful as some, but the EPs have something a little special about them. Notes played in isolation don't have quite the detail of the best offerings, but I find them almost addictive to play as they respond very well and sound great. And so, when an almost new, and very reasonably priced Krome 61 popped up on Craigslist, I jumped on it.

I've hooked it up to the Nord Piano, and the Fatar action works pretty well controlling the Krome. What isn't so easy to figure out is the effects routing when playing the Krome's pianos via MIDI, and playing non-piano sounds from the Korg's own keys. However, I'm getting there.

I'm really pleased to be revisiting the Krome. It may only be an enhanced ROMpler with a so-so action, but Korg has done a great job with the sounds. Now, with the 61-key version, I don't feel like I'm about to launch the Queen Mary every time I sit in front of it, and it gives me a fast synth action when I choose to use it as a top tier board over the NP88. Coupled with the Nord, it also gives me a different flavor of AP and EPs over and above what's in the NP. Its biggest drawback in that configuration is the lack of a clonewheel engine and drawbars, but I shall work on the Krome's organs to see if I can make them usable.

Anyway, I thought it worthwhile posting a few more thoughts about this 15lbs board. When compared with the 12lbs Roland VR-09, it blows that out of the water in terms of the APs and EPs (although the reverse is true in respect of organs).


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Interesting reading voxpops. wink

It seems that the grass is always green when it comes to DPs/keyboards.

I had a very quick tinker on the Krome a few months ago (when Mike Martin was in town). Although just a brief experience, I agree that the EPs have quite a special character.

However, I'm sure that when Clavia eventually get around to refreshing the EP samples (any day now...surely, right?), they'll be retake the 'best EPs in a hardware board' crown.

Cheers,
James
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I do agree with voxpops - Krome is definitely worth to discuss here.

My story is as follows: I bought my Krome73 as a light gig substitution and immediately I faced the unnatural dissonance between its mature AP-EP sounds and the light flimsy keybed. I expected the keys to be like this before buying, as they were the same as in Korg M50 - not bad at all for the price. But for that good AP&EP sound the light synth action wouldn't fit anyway.

So I just had to buy Studiologic SL990-pro as the cheapest reliable hammer keys to play with the Krome as a sound modul. That didn't work out for me nevertheless - SL990 wouldn't give you full 128 points of velocity however hard you beat the keys, so the nice sounded sharp Krome' EP accents was impossible to express.

Then I was going to exchange my Krome73 to Krome88... But I still didn't like the action even on 88 version. It is a pity they don't produce Krome with RH3 (like in SP250 and Kronos 73-88, AFAIK the Korg's best keybed so far).

Finally I connected the Krome with my good old Roland RD-100, and they fell in love to each other. I put the light Krome directly to the RD-100 with some additional support so that they are close and easy to operate both simultaneously.
And now it appeared that this traveling "laptop" setup (RD-100+Krome) works better for me in some way than my primary one consisting at the moment of such things as Roland FP-80+Korg Kronos61+ Yamaha Motif XS!
A dream of mine is to get a Krome-M one day, something similar to Korg M3M...

And for those who interested in Krome AP sound - here is (in RAR archive) a small piece for a blind test; attached MID file have been played and written as MP3 on both Clavia Nord Stage2 (3 variants included) and Krome AP (2 variants).
The piece is a bit tricky with its sharp fast notes, but - who will guess which numbers of the mp3 files correspond to which instrument?


Last edited by Petro; 07/29/13 07:20 AM.
Petro #2124699 07/29/13 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Petro
So I just had to buy Studiologic SL990-pro as the cheapest reliable hammer keys to play with the Krome as a sound modul. That didn't work out for me nevertheless - SL990 wouldn't give you full 128 points of velocity however hard you beat the keys, so the nice sounded sharp Krome' EP accents was impossible to express.

Had you tried adjusting the Krome's "Velocity Curve: Convert Position = PostMIDI" parameter? One of the nice features Korg has (possibly unique?) is that it has velocity curve adjustments available, not just to alter the response of its own action, but to alter its response as a "sound module" being triggered by external actions.

Originally Posted by Petro
A dream of mine is to get a Krome-M one day, something similar to Korg M3M...

A Krome module would be great. Since the 61-key version is $999, I'm guessing they could easily make a rack module (no keys, no screen) for $799 or less. For use as a simple sound module, a computer editor would be fine for creating storing the Programs/Combis, and then you could recall your sounds via MIDI. For more sophisticated use that would come closer to mimicking the real-time operation of the Krome as it is today with knobs and touchscreen, they could support an iPad for the touchscreen operation and ideally also a NanoKontrol to provide a bunch of hard sliders and buttons.

Originally Posted by Petro
And for those who interested in Krome AP sound - here is (in RAR archive) a small piece for a blind test; attached MID file have been played and written as MP3 on both Clavia Nord Stage2 (3 variants included) and Krome AP (2 variants).

