I bought my Korg Karma at the local Guitar Center for about $1800, in June 2001, after deciding I wanted a keyboard with a built-in sequencer.
So far I have yet to explore some of the more complex options, but all of the presets sound amazing!! I know some people just use for example ACID and ACID's included loops to make songs, but they will eventually run out of loops without repeating themselves too much. Using the built-in adjustable phrases of the KARMA function, it would be possible to create at least five albums sequencing these phrases using a computer.
The Karma also boasts over 100 effects included ampsims, delays, reverbs, distortion, and many more I can't think of now. Though these effects don't support automation (as far as I can figure out) in the built-in sequencer, they still are well adjustable and sound good.
The Korg Karma includes over 1000 sounds which can be mix and matched to replicate real instruments. It also include effects from a car crash to applause to a telephone ringing.
Additionally, while all these presets are good, the Karma is fully customizable. You could change all the Programs and Combinations and then a year later load the original ones back using the included floppy and floppy drive. Pretty nifty.
Well, its damn complicated! Anyone looking to spend that much money should probably be well experienced, though.
Since I'm used to working with Cubase on a PC, I found the Karma sequencer a little hard to use. The LCD screen makes modifying things difficult but what would you expect. Also the large manuals don't really help until you figure out the whole general format of the thing. But pretty soon for me the Karma became no longer the enemy and instead a friend in music-making.
The color is kind of iffy, its a reddish-purple maroon color. There are plenty of assignable buttons and knobs, for certain chords, parameters like cutoff and resonance, and adjusting the KARMA function. These I have found good for live performing and recording (although you may need a helper as you only have two hands). The keys are fragile, but that goes for any keyboard. Its pretty heavy but portable enough for live performances. On the back it has a power in, a MIDI in, MIDI out, Left out, Right out, individual out 1, induvidual out 2, and jacks for pedals. On the front there is a stero headphone out jack.
Overall, the KARMA is a good keyboard. Pricey, but it contains all of the sounds of the Triton minus the Triton's sampler. Additionally it included the KARMA function, ideal for those of you not too good at making up your own melodies The sequencer isn't great, but hooked up to a Cubase-equipped PC, recording and sequencing is simple.
Also, the Karma is a little complicated, but it is extremely flexible, and once you get to know it, it becomes second nature. If you have the money and patience, try it out.
The main reason I purchased the Korg Karma was for the "Karma" feature which allows the user to create totally new sequences with the karma. The karma has about 1050 different GE(Generated Effects) for ex. it has about 20 diffierent types of arpeggios which sound great on pianos and strings and their synth basses! As far as what might be missing I would say it is really a function of the O.S. and Karma O.S.v2.0 is about to drop and from the user group the O.S. is going to be a beast!
Wow, usability huh? Well, about a week after I had purchased the karma( ebay) I was about to throw it out of the window! The learning curve is a not even a curve it is a perfectly vertical wall! I think the karma is a wonderful machine and it exposes a lot of configuration possibilities to the user which makes it a wonderful tool for experienced users and very intimidating to newbies.
No, i've never had to contact any user support. I am not a keyboardist much less a keyboardist for any band so I can't speak to using the karma live. The reviews i've read from live giggers though really blast the feel of the keys and the like. I can't play piano so all the keys feel the same to me so weighted keys are not a selling point for me when picking a keyboard.
I like the sounds, I have a proteus 2000 and I was really impressed by the warmth of the sounds on the proteus 2000 but the karma didn't dissappoint either! Its' sounds are not as warm( i think personally) but they are diverse enough and are generally very strong in timbre that what they may lack in warmth they make up in uniqueness.
Awwwwww, the karma is my baby, we've been through many a night in the studio. I would say that the karma is M16 of the electronica musican: a trusty machine that always produces results!
Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown ( 4-, 2002)
I love everything about this keyboard/workstation. The only complaint that I have is I wish I would have bought it sooner.
It's very easy to use, especially the sequencer(16 tracks). The manual is pretty good, but not perfect.
The only complaint I have is I'm afraid after using some of the buttons that are used over and over again they might wear out. Customer support is great because the guy that invented it will personally answer your questions on his yahoo group site.
The sounds are pretty good. There are a few that could be better. Some of the drum kits are a bit lame and the guitars aren't that great, but overall it's reaaly good. I don't really use any of the effects because I do all that in the studio when mixing. The only improvements I would recommend and I could say this about every keyboard, get rid of the weird stupid stuff nobaody uses and for the Karma speciffically, better drum kits.
Great keyboard and the price is great. Screw a triton and get the Karma.Most of the sounds are the same plus the K.a.r.m.a. function is cool.
Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown ( 3-, 2003)