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Korg KARMA Workstation/Performance Keyboard  

Product #702409

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Item Note:

This product has been discontinued but may be available as a Open Box item.

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Now with Version 2.0 software.

The Korg KARMA Keyboard builds on the effects and synth engines of KORG's epic Triton. The Karma's revolutionary technology generates amazing phrases, grooves, and other effects ”- arpeggios, glissandos, fingerpicking and guitar strumming, portamento, pitch-bend moves, and more. Karma gives you the power to play impossible interwoven cascades of notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, and natural-sounding glissandos. Alter and randomize all of it in real time with a bank of knobs and switches. Create 640 user programs (384 preloaded), plus 256 ROM programs and nine drum programs with 64 drum kits. Combine up to eight programs set up in splits and layers for 768 possible user combos. The 16-track sequencer handles up to 200,000 notes and 200 songs (999 measures per song). Realtime Pattern Play/Recording for one-touch phrases.

Seven Years in the Making

At Korg they're always dreaming up innovative ways to make their keyboards more expressive, more powerful, and more musical. When they first learned about a brand new technology called KARMA, they knew they'd found one. Seven years after assembling a global team of skilled engineers, programmers and musicians, the Karma Music Workstation brings new music-making possibilities to life.

To start, its synth and effects engines are identical to Triton's - so you know how great it sounds. It's also compatible with Triton sound data and supports the same user-installable PCM and MOSS expansion options so your sound palette can grow. Plus, the Karma Music Workstation provides the same feature-packed 16-track sequencer that has made the Korg Triton the leader in music workstations. So what makes this new keyboard so special?

It's KARMA, Korg's revolutionary technology that generates amazing phrases, grooves and other musical effects that can be altered and randomized in real-time. With a bank of knobs and switches, you control elements like rhythmic complexity, harmony, melodic repeat, phrasing, panning...even the synth's sound and effects.

KARMA gives you the power to play impossible, interweaving cascades of notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, natural-sounding glissandos, intricate fingerpicking and guitar strumming, swooping portamento and pitch bend moves to name but a few. The only limiting factor is your imagination.

Karma like this only comes around once every seven years. Fortunately for you, the wait is over.

KORG's finest tone generator -- the HI synthesis system

The 62-voice Karma Music Workstation features the same world-renowned HI (Hyper Integrated) synthesis system as Korg's TRITON Music Workstation/Sampler. It includes 425 high-quality PCM multisamples and 413 drum samples covering a wide range of musical needs ” 32 Mbytes in all. And an array of editable parameters let you tweak every sonic detail.

The effects section provides 102 effect algorithms, and you can use 5 insert effects, 2 master effects and a three-band equalizer simultaneously. Effect routing is very flexible, enabling you to send sound through any combination of effects and on to any of the four outputs.

Alternate Modulation and Effect Dynamic
Modulation are also provided, letting you modulate parameters such as pitch, filter, amp, EG and LFO. Delay time and LFO can also be synchronized to MIDI clock or tempo. You can even sync the sounds or effects with the tempo of the KARMA function or the sequencer playback.

KORG's superior programs and combis

The Karma Music Workstation contains a rich assortment of sounds created by KORG's legendary voicing team, acclaimed by professional musicians around the world. There are 640 user programs (384 preloaded), plus 256 programs and 9 drum programs compatible with GM level 2 in ROM. Drum programs can select from 64 user drum kits (16 preloaded) and the 9 GM drum kits.

A Combination lets you use up to eight programs set up as splits and layers, and you have immediate access to as many as 768 user combinations (384 preloaded). KARMA settings have been made for all preloaded sounds, so you can simply select a sound and play phrases immediately.

Install option boards to add PCM sounds or a DSP tone generator

In addition to the internal PCM sounds, the Karma Music Workstation can accommodate the same optional EXB-PCM series PCM Expansion Boards available for the TRITON. Each board adds 16 Mbytes of PCM data plus programs and combinations that use this data, further broadening your sound palette. However it does not include new GE's or GE assignments.

