Korg Karma Synth Workstation

Korg Karma
Korg Karma

Wow! I just snagged a Korg Karma Synth Workstation in near mint condition today for $160 bucks. There also was a JV-1000 Workstation available right next to it for the same price, but I decided to run with the Red Karma. I didn’t feel like digging into another laborious red epoxy cleanup job with the JV-1000 like I had to do with the one I already have. For those that don’t know, there is a terrible red epoxy issue with both the Roland JV-1000 and XP-80 keyboard workstation whereby the weights come unglued under the keys and drips all over the place. I actually bent over and examined under the JV-1000 and sure enough, the red epoxy was breaking up. I warned the “Hard Off” store sales staff, but they kind of gave me a deer in the headlight look…laugh.

In any event, I’ve always wanted a Red Korg Karma and now it’s sitting pretty in my studio on the stand where I test new gear out. By the way, I do plan to post photos of my studio room as I’ve been getting quite a few emails about where I put all my gear since space is so limited in Japan. I’ll try to post some photos in an upcoming post this weekend.

I’m a little mystified as to why the used music store was selling the Korg Karma for so cheap. There were no EXB boards inside and it wasn’t equipped with the MOSS board either, although I didn’t expect that. I removed the EXB-PCM04 (Dance Extreme) and EXB-PCM05 (Vintage Archives) from my Korg Triton Rack because I heard they were “Karmafied” and put them into the Karma. They make a nice addition to the Karma. I don’t have the EXB-PCM09 (Trance Attack) yet, but “may” pick that up. The Korg Karma only has two expansion slots though. I’m on the fence about the MOSS board. I’m not sold on it yet, but if I find a good deal I may acquire that.

The Korg Karma is actually quite fun to play. There are a lot of combis that I’m not fond of, but overall there are some pretty good sets to work with. I may try to find a way to create my own custom bank to streamline things a bit, but for now it’s a really nice synth to jam with. I know there is software for this from Karmalabs, but I’m not sure about being tethered to a computer right now, BUT, you can create PCGs and GEs for storage in the Korg Karma, so that’s pretty cool.

The Korg Karma Synth is unique and I do believe it’s quite different than my Korg Trinity and Triton. I know there are some similarities, but how one approaches the Karma Synth is likely to be different than the Triton. I also believe that Korg Karma could become a classic one day. It might already be one. I was extremely surprised to see one for sale in my neck of the woods because Korg is very popular in Japan and I’ve never seen a live Korg Karma before. Thus it goes without saying, I was pretty excited to find one especially in the near perfect condition it was in. As always, the original Japanese owner took really good care of it.

Here’s a video found on Youtube that highlights exactly the stuff I like to do with the Korg Karma.

2 thoughts on “Korg Karma Synth Workstation

  1. I’m having WAY to much fun with the Korg Karma. I decided to buy the Korg EXB-MOSS expansion board today. I can’t wait to throw that in and jam away. Seriously, the Korg Karma is a FUNtastic synth. I also midi’d it up to my Korg Triton Rack and it really opens up more possibilities with the added arps, EXB expansions, and the sampling. I definitely will be taking the Korg Karma on the road with me.

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