Korg Universe Volume 1 is from the German company Back in Time Records who specialise in the production of sample CD’s of older classic synths, we have also reviewed Minimoog Classics and Korg Universe Volume 2. Korg Universe 1 is the companion volume to Volume 2 and covers the sounds produced from 17 Korg synthesisers and drum machines, from classic mono synths like the 700S to the Wavestation AD. There is no duplication with Volume 2 and I’d find it hard to think of anything produced by Korg in the 1970-91 period that isn’t covered by one of these sample CD’s.
The synthesisers and drum machines have been accurately recorded with no additional sonic processing. In this volume there are over 1500 individual samples, however to facilitate the the accurate representation of the sounds of these machines there is extensive use of multi-sampling. Therefore there are fewer unique sounds than otherwise may appear at first sight. The advantage of multisamples is that it enables a wider, more accurate rendition of the actual sounds across a wider audio range than just a single sample would do. A single sample played a couple of octaves away from its sampling point can often sound nothing like the original sound would have done at the same point. As this is a CD-ROM release the inconvenience of multi-sampling is removed and the added sonic accuracy produces a more playable range of notes from each sound.
As an added bonus the package comes with a floppy disk of data for the Korg Trinity workstation with some 150 program, combination and effects templates. Unfortunately I didn’t have access to a Trinity to test these but no doubt adds to the value somewhat if you own one.
Like other Back in Time products the presentation is excellent. You get a little booklet, here it runs to 36 pages and quite excellent. The samples are broken down by partition and then by “phase” or program and then further broken down into each individual program. The phases run to a maximum of 8Mb. Each sound is listed out then with its memory requirement. Additionally though as a nice touch is some background information and the odd photo of the machine being sampled.
There is also a page or two of additional user information, mostly about the Trinity disk, but also about key ranges and so forth.
The machines sampled for this collection are as follows:- Synthesisers – 700S, 800DV, PS-3100, Trident MkII, Poly 800, DW 8000, DS-8, Wavestation AD, T1, CX3 Portable Organ, SG 1D Digital Piano, P3 Piano, 03 Orchestra Module and drum machines Wavedrum, minipops 120W, MR16 & DDD1.