Jan 22

One of the biggest surprises for me this Namm is the release of the Yamaha Montage with its new Motion Control Synth engine. Yamaha state that it “sets the next milestone with sophisticated dynamic control, massive sound creation and streamlined workflow from the company that brought you the DX and the Motif”. The Montage is certainly very good-looking synth packed with sounds, so much so that I immediately think this is going to be expensive. There are the usual 3 models with 61, 76 and 88 keys and the cost ranges from approx £2100 to £2800. I really wish they would bring out a rack mounted version of it as I have said before like many other synth enthusiast, I do not have room for another keyboard.

The Motion Control Synthesizer Engine controls two famous Yamaha Sound Engines – Advanced Wave Memory 2 (AWM2) and FM-X. What is really useful is the AWM2 engine is compatible with previous generation Motif libraries, but is exponentially more powerful than the previous Motif XF flagship, with nearly ten times more wave memory, integrated flash, double the effects and twice the polyphony.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 15



I am very sorry but 2016 has started badly with my website out of action. I am very pleased to announce that it is now back up and running again and I appologise for any inconvenience this has caused you.

It may well be half way through the month but we are getting very close to The 2016 Winter NAMM trade show in Anaheim, California which begins next friday . Already the excitement has started with the anouncement of a new synth from Korg called the Minilogue, a 37 slim-key fully programmable analog polyphonic synthesizer costing £435.

Also, there are the rumors of a new synth from Yamaha called the Montage. Speculation as to whether or not this will become the successor to the Motif is being discussed in Yamaha forums.

We may also see a new Roland sampler added to the product line-up, possibly as part of the AIRA series.

It seems that all the main companies have been recently bringing out products regressing back to yesteryear recreating sounds from the 70’s and 80’s. Personally I wish one of these companies would build a synth for 2016 that would produce sounds like Spectrasonics Omnisphere which are right up-to-date but not rely on a computer to store all of its sounds and have problems of latency. The Korg Kronos is probably the best at this at present but it is still heavily loaded with presets that look to recreate real instruments. Whilst this is good to have, it would be nice to have a synth that recreates solely the software synths sounds that we have today.

Anyway, let’s see what Namm brings us next week.

Jan 24

Best of Namm 2014


The NAMM show is such a great event running from 23 January 2014 to 26 January 2014 in its usual location of Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, although I have seen there will also be a Namm show in Russia in September 2014.

Sometimes the companies build the hype to such an extent that you feel a little let down when you see the new products, but as you dig a little deeper, there is normally something for everyone. Whether it is precisely what you are after is another matter but you can easily get drawn in and dream of possibilities for you.

For me, I have my own selection of goodies from the show, so apart from the four that we have already looked at:- ROLAND FA-06 and FA-08 Synth Workstation, ROLAND RD-800 Stage Piano, ROLAND TM-2 Trigger Module and M-AUDIO Finger Trigger Pro, my favourites are:-


It looks like ROLAND VT-3 VOCAL TRANSFORMER and ROLAND ARIA will not be at NAMM 2014 and following Waldorf’s tease of possibly a new synth, nothing as materialised as yet.

I hope to look at the above in a little more detail, so stay tuned

Jan 11

Forget Christmas – January is the Month for Music Makers



January is my Christmas with the anticipation of what is to come. On the 15th January, Roland are to announce their new products and from the 23rd to 26th January 2014 we have the famous Namm show from Anaheim Convention Centre, 800 West Katella Avenue Anaheim, CA 92802.


So what are we likely to see in 2014? Will it be something new from access like a Ti 3 or something outstanding from Yamaha to put to bed the MOTIF and MOX series for good. I am sad to see the undeveloped Roland Fantom 8. In my opinion there is nothing like it out there. It had so much potential. I truly hope that if Roland bring out another 88 note synth it has a fantastic piano action keyboard like the Fantom 8 unlike the MOTIF or the Kronos who quite frankly should supply a much better key action for the cost.


Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 1

Whilst existing Korg Kronos owners sit patiently on the edge of their seats waiting for O/S version 2 to be available, Korg slowly try to tempt us with the Kronos X, drip-feeding us bits of information as to how much more you can do with the extra room. They even pre-load demos of their expansion sets to lure you into buying them, demonstrating how easy the sets can be loaded and accessed. Here is one of those tempting You Tube clips to wet your appetite:-

Jul 13

The biggest surprise for me at the Summer Namm show 2012 was announcement of the Korg Kronos X which seemed very strange to me. The Korg Kronos is probably the best synthesizer in the world, however its release revealed many problems and unhappy customers. Following on from the initial problems, there are still problems with the keybeds, stability issues, very long boot-up times and the text on screen is also very small. The updates which included the release of the editor software obviously assisted with the small text. I was wondering whether the release of the Kronos X was an admission the Kronos was not quite right.

Interestingly Korg are saying that they have reduced the load-up time on the Kronos X, but I believe the keybeds are still the same and that there have been no changes to the size of the text. For existing Kronos owners there will shortly be an update to Version 2.0 to bring in the new facilities that the X is offering. So what is new on the Kronos X?

Korg tell us that the new Kronos X has approximately 2GB of available PCM RAM which allows more sample data to be loaded at once. It also adds a boost to the internal memory and SSD size, the Kronos X indicates its expanded, and truly limitless potential. It boasts double the SSD capacity providing a staggering 62 GB to give you enough space for gigantic sound library expansions, such as the Kronos Sound Libraries and the KARO Sound Libraries. With Version 2.0 on a Kronos you will be able to add a second SSD drive so it is like the Kronos X.

The KRONOS X also contains the EXs 10 – 13 expansion sample series of KRONOS Sound Libraries pre-installed in demo mode. After you’ve tried them out, you can obtain these sounds for yourself by simply purchasing a license key.

Apr 6

Korg Kronos O/S Update 1.6 , Editor and Plug-In Editor

Korg Kronos O/S Version 1.6 and The Editor/Plug-In Editor software for the Kronos are now available with effect from the 6th April 2012 for download at www.korg.com/kronos/support . All you need to do is select  “Software” for the editor and select Operating System for O/S 1.6. You will also need to visit the “Drivers” section to download the latest USB-MIDI driver.

Korg Kronos OS v1.6, which is required to run the Editor/Plug-In Editor. In addition to various bug fixes, this update also adds an “Uninstall EXs” command, which will completely remove selected EXs data from the internal SSD.

Thank you very much for this free update


Mar 21

At Musikmesse in Frankfurt  today, a Korg demonstrator explained  that in a few weeks there will be a new operating system 1.6 with editor software. This will make it very easy to edit eveything on a PC or MAC instead of staring at the small screen – Great News.

Alongside this today, Korg is also pleased to announce that KARO EXs Expansion Sample Series and KRS Professional Sound Series libraries are now available for the Kronos Music Workstation. KARO is a sound design team based in Germany, who have been producing high-quality sounds for Korg workstations for several years. Korg is pleased to welcome KARO as the first third-party KRONOS sound developer in their store.
Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 18


For the synth players amongst you, 2011’s biggest highlight so far has got to be the release of the new Korg Kronos – a nine synth in one beast. In many ways it is an updated Korg Oasys but as I have discovered, it is much more besides. A synth of this much depth with its nine synth engines probably requires nine reviews therefore, rather than overload you with information you can easily get elsewhere, I am going to take you through some of my personal experiences so far – some good, some great and some not quite what I had expected. Unfortunately this is still a big article and I have hardly scratched the surface.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 22

The much awaited new Korg Kronos should be available in the shops in the UK in the next few weeks. This is sure to win keyboard of the year for 2011. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these amazing workstations then you may like to watch the Video Manual which is in six parts. These cover 6 essential parts :- 1. Introduction and Navigation, 2. Program Mode, 3. Combination Mode, 4. Sequencer Mode, 5. Set List Mode and 6. Disk Mode.

Please click here and scroll down to watch:- http://www.tonylongmusic.co.uk/keyboards/

« Previous Entries