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Rumor Mongering #3005105 08/26/19 03:14 PM
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zeronyne Offline OP
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Actually, I'm just looking for information.

I've just come back up to the surface from a 6 month bender researching and acquiring a modular synth rig. But my question is about workstation keyboards. And they are business questions, not about sound quality and functionality.

The Kronos 2, and the Kronos technology in general, has got to be reaching sunset status. Before I get hammered by Kronos fans, let me just say that I'm just talking from a marketing and growth standpoint. Has anyone heard about Kronos' successor?

Does anyone know how well the MoDx is doing?


"For instance" is not proof.
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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005110 08/26/19 03:43 PM
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I have no inside information, only an opinion: Kronos ended up being what it is as a result of Korg's investment into the Oasys card (intended to fit in a PC), which was then repurposed as the Oasys keyboard, which ended up as the Kronos. I can't see Korg putting in that level of investment into the Kronos' successor.

However, I can envisage further hardware upgrades (CPU, SSD, maybe RAM) as well as OS updates - we've seen those already.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005112 08/26/19 03:43 PM
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I was wondering if there was a successor but it's a great workstation.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005113 08/26/19 03:47 PM
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zeronyne Offline OP
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Originally Posted by stoken6

However, I can envisage further hardware upgrades (CPU, SSD, maybe RAM) as well as OS updates - we've seen those already.
Cheers, Mike.


Yep. It was that idea that got me thinking in the first place. From Wikipedia:

2011 Original Kronos - 2GB RAM, 30GB SSD
2012 Kronos X - Doubled the size of the internal memory and SSD. [9]
2014 Kronos 2 - Major redesign including gold plated sockets, new generation Intel CPU, etc, top of keyboard casing, ventilation mesh, OS V3 (including SGX-2), famous songs library
2016 Kronos 88 Platinum Limited Edition - Identical to Kronos 2 but with platinum color
2017 Kronos 88 Gold Limited Edition - Identical to Kronos 2 but with gold color
2017 Kronos LS - Kronos 2 with light-touch keyboard (only 88), 14 lbs lighter than Kronos 2 88, OS v3.1, sunburnst side panels
2019 Kronos 2 Special Edition (SE) - Identical to Kronos 2, Italian F from Korg Grandstage, KApro Showcase sound library, red/black finish. This was a limited edition release around 2019.

It just seems like an 8 year cycle is amazingly long in the MI biz without a new bell or whistle. It may be that the market is maturing or that they had an ultra-controlled development roadmap. Either way, hats off to them.


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005132 08/26/19 04:49 PM
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Korg doesn't mind keeping a board going indefinitely. The SV1 has been in production since 2009. The MicroKorg since 2002. KingKorg since 2013. If something is selling, they'll just keep making it in different colors. ;-)

Adding to your Kronos timeline, the 2017 Grandstage and 2018 Vox Continental seem to be largely Kronos derivatives, indicating more recent continued development on the same underlying platform.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005139 08/26/19 05:20 PM
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You're talking about a high ticket item in a small marketplace in a bad economy so they are going to try and keep core product and just make cosmetic or minor changes with a longer lifecycle. Just like DAW software very high R&D costs for a tiny market, that's why Apple has talked multiple times about dumping its Pro software, until they realized how much of their high end computers it sold for them.

Music industry isn't doing great right now with this bad economy and people are look for lower end gear or used. Gibson guitars has been whining for year now that people are buying used guitars instead of their overpriced new guitars. Of course their quality control going in the toilet for the last ten years hasn't helped either.

I'd say until Korg can design or buy some great new tech that will lower their cost while expanding the products capabilities you won't see new product lines for awhile.

Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: Docbop] #3005151 08/26/19 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Docbop
I'd say until Korg can design or buy some great new tech that will lower their cost while expanding the products capabilities you won't see new product lines for awhile.

Not just Korg, IMO.

What do we want that the current crop of instruments don't offer? More realism? Better touch? More flexibility and control? idk

dB

Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005152 08/26/19 06:13 PM
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The workstation as we know it from the days of the Fantom and Motif has given way to the laptop producer, trickle down to $999-$1899 priced product families made with cheap components, plastic and lower build quality, disposable asset, and repackaging their IP legacy into boutique/mini key type forms.

There are, of course, new innovations and advancements, flagship products for professional stage, touring and studio work, etc. that will still buy a Kronos or Montage, but I can't imagine the appetite is there for a new designed from the ground up workstation in a box at the price point of what we're used to for Kronos, Fantom, Motif products.

Garage Band is a pretty powerful thing, too.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005159 08/26/19 06:33 PM
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One comment on the Kronos - all of the upgrades more or less have been available going back to the original Kronos, between memory upgrades, OS updates, and purchase of sound sets.

