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Karma Opinion


SlopHappy

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Regarding Karma:

 

I have to say I am a little dismayed by all the negativity I read on the Newsgroups (and here) on Karma. Ok, I do basically understand "some" of it...after all, you've worked a long time for a little respect and ability, and then suddenly, someone throws a monkey-wrench into the whole Caesar salad! Yes! It complicates things. But...am I the only one that is REALLY EXCITED by this new wonder machine?

 

Let me take you on little journey: In addition to being a keyboardist with over 15 years experience, I am also a drummer with over 29 years experience. I saw the birth of drum machines, samplers, electronic drums and controllers during my musical education. You can imagine how I felt about these things, especially drum machines! I think you know what I'm saying and where I'm coming from. These are all just musical tools. The world is better off with them. But, please let me indulge myself with yet one more nebulous revelation:

 

When you keyboardists (guitarists, whathaveyou...) play drums on a sampler, computer, or drum machine, ALL of us drummers know it! It sticks out like Rip Taylor at a String Quartet recital. You just don't play things like a drummer would! Does that make it bad? No. It's just different. (ok, sometimes, hopefully not often, it's bad) The drums in techno is usually quite synthetic, but that's cool. That's part of what makes it a unique form of artistic expression. It opens avenues of expression that a realistic simulation would never provide. Yes?

 

So how is Karma not the most revolutionary thing ever in keyboards?

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I see the parallel between it and drum machines: it's just that this particular machine is quite interactive and interesting. I think some people may feel threatened by it because most other algorithmic and so called "auto-arranging" keyboards have only invaded the territory of jazz and pop styles, while the Karma can really have a shot at Rock and especially prog rock.

 

However, I don't think there are that many people worried that a musician with little technique will be able to grab Karma and just play like he's Emerson. But I'm one who is excited about it.. so I won't try to speak for those who aren't. I love to improvise, and I'm looking forward to seeing whether Karma can add to my concept of improvisation, or if it is too focused on otehr models of music, in which case I'll wait for the GE editor to come out and then see if I can get it to do anything more interesting.

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After reading the article in keyboard, various press releases,and postings on websites, I still have yet to see a good expanation of what exactly makes KARMA so different. As far as I can tell, it's a Triton with a fancy arpeggiator that follows what you're doing; but I'msure it does more than that. Anyone want to give it a shot?

 

 

Jonathan

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I'm sure I'm not qualified to describe it, but...

 

My understanding is it's a massive midi processor, that has real time controls over intelligent phrases, and complete midi data streams. At least that's my understanding. Playing one is what's really cool. It's almost like it's alive. I don't think calling it a simple auto-arranger is completely true. It can do that, yes...with uncanny recognition of what your playing in real time. But, that's just the start. It has a unique sort of musical randomness, that's like getting on a train that your not completely sure where it's going. It's quite a ride, at least in my opinion. Please excuse my enthusiasm. I think this thing is delicious.

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well, listen to these songs and you'll hear some interesting auto-arranging stuff. It's not for drums, but the results are quite interesting.

 

http://www.speech.kth.se/~roberto/emotion/

 

Also look inte this page:

http://www.speech.kth.se/music/performance/

make sure to download the programs, there are some intersting real-time midi-processing stuff there!.

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the KORG Karma...i think its a wonderful keyboard at a decent price of $1799.

 

I just went to a Guitar Center today and played around with the demo model

of it. I WAS BLOWN AWAY. I didnt get much into it, but the pre-set sounds

were excellent and the GE's (or KARMA? dont know which one to use) were just amazing. I was able to play rhythms

that would be, for me, very hard to sequence. The preset drum patterns on the sounds when you use the GE were good.

 

After using the KORG N364 for about 5 months, the KARMA is going to be my first synth purchase. I was thinking about buying my own N364, but the KARMA just blew me away.

 

I think the KARMA is a decent synth for an amatuer musician who wants to create decent music, but not taking so much time programming. I fall into that category. On the N364, i would come up with a rhythm and try to sequence step-time and it would take me a long time because most of my rythms were quite hard to figure out as they were...um...i forgot that S word...its not staccato, its the other one. Now with the KARMA, a cool rhythm, may not be the one i want, is easily attainable.

