Last week, Korg UK held its second annual event at the company’s impressive Milton Keynes HQ, with MIN in attendance. Not just an excuse for a dealer get together (not a bad reason in itself, of course!) the event also gave the numerous attending retailers an exclusive look at a selection of brand new Korg products plus new lines the company will be distributing. Under a strict embargo until they were officially launched today, we can now reveal the new gear – while MIN’s publisher, Neil Golding’s reflects on the event itself.
First, the new brands, led by the acquisition of STAY stands. Korg will henceforth be the sole UK distributor for these for the UK and ROI with supplies of what Korg describes as ‘an incredibly innovative range of stands and accessories’; will be landing in the UK ‘any day now’.
The event was also the first chance to see the impressive Soundbrenner Pulse (revealed on 13th August in MIN). Soundbrenner’s ground-breaking Pulse vibration metronome has been taking the world of music by storm since its initial release in 2016, with over one million musicians already using the companion app, and the number of ‘Pulse’ wearers growing daily, Korg revealed.
Korg’s own new products were led by the entry-level EK-50 Entertainer keyboard a 61 key, velocity sensitive synthesiser with 280 styles and packed with the usual telephone directory length feature list. Korg says: ‘If you’ve ever wanted to play or perform your favourite songs, or thought of a melody that could become an original song, KORG is here to help you realize your musical potential. The KORG EK-50 is an entertainer keyboard that you can enjoy on any musical level, and an instrument that grows along with you.
‘Automatic accompaniment “Styles” provide an entire backing band you as you play the keyboard. From the moment you start playing, the rich accompaniments are created to inspire you to add phrases as they come to mind. As you gain performance skill, you can easily access the more advanced functions to give shape to the ideas of your musical sketch’.
The nano Series2, was celebrating its tenth anniversary by reappearing: ‘in two vibrant colour models that will stand out in any DAW-based or hardware-centric studio. The blue and yellow model is perfect for use with “KORG Gadget,” KORG’s acclaimed DAW software for iOS/Mac. The orange and green model features the look of a popular DAW software used by electronic music producers. People who already use these software titles will be right at home on these colourful controllers’.
Equally new is the Rimpitch-C2 acoustic guitar tuner which, as the name suggests, clips inside an acoustic guitar’s soundhole. The idea is that since the tuning meter is within your natural field of vision, you can glance casually at the tuning meter while you perform. ‘It’s an ideal choice for any acoustic guitarist who does not want to distract from their performance with a clip-on tune,’ Korg adds.
Metronomes were in show, of course, with a new limited edition KDM-3 WDBK, which comes with natural wood front panel units: ‘…with a rustic and artisanal feel’.
The MA-1, meanwhile, is billed as a compact card-type electronic metronome, which has been further improved. ‘The new MA-2 is an indispensable unit for rhythm training, and solidly covers the functions of a metronome. In addition to basic functionality such a wide tempo range and a generous number of beats and rhythm patterns, it also provides user-friendly features including an improved display, a loud, crisp sound, and additional functions such as a newly provided “timer mode.” Choose from two different vivid and stylish colour schemes for the body: blue and black, or a black and red’.
Finally, The Korg inspired Sequenz range of high-end keyboard stands and accessories has now been enhanced with general purpose and custom-fit cases. These include the SC-EK/Pa – Dedicated soft case for the EK-50 and Pa series, CC-NANO – a dedicated carrying case for the KORG nano series, CC-VOLCA – a dedicated carrying case for the KORG volca series and the MP-TB1 – a spacious backpack that accommodates a compact synthesiser.
So much for the new products but Korg’s event is about a lot more than that, as Neil Golding reports.
‘Last week saw the return of Korg UK’s trade event at Milton Keynes, with Music Instrument News keen to lend our support and see what attendance would be like for this new annual event. Dedicated rooms representing brands and focus were duly and practically laid out throughout Korg’s HQ for dealers to explore, with staff and product specialists eagerly on hand to advise and comment on new additions to Korg’s products and distribution.
‘Dealers were shown lots of new products, embargoed until yesterday, which we are now able to share with readers.
‘Popping back from time to time to the the dealer entrance, which housed the trade meeting area and musical performances, the atmosphere felt relaxed, yet busy. In truth, the whole experience felt warm and inviting, dealers being greeted by familiar faces, with a great hog roast buffet and even an ice cream van for visitors to enjoy on a balmy September afternoon!
‘It’s true to say that without the invention of this annual hook-up the same information could have been conveyed over the phone, or communicated via press releases, but Korg wanted to invite those that they do business with and take the time to learn about their individual businesses and how the company and its customers could work more closely in the future. This is a commendable effort on Korg’s part, harking back to the days when human contact with the trade was once a major part of its appeal, something which has sadly been declining in the past decade, so it came across as a really welcome and positive experience, with a chilled but professional vibe. Speaking with Ricci Hodgson, MD for Korg UK, he said: ‘When anyone sets out on something new, you hope all goes well, and running this annual event for year two I’m certain it was absolutely the right thing to do.’