Korg microKONTROL
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Korg microKONTROL

microKONTROL, 32/37-Key MIDI Keyboard from Korg in the micro series.

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content in English
robdelap 28/07/2014

Korg microKONTROL : la opinión de robdelap (content in English)

"Pretty, compact, useful."
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Midi controllers, midi controllers everywhere! o/

I chose this particular one because of it's small size, which fits perfectly on my desk just front of my qwerty keyboard. It also features all of the standard controls you'd expect in bigger controllers: 8 knobs, 8 faders, 16 velocity sensitive pads, an XY joystick and three octaves, which should accommodate for most of the day to day midi exercises of the project studio and pro studios that need a desktop solution.

It's also very, very sexy with it's metal framing (maybe a bit too korgish for some people) and pretty well made, and 9 LCD 6-letters-long 3-color displays that show the value of either the knob or fader in question and a label of the parameter you're adjusting, the extra one being for a central knob that serves as a setup knob. Sadly though, these cannot be customized (you pick the labels from inside the controller), but on some DAWs like (il)Logic it does reflect the parameters you see on screen.

You can run this little cutie on 6 AA batteries, and included AC adaptor or just do it like everyone else and power it directly through the USB port (the square to classic kind). Yeah.

UTILIZATION

If you've ever used korg's stuff you know exactly what you're getting into: Changing parameters takes a couple of dj-esque moves such as holding a button then pressing another then turning a knob then hitting save to get the job done. It's not a bad system, it's 'color coded' and once you get the hang of it you'll be doing just fine and perhaps look a little cool in the process, unless you take out the manual and prefer to look like a nerd.

If you do choose the latter, it's also a very straightforward manual and it shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes to do some troubleshooting.

Scene changing is a breeze and you can hold up to 12 in the internal memory, which should appeal to those looking to control several devices during a live show. You can edit these on the included librarian software, but I feel it's much faster to do so on the keyboard itself since the program takes too much mouse work to feel effective.

I use it mostly to doodle ideas in Live, and it took some basic .txt programming and tutorials to get it to automatically control the faders, knobs and pads that the software was displaying, and that it does very well after I got that figured out. These controls feel good, more so the knobs than the faders, which feel toyish sometimes.

I must, however, say that the pads do suck. They are trash compared to Akai's or M-audio's. When on velocity-sensitive mode, they respond awkwardly and it's never like you intended to, and when used on a fixed velocity, sometimes you get double notes or no notes at all. If pad-drumming is your thing, you'll do better with an Axiom or an Akai MPK.

The keys are fine and deliver for said doodling and the three octave range works for me, but they might feel awkward to true piano players. But hey, you did read the 'micro' on the name when you bought it right?

OVERALL OPINION

It has served me well and it's there where I need to twist or push something in the midi realm, but hardcore key programmers or piano players might want to go for something more pro. I've thought about upgrading to a more sophisticated controller, but somehow it doesn't wanna leave it's place on my desk.

I feel it's a good piece for the price, and mine has hold up very well for the last 4 years. That being said, it's a not-that-serious controller, and you an easily go more pro, and you should, if you're a hardcore midi user.