Welcome to my Korg KROSS 61 Keyboard Workstation review. So here we are with a fantastic keyboard workstation from Korg. As you can see from the amazing demonstration video below, there is a lot going on in this one keyboard. With so many sounds to choose from and all the different backing track options, it is a really good all-round workstation.
I have to say, though, that watching this video, it’s hard not to get distracted by how great his playing is. But he runs through all the main features and gives you a really good idea of just what it is capable of. I suppose it’s just worth keeping in mind that we’re not all as good at playing keyboards as he is, but at least with all the sounds and options available here, you have a great tool for performing your songs and getting new ideas down quickly.
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PROS & CONS
- Contains many high-quality sounds covering all musical styles.
- You can quickly select the sounds you want.
- Save up to 64 favorite sounds for ultra-quick selection.
- Backing drums actually sound like real drums.
- Customizable keyboard split functions.
- Sound layering function enables you to create a fuller overall sound.
- Arpeggiator can be used for performing live sequencing.
- Quickly record your musical ideas.
- Lightweight, battery powered body.
- Connect to your computer with USB.
- Some analog synth fans may miss the lack of knobs for direct hands-on manipulation of synthesizer sounds.
- The sequencer is limited to 64 steps.
Who is the Korg KROSS 61 Keyboard Workstation Designed For?
I would say that this workstation is perfect for anyone who wants a good all round keyboard for performing live. You can either perform on your own along with the backing drums or you could use it as part of a full-band live setup. It is very quick and easy to change the options and switch between sounds at the press of a button or by turning a dial.
I also think this is ideal for composers or songwriters who want access to a wide range of inspirational sounds at their fingertips. You probably saw in the video how quick and easy it is to record an idea for use later, which can be changed as much as you want at a later time. Great for when those moments of inspiration suddenly come to you while you are noodling around on the keys.
Lightweight, Runs on AA Alkaline Batteries
Even with 61 keys and all the sounds and options contained in the Kross 61, it only weighs 4.3 kg/9.5 lb. This means that it will be ideal for taking around to concerts when performing live, or for taking traveling if you want to write songs while on the road. The fact that it runs on AA batteries means that you could easily have it just sat on your lap with your headphones plugged in while you come up with new song ideas. Alternatively, you can plug in an AC adapter to run it off the mains.
Exceptional Piano & Drum Sounds
If you are looking to perform live using great piano sounds, the Kross 61 has it all. You’ve got the grand piano sounds with velocity and decay that makes it sound as close to a live grand piano as it’s probably possible to get. There are also upright and electric piano sounds taken from popular Korg instruments of the past. Then there are the extremely realistic-sounding drums which you can use to accompany your performances.
Sounds to Cover Every Style of Music
Although the piano and drums sounds are particularly worthy of mention, we must not forget to mention all the other great sounds the Kross 61 contains. You’ve got rock and jazz organs, synth pad, church organ, synth lead, bells, bass, some very convincing guitar sounds, orchestral strings, and much more.
Sound Elector and Favorites Function
To select your sound, first you turn the Category dial to the appropriate category (e.g. organ) and then you turn the Select dial to find the specific sound. In addition to this, you can store up to 64 favorite sounds for instant selection at the touch of a button.
Layer and Split Functions
For a fuller sound, you can layer up multiple sounds together, for example, the classic combination of piano and strings. There is also the customizable keyboard split function which enables you to play different sounds on different areas of the keyboard. Ideal for playing bass sounds with your left hand and synth lead or piano with your right hand.
16-Track 64-Step MIDI Sequencer
You can use this to build up backing sequences for performing live, or you can use it to compose your ideas for developing further later. It’s just a shame that this sequencer is limited to only 64 steps.
Connect to Computer with USB
You can install the free KROSS Editor and Plug-in Editor programs, which give you on-screen access to all the KROSS 61’s parameters. This can save you a lot of time that you may have otherwise spent looking through the options on the keyboard itself.
So there you have it. the Korg KROSS 61 is a great all round keyboard workstation. Whether you are using it for live performance in a band setting, as a one-man-band setup, or as a convenient way to write songs, it is a great choice. As I said, pure synth fans may wish there were more hands-on synth controls, but for the average keyboard player, this is not likely to be a problem. If you want a solid keyboard with lots of sounds and customizable options, you can’t really go wrong here.
I hope you found my Korg KROSS 61 Keyboard Workstation review helpful, but if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will reply as soon as I can.
All the best,