PCM Expansion Boards

EXB-PCM01 - Pianos/Classic Keyboards

EXB-PCM02 ” Studio Essentials

EXB-PCM03 ” Future Loop Construction

EXB-PCM04 ” Dance Extreme

EXB-PCM05 ” Vintage Archives

EXB-PCM06/07 - Orchestral Collection

EXB-PCM08 - Concert Grand Piano

EXB-PCM09 - Trance Attack


KARMA can be expanded by the installation of the ultimate DSP tone generator --- the 13 oscillator 6-voice MOSS (Multi-Oscillator Synthesis System) tone generator featured on the Z1. This lets you use all synthesis methods --- PCM, analog, VPM (variable phase modulation), and physical modeling --- on a single instrument. When the MOSS tone generator is installed, 128 MOSS programs are added. You can create combination programs that use multiple MOSS timbres together with HI sounds.


The MOSS sound generator consists of Voice, EG and LFO sections. The voice section contains two powerful oscillator blocks OSC1/OSC2 that let you combine up to two of thirteen types of oscillator algorithm (resonance, organ model, electric piano model, standard, ring modulation, VPM, brass model, reed model and more), a sub oscillator, and a noise generator. The voice section also contains a filter block featuring two multi-mode filters that cover the range from analog synth sounds to complex sounds such as the body resonance of violin or guitar, or even human voice. To this are added five EG units and four LFO units, providing a rich variety of tonal and pitch changes for each voice.


Sound Source: 6 voices, 2 oscillators (max.) + sub oscillator + noise generator

Oscillator Types: 13 (Standard, Ring Modulation, Cross Modulation, Oscillator
Sync, VPM (Variable Phase Modulation), Comb filter oscillator, Resonance oscillator, Organ model, Electric piano model, Brass model, Reed model, Plucked string model, Bowed string model)

Programs: 128

[* Developed under license of physical modeling patents (listed in owned by Stanford University, USA, and by Yamaha Corporation.]

16 track sequencer + KARMA functionality equals enhanced music production

The Karma Music Workstation contains a 16-track sequencer with a capacity of up to 200,000 notes and 200 songs (up to 999 measures for each song). Phrases generated by the KARMA function can be recorded directly, and you can add manually-played and step-recorded phrases to create a song quickly and easily.

The RPPR (Realtime Pattern Play/Recording) function lets you play back a phrase by pressing a single key, and 150 drum and percussion patterns are provided. Many other convenient functions help you produce songs efficiently, such as Template songs, which allow you to call up a pre-arranged group of instruments and effects, and a Track Play Loop function that lets you specify looped measures independently for each track. A Cue List function lets you assemble your final song from up to 99 different sequences for easy arranging.

Songs you create can be saved in SMF (Standard MIDI File) format or in a KORG TRITON compatible format so that data can be exchanged with other devices. (Note - The TRITON arpeggiator function cannot be reproduced on the KARMA Music Workstation.)

The Song Play mode allows you to play back SMF files directly from floppy disk. You can perform on the keyboard along with the playback, or use the KARMA function in sync with the playback tempo.

Four channel audio output

In addition to the L/MONO and R main stereo audio outputs, you can use two independent audio outputs for a total of four channels of audio output. Oscillators, drums, timbres/tracks, and the signals from the insert effects can be freely routed to any output.

KARMA. The new music-generation technology that takes music production into a new dimension.
The KARMA Variable Performance Modeler featured on the Karma Music Workstation is a completely unique function that lets you generate music in a whole new way. Based on the notes and chords that you play, KARMA will automatically generate and mold phrases and patterns. Now you can instantly create sophisticated phrases and musical changes that would have required lengthy arranging and step input if done manually.

Since the KARMA function lets you control numerous musical elements such as rhythm, duration, harmony, scale, ad-lib/humanize, random variation and tone, it can produce phrases and patterns far beyond the current range provided by conventional arpeggiators or static pattern playback functions.

For example, you can create spectacular cascades of intricate interweaving notes, techno arpeggios and effects, dense rhythmic and melodic textures, natural sounding glissandos for acoustic instrument programs, guitar strumming and finger-picking simulations, random effects, auto-accompaniment effects, gliding and swooping portamento and pitch bend effects and new sound design possibilities.

GEs bring KARMA to life

The basis of the phrase or pattern is a Generated Effect (GE) and the KARMA Module Parameters that control that GE. One KARMA module can be used in Program mode. Four KARMA modules can be used in Combination/Sequencer/Song Play modes, so that separate modules can generate independent phrases to play different sounds such as drums, bass, guitar, and piano to create a full ensemble using the KARMA function.

