[NAMM] Korg Pa500
Korg introduces their latest keyboard arranger, the Pa500.
It all begins with sound. Based on the EDS (Extended Definition Synthesis) engine found in the Korg M3, Pa800 and Pa2XPro, the Pa500 provides 80 voices of polyphony and a breathtaking quality of sound. Over 880 fully editable sounds are preloaded (In addition to a full GM soundset and 56 drumkits), representing a full range of musical instruments from almost every genre - each exploding with depth, nuance, subtlety, accuracy and richness. The User area has space for up to 128 user sounds and 64 drum kits.
For many years, Korg workstations, synthesizers and digital recording studios have included quality effects. In that same tradition, the Pa500 offers four stereo processors plus a Final semi-parametric three band EQ containing a treasure trove of effects, from rich reverbs and dazzling delays to guitar-type modeling effects from Korg’s renowned REMS series – 124 different effects in all. And you’ll appreciate the separate three-band EQ on each track for dialing in that perfect sound.
The Pa500 delivers a set of styles, programmed by some of the leading arrangers in the world; each of whom worked according to their musical strengths. The result is over 320 preloaded Styles that provide unparalleled realism and detail, adding anything from tasteful guitar picking, a tight bass and drum groove, a powerhouse R & B rhythm section all the way up to a full orchestra! Styles follow your timing, voice leading and chord changes to create an amazingly defined musical performance in real-time. With up to eight parts, four variations, three intros/count-in, three fills/break and three endings, each Style is a complete musical environment. Additional parts or “riffs” can be sequenced and triggered in real time using the assignable Pads. Advanced features such as Syncro Start/Stop, Fade In/Out, Assignable Pads, Tap Tempo and Manual Bass allow you to spontaneously add complex and professional touches to your performances.
When creating a guitar part for your Style, you can chose a chord, capo position, and literally transform the keyboard into the fretted strings of the chord to allow realistic picking patterns, strums, chokes, slides, hammer-ons and other “guitar-specific ” artifacts. The result is stunning. Best of all, the Pa500 can automatically enhance the guitar tracks of existing Standard Midi Files.
Four STS (Single Touch Settings) buttons allow you to have up to four sounds split and layered across the keyboard and switch them all instantly with a single button press. The STS assignments can be saved independently for each Style. Each of the 256 Performance settings can instantly recall the Style, Sounds, effects, tempo, key and scale used to perform a particular song.
In addition to traditional “track at a time ” workstation sequencing, the Backing Sequencer allows you to create songs quickly and easily by capturing multiple Style driven parts at once. You don't need to be a master programmer – even beginners can write their own song in minutes. In fact, you don’t even need to play at all! Using the Step Edit/Entry feature, you can simply type in the chord changes, fills and style changes in step-time – a big boost for arrangers and non-keyboardists. This quick approach to programming is also useful in the studio for creating professional, great-sounding backing music for commercial, film, video, multimedia or internet applications. The sequencer provides massive editing power – you can even edit the tone parameters of each track.
With Korg’s XDS Dual Sequencer, one can load as the other plays, and a DJ-style cross fader can blend between them, providing a seamless, continuous musical performance. The Pa500 can playback SMF (Standard Midi File), Karaoke files, and GM (General MIDI) files - and is able to display lyrics in most popular karaoke formats. There is also a practical Marker function to allow you to jump directly to a given position in the song: you can fix the markers using the internal sequencer (or using a computer based one - the marker format is standard) and then remix your favorite songs during a live performance for added spontaneity.
The SongBook feature was developed to make your life easier while playing live. The SongBook is a Musical Database, completely user programmable, containing all the settings needed to play a particular song. You have only to search for the song you would like to play by Song Title, Genre, Artist, Tempo, etc. and press “play” . Each SongBook entry will instantly recall every setting you’ve saved in order to play that song perfectly – Sounds, Style, Performance, Volumes, Muted Tracks, FX settings, Easy Edit, STS settings, Master Transpose and more. This indispensable musical feature is unique to Korg.
With all the technological power packed inside, it was vital that we also made the Pa500 easy to understand and easy to use. But we went even further, creating an instrument that provides an intuitive, musical, fast, foolproof experience. With our amazing TouchView display you can simply think, see and touch the panel for easy and intuitive control. So that musicians of all levels can make great music quickly, there are two interface modes: Easy and Expert. The Easy mode shows only the essential elements with bright, bold icons. useful for beginners or playing live – while Expert mode provides full editing control. And when you need more information, check out the on-board contextual Help System – in any of seven languages! In addition to 61-velocity sensing keys, the Pa500 provides a four-way joystick, assignable switch, assignable slider, assignable pedal jack and four pads provide the tools to spice up your performance by changing effect settings, adding or muting parts, slowing the tempo, or even adding “mini-sequenced ” solo, arpeggio, or backing riffs. Nothing stands between you and your professional performance.
In addition to providing a USB/MIDI computer connection for moving and saving data, the Pa500 can also save and read data from SD / MMC memory cards for instant access to your custom data, MIDI files and songs. The back panel also features MIDI (In, Out), Audio Ins (1, 2) and Outs (L, R), and pedal (damper, assignable) connections.
Hiding inside is a full stereo sound system with two double cone speakers in a bass reflex enclosure for the best sound in a small box. The Pa500 is completely self-contained and easily transportable – whether rushing to a gig, jamming with friends, or teaching a new tune to the band. We couldn’t fit any more fun in here if we tried. Keep your Pa500 feeling new with operating system updates. These updates are available as free downloads from www.korgpa.com and will ensure your investment is protected.
Available February 2008. Price to be announced.