The M3's firepower with dynamic drums, pleasing sounds, classic sequencing tools, and more.
Weighing in at just over 17 pounds, the fiery 73-key KORG M50 compact music workstation is full of incredible sounds; fat and juicy combis, splits, and layers; a plethora of ace effects; dynamic Drum Tracks; enhanced poly-arpeggiators; classic sequencing tools, a solid keybed; up-to-date SD storage; companion editing software, and Korg's TouchView interactive display. It all adds up to an invigorating and sexy KORG keyboard packed with the features you need for producing exciting compositions.
Over 20 years of category-defining workstation expertise beats in the heart of the M50-73 keyboard. Just as KORG's M3 borrowed elements from the legendary OASYS, the M50 captures all the sonic firepower of the M3, distilled into a performance instrument in a class of its own. In a word, the KORG M50 just may be the keyboard you've been waiting for. This 73-note version sports an enhanced semi-weighted Natural Touch keyboard, a fast and responsive synthesizer keybed that facilitates expressive and dynamic performing.
A Natural Performer
Made to be played, the KORG M50-73 Workstation is inviting and comfortable. Its TouchView screen is intuitive and interactive, allowing the uniquely angled front panel to remain refined and uncluttered. The buttons are rock solid, backlit, and rounded for visibility and ease-of-use under any playing conditions. In addition to KORG's four-way joystick and multifunction knobs, the M50 offers four Chord Triggers that provide a flexible and fun way to play chords and trigger arp patterns. A 10-key numeric keypad allows on-demand instant access to sounds, combis, and other parameter/values.
Perfectly Shaped Sounds
The M50-73 workstation is packed with over 600 individual sound programs, each one created by KORG's renowned international voicing team. With a robust 256MB of sample data—all recorded in exacting studio conditions—you get acoustic instruments delivered with authenticity and realism, providing rich, natural articulation and synth sounds which can be bombastic and aggressive, lush and enveloping, or pure and delicate. The remarkable piano offers three layers of stereo switching and an additional resonance layer for faithful and natural reproduction of the piano's entire dynamic range.
In addition to the grand pianos, myriad other piano and keyboard mainstays are included—from a mono piano for pumping it out live onstage, to the ever in-demand vintage KORG SG-1 Sampling Grand. The electric pianos are responsive, dynamic, and expressive with all the tine and hammer-slap you can muster. The enhanced clavs feature all the classic settings with wide dynamic response, and there are even string and flute sounds taken from the tape-driven keyboards of days gone by. KORG's REMS pickup/amp/cabinet modeling technology provides that finishing touch. All the classics are there at your fingertips with spot-on programs that are a blast to play.
Need to quickly tweak a sound to your liking? No problem, Tone Adjust allows simple access to the most important parameters and characteristics of a sound without having to dive deeply into programming. Available in Program, Combi, and Sequencer modes, you can get done what you need to with a minimum of fuss and effort.
Mix & Match
In addition to the individual programs, a combination (or "combi") allows up to 16 sound programs to be stacked, split, layered, and zoned across the keyboard; or set to individual MIDI channels. Nearly 400 of these combis come preloaded offering up tasty blends and splits for live performance. All of the preloaded sounds are completely editable, and there is plenty of room onboard (640 Programs, 512 Combinations) for all the sounds that you edit, modify, or create on your own.
The generous effect section of the M50-73 brings your sounds to life. Five insert effects and two master effects can be assigned and routed at will, with a total effect to add that final polish. From spacious and luxurious reverbs to space-warping modulation types, the effects can not only embellish a sound after the fact, they can be part of the sound programming itself—adding unique and defining sonic elements.
D-mod (Dynamic Modulation) even allows real-time control of various parameter effects as part of your performance, and effect parameters can be sync'd to the two common LFOs, or a MIDI Clock source, to further integrate the effects into the overall sound. Over 170 top-quality effects are available, including KORG's proprietary REMS modeling effects. Each program—whether alone, in a combi, or assigned to a sequencer track—is equipped with its own three-band EQ for that final tone shaping.
