Korg Electribe Sampler Review – Great Sampler/Production Station

Welcome to my Korg Electribe Sampler review. As you can see in the video below, this is a great fun box for performing samples and beats live. It’s very easy to quickly get a beat going and manipulate the sounds on the fly. You can tweak the filter, add effects, play chords, change the pitch, and even switch between different samples, all while it is sequencing.

So, let’s take a look at it in detail…

Korg Electribe Sampler

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Product:  Korg Electribe Sampler

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon

My Rating:  (94%)

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Watch the Korg Electribe Sampler in action:


Sampler and Synthesizer in One for an Unlimited Range of Sounds


Korg Electribe Sampler Synth
It has to be said, if you are able to sample any sound, the possibilities that lay before you are limitless. And with the Electribe Sampler, once you have recorded your sample, you can trim it, reverse it on the fly, and put it through anyone fo the 38 different effects.

Not only does the Electribe Sampler come with built-in samples and offer the flexibility of recording in your own samples, it can also synthesize sounds from scratch using several different types of analog modeling sound engines. Any of these synth sounds and samples can be put through the 3 filters – low pass filter, high pass filter, and band pass filter. You can also use the “Time Slice” function to automatically slice up a sample and then change the tempo or assign effects to it.

Sequencing and Live Performance: the Best of Both Worlds


Korg Electribe Sampler Live Performance
Of course, the ability to sample and manipulate sounds isn’t much good without the ability to sequence them, so it’s great that the Electribe Sampler has a built-in step sequencer. You can use it as a drum machine by assigning drum sounds to each of the 16 pads. Alternatively, you can use it to sequence your own samples, building up a complex pattern of interesting sounds. You can even play around with the sequences by using the “step jump” feature or by changing the “last step” as a way to make your beats more varied.

However, you don’t just have to have pre-programmed your sounds into the sequencer. You can use the 16 pads to play the sounds live, and you can even build up sequences on the fly. In addition to this, the touchpad on the left of the unit can be used for creatively manipulating the sounds in a number of innovative ways. Great for adding a nice live performance element to a concert.

The built-in effects can be applied to any sound, and include such classics as compression, distortion, and delay. You can also add grooves to your music by simply assigning groove templates. You can also use the touchpad to control the effects in creative and spontaneous ways. Add effects on the fly such as “Vinyl Break” or “Odd Stepper”. You can also switch patterns live using the trigger pads.

With all that being said, there may be some people who might find a step sequencer to be limited. If you want to have an unlimited sequencer to work with, you may prefer something like Propellerhead Reason combined with a MIDI controller such as the Akai MPK Mini MKII.

However, you don’t necessarily need to make the choice between hardware and software because both can work together seamlessly. The Electribe Sampler has been designed to work well with [easyazon_link identifier=”B00AZ98Z8U” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”google02a0-20″ cart=”n” popups=”n”]Ableton Live[/easyazon_link] software. The Electribe Sampler can save patterns in Ableton Live format. These patterns can then be arranged in Ableton Live as scenes and clips. But if you are not sure whether you want to buy Ableton Live, you can try it for free anyway, because the Electribe Sampler comes with a free copy of Ableton Live Lite to try it out.

Korg Electribe Sampler Ableton Live

Keyboard players may miss the absence of a standard keyboard, but I don’t think that is who the Electribe Sampler is aimed at. It’s more for building up grooves and sample-based music, rather than playing notes in live. However, if you definitely would prefer to have a keyboard, it’s worth taking a look at the Novation Launchkey.

Let’s Talk About Portability and Construction…


This is going to be great for taking to gigs, because it is battery powered and solidly built. However, both of those things come with a slight down-side. Because it is so solidly built, it is a little bit on the heavy side. There is usually going to be a trade-off with the build of a product, though. If it is lighter, sometimes this can mean it is more easily breakable. If it is heavier, this can be because it is made of toucher material. It can also mean there is a lot going on inside it.

