31 October 2011

Korg Kronos and Roland Jupiter-80 in the Studio

When I visited the Musik Messe in Frankfurt last year, there were two new synths being presented: the Korg Kronos and Roland Jupiter-80. I saw and heard the potential of these two monster synths directly and ordered them right away on the way back home. It has taken a while and I had to sell some stuff beforehand to make room in both the physical and financial sense, but finally they arrived. Never did I wait so long for something to arrive, but I'm sure I won't regret it. I'm still busy with a release that needs to be done in a week, so I haven't gotten much time yet to play with them, but looking through the menus is very promising. Both synthesizers have one thing in common though: The factory presets are very bad. I really don't get why manufacturers do that. Always the same standard sounds :( Well that does leave room for creativity I guess. I already wrote a little review about the Jupiter-80 before on my blog, but now I can finally compare it to the Kronos as well.

The first thing I noticed when I turned on the Kronos is that it has a noisy fan :( I don't like that at all. Another thing is the build quality: compared to the Jupiter-80 the Kronos feels like a toy. The knobs are very cheap. The keyboard of the Jupiter-80 on the otehr hand plays like a dream and it feels like a tank. I can't say the Kronos keyboard is bad, but the Roland is more my thing. In terms of sound they both are fat, but the Kronos is obviously more versatile with it's 9 different sound engines and much more modulation options. The Jupiter sounds a bit bigger though in my opinion, but I have always preferred the Roland sound so I'm biased I guess. I really can't wait to start programming my own sounds on both of them, because the possibilities are there for sure. I'm very sure you will hear the both of them on future albums :) I'll write a bit more about them in the future when I have more hands on experience.


RikMaxSpeed said...

I actually had a Kronos 88 for a week and traded it in for the Jupiter 80. The Kronos was a big disappointment although eagerly awaited for a long time, plasticy feel, screen font too small and you can't adjust, hyper complex editing, sounds that don't have any oomph. When I packed it back up I discovered the base was made of chipboard! The Jupiter may have it's failings, but I'm very much happier with it.

Anonymous said...

I bought a Triton Extreme back in 2006 and the first time I had it in the studio i lifted the very heavy 88 key model up on a crappy keyboard stand. It collapsed an hour later along with my brand new Triton! A huge hole was now apparent on the bottom of the Triton... yes 3/4 inch compressed chip board. I had to do 'surgery' on the keyboard that night. I had to use a vacuum hose to get all the wood chips from the keyboard guts... also had to use needle nose plyers to free up wood chips from the aluminum weighted key parts. You know what thought! The keyboard was otherwise unharmed. Thank goodness.