Let There Be Drums!
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing—and the M50-73's got it. KORG squeezed in over 1,600 drum and percussion samples that can be laid out into full "drumkit" programs. Ready and waiting are 32 drumkits, with room for 48 more of your own. In addition to drumkits, the Drum Track feature hosts some 670 drum grooves that you can jam along to, or use to kick-start and inspire your own song ideas. In fact, each program has a matching drum track pre-assigned to get you started.
The arpeggiator has been a staple on KORG keyboards since the 1980s, and the M50-73 more than delivers on that heritage. In addition to the ubiquitous up, down, and random patterns you'd expect, its dual polyphonic arpeggiators can serve up cascading chords, groovin' bass lines, chord-driven picking patterns, and punchy accents to spice up your performance and set your musical ideas on fire. In the Sequencer and Combi modes, both arpeggiators can run simultaneously, each addressing different timbres, creating powerful possibilities such as one running drum grooves and one running bass patterns—or even using velocity to switch between patterns on the same sound.
Rapid Results Sequencing
KORG wrote the book on workstations, and the M50-73 delivers every chapter. The on-board sequencer is the core of your music production studio. Over 200,000 notes can be recorded on 16 MIDI tracks and up to 128 songs. Enhanced 480 ppq resolution captures your performance with pinpoint accuracy—whether you play in realtime or step notes in one at a time. A plethora of advanced, yet easy-to-use editing features are available to help you sculpt your song into its final form.
Song Templates designed for a variety of musical genres allow you to get started quickly, with sounds and effects all selected and routed for you. Or try KORG's unique RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) function, calling up any of the 671 drum patterns to get started, and assigning shorter patterns and phrases to individual keys; you can even loop each track to build the perfect groove before the inspiration runs out. Sequence individual sections of the song separately, and then use the Cue List function to assemble and tryout different arrangements—you'll be remix ready. And since you never know when inspiration will strike, the one-touch record (Auto Song Setup) feature transfers all your current settings into a new song and starts the sequencer, capturing your ideas as the foundation of a new song.
One of KORG's most advanced hardware engine ever, the Enhanced Definition Synthesis is the musical heart of both the M50-73 and the M3. Each individual voice can lay claim to up to 2 stereo oscillators, 4 filters, 2 amp sections, 5 Low Frequency Oscillators (LFO), and 5 time-variant Envelope Generators (EG).
On the technical side, each stereo oscillator can achieve 4-way velocity switching, crossfading, or layering. This allows a single voice to use up to 8 stereo multisamples to ensure a dynamic and expressive sound. Each voice also has access to up to 4 multi-mode (High-Pass, Band-Pass, Band-Reject, Low-Pass) filters; 2 filters per oscillator running side by side, stacked, or in series—as well as a superb 24dB mode. Even the amp section can add to the shape and texture of the sound with a drive circuit to add a harder, rougher edge, and a low boost to fatten up that big bottom.
The Envelope Generators provide changes in the sound over time, and the advanced Key Tracking changes the sound based on the note played—for example; notes played higher on the keyboard will sustain less, be brighter, and have both faster and shallower vibratos than notes played lower on the keyboard—adding a staggering level of nuanced control to balance your sound over the entire keyboard range. At each step of the EG, you can specify the shape and type of curve used to move between points, allowing unparalleled expression and accuracy. The five Low Frequency Oscillators access 18 different waveforms. Starting Phase and Amplitude Shift parameters offer even more detailed control for zeroing in on that perfect modulation.
And if all that is not enough, KORG's Alternate Modulation Source (AMS) provides a matrix of over 50 modulation sources that can be mixed, summed, and added to a variety of parameters, providing exactly the result you want. In short, the KORG M50-73 provides a wealth of control over the minute components that make a keyboard sound great. And while KORG's programming is legendary, the EDS synth engine makes the M50-73 a sound designer's dream.
