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User Review

my own official french rewiew google translated - Reviews Korg ElecTribe EMX1

Value For Money : Excellent Audience: Anyone
Current Output December 2003, the Electribe MX is a direct evolution of the ElectribeM (EM1) showing some features of the EA1 the same manufacturer ...

Small summary: the EM1 was a very handy black groove box with 2 synth part, 10 drum part, 16 different effects assignable to each unit and a filter bank to modify at will the PCM samples of the machine. For its part, the EA-1 was a multi-timbral synthesizer in two parts with a monaural audio in, and intended for use with the ER-1 (a good enough rhythm synthesizer sound but lacked a bit of momentum and variety). Note also that the direct evolution of these two machines, respectively named EA-ER-MK2 and MK2 were announced there is little on the manufacturer's website.

These details specified, return to the EMX-1, which presents itself as a successful fusion of EM-1 and EA-1, both the color level of the characteristics based on a synthesis two oscillators, pcm sounds, effects, and advanced sequencer.


The progress of version MX

The changes are numerous, the machine wanting fuller, more serious: in short, more professional ... It begins with a design to the outrageously futuristic and whose stunning electric blue hue would not have displeased the director of Blade Runner (note: Ridley, if you look at us ...). The knobs are wider and manageable and can now be used to control MIDI controllers: A wish of user old Electribe finally realized.

Electribe MXEn the screen instead of the austere digital screen now stands a large backlit screen that shows at any time the parameter being modified, mutated tracks and the output used. One of the major innovations is the addition of an auxiliary output to relieve some stereo mix in charge of the machine space. This is a good initiative from Korg although it is regrettable that this auxiliary output can not be switched to be 2 Sends Mono. It is just a second independent stereo output.

Power has changed and it is not the old users who will complain: how are we to have remained stupefied before a Electribe cramée? It was therefore entitled to an external power supply worthy of the name, provided with an on / off switch in addition to the machine. The connection is via a 4-pin DIN socket, suitable to the needs of the scene as the old Korg adapter. The cable is relatively long (about 2 m) and allows to move the machine from the electrical outlet to avoid many common disasters in home studio and on stage.

In an Audio has been added. It is equipped with a meter and a gain switch and a mic / line to adapt the input level to the source. I admit that my Strat Japan and my poor low-end Sennheiser not yet returned from their passage through the filters of the Electribe! You can either listen to the raw signal (Audio Thru) or use this signal as an oscillator in order to pass the filters and the beast processors.

Slider of Electribe MXAudacieuse innovation: the addition of a powerful arpeggiator touch to make breaks and bearings on the fly. Its use with Synths Parts however requires some experience. Indeed, if the interpretation of the ranges is not always relevant, it allows the construction of an original musical discourse and developed through almost instantaneous change and a clear pattern for the transition to the next.

The last major advance lies in the provision of 2 lamps Electroharmonix amplification 12AX7 and ECC83 (the same that is found on Marshall?), Which give a warm hue and fat sound. Their musicality is not necessarily obvious to the ear, my mixer having quickly recovered in the red when the sound went through the two lamps. In fact, they add a lot of grain to sound and allow to measure the intensity and feeling the sound during play of a pattern set.

The stamps

The sound of Drum Parts 9 is generated by the 207 PCM sounds in ROM. We can change their pitch and envelope Decay but they do not take advantage of the filter synthesis section. The range of sounds is classic TR909 / 808 diverse and varied percussion instruments like claves, congas, tabla or the scratches and other "BNI" (Unidentified noise). The envelope generator works for his part as the old Electribe (it acts as either a decay or as a Release) but nevertheless shows softer than before and reacts without latency.

The sound of the Synth Parts is generated by 16 types of synthesis with various waveforms (sawtooth, pulse, triangle and sine, combined, cross ...): additive synthesis, cross modulation ... There is even an excellent synthesis Okay, what was missing most previous models.

These synthetic possibilities are being supplemented by a bank of 76 PCM sounds from the EM1. Side patch, it goes from Rhodes to slap bass through the sitar or kits of the ER-1 ...

To this is then added 4 filter types: low pass, high pass, band pass more (fat) filter and found the drive of the EM-1, always aggressive, biting, and can transform a pitbull in clavinova . Note in passing that if all synth parts can be filtered, this is not the case for Drum Parts.

Finally, it is possible to use a signal as Audio In oscillator and apply filters are the effects and LFO.

Taking advantage of all these elements, the new Electribe offers a more precise, more dynamic and depth than the previous model. It also sounds much less "cold" and the industrial Em-1. The sounds produced are well defined and has less trouble distribute instruments in space thanks to the auxiliary stereo bus.

Finally, note that it can record up to 256 patterns including 192 factory. The preset styles are mostly oriented modern music: Drum & Bass, 2 Step, Electro ... Alas, outside oriented patterns Ambient / Ragga / Hip Hop and Jazz, the factory presets are disappointing and do not honor the advanced capabilities of the machine.

You said FXs?

Effects of Electribe MXCette groove-box carries three independent effects processors that can be chained to enjoy both delays or reverb with at least one modulation and filter effect. There is everything from the effects Korg class, as usual, in three different categories: Mono, Stereo and Stereo cross.

Stereo: modulation effects for most popular as Chorus / Flanger, Phaser, Ring Modulator, but also filter high / low pass, Decimator (reduction in frequency and sampling resolution)

Stereo Cross: Short Delay and BMP Sync Delay, two stereo surround effects

Mono: more classic ambience effects Reverb type, Modulation Delay, Distortion, Pitch Shifter, Grain Shifter (sort of mini BPM Synced Sampler) ...

