Category Archives: Kronos

The joy of Kronos

Korg Kronos X 88

Korg Kronos X 88

After excessively testing the Kronos, I’m completely overwhelmed. I didn’t expect it being that great. Though the grand and electric piano, the organ and string modelling engines already provide a more than pleasing playground, I’m especially impressed by the AL-1 analog modeling and MOD-7 FM engines.

Reliability

Despite the complexity the device runs relatively stable. Some weird behaviour, requiring a reboot, may happen after hours of programming work, which IMO is not a major issue. I got the device to crash, though, when importing and playing some organ soundfonts like Jeux 1.4 from hammersound.com.

Fan noise

The fan was very noisy and audible from a distance of at least 15 feet. Obviously its vibrations have been amplified by the base panel made of hard masonite. My dealer first tried to decouple it from the chassis using some foam, but to no avail. He finally replaced it by a model with similar specs. It’s still audible, but I barely notice it when sitting in front and programming the machine. I’m very grateful for the great work they did.

Kronos Original Fan (RDM6025S)

Kronos Original Fan (RDM6025S)

Stand

I replaced my DIY-welted stand by the K&M 18810, which is rather solid and provides enough room for the legs and pedals. IMO its assembly classifies it as a stand for stationary use, not being made for stage nomads.

Foot controllers

I’m using a Roland DP-10 sustain pedal and an additional Yamaha FC 5 connected to the Kronos’ assignable switch input.

Roland DP-10 with rubber plate

Roland DP-10 with rubber plate

I’m still after a pedal block compatible with the Kronos with two (or three) integrated (half-damper) switches similar to the ones of Roland and Nord shown below. If possible, an integrated swell respectively expression pedal would be great. In case someone can share some pointer, I’d be interested.

Roland Pedalblock

Roland Pedalblock

Nord Pedalblock with plate

Nord Pedalblock with plate

The factory CX-3 organ presets use the joystick to switch the rotary speaker’s speed. In case you want to optionally use the footswitch, assign one of the AMS mixers to the speed parameter, and provide both the joystick’s Y-axis and the footswitch to this mixer’s inputs.

Conclusion

The Kronos, son of the OASYS and kind of grand son of the Z1, IMO is an unrivaled digital piano, organ, and synthesizer. I already spent hours playing the outstanding grand piano emulations and programming the AL-1 and MOD-7 engines.

Replacing your Master

I’m still using a Roland A-50 master keyboard, a device without a soundprocessor of its own, to control a couple of external engines. Though it is a rather barbed device, I love the action of its 76 keys, to have available both the Roland modulation lever plus the traditional wheels, the programmable sliders, buttons, and foot pedal inputs, its four MIDI output jacks with corresponding buttons on the panel, and its robust chassis which even forgot that my girlfriend once dropped it to the ground accidentally.

Continue reading