I think some of the things that they could improve on in the future would mean abandoning backward compatibility. So the big question is at what point and to what degree are they willing to do that? Some parts of the architecture and file system can be traced all the way back to the first Triton.

That said, I think there are still people migrating to the Kronos. As long as they keep building market share in that segment, why change? There aren't a whole lot of limitations that would require a whole new platform to address. For the most part they would be addressed in software and perhaps an updated processor and memory. But then again, that gets back to maintaining backward compality vs abandoning and moving forward.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005165 08/26/19 07:18 PM
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I've always wondered about the Kronos.They purposefully used a low cost and low heat cpu to keep the costs low and heat to a minimum. But with all the advances since it's introduction, why not come out with a new version that quadruples the cpu power and ups the RAM? And perhaps double the screen size or at least 50% larger so no more tiny fonts.

The Kronos is a music computer, specialized but generalized at the same time, using mostly off the shelf components. Many people want their keyboards to be self-contained, not have to rely on Windows machines, which apparently take a fair amount of tweaking to get it to the latency and reliability for music as a Mac. And Macs are pricey, and esp for live work, many folks don't want to drag around a PC.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005167 08/26/19 07:31 PM
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Keep mind the $8000 Oasys was released in 2005 and the tech is still trickling down.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005183 08/26/19 09:06 PM
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GregC Offline
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Originally Posted by zeronyne
Originally Posted by stoken6

However, I can envisage further hardware upgrades (CPU, SSD, maybe RAM) as well as OS updates - we've seen those already.
Cheers, Mike.


Yep. It was that idea that got me thinking in the first place. From Wikipedia:

2011 Original Kronos - 2GB RAM, 30GB SSD
2012 Kronos X - Doubled the size of the internal memory and SSD. [9]
2014 Kronos 2 - Major redesign including gold plated sockets, new generation Intel CPU, etc, top of keyboard casing, ventilation mesh, OS V3 (including SGX-2), famous songs library
2016 Kronos 88 Platinum Limited Edition - Identical to Kronos 2 but with platinum color
2017 Kronos 88 Gold Limited Edition - Identical to Kronos 2 but with gold color
2017 Kronos LS - Kronos 2 with light-touch keyboard (only 88), 14 lbs lighter than Kronos 2 88, OS v3.1, sunburnst side panels
2019 Kronos 2 Special Edition (SE) - Identical to Kronos 2, Italian F from Korg Grandstage, KApro Showcase sound library, red/black finish. This was a limited edition release around 2019.

It just seems like an 8 year cycle is amazingly long in the MI biz without a new bell or whistle. It may be that the market is maturing or that they had an ultra-controlled development roadmap. Either way, hats off to them.



Did you post on the Korg forum on the topic ?

Dozens of folks post similar question, speculating, fishing, trying to predict and get a clue what Korg might do with Kronos in the next 6 months.

I know what Korg " should do ". Thats easy. But I don't run the company so what I think they 'should do ' is meaningless.

FWIW, here is a snip of my post on the Kronos forum:

About the speculation or thinking " that a shiny new thing is on the way "

And there is this puzzling perception that the ' shiney new thing ' will be more better or more wonderful, etc.

Just because Korg did the 01/W and Triton and Oasys and Kronos , Korg does not persuade me they will create a ' great new shiney w/s thing'.

IMO , its a big stretch to " assume " at this point, that the ' shiney new thing' will be perfect for the O/P or me or you.

If you analyze Korg, they are a far different co the past 3 years than what they were 2011 and prior.

Just look at their new keyboard products the past 3-4 years. BTW, LS is not 'new'. Neither is the SE.

Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005185 08/26/19 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by zeronyne


Does anyone know how well the MoDx is doing?


according to the Yamaha MODX forum, its asserted to be the top selling keyboard of its class.

I am not surprised . There are good reasons for its best selling claim.. And Yamaha did a very good job on pricing
it with what it offers.

Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005186 08/26/19 09:12 PM
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zeronyne Offline OP
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Hi Greg,

That's the entire point of what I was asking. I think the MI market in terms of flagships has changed, and what traditionally would be the end of the cycle seems to now be a plateau. I was just curious if any of the industry watchers had sniffed out the successor to the Kronos, not because I'm tired of it (I don't own one) or that I think it's obsolete. I'm just wondering what the business methodology is now, which is why I was asking about MoDx sales. The MoDx seemed to come too fast on the heels of the Montage, so I was wondering if it was released early as triage.


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005189 08/26/19 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Randelph
why not come out with a new version that quadruples the cpu power and ups the RAM
What would you like the Kronos to do, that it does not do today, which could be done with more CPU power and RAM?