Your KORG M50-73 music workstation includes both standalone and plug-in sound editing software for more detailed graphic editing on your computer, and connects directly via USB. The plug-in version allows you to edit your workstation's sounds from inside any DAW (VST, Audio Units, and RTAS formats), allowing your edits and changes to be part of the song file, and without having to switch applications to tweak a sound. The M50-73 also uses convenient SD cards for economical and reliable data storage.
The KORG M50 workstation is chock full of sounds and features. Yet KORG's high-visibility 320 x 240 pixel resolution TouchView interface allows direct touch-screen access to hundreds of parameters. Finding the sounds you need is simple thanks to our organizing them by category, as we do effects, drum patterns, arps and even waveforms. Few keyboards in its class offer anything this elegant and intuitive.
- Keyboard: 73-key semi-weighted Natural Touch keyboard
- Controllers: Joystick, [SW1], [SW2]
- Display: 5.7" TouchView GUI, 320 x 240 dot
- Synthesis Technology:
- EDS (Enhanced Definition Synthesis)
- Tone Generator:
- 256 MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format)
- 1,077 Multisamples
- 1,609 Drum Samples
- Maximum Polyphony:
- 80 voices, 80 oscillators max, single mode
- 40 voices, 80 oscillators max, double mode (The actual maximum polyphony will vary depending on oscillator settings such as stereo multisamples and velocity crossfading)
- Programs: 640 total locations, 608 preloaded
- Combinations: 512 total locations, 384 preloaded
- Drumkits: 48 total locations, 32 preloaded
- GM: 256 GM2 programs, 9 GM2 drum kits
- Drum Kit Structure:
- Stereo and mono drum samples
- 4-way velocity switches with crossfades and adjustable crossfade shapes (Linear, Power, Layer)
- Exclusive keygroups
- Per key 3-band EQ, Drive, Lo Boost, filter, and level offsets
- Drum Track:
- 671 preset patterns/1,000 user patterns
- Patterns created in Sequencer mode can be converted to drum track user patterns
- Trigger Mode (Immediate, Wait for Keyboard), Sync (On, Off) and Zone (Key and Velocity) settings can be specified
- Program selection, 3-band EQ, and effect bussing available
- Combination Structure:
- Up to 16 timbres
- For each Timbre: keyboard and velocity split/layer/crossfade
- INT, OFF, EXT and EX2 MIDI status settings
- 3-band EQ with sweepable mid
- Use OSC1, 2 or Both
- Force Osc Mode (PRG, MONO, LEGATO, POLY)
- Portamento and Bend range settings
- Controller filters
- Modifications to the program settings via the Tone Adjust function
- Program Structure EDS:
- OSC1 (Single), OSC1+2 (Double)
- Stereo multisamples are supported
- 4 velocity zones per oscillator, with switching, crossfades and layers.