Big downside, the general deadline that really was part of the process and composition in previous models has been removed. We will do without but shame.

Big bonus however, the LFO is awesome and allows all out effects like creating cadences original agreement of the Drums PCM, tremolos, the autowhas ... It has 6 possible destinations LFO (Pitch, Edit 1 & 2 oscillators, Cutoff, Amp and Pan) and is based on 6 waveforms (square, saw-tooth, pulse ...). It may or may not synchronized to the tempo and you can adjust the speed and depth of its modulation to roughly 63%. So, it allows all kinds of effects even if he will spend some time on it to get something.


use

Pattern Mode Set

Word pattern of the Electribe MXLa machine is intended for real-time manipulation: one program quickly its patterns, it organizes them into a pattern set and go. The pattern set is a function found on many machines that typically calls a pattern by pressing Shift and a key.

The reasons for publishing is not on 128/96 with a maximum of 8 lengths of 4 steps or 32 steps against 16 on the old model. It is now possible, thanks to the 5 Synths Parts, achieve comprehensive arrangement with no other machine is needed. Where the EM-1 might seem insufficient to play a full set, it seems to have been designed for the stage.

Indeed, although accustomed to using the previous machine, it took me a while to begin to master the EMX-1 as it is complete. At the beginning we lose a little in the controls but just an hour passed over to realize the enormous opportunities here.

Drum Parts are velocity-sensitive, unlike Synth Parts and it will still go through the Accent for greater control of the latter. bearings can be programmed in addition to the use of accents and use the arpeggiator to create original in-fills. However, as the machine responds to velocity, all we will play more easily with a master key and use the Electribe via a MIDI sequencer as a module should make it formidable.

The sequencer Footsteps is more powerful. He played in 16 or 12 steps. You can specify the time signatures Conventional bit like 8/12 or 11/16. However, these set of information specific to the machine and is not transmitted by the MIDI sync. Why ? Mystery…

It is now possible to save the state of mute, and you can copy part or the sound of a part of a patch to another, transpose a note, some or several at a time, shift a note, repeat and even randomize a share.

Finally, the engineers at Korg have thought that maybe we wanted to erase a pattern of a single movement without having to select and ringing all the parts at once. It is now possible, all part are then reset with the same drum sound for either the same summary for Part Synth.

Song mode

Song mode Electribe MXLe fashion song has undergone a facelift. We start by chaining a number of patterns on a timeline. Pressing play, set the pattern playback starts. It is then possible to record "events" to humanize a little reproduction. These events actually include any motion controllers, manipulations on the keyboard (leads), changes in the groove ...

It can store up to 64 songs with up to 256 patterns per song ... that which leaves room ... But that would put all patterns on a single song?

Playing the card of originality, the selection knob is finally JogShuttle office. So you can scratch its own patterns!

MIDDAY

The Electribe EMX1 is fully compatible MIDI multi-timbral on 6 channels, the Synth Part 1 by Global Channel Office. Big news: most knobs send MIDI messages that can be assigned freely to any controller. They dared to dream but, with this function, Korg achieved FX controller and Sample ideal for Ableton Live, and other Orion Project 5 ... (sequencers which operate also on the same principle as the groove box, especially in the if Orion and Live).

The machine obviously has a MIDI clock sync. In song mode the groove-box sends transport signals to sync with sequencers .. This one may automatically (if a sync is detected the machine adjusts its tempo if it keeps hers), transmitted or received.

MIDI filter is present and lets you toggle the reception / transmission program changes, control changes, SysEx and NRPN. MIDI notes can be specified for each Drum Part and stamps can be called from a sequencer via NRPN (which control the settings of the oscillators and the allocation of PCM sounds). The machine finally sends its own SysEx as the global MIDI channel, the Model Id ... Note that a full MIDI charter including NRPN MSB and SysEx is available on request from Korg.

safeguard

Smartmedia the Electribe MXLa machine is equipped with a Smart Card reader that can read from 4 to 3.3 volts cards 128MB Knowing that all patterns and settings of the machine takes over 5MB, it is quiet on data backup. I have not tried this feature, do not have Smart-Card at the time of the test. Moreover, it is always possible to perform a conventional MIDI-bulk / dump to back up its data if the machine is full or fails.

I already have done a bulk dump of Electribe MX to another when the first I've had in hands began to lose its knobs (!): It works very well but you have to read the documentation carefully before launching, handling is not clearly explained.


Personal opinion

EMX-1L'Electribe MX is a versatile machine and complete that can be used as a separate instrument or as an expander in home studio. The quality of sound, the sequencer 128 steps, the arpeggiator and major developments are a monster cut for DJing.

However, it also will match any composer in search of a sound grain oriented modern music or experimental. With it, the musician will indeed benefit at any time a reserve of varied sounds and quality to make original creations. The Electribe EMX-1 amply deserves its place on stage and in studio. It would be a shame not to go listen to realize the creative potential of the beast.

[+] Design
[+] Quality & variety of PCM synthesis sounds
[+] The increased length of 64 to 128 not: it changes everything.
[+] MIDI controllers
[+] The 3 effects processors
[+] The 24 motions sequences is the foot

[-] The parties routed to the auxiliary output are not affected by effects and preamp! We should have the choice
[-] The limited range of the arpeggiator
[-] The relatively prohibitive price
[-] The elimination of global Delay
[-] Does not send velocity.
[-] Do not always coffee