Personally, rather than move in that direction, I'd have them stick to the same basic specs but switch to a laptop motherboard instead of a desktop motherboard, i.e. one that has a battery sleep mode, so that it could typically be merely put to sleep rather than being shut down, to get rid of the 2+ minute startup time every time you want to use it.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005192 08/26/19 09:59 PM
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Have any owners here gotten into hacking and upgrading their Kronos?
https://marcan.st/2016/06/hacking-and-upgrading-the-korg-kronos/


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: AnotherScott] #3005195 08/26/19 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Originally Posted by Randelph
why not come out with a new version that quadruples the cpu power and ups the RAM
What would you like the Kronos to do, that it does not do today, which could be done with more CPU power and RAM?

Personally, rather than move in that direction, I'd have them stick to the same basic specs but switch to a laptop motherboard instead of a desktop motherboard, i.e. one that has a battery sleep mode, so that it could typically be merely put to sleep rather than being shut down, to get rid of the 2+ minute startup time every time you want to use it.


I don't know how well the SST works on the Kronos, but for starters you could at least double the polyphony, double the number of insert fx, and have a totally comprehensive SST that operates seamlessly in all modes. With a larger screen and track pad built-in, you'd have a viable alternative to a full blown DAW without having to deal with computers. They're not that far from being able to do that based on what they've got already. Don't remember the discussions about why it's not a 10 second boot up like my laptop.

Of course this is pure speculation on my part, what seems easy or a natural progression to me might be very expensive and challenging for them to bring to market.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: Randelph] #3005199 08/26/19 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Randelph
for starters you could at least double the polyphony, double the number of insert fx, and have a totally comprehensive SST that operates seamlessly in all modes.

I guess my question is really, does that matter? How many people have had issues with running out of polyphony or insert fx? I don't know, maybe it's a lot, but it's not something I've commonly seen people complain about. Maybe because even the current numbers exceed those of most other boards. From their perspective, the question might be, would they sell more units if they came out with a model with more polyphony and fx. I wonder if we'd see a lot of upgraders.

The only place I've found SST to not work is in the Quick Split mode, which I admit is aggravating. But I'm not sure it's a processor limitation. Considering that it fails for the simple environment of a 2-Program combi, I suspect its implementation rather than horsepower. But yeah, I was disappointed that it was not effective to use Quick Split during Performance, to change just the RH sound while keeping the LH sound the same... the sound would cut out with the change. I think they simply considered it an editing aid, and didn't expect that someone might want to perform in that mode.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: zeronyne] #3005203 08/26/19 10:45 PM
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As someone who all but married an 01Wfd and still uses a TR61, my response would be: I married Logic to get away from squinting into a "modest" workstation display. Waldorf's Quantum comes close to "fixing" the problem with an essential iPad form that looks very inviting, but that's just as a $4k synth. Adding a sequencer would make it $5k, easily. There are sharp sales drop-offs when you add another one or zero. As we old farts die off, its an increasingly smaller number of young'uns who want to labor over a behemoth keyboard for Everything. Most clearly prefer laptops/pads stuffed with soft-synths, modulars and/or a small table covered in very fine (but still reductionist) tools like the Minilogue XD. Korg is doing the smart thing in a business sense. A brave few will always want serious, high-dollar instruments like Nord Stages because they're extra-committed, but its Boutiques and pocket modulars that move units in the highest numbers.

I can be surprised; its happened before! That said, its hard to imagine a workstation leap that could tear people away from their computers now, including me. You see Nords, Motifs, Kronii and Jupiter-80s backlined a lot with good reason: they're mature instruments, no further growth really needed. You know when you'll see a new workstation from anyone? When sales of the flagship tech in budget spin-offs finally bottoms out.


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Re: Rumor Mongering [Re: AnotherScott] #3005206 08/26/19 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Originally Posted by Randelph
for starters you could at least double the polyphony, double the number of insert fx, and have a totally comprehensive SST that operates seamlessly in all modes.

I guess my question is really, does that matter? How many people have had issues with running out of polyphony or insert fx? I don't know, maybe it's a lot, but it's not something I've commonly seen people complain about.



I am a constant noisemaker about the limited polyphony. I have constantly explained why for some years. Here's my snip:

use the SEQ 99% of the time, and go up to 16 midi tracks.

There ere certain engines that are resource hungry. If I use half of them, my song recordings will have clicks and pops, and note cut off's.

Which ruins the song recording.

So I have to compromise on what sound engines I use in a multi track song recording. For example, HD-1 is not as resource hungry so I use this frequently.

There is a good post from a few months back that explains the resources used by each engine.

The AL-1 and Mod-7 and STR-1 are hungry fellows. I would like to use all of these in multiple tracks in my songs . Its not possible. And no, I will not record them seperately and dump them as Audio tracks. Takes far to long to do this all the time. I am picky about my work flow and prefer productivity- which supports my 60 recorded originals on SoundCloud.

But thats how I roll. And mostly everyone is different. What great about Kronos is its flexibility. I don't mind compromises as its all about the musical end result, IMO.


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