Korg Unveil 3 New Synths: modwave, ARP 2600M and miniKORG 700FS

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The NAMM show as we know it may not be happening this year, but that doesn’t mean party’s cancelled and Korg certainly aren’t about to take a break from their usual product release cycle. To coincide with the ‘NAMM Believe in Music’ online event, Korg have unveiled a bevvy of new products including three new synths. Well, technically one new synth and two reimagined classics, but all up there’s an undeniably alluring assortment of modern innovation and vintage nostalgia to take in here.


First there’s the brand new modwave which follows in the digital footsteps of Korg’s recent wavestate and opsix synths, this time embracing wavetable synthesis with nods to their classic DW-8000 from 1985. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at modwave last year and it looks to be every bit as deep and innovative as its wavestate and opsix digital brethren.

Starting with the wavetable synth engine, choose from 200+ wavetables, each with up to 64 waveforms utilizing 30+ modifiers and 13 morph types. Add the ability to create hybrid waveforms between the two oscillators for an astounding 230+ million wavetable variations.

Then there’s the KAOSS Pad style touch pad curiously labeled ‘KAOSS Physics’ which serves as a ‘gamified’ x-y modulation source complete with virtual bouncing ball environments featuring parameters such as surface friction and bumps, which can themselves, of course, be modulated.

In the vein of wavestate’s ‘Wave Sequencing 2.0’ there’s Motion Sequencing 2.0 which takes Korg’s renowned parameter automation and phrase sequencing to mind blowing new heights with per lane duration and randomization settings, which can themselves (again) be modulated.

This is obviously a sound sculpting and modulation behemoth with way too much to cover here but stay tuned for a full demo as soon as we get our hands on one!

ARP 2600M

Next we have the ARP 2600M which will no doubt excite those who missed out on the very limited quantities of ARP 2600 FS Korg introduced at last year’s NAMM show. This desktop friendly revision comes in at 60% the size of the original but still employs all the care and attention to detail as its full size predecessor.

As well as being notably smaller (still not miniature by any stretch) there are a few minor changes and improvements compared with the ARP original, and even the recent full size reissue:

  • Connect any class compliant MIDI controller such as a KORG microKeys, nanokeys or SQ-64 to one of the ARP 2600 M’s USB ports (USB-A and USB-B) and automatically get full control of your instrument!
  • Two types of filters from two versions of the original ARP 2600(4012 type, 4072 type)
  • DIN MIDI IN added
  • Pitch-bend, Modulation, Portamento ON/OFF and Portamento ON/OFF can be controlled through MIDI CC messages (USB/DIN MIDI)
  • Normalized voltage: The threshold of the trigger signal required to activate the ADSR through the S/H GATE JACK has been reduced from 10V to 5V, making it much easier to use in combination with other gear such as volcas or Eurorack modules
  • Improved Attack and Release time ratios-L/R Stereo Output Jack (instead of XLR)
  • Speakers turn automatically off when using headphones-Improved, smoother sliders

The 2600M comes in a custom case with casters as standard, while a limited edition introductory version includes a special colour case and a KORG microKEY2-37 USB keyboard controller.

miniKORG 700FS

Lastly Korg have a surprise treat for fans classic synths with the limited edition miniKORG 700FS, a faithful recreation of their very first analog monosynth frorm 1973. Or more accurately, their second monosynth as this model includes the second oscillator, spring reverb, arpeggiator and aftertouch from the miniKORG’s 1974 revision, the 700S.

As Korg explain, synthersiser design was still very experimental in 1973 so the miniKORG 700’s interface may come across as a little eccentric with its multicoloured controllers and equally colourful parameter terminology. This is of course nothing to be negative about as the miniKORG 700 is positively brimming with character, not to mention thick analog tone.

Complete with authentic vintage ’70s KORG branding, you’d be hard pressed to tell this re-issue from the original at first glance, however there are some very welcome updates and improvements such as a pitch/mod joystick, preset store/recall, USB, MIDI and CV/GATE in.

The full size, aftertouch equipped keybed is absolutely designed for performance, so thoughtfully the miniKORG 700FS comes equipped with a custom hard case.

Other announcements from Korg include:

  • LP-380U, an updated version of their Japanese made LP-380 home piano with USB audio and MIDI
  • ST-WL, wooden legs for their SV-2 and D1 digital pianos
  • GM-1, group metronome which uses infrared to synchronize multiple units.

No word on Australian pricing or availability yet but stay tuned to Noisegate for more info and video reviews coming soon!

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