This brings me onto the next point. Yes, it is battery powered, but you may find that it uses up the battery power rather quickly. Also, the LED lights don’t work when you are using the batteries. All this can be easily solived just by plugging it into the electricity, though.

Is the Korg Electribe Sampler Suitable for You?


If you are a beginner and want to make your first steps into electronic music production, this is ideal for you. Even if you are not skilled at playing any other instruments, you will be able to quickly get some beats and cool sounds going. Also, even if you are someone who already has some experience making music, this is great for live performances. It is best suited to music that is driven by loops and samples. If that sounds like you, you can’t really got wrong with the Electribe Sampler.

Musicians who want a standard keyboard should take a look at the Novation Launchkey. For those wanting more than just a step sequencer, something like Propellerhead Reason would be a good choice.

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Thank you for reading my Korg Electribe Sampler review. I hope you found it helpful. If you have any comments or questions, I invite you to post them to the comments section below. I always try to reply to comments quickly.

All the best,
Marcus

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30 Comments

  1. Boniface

    Hi,
    That’s quite an informative post. Thanks for writing such good quality content in your website. It is helpful to us who’ll read it.
    Does the Korg Electribe Sampler come with a keyboard customized for left handed people? If so, where are those available?
    Once again thanks and keep offering such good quality content which is certainly helpful.

    Boniface

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      No, I don’t think it comes with a left handed keyboard. The Kurzweil PC3LE6 can be configured for left-handed people.

      Reply
  2. ariefw

    I don’t think I will come across this product if you have not reviewed it. I, myself, do not understand music that much.

    My sister was asking me to help her find a great sampler production station. So I googled around and find your site. I will direct her to your site and let her judge it herself.

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      I’m glad you found it helpful, Ariefw. Thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  3. Julius

    That’s a great and detailed review. I do not really know anything about sound mixing. But this kinda looks interesting and appealing to use. I’m curious, how long and how difficult it would be to get a good understanding and skill to do this for some one who just LISTENS to music casually?

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Well, the great thing about the new kind of hardware samplers and sequencers like this, they do tend to be easy to use. But it really depends whether you have any kind of musical ability at all. Sure, you will be able to do something with it, but whether it will be really good depends on your own musical talent I think.

      Reply
  4. Maurice

    I am looking to get into making my own music and I was wondering whether this is the best choice for me. I have not really made music before, so I don’t want anything that is too difficult to use. But is this really worth the money, or would I be better off getting software and a MIDI controller?

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Great question, Maurice. This is an excellent product, but it really depends on how you intend to make music. If you want something that requires zero setup and can make music straight out of the box, this is a great instrument. However, if you want to be able to expand things a bit more, something like the Maschine Mikro MK2 might be worth looking into, just for the sheer amount of sounds you get with the software that it comes with. Or if you want to try out Ableton Live, you could go for the Novation Launchkey 25 MKII. All good options really.

      Reply
  5. Matteo

    Hello, I love this post, I produce music all the time, I will definitely consider this and look more into it. I have one question, though. Which do you think this is most suited to? Live performance or in the studio? I already have a studio setup, but was just looking for something I can use live.

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Yes, this would be great live, and the cool thing is, you can even use it alongside Ableton Live software. Have you ever used that software?

      Reply
  6. Alex

    Hey Marcus,
    This sampler has a ton a features and looks really simple to use. I have been looking for a sampler mainly to be used at home for some basic recording.
    Would you recommend this sampler for recording music or only for live performances? If not, is there a better one for recording purposes?
    -Alex

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Well, if you are going to use samples for studio recordings, you would probably be better off just using the sampler built into Propellerhead Reason.

      Reply
  7. Chris

    I’ve often wondered what exactly was happening with stand alone samplers these days because software has moved on so much. I can still remember using my Akai decades ago to try and manually one shot a loop ( those were the days! ). These days Ableton or Fl Studio ( or even Logic or Cubase ) make the whole gig simple – point click cut loop done.