3 variants + 2 variants = 5, but there are 6 files...? (Also, can you list which 3 Nord Pianos you selected?)

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What does that mean for the FP-50 ? And how do you compare the Roland ap and EP to the Krome, if I may ask. Thought you where pretty happy with the dynamic sound of the Roland (?)

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Oh, I am sorry, there are 6 indeed. They are:
NS2(Grand Imperial)
NS2(Italian Grand)
NS2(Studio Grand2)
NS2(Grand Lady)
Krome(KROME Grand Piano)
Krome(German Dark Grand)

Honestly - the test is really tricky - the secret of similarity is in that midi piece - fast and sharp notes. But there is still a slight difference among them.

anotherscott
Had you tried adjusting the Krome's "Velocity Curve: Convert Position = PostMIDI" parameter? Shame for me, I haven't! I just didn't know about such feature yet... A little bit late, I've sold the 990 alredy, but Thank you anyway, I'll read the manual at least in fine.


Last edited by Petro; 07/29/13 10:37 AM.
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JFP Yeh, it was the comparison heck again, because both are quite good. For most of pieces of music I perform I've had to try again and again, still in progress though...

From the dynamic-diapason point of view the Krome (and Kronos of course) is even better than Roland, it will add the sharp 'rattling' accents on some EP's. Very special indeed as it was said above. The Roland's are just nice, but mostly mild, crystal and clean, therefore both are usable depending on your needs.

Last edited by Petro; 07/29/13 11:10 AM.
JFP #2124743 07/29/13 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by JFP
What does that mean for the FP-50 ? And how do you compare the Roland ap and EP to the Krome, if I may ask. Thought you where pretty happy with the dynamic sound of the Roland (?)

It means nothing has changed re the FP-50. That is my "solo" piano that replaced a combination of FP-4 and FP-7F. The Krome is for band/studio use.

The Roland piano is darker and richer than the Krome's, but both are very playable as long as the controller you're using (if you don't have the Krome 88) is a good match. The EPs are much more expressive in the Krome.

One thing I should point out is that it's possible to run into polyphony issues on the Krome much more noticeably than on the Roland - or most recent DPs. Do a final, sustained, arpeggio from bass to treble areas at the end of a number, say, and the Krome is likely to cut off the earliest bass notes very audibly. You get roughly 30 notes before this happens.

Korg says this:
"Maximum Polyphony:

120 voices (120 Oscillators) / Single Mode

60 voices (120 Oscillators) / Double Mode

*The maximum simultaneous voice polyphony will vary depending on oscillator settings such as stereo multisamples and velocity crossfading."

Pianos run in double mode, and I suppose if they're stereo that cuts the available voices in half - plus there's probably crossfading going on as well.


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Interesting reading voxpops. wink

It seems that the grass is always green when it comes to DPs/keyboards.

Well, almost.... For me, it usually has a slightly dried up, yellowish tinge that's mildly disappointing. I think I may be mowing too frequently! On the other hand, the neighbor's yard looks so temptingly fresh and green!! wink

Quote
I'm sure that when Clavia eventually get around to refreshing the EP samples (any day now...surely, right?), they'll be retake the 'best EPs in a hardware board' crown.

Oh yes, any day! Those extra wrinkles I've developed in the meantime must just be due to spending too much time in the sun. grin


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Petro, and others with the Krome, you might want to consider downloading the M50 Vintage EPs pack from Korg. There are some great additional Rhodes and Clav variations in the pack (although I don't think much of the Wurli). They really expand on what's already in the Krome, and I strongly suspect that they make full use of the enhanced EP waveforms that the Krome offers.

When loading the pack, it defaults to targeting Bank E, which contains some of the Krome's drum kits. Not wishing to disturb the Krome's existing programs I loaded the 30+ sounds individually, redirecting them to user bank F.

I also loaded the majority of the Best of Triton sounds for the Krome, but would probably only use one or two patches from that set. As others have remarked, they seem pretty dated now.

Given the huge variety of EPs on offer, and the excellent AP, I'm glad I returned to Kromania!


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Originally Posted by voxpops
So I passed my PX-5S on to a home where it will hopefully be fully appreciated. It's a great piece of kit at such a manageable weight, but unfortunately the sounds, while good, didn't really do too much for me.

Before Christmas I had tried out the Korg Krome 73, and then traded up to the 88 to get a usable, more piano-like action. As someone who didn't want either the weight or the (awesome) functionality of the Kronos - not to mention the price - the Krome seemed like a good compromise....

Thanks for reporting so thoroughly voxpops! You are our 9-lived canary in the DP coalmine, where there are so few real gems to be found.

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You're welcome, dewster, but doesn't the canary always suffocate eventually? wink


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Originally Posted by voxpops
So I passed my PX-5S on to a home where it will hopefully be fully appreciated. It's a great piece of kit at such a manageable weight, but unfortunately the sounds, while good, didn't really do too much for me..