The GE that is the basis of the phrase or pattern controls how note data from the keyboard is developed as well as how rhythm, chord structure, velocity, and more are controlled. With approximately 400 parameters in a single GE, the KARMA function can control virtually any type of tonal or phrase change. These parameters include elements like harmony, scale, ad-lib/humanize, rhythm randomization and complexity, phrase variation, tone, pan, effects, pitch bend, volume, velocity, duration, MIDI control changes, chord control, Melodic Repeat (TM) (MIDI delay/repeat), and pitch change.

Up to sixteen of these parameters are available for realtime control over a GE, and can be adjusted by operating the Realtime Control knobs and switches while you play. The KARMA Music Workstation provides over 1,000 different GE's organized into 17 categories, and new GEs can be loaded as they are made available. By simply selecting a GE you can create music in many different genres, using a variety of instruments and performance techniques.

Unleashing the Power of KARMA GEs

Check out "Unlocking the Power of Karma "Getting Creative with Karma GE's, which includes mp3 examples and some cool tips on using GE's with different sounds.

Check out the technical tips article "Taming KARMA GEs" to find out how to maximize the performance of the KARMA Music Workstation.

KARMA puts you in control

With KARMA, every aspect of a musical phrase has been separated into independently controllable attributes. Each of these attributes is controlled by a separate group of parameters, which can be individually varied or changed in groups in real-time as the music is being generated; or changed all at once with the selection of a program or combination. While the Karma Music Workstation generates phrases, you can tweak the onboard controllers so your performance will never sound "canned" or static.

You can use the eight knobs and two switches to vary different combinations of the RT (Real-time) Parameters that have been optimized for each GE by Korg's sound programmers. The two scenes available allow you to save two settings of these controllers for instant recall. You can also manipulate parameters with MIDI control messages. There has never been a system that provides this level of interaction and variability, and the results that can be achieved will inspire you to new levels of creativity.



¢ Expression/Volume pedal : XVP-1 EXP/VOL Pedal

¢ Foot Controller : EXP-2 Foot Controller

¢ Pedal Switch : PS-1 Pedal Switch

¢ Damper Pedal : DS-1H Damper Pedal

*KARMA (Kay Algorithmic Realtime Music Architecture) is a trademark and patented technology licensed from Stephen Kay, Karma Lab LLC

  • Triton effects and synth engines
  • 200,000-note, 16-track sequencer
  • Generate phrases and grooves
  • Realtime control with knobs and switches
  • 640 user programs and 256 ROM

KARMA Workstation/Performance Keyboard Specifications:

  • Register online and extend your warranty for an extra year, free! Product Registration is for U.S. customers only.
  • Register your Korg keyboard, keyboard rack module, or digital piano online and receive a certificate that extends the product warranty for an extra year from the date of purchase. This offer is good for US customers only for new Korg keyboards, workstations, keyboard rack modules and digital pianos purchased from us after November 1, 2002. All other products will receive the standard warranty that is included with all of Korg's products. Void where prohibited by law.
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by PowerReviews

(based on 6 reviews)

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Reviewed by 6 customers

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(105 of 142 customers found this review helpful)


great but limited features, steep learning curve


from Michigan

The Korg Karma technology is truly amazing. The phrases that can be generated are natural sounding and complex. Everything that is factory loaded can be modified with onboard controls, but to do any modifications other than elementary changes requires a degree in engineering. This synth is not user friendly in that regard at all. The interface would be a lot easier with a touch-screen like the Korg Triton Studio or Extreme. Good luck with the manuals too...

(153 of 199 customers found this review helpful)


nice features, limited felxibility


from Michigan

The KARMA technology is pretty amazing, but lacks flexibility in my opinion. I'm used to true synthesizers that give you control over every aspect of the sound to be produced.That being said, it's very good at what it does do. The sequencer takes some work to figure out, but works famously. If you're tech savvy and don't mind reading over 300 pgs. of manual, this may be a good fit for you.

(59 of 119 customers found this review helpful)


Great Sound specially Piano,,


from San Jose , CA , USA

I have had Karma for 1 year , and I must say it sounds fantastic. 5 Stars.