- 4 types of filter routing (single, serial, parallel, 24dB)
- Two multi-mode filters per voice (low pass, high pass, band pass, band reject)
- Per-voice nonlinear driver and low boost
- Three bands, with sweepable mid
- For each voice: 2 envelope generators (Filter & Amp)
- 2 LFOs
- 2 key tracking generators (Filter & Amp)
- 2 AMS mixers
- Pitch EG
- Common LFO
- 2 common key tracking generators
- 16-track MIDI sequencer with 480 ppq resolution
- 128 Songs, 20 Cue Lists, 210,000 notes (max)
- Tempo: 40.00 — 300.00BPM (1/100 resolution)
- 16 preset/16 user Template Songs
- 522 preset patterns, 100 user patterns (per Song)
- Cue List function: 20 cue lists, Songs can be arranged consecutively or repeatedly in up to 99 steps, A cue list can be converted back into a song
- Standard MIDI File (SMF) format 0 and 1 available
- Auto Song Setup function (One Touch Record) for easily going from a Program or Combination into record-ready status
- Dual Polyphonic Arpeggiator:
- Two arpeggiators, useable simultaneously
- (Combination, Sequencer modes)
- 5 preset arpeggio patterns; 216 user arpeggio patterns (200 preloaded)
- RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording): A set of 100 patterns are available per Song
- 5 Insert Effects (stereo in/out), 2 Master Effects (stereo in/out), 1 Total Effect (stereo in/out) are available simultaneously
- 2 effect control busses, 2 effect common LFOs
- 170 types (can be used for Insert/Master/Total) Note: double-size effects cannot be used as a Total effect
- Effects Presets: Up to 32 per Effect, 700 provided in OS 1.10
- 3-band Track EQ (High, low, and sweepable mid band) Per Program in Program Mode, per Timbre in Combination mode (16 total), and per Track in Sequencer mode (16 total)
- Included Accessories:
- Three-pronged IECC13 power cable
- Owner's Manual (M50 Operation Guide)
- CD-ROM (M50 Parameter Guide (PDF)
- Voice Name List (PDF)
- KORG MIDI driver
Spoil yourself with advanced KORG technology for a more pleasant musical experience.
M50 73-Key Compact Workstation Specifications:
- System Requirements
- Computer with the KORG USB-MIDI Driver
- Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition/Professional Service Pack 2 or later (MIDI Driver for the 64-bit editions is a Beta version), all editions of Microsoft Windows Vista (MIDI Driver for the 64-bit editions is a Beta version), computer supports Windows XP/Vista with USB port (Intel USB Host Controller recommended).
- Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, Apple Macintosh with USB ports supports Mac OS X 10.3.9 (PowerPC/Intel-based supported).
- Please use the latest Korg USB/MIDI driver.
- M50 Editor/Plug-In Editor:
- Windows XP Home Edition / Professional Service Pack 2 or later, Intel Pentium III/1GHz or faster, 512MB or larger memory (1GB or larger recommended)
- Mac OS X 10.4 or later, G4/800MHz or faster (Intel-based Mac supported, G5 and/or Core Duo recommended), 512MB or larger memory (1GB or larger recommended)
- Frequency response: 20Hz—20kHz, +/-1.0dB, 10 kOhms load
- THD+N: 20 Hz—20 kHz, 0.08 % 10 k Ohms load (typical)
- Audio Outputs:
- L/MONO, R - 1/4" TS (Mono), unbalanced
- Headphones - 1/4" TRS (Stereo), Output Impedance: 33Ohms, Maximum Level: 32+ 32mW @33Ohms
- MIDI: IN, OUT
- Computer: USB type-B connector (for MIDI interface, USB 2.0 supported)
- Control Inputs:
- Damper Pedal (half damper pedaling supported), Assignable Switch, Assignable Pedal
- Dimensions: 46.90"W x 11.57"D x 4.17"H
- Weight: M50-73: 17.6lb.
- Current consumption: 35W
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about Korg M50 73-Key Compact Workstation:
Own this, and have gigged with it monthly for the past year, and now can't live without it. I fell in love with the sounds/programs in the first place, and now have learned my way around a bit, it can do most anything I want it to do (except play samples, you have to get the M3 or OASYS to do that). As a gigging board, it offers a lot with very few compromises. Very portable (the hard case I keep it in weighs more than the keyboard), yet solidly constructed. Setting up splits, layers, and combis very straight forward, once you get the hang of it. I don't use the sequencer, but I am glad its there in case I ever want to use it. After a year of playing, there are no loose keys, no issues with the LCD display, no freezing issues, it has been a great companion. Sure, I wish it had a few more things, like more space to add your own or 3rd party programs (be sure to add the free Vintage Pianos from Korg), and I might now be running out of available combi space, but no keyboard I have owned has been perfect.