Good to know and thanks for honest lowdown in other posts on the Casio vp. It re-affirmed my impressions of playing the 350 a half dozen times or so in the store. I think for a large percentage of players, both pro and of hobbyist nature, the PX-5 is perfect. But being the picky pia I am, it's simply not for me at this time.

For the time being I'll hang with the Nord Piano, it does the job fine although not very inspirational to play. I'm trying not to dwell on the negative factors on all these dps, instead preferring to put my energy into practicing and just take all these models for what they are. wink I've found the more practicing I'm doing and the more my chops are up ; the better I'm equipped to deal with all the inadequacies of any dp..

All that said, I do miss my CP5 in spite of the schlep. The only electronic keyboard I can honestly I say wish I hadn't sold. I'll wait and see about the new Yamahas, whenever that might be.. smirk Will definitely check out the Kurzweil Artis, also whenever that shows up.


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Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
being the picky pia I am, it's simply not for me at this time.

For the time being I'll hang with the Nord Piano, it does the job fine although not very inspirational to play. I'm trying not to dwell on the negative factors on all these dps, instead preferring to put my energy into practicing and just take all these models for what they are. wink I've found the more practicing I'm doing and the more my chops are up ; the better I'm equipped to deal with all the inadequacies of any dp..

All that said, I do miss my CP5 in spite of the schlep.


High five from another pita!

Yes, the Nord is probably the safest bet, still, despite the marked slowdown in releases of new samples.

Yamaha: I've come to realize that their sample layers are VERY HEAVY. 4 layers plus a Rhodes model weighs a hefty 55lbs, and 5 layers will mean you have to haul 60lbs! I think that the layers must be hewn from seams of base metal.

Kawai: HI and PHI are also quite weighty technologies, coming in at 45lbs plus. But UPHI is positively backbreaking at around 70lbs. Those ultra progressive harmonic images must be etched into lead sheets. I can't think of any other reason for them being so impossible to install in lighter boards.

Roland: SN is clearly crafted from a lighter substance, as it can be installed in 36lbs boards. But with them, it's all those little extra goodies that pile on the weight.

For goodness sake! When will these companies understand that there is a market for their best technology in a lighter weight package? mad


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Originally Posted by voxpops
Petro, and others with the Krome, you might want to consider downloading the M50 Vintage EPs pack from Korg.

Thanks, but did you mean the "Best of M1" from here http://www.korg.com/uploads/Download/USA_Krome_Best_of_M1.zip ? There are no other soundware in Krome section on the off. site apart from this and Best_of_Triton?

Whatever, thanks, I just downloaded this M1 pack, and what is interesting - have you noticed that big SAMPLE.IMG file in the packet? Does this mean the new sampled sound stuff in there? And does it mean the rumors of possibility of using Krome as a light sampler come true one day? If they can do it, someone will find the way soon for home-made samples as well.

Last edited by Petro; 07/30/13 08:39 AM.
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Originally Posted by Petro
Whatever, thanks, I just downloaded this M1 pack, and what is interesting - have you noticed that big SAMPLE.IMG file in the packet? Does this mean the new sampled sound stuff in there? And does it seems the rumors of possibility of using Krome as a light sampler come true one day? If they can do it, someone will find the way soon for home-made samples as well.


Yes, it definitely contains sample data - just open up the file in any sample data and you can hear/see the waveforms.

Cheers,
James
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Thanks, and a question for you BTW - What's with velocity curves on ES7 midi out? Does it provide the full 1-128 diapason?
By chance I just got a proposal of the mint ES-7 at as low as 1100 Euro, so it is tempting to put out to grass my RD-100 which is 13 years old already. Tempting really...

Last edited by Petro; 07/30/13 09:25 AM.
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Originally Posted by voxpops
...but doesn't the canary always suffocate eventually?

Yes, but like the energizer bunny you somehow stay in the DP game after repeatedly taking one for the team.

Originally Posted by voxpops
Yamaha: I've come to realize that their sample layers are VERY HEAVY. 4-layers plus a Rhodes model weighs a hefty 55lbs, and 5-layers will mean you have to haul 60lbs! I think that the layers must be hewn from seams of base metal.

It's actually depleted uranium with a heavy outer coat of diamond encrusted platinum. Hence the weight and cost. Freedom isn't free, something, something.

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depleted uranium? ))) You better be careful with the secret formula. There are many international Google-English-speaking guests here, who could get it literally. Yamaha won't approve this loosing them as buyers.

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Originally Posted by Petro
Originally Posted by voxpops
Petro, and others with the Krome, you might want to consider downloading the M50 Vintage EPs pack from Korg.

Thanks, but did you mean the "Best of M1"

No I meant the M50 Vintage EPs - Just open the soundware tab on this page:
Korg M50

The M50 files can be installed into Krome (but not vice versa).


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