gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Korg Pa588 Arranger Piano

The Korg Pa588

The very latest addition to the Korg Pa series is the Pa588, a Stage Piano/Workstation hybrid that combines the sound and playability of Korg’s excellent stage pianos with professional arranger features.

The Pa588 has an 88-note real weighted hammer action keyboard designed to emulate the feel of a concert grand. This, combined with powerful arranger features, an intuitive interface, the same synthesis engine found in the Korg M3, more than 880 additional sounds and over 50 drum kits makes the Pa588 a very promising and flexible workstation on paper.

The Korg Pa588 also boasts integrated speakers which are claimed will deliver its range of sounds with superb presence and clarity; this keeps the Korg Pa588 true to its stage piano heritage and with no need for additional monitors this will yield a very clean workstation setup. Of course you can still connect monitors if the fancy takes you!

In keeping with their trend at the moment the display is a 320×240 monochrome touch screen which helps keep the upper surface clear of controls, uncluttered and hopefully not confusing.

There’s nothing particularly special about the Pa588s array of inputs, with stereo in, stereo out, headphones, midi, usb and the usual control/damper pedal available. The presence of an SD/MMC slot is both good and bad news as I’m sure you will agree a USB-host port is much more flexible; there’s also no mention whether or not it supports SDIO.

If you enjoy jamming to your favorite songs as backing tracks the Korg Pa588 includes up to 40 tracks of playback with an XDS crossfade dual sequencer player that supports most formats for storing lyrics. Unfortunately there’s no sign of mp3 support.

Finally, as this is a workstation I couldn’t wrap up without mentioning the sequencer which boasts 16 multi-timbre tracks, a 55,000 note capacity, standard MIDI file format, full editing functionality with step editing and quick record function for those moments of inspiration.

Overall the Korg Pa588 is shaping up to be a very well balanced workstation and a solid all-in-one performance instrument with very little compromise. Gadgetoid will bring you more information when we get our hands on one.

There’s no availability date yet and no sign of the pa588 appearing on Digital Village for pre-order or sale, but the Korg Pa588 should be available in Summer 2008.

And finally, a little extra blurb from Korg to whet your appetite:

Guitar Mode

The Korg Pa588 incorporates a Guitar mode that automatically converts your playing into the voicing harmony and chord data that is most characteristic of guitar playing. All you do is select a chord and specify a fretting position, and then use the keyboard to enter the playing patterns, such as picking and strumming. Korg’s RX technology reproduces such guitar subtleties as the sound of your finger sliding on the string as you change chords and the fret noises, imbuing your performances with a heightened sense of realism when you play and record using guitar sounds.

Even Better Effects

Good effects processing can make a great performance sublime. So you’ll be pleased to hear that the Korg Pa588 comes loaded with a wealth of carefully crafted professional quality effects. Everything from variable length delays and lush reverbs through to an exciter and even amp modelling. The Korg Pa588 also includes a powerful EQ section complete with parametric equalizer.

Smooth Operator

The Korg Pa588 features a large TouchView display that, as the name suggests, is operated simply by touch. You can choose to operate the Korg Pa588 in either “Easy” or “Expert” mode. “Easy” works best if you’re a beginner or performing live as it gives you a simplified display with easy visibility and smooth operation. “Expert” mode puts you in full command of editing and arranging. But regardless of the mode you’re in or the sound you’re playing, you can always use the “Play Piano” button to instantly change to the main Piano sound.

Over 320 Styles

The Korg Pa588 contains more than 320 fully detailed and complete “styles,” created by professional artists from around the world. Each style is a complete musical environment, providing, introductions, fills, breaks, endings and variations. The Style engine follows your timing, chord changes and voicing, delivering an immensely powerful musical performance automatically – no pre-programming required. You can choose from a diverse range of musical styles such as jazz, latin, country, pop, rock, techno plus many more

Sequencing Power

The Korg Pa588 contains a powerful 16-track 55,000 note multi-track sequencer which offers amazing creative potential. In addition to manually recording each part individually, you can use the Backing Sequencer function to record each instrument of a style-generated accompaniment in real-time in a single pass, allowing you to create songs incredibly quickly. You can also simply step in the chords and create an entire arrangement without playing a single note. During playback, the XDS dual sequencer can play one sequence file as you load another. Using the DJ-style crossfader, you can seamlessly crossfade between these for non-stop entertainment.

A Range Of Practical Functions At Your Fingertips

The KORG SongBook function organizes MIDI and Style data by genre, title, and artist name. For example you can use the Song Book to quickly search for the desired song data by artist name, and then recall with a single touch the MIDI file or style, effects and all settings specified for that song. It’s not only a boon for live performance, but it also lets you use the Korg Pa588 for composition or arranging as a piano with a powerful musical data base built in.

Stunning Design

The Korg Pa588 is a stunning piece of design with a beautiful body housing a superb integrated sound system featuring two full range speakers in bass reflex enclosures to bring out the full natural richness of the magnificent piano voice. (A headphone jack enables private practice; muting the sound through the speakers).

Comprehensive audio i/o connectivity means you can play the Pa588’s sounds through external amplification and speakers, you can also play sounds from other audio sources through the Korg Pa588’s sound system along with the Korg PAa588’s own sounds. MIDI connectors are provided, allowing you to transfer performance data between other musical instruments and computers. The USB connector allows single-cable connection to your computer for backing-up your performance data or for transmitting/receiving MIDI data.

There’s an interesting if somewhat brief video of the Pa588 in action over at that is worth checking out.

You can also visit Korg’s own website for the pa588.

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008, Featured, Professional Audio.