(49 of 80 customers found this review helpful)


The King of all past,present and near future WorkStations!


from buffalo ny area

I've had mine for 2 weeks(bought from music123,flawless purchase i will keep buying here!)Goto and listen to all the factory demos, truly awesome..The planet karma demo and the rest of the stock instrument demos (that come supplied with the base karma, without expansion boards or moss) are truly awesome, and SURPRISE when you get yours and play these demos, they even have a program (voice) space left in them (the combinations) so you can PLAY A VOICE IN REAL TIME ALONG WITH THEM!! All brand workstations in this price range now have great sequencers and fancy arpegiattors BUT THE KARMA function is a unique quantum leap beyond them all..hurry go to the karma page at and order the free karma demo vhs video while they last,watch Master Stephen Kay (the karma creator)demo the unit live at the 2001 naam show-mind blowing! The free korg soft case in this deal is great heavily padded with plenty of large pockets for the manuals, cables ect! Join the korg karma yahoo group at if you have questions and for free files. the karma Master himself Stephen Kay answers all questions and helps all there as do many other great programmers/musicians..Outstanding huge number of crystal clear digital effects..also download the manuals from korg site and study them to see how deep and powerful this machine is!..All the sounds are great IMHO, build quality of a $60k lexus or mercedes..cast aluminum case, light but sturdy..keyboard springy synth action, but that IMHO is a plus as you will be doing tons of complex multi voice layered velocity and aftertouch splits..think of the power brakes of your car, a real weighted piano keys to me feel mushy, like a mushy power brake pedal, by having the light spring key back pressure the karma does it gives your fingers just the right back force to play with increased sensitivity you need for the velocity voiced layers, splits ect..Another nice surprise you can loop any phrase or section of any standard midi file (loaded into sequencer from a floppy) and apply the karma real time variations to it..In response to a few anti korg flamers who claim its (and its father the Triton series) acoustic (grand) piano stock voices are sub par, I say go to site and listen to the stock voices planet karma demo and decide for yourself...IMHO all the pianos are convincing enough as is and especially the huge variety of great electric pianos the wurlys and rodes ect..don't forget the leslie effect ect are perfect. If you really need a truly authentic grand piano just get it with the piano exp board now from here..again go to korg and listen to the demos of all the boards to decide..the pipe and all variety of classic tone wheel and transistor organs (again thanks to a perfecto fully controllable leslie sim and other effects) will blow your mind especially the several different b3 overdriven patches. I cant praise this machine will take years for roland , yamaha to catch up to the power of the karma functions and value for this price! Another great surprise it outputs live all the controller change messages generated by the karma real time controls (knobs and switchs) to control what ever other synths ect you are using the korg as the master of, so that adds even more mindblowing power depending on whatever old trusted midi gear you already own! Korg is even giving away the KarmaMW (mac/win os) programming software now too! scroll down the main karma page at korg web site to print the form..The karma built in menu pages are logical and easy to navigate with many shortcuts..of course this machine has a steep learning curve do to its complex power but thanks to the logical simplicity of the controls for the karma features even if youve never owned any synth and can only play chopsticks within minutes you will be creating wild groovy jams that are truly musical and cool! I have not made any of this don't work for korg or music123 or in the music retail or any music industry ..i am a electronic (consumer elect,tv, audio ect , not synths ect) repair guy and a music an old school analog man i bought mine here with the moss synth board and am also just as impressed and happy with it! It also has a huge bang for the buck as sold here. Finally, go to and listen to the demos and download the manuals and browse through them..Next post your questions in the korg karma group in the Sure go ahead and go to any other brand web sites and compare features/price and listen to their demos and objectively as I can repeat no other brand workstation at ANY price has the creative power the Karma gives you, and the deal here with the freebies is unbeatable too! Grab this deal now, add a rack true sampler new or used later if you truly need sampling ability..There is no substitute for the karma's creative tools any where at ANY price! You wont be disappointed!

(41 of 68 customers found this review helpful)


I have it.... it's awesome


from Katy, TX

One of the best keyboards I've ever used.... Korg is the best..

(38 of 65 customers found this review helpful)


I've got good KARMA!


from Sweden

The Korg KARMA workstation is an absolute necessity in my studio today. Regardless of what needs to be done the KARMA seems to deliver. It generates impressive, never heard before arpeggio phrases as well as hip-hop beats, pop backdrops and amazing string arrangements in a heartbeat. The 4 KARMA modules can work independently or together, delivering almost a complete song while you're jamming. This gives you creative power and inspiration instead of hard work!

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