Korg

THE NEW KORG TRINITY

What does a company like Korg do to follow up on the incredible success of its best-selling M1, 01/W and i- and X-Series instruments? Simple, they just go out and design a brand new instrument that literally redefines the concept of the digital audio workstation. With the introduction of the awesome new Korg Trinity, the company has set a high standard that is sure to have the competition scrambling to catch up.

So what's the big deal about Trinity? Well, this amazing machine starts off with 24 megabytes of on-board PCM samples (which is the equivalent of 48 megs thanks to Korg's new 2:1 data compression method) with 375 waveforms, 259 percussion sounds in 12 kits, 256 presets and 256 combinations, plus 32-note polyphony and an optional 8 megabytes of flash RAM storage (more on that later). You can even add a plug-in card that effectively adds the new Korg Prophecy Synth to Trinity, giving you total access to all the new synthesis capabilities of that instrument (see page two for more on Prophecy).

Then there's Trinity's new touch-sensitive screen, a very cool feature that's sure to be an immediate sensation. All you have to do is reach out and touch the large, nicely backlit display to step through sounds or edit your programs and effects. All sorts of graphical icons appear on the screen to help you change parameters, making editing not just painless, but almost fun! Want a synth sound? Easy. You just press the screen under SELECT CATEGORY, choose SYNTH and the Trinity lists all the available synth-type programs for you, making the process nearly effortless. The whole concept is pretty fantastic (and quite addictive we might add!).

Of course, with an instrument of this sophistication, you get a full-featured 16-track sequencer with a whopping 80,000 note memory. And did we mention the 110 effects? There are 28 Level One effects (such as EQ and amp simulations), 52 Complex Modulator effects (chorus, doppler, etc.) plus 19 pitch shifters and delay lines. You can even chain together any combination of effects, just as long as you don't exceed eight total effects. You even get two sets of master effects (such as reverbs, delays and chorusing) to use in addition to the other effects at the main outs, plus a separate EQ section. Of course, Trinity's large, touch-sensitive screen makes editing effects a breeze. What's more, all effects edits can be stored within a Program or Combination, so you can edit to your heart's content without worrying about losing the original effect.

There's also, as you might expect, a DOS-compatible, high-density disk drive onboard, plus full SCSI capabilities. An optical (for connection to your Alesis ADAT XT) as well as an S/PDIF digital interface is available as an option, as is a 4-track hard disk recorder (did these guys think of everything, or what?)

Modulation routings on the Trinity are almost limitless. A function called Alternative Modulation Source enables just about any parameter or controller to modulate another, making for some very impressive real-time sonic possibilities. You can control the level or amount of the modulation via the pitch/mod stick or from Korg's touch-sensitive ribbon controller (a feature we particularly like).

We promised to mention Trinity's flash RAM capability and here's where things really get interesting. First of all, like the built-in ROM sounds, the flash RAM uses 2:1 data compression, meaning you get the equivalent of 16 megs of RAM! This is incredible! With flash RAM installed, you can load in sounds from any Korg or Akai library, then use that data either by itself or along with internal sounds to create just about any sound you can imagine. The possibilities are endless.

As you might expect, there's a ton of stuff we just don't have room to tell you about here. But we know you're wondering what such a powerful machine might cost. As expected, it's not cheap, but such innovative instruments rarely are. List price for the basic 61-note Trinity is $3599, while the Trinity Plus (with on-board Prophecy synth) retails for $3999. There will even be a Trinity Pro X with all the features of the other Trinity models plus an 88-note, fully weighted-action keyboard, digital I/O and hard disk recording for $6999. Of course, you know by now that we would never let you pay retail price for any product, so we'd suggest that you call your Sweetwater sales engineer for complete information, availability and special pricing on the Trinity of your choice.


KORG'S RADICAL PROPHECY SOLO SYNTHESIZER

The new Korg Prophecy wails like an authentic monophonic analog synth. Heck, with its 37-note keyboard, it even looks like an analog synth - one you're meant to really cut loose on for soaring leads lines or subwoofer-challenging bass. But there's more to this hot little keyboard than you might at first suspect from its outward appearance. First of all, it was designed by Korg's engineering team to produce the most accurate analog-sounding timbres, yet with the inherent stability and flexibility of a digital machine. And since it's a Korg product, there's a lot more horsepower under the hood. Like seven synthesis algorithms, including physical modeling of plucked string, brass and reed instruments plus ring modulation and VPM (essentially two-op FM synthesis) capabilities along with hard-sync, pulse width modulation and comb filtering. You also get dual oscillators with four LFOs, six envelope generators(!), plus Korg's own proprietary waveshaping, dual multimode filters and effects like distortion, auto-wah, panning, parametric EQ and chorus/reverb. There's even a built-in arpeggiator! Can you name any analog synth that has even a fraction of that sonic power?

Oh, but you want to know what it actually sounds like. Well, that's really the best part. It sounds fantastic! Yeah, we know, you hear the same thing about every synth or sampler that comes along, but the Prophecy is indeed in a class of its own. It's the only true, monophonic synth designed specifically for soloing, so you get exclusive new controllers for incredibly expressive real-time control of pitch bends, modulation, brightness, volume and more. Plus, this is the only truly affordable synth to offer the latest physical modeling synthesis technology which has its own totally unique sound.

Here's a little trivia for you: You might note that the name Prophecy is a bit reminiscent of the old Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 synthesizer. Actually, back in the mid-1980s, when Sequential fell on hard times, it was purchased by Korg and many of the engineers and product designers from the original Sequential team were retained by the company which also took possession of the proprietary Sequential technology (hence came the popular Korg Wavestation which was developed from a product originally designed by Sequential, the Prophet VS). So it's rather appropriate that this new instrument's name is very much like that of the legendary Prophet 5, which - in a complete turnaround of technology - was actually the first commercially available polyphonic synth.

All that history aside, this is an instrument that caused Keyboard magazine's Jim Aiken to write, "If you consider the amount of synthesis power in the box, the Prophecy is a steal at $1599 list... if ever there was a time for a rebirth of synth lead playing, the time is now." High praise, indeed!

If you're looking for an instrument to use for accompaniment, like for lush strings or thick analog pads, you'd best look elsewhere (like maybe at Korg's Trinity). Nope, this is strictly a solo synth, and a truly impressive one it is! So if solo synth is your thing, now's the time to call your Sweetwater sales engineer for more information and your special pricing on the fabulous new Korg Prophecy.


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