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      You are right, Chris. Sampling has moved on in leaps and bounds.

      Reply
  8. Tiffany

    Awesome job reviewing this product. $400 is a bit much for me lol however, it did give me an idea. I work on video games. That is, creating them. Thus far my audio has come from solely audio programs. I may just look further into this now that I came across your post. Do you know if it comes with a way to save files to your computer? Or is it something I would have to record the sound of with other equipment. Sorry for the questions I am new to this equipment. Again nice review and good luck!

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Yes, it works well with Ableton Live software, and you can save things as files that can be imported into the software.

      Reply
  9. Brendan

    Hi Marcus,

    My teenage daughter is starting out and although you mention that this is ideal for a DJ or electronic musician who wants a quick and way to manipulate samples and beats I was wondering if this would be ok for a beginner or is there another product you would recommend?
    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Yes, the Electribe Sampler is great for beginners. You can just start pressing buttons and making sounds straight away.

      Reply
  10. Steve T

    Hi Marcus,

    I found your review very informative and the videos helped me understand more regarding what it can do.
    But can you tell me how easy does this integrate into a PC set up?

    Can you tell me would you class this as an “entry” level sampler or would you recommend honing the craft further before getting one?

    Thanks Again
    Steve T

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, I would class this as an entry level sampler, but which can do a lot of things too. Connecting it up to the computer will just be a case of plugging it in via USB.. Then, if you have Ableton Live, you can just start using it straight away with that.

      Reply
  11. Hari S Nair

    I really found this post very informative. I am not a musically trained guy but I like playing music based on the little knowledge I have about it so Korg Electribe Sampler is definitely something I would like to try.
    The video really makes me to think that I can do a good DJ in small parties though :)…As per your description I am sure building sequence on this would be real fun.

    Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Yes, it would definitely be a lot of fun, and quick to learn too.

      Reply
  12. Raymond

    You are right. As an ordinary person, this wouldn’t suit me. Call me old fashion but I used to remember that A DJ station used to have that big circle thing on top of it so that you can make some scratching sound effects.
    However, I do remember playing on an ipad app something similar to your dj station. I don’t have any backgrounds in playing techno songs, but I was able to enjoy the simplicity of it.
    Looking at your review, I have a feeling that it wont be that hard for anyone who wants to learn.
    Thanks for the great review. Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Thank you, Raymond. Yes, this is not a DJ tool as such, but more for creating new music. You can still get DJ stations that have the circles for doing scratches if that is what you are after.

      Reply
  13. Caito Junqueira

    Hello, Marcus,
    Thank you for your “Korg Electribe Sampler Review”.
    It really seems a great gadget for samples and beats that can help a DJ a lot.
    I’m always a bit suspicious about digital equipment compared to analog technology, but your review is very convincing.
    Is there a comparison of performance about those 2 types od technology?
    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Here is a comparison between an analog and digital synthesizer:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzLUX5BlcwE

      Reply
  14. Ben

    Wow. What a machine. I had NO IDEA that anything like this existed in the world. Do you have to be able to play an instrument to use it? The video looks like it is a breeze to get some tunes flowing. I would imagine it is not quite that simple but still WOW. If I had more time on my hands I would love to learn how to play something like this!!

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      The great thing about a little box like this is that you probably don’t need to already be able to play any instruments to get started. Even a complete beginner could fire up a few samples and get a beat going, I’m sure. Even you could do it, Ben 😉

      Reply
  15. Bob

    I’ve been producing on and off for a couple years now and I’ve been actively searching for a sampler that I can use to sample some of my favorite 70’s jams. I’ve heard of the korg electribe from other producers but I’ve never actually seen one in action before and know little about samplers in general. I like that with these, you don’t really need any prior musical knowledge to start making beats and that’s what I’ve been looking for specifically.

    Reply
    1. Marcus (Post author)

      Yes, it’s great for people to start making music if they have never had any previous experience before.

      Reply

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