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I had the opportunity to play with a KARMA for a weekend and really evaluate what makes this keyboard so different. When I turned it on and hit a key I was overwhelmed!! What an awesome sound! The first couple of hours I just sat around sampling what KARMA was capable of using only presets. I was impressed, but the real KARMA is not represented in the presets.

Once you start using the real time controls and the sequencer... there is no turning back! The creative options are limitless and I very sad to see the weekend go.

I don't want to get into all the tech aspects of this synth because I don't think that is the focus of the KARMA. The KARMA is about that kid-in-the-candy-store feeling, the feeling of creative options that were perhaps unrecognized before. I really think this unit is worth the money and as soon as I have the cash (my KARMA fund is always open for donations http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif ) you can bet that it'll be in my rig.

 

------------------

"Lets test his powers!"

-Espresso Guy

"Lets test his powers!"

-Espresso Guy

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Great thread, guys! It's great to see a growing favorable opinion about the Karma, as early on it was a lot of negative dissing.

 

I used to own a Trinity, and there was a demo sequence called "The Sorcerer" that Stephen Kay refers to in the article as being one of the early uses of his prototype Karma software. I was always blown away by that song, as there are realistic guitar strumming effects, as well as awesome cascades of notes and arpeggios. I think it's a good example of what Karma can do (perhaps better than the Karma demos). Check it out if you ever get a chance.

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I used to own a Trinity, and there was a demo sequence called "The Sorcerer" that Stephen Kay refers to in the article as being one of the early uses of his prototype Karma software.

 

I believe that Steven actually called the software Sorcerer when he was first developing it.

 

Another interesting note about Steven - he did the ROM demo for the Quadrasynth Plus Piano - it's one of the better demos that I've heard.

 

Talented man.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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'Randomness'??? I like the idea - and in fact it will change the whole tenor of rehearsal....

 

1999: "Drummer, when are you finally gonna play that damn figure correctly?"

2001: "Drummer, we appreciate and admire the randomness introduced by your personal karma! However we still would like those triplets properly accented as written." http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

 

All kidding aside, it looks like a fascinating synth.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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I've played the Karma in the store, listened to the mp3 demos, and watched the streaming video demo. My initial impression is that it still sounds like a Korg, which is to say that it is a mediocre sound set bathed in waaaay too much 'verb and delay. If you back the effects off of the sounds you'll see what I mean. They're just not that good. The Alesis QS8 is still in my toolchest because I can turn off the effects and still have a beautiful piano sound that an engineer can tart up any way he or she chooses.

As far as the pre-programmed backgrounds are concerned: I spent '83 to '85 selling Lowery home organs out of a mall store. You pushed one finger down below the split point and you'd get a chordal accompaniment, lushly arranged and variable with touch-sensitive bars or kick-levers. Casio and Yamaha have been doing this sort of thing very well for years now with their Casiotone and PSR series home keyboards. The Karma technology is the modern extension of that. Nothing more.

As soon as you hard-wire patterns, even variable ones, into a keyboard, you've guaranteed it a spot on the obsolete pile. We'll hear it everywhere, I'm sure, for a year or two, on TV and radio where producers don't have time or funds to hire a real composer. As cool as Sonic Foundry's Acid is, we all know the wave set and can pick it out easily on a soundtrack or album. It requires some serious modulation and integration with other forms of music production to be a useful tool.

My hope is that the real musicians among us will use the Karma sparingly, or at least with a modicum of taste.

K.

 

 

 

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I understand your points ksoper...maybe a korg product is not for you.

 

I will say, however, that all products make compromises. There are waveforms in my fully loaded K2500XS and K2vx that stink. And that's true of any rompler ever built. When a measly 24-32MB is all you have to represent every instrument that exists, you can see there are going to be extreme compromises. Everyone picks the stuff that best suits their needs. For my tastes, the Triton drums are leagues better than the stock Kurzweil drums.

 

As far as Karma GE's, they are not all some sort of auto-arrangers. Many of the combinations do completely different things than auto accompaniment. They can be applied effects that more realistically articulate notes you play and etc. And these effects are not hard-wired into the keyboard, but are software updatable, so obsolescence is not assured.

 

Whether we like it or not, there is going to be some really cool, new, unheard-of-before stuff coming out of this technology.

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