Understanding the Korg Music Workstation
Music Workstations of the higher price range (above Rs 50,000) are also known as Music Production Keyboards, which is a major facet of their use, apart from their use on stage as a lead instrument for playing with a band.
Korg’s Kronos-2, Krome & Kross-2 are leading Music Workstations.
Music Workstations give the user a very good quality of sound to perform on stage with an easy selection of sounds by way of banks as also the option of multi layering / multi splitting (up to 16 parts) of sounds. They offer use of Multi Effects on Individual sounds or layered/split sounds by way of IFX (insert effects with no separate send controls) and MFX (Master Effects with send control) plus even total effect (using compressor, limiter) on high end keyboards like Kronos-2 to control the final output of the sound.
Workstations offer a detailed sequencer for onboard song programming. Some of the models also offer audio recording (upto 16 tracks in the case of Kronos & up to 2 tracks on Kross-2) over and above 16 MIDI tracks.
Further features include Arrpegiators, Karma, RPPPR (pattern playing in real time using keys), and a drum track. Top end model Kronos-2 also offer on board sampling features which allows the import of audio files (sounds or drum loops) in different formats like .wav, .aiff, and soundfont apart from the company’s own format, to create localized sounds and drum patterns where as entry level Kross-2 offers Sample Loop playback using on board Pads.
Workstations are also very useful in the recording studios by virtue of their ability to open as a plug-in in most DAW softwares & mapped to its MIDI parameters. The keyboard can therefore be used as a VST standalone plug-in or as a MIDI controller keyboard with a host of trigger features like slider, joystick and assignable switches.
Workstations are usually very compact and lightweight, which is a basic need of keyboardists while traveling and transporting.