We’re reviewing the Korg Krome today and we still haven’t recovered from the awesomeness of this product. It is a super workstation. But hey it’s Korg after all, you really can’t expect anything less.
Korg has been doing pretty awesome in the market with its world famous Kronos model. And when it introduced its upgraded Kronos X model, that too was well received by the market. But in all of these, the Japanese brand saw the need to introduce an intermediate model in order to replace the M50.
This was a pretty daring move especially because the Yamaha MOX series was already in the market and was doing pretty well too. How did this move pan out? Well, you’re about to find out.
Now, let’s get into the review proper and check out what the Korg Krome has to offer.
Korg Krome Specs
- 88 keys with natural weighted hammer action.
- Keys are velocity sensitive.
- Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod wheel, Rotary Encoders (4).
- Polyphony: Single mode – 120 notes, Double mode – 60 notes.
- Presets: 640 sounds and 288 combination patches.
- Sound effects: 193.
- Features 16-track sequencer.
- With arpeggiator.
- Connectivity: Audio output, Headphones jack, USB. MIDI I/O, input for damper pedal.
- Dimensions: 57 x 12.3 x 5.1 inches.
- Weight: 32.4 pounds.
Features Of The Korg Krome
Even though we are reviewing the 88-key Korg Krome today, the Korg Krome actually comes in three models. There’s the 61-key model, the 73-key model and the 88-key model.
The 61-key model and 73-key model each come with semi-weighted keys. However, the 88-key model comes with Korg’s globally known Natural Weighted Hammer action. So, piano players are going to especially love the 88-key model.
Now, while many might think that the Korg Krome was built based on the Kronos model, that’s not the whole story. Both keyboards share the same unique modern outlook and they both have a large touchscreen. Also, some sounds and features in the Kronos and the Krome are also shared.
But in spite of all these, the real story is that Korg built the Krome based on the M50 and M3 models, not the Kronos.
Now that we have that sorted, it’s time for us to check out some of the features of the Korg Krome.
Design And Layout Of The Korg Krome
The Korg Krome comes with an aluminum chassis. So, it is really heavy duty but it is still really lightweight. Now, let’s move over to the outlook of this keyboard.
It comes with a large TouchView Color display right on top of the chassis. This display is quite large and measures at 800 x 400 pixels.
We all know an LCD display is beneficial. But think of it… How much more a TouchView Color. It displays loads of information at a time. And you can even use a single finger to navigate the screen while using the other hand to play.
Just like the touch screen on models preceding the Krome, the display on the Korg Krome is super sensitive. And most of the time, all you need to do is to simply touch-and-drag for practically everything.
So, yeah, you can manage all your sounds and other functions without tapping any button at all. Well, most times, that is.
The left side of this keyboard features a joystick and two other assignable buttons. And above these on the upper-left corner, you should also find a couple of knobs in addition to the volume knob as well. These will help you to access functions like resonance, cutoff, amp envelope release and filter envelope intensity.
And then on the right side, you’ll find some other controls as well. With these controls, you can easily navigate the menu. And then you’ll be able to adjust tempo, and work with the 16-track sequencer.
All the ports and slots for connectivity are placed on the back panel as usual. So, on the back panel, you’ll find a slot for an SD card, a USB to MIDI port as well as other connection jacks.
How’s the sound on the Korg Krome? Pretty good actually. Korg generates this sound based on the EDSx which is an acronym for Enhanced Definition Synthesis Extended.
Well, this sound engine is derived from the Kronos – one aspect where the Kronos and Krome are similar like we said. And this engine produces beautiful stereo samples modeled after an actual grand piano called the Steinway “D Grand”.
Now when you combine this impeccable sound with the Natural Hammer action, you find that this keyboard sounds completely amazing. And the response is also realistic and super.
But, back to the sound engine…
This thing is something else. It comes with a PCM memory of 3.8GB, 2080 drum samples that are super high quality, and 583 multi-samples as well!
