Korg ElecTribe ESX1
Korg ElecTribe ESX1

ElecTribe ESX1, Sampling Sequencer from Korg in the ElecTribe series.

James... 01/28/2012

Korg ElecTribe ESX1 : James...'s user review

« Sampler awesomeness on the cheapish »

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Incredible ease of use (you don't have to be a synth nut to program it)
New patterns from hot new artists
MMT (Multiple Modeling Technology) sound engine offers 16 types of tone generation
Twin vacuum tube Valve Force circuitry delivers analog warmth or menacing bite
3 stereo effects can be chained together for radical sound warping
Crisp filters and speedy-smooth timbral modulation
Built-in step sequencer for intuitive song production
Motion Sequence function captures and replays sound-tweaking knob movements
Powerful arpeggiator uses Korg's ribbon controller and slider for generating inspired phrases
Auto BPM Detection sets the tempo based on any external audio source
Number of parts: 16 total; 2 synth, 9 drum, 1 drum accent, 2 stretch, 1 slice, 1 audio
Number of samples (internal memory only): 384 (100 mono, 128 stereo), maximum 285 (mono) seconds
Internal memory storage: 256 patterns, 64 songs
Sampling frequency: 44.1kHz
Effects: 16 types x 3 (chain)
Sequencer: Pattern: Maximum 128 steps by part, maximum 24 motion sequence by pattern
Song: Maximum 256 patterns, maximum 20,000 event recording
Arpeggiator: Ribbon + slider, scale
Output: 1/4" TS main, 1/4" TS individual 3, 4, 1/4" headphone
Input: 1/4" TS audio in
MIDI: Input, output, throughput
External memory: Up to 32GB SDHC card media
Vacuum tube: 2 x 12AX7


Let's get down to bare bones here. I will be honest. This is a device that is priced toward the beginner/intermediate market and personally I think that's a good spot for it. But beginners should be weary that the electribe is not the simplest device to use. It's actually a fairly complex sequencer. With a surprising amount or horsepower. If you look at the spec sheet it's clear why, but a quick glance at the panel is going to tell you the same anyway.

Some people use these as a basic drum machine or sequencer device. Personally I like to use mine as an all purpose drum machine and sequencer for my synth. Basically what I do is take my keyboard, whatever it may be, and plug it into the electribe via midi. This allows me to beat sync all my keyboard tasks, along with all my drum machine tasks in real time.


Sounds quality is aces actually. Everything sounds fine. The converters are good. All the buttons have good responsiveness. At first it will be a bit awkward finding your way around sounds and different buttons because it's all kind of packed in there. But you get the hang of it.


Disclaimer. While this is indeed a lower end priced machine, you really need to know what you are doing to get the most functionality out of it. There's a reason that a lot of pros like these. They are very straightforward and they can do a ton. I would NOT recommend as a first device. You really need some prior experience with midi or software sequencing at least or you will be lost. That said this is a killer piece of hardware. Well worth the steal of a price.