There are two polyphonies you can get from the Korg Krome depending on how you’re playing the keyboard.
If you play on the single mode, that is, using just one oscillator, the max polyphony available is 120 notes. But if you use the double mode, that is, using one oscillator, then the max polyphony will reduce to just 60 notes.
Let’s dwell on the quality of oscillators a bit…
Each of these oscillators comes with 8 velocity zones as well as switching, layers, and crossfades. And if you want, you can also throw in 2 Master Effects, 5 Insert Effects, and 1 Total Effect to keep things interesting.
And there are close to 193 sound effects at your fingertips to play around with too!
Now, with this design, Korg has managed to create an awesome sound quality. Check it out, the clavinets, and electric pianos sound superior. Plus, there’s also the ROMpler organ model which was obtained from the CX-3. And, of course, that sounds awesome.
And as for the synth library, it is massive. Plus each of the most important synths come with at least one preset each.
And still on the sound….
The drums section is lit, thanks to the Jazz Ambience derived from the Kronos. And as for the orchestral category, the strings and bass combinations are really making things happen. You will definitely find what you need for whatever you’re creating.
The Korg Krome isn’t just great for making music, it is also great for live performances as well. There are as many as 15 separate categories of pre-made programs to work with. And this is not even mentioning the user-made patches which have their own category.
There are also 384 different combinations as well. This refers to a patch which is made up of multiple programs.
When these programs are combined and played as one, they sound really beautiful like a unique instrument that’s quite unlike anything you’ve ever heard.
We know you might want to create your own patches and combinations. Well, that’s possible because there’s the Krome Editing Software. It’s a free, standalone program with which you can create combinations and patches using your computer.
Also See: Korg SP280 Digital Piano Review
One of the Korg Krome’s strongest feature is its 16-track sequencer. This built-in feature allows you record your songs right in your home studio. Or you could even back track songs for your live performances.
Now, don’t delude yourself. This won’t sound like a Kronos. But at least, with the sequencer you get a piano roll editor, as well as a visual track editor.
And with these come sufficient editing options with which you can edit recorded notes. You can even cut entire bars and copy them someplace else.
Furthermore, if you’re the type that has the taste for real complex pieces, the Korg Krome also has something for you. The built-in arpeggiator as well the drum track when used together with the sequencer, can help you create such pieces.
And then if you want to put in the final finish, all you need to do is to move it to your DAW software. There, you can correct, improve and make final corrections on your songs to make it perfecto!
We just wish that Korg enabled the use of an external mouse when using the sequencer mode. This feature was present in the M3 workstation and it was pretty sweet. We do not really understand why Korg chose to remove it in the Korg Krome.
What’s In The Box?
- 88-key Korg Krome Keyboard.
- AC power adaptor.
- A quick start guide.
- Accessory Disc which comes with the full user manual.
- Sustain pedal is optional.
Pros Of Korg Krome
- The sounds from the Korg Krome are simply authentic and superior sounding.
- EPs are really authentic and feature a huge variety.
- A massive library of functions to be explored.
- Color touchscreen display.
- You can edit your pieces on the touchscreen like on a DAW.
Cons Of Korg Krome
- There are no buttons dedicated to octave shifting.
- The keys of the Korg Krome do not sense an after touch.
- It takes about one minute for the keyboard to boot.
The Korg Krome remains one of the bestselling workstations currently in the market. And it’s easy to see why with all the amazing features it comes with. Two of the major reasons being its super authentic grand piano sound and its unbeatable price.
Again, the Korg Krome is a creation station so, naturally, you’ll find everything you need to create amazing music either for studio or for a live performance. And as for editing these creations, the touchscreen display makes things simple and intuitive.
In the aesthetics department, the keyboard scores high with very sleek and modern-looking design. But then again, there are those not-so-sleek black plastic panels on the sides and ends of the keyboard. And those things pick up smudges like something else.
Finally, few keyboards beat the Korg Krome. And if you’re thinking of getting it, you have our full blessing!