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Desc:Someone at Korg thought this was a good idea
Category:Crime, Arts
Tags:beatles, Synth, The Beatles, korg, terrible corporate ideas
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Comment count is 29
wtf japan - 2015-09-08
I hope it comes with a tracksuit.
Scattersane - 2015-09-08
I like how they cut the line right after "I don't care too much for money." That may have been a little too self-aware.
Killer Joe - 2015-09-08
So I'm not an audiophile by any stretch, so my guess is that this thing lets you make a new backing track for these Beatles songs.
Is that right? Do they expect people to pay to be able to do that? Do they expect people, in Briton, to go to paying shows, to see a guy make a new backing track for a damn beatles song?
What the hell is going on here?!?!
EvilHomer - 2015-09-08
Sort of, yes, no, and "what the hell is going on here", it looks to me like this is a lower-middle range keyboard with Beatles-related voices, beats, and performance patches. Also, it's got a cool Union jack color scheme, so you could probably rock one of these things if you were in a Spice Girls cover band, let's say.

EvilHomer - 2015-09-08
That's actually a really nice idea! It's not the sort of keyboard I would go for, personally, but there's a big market for casual, entry-level, "family sitting room" style keyboards. The people who buy these sorts of keyboards are often getting them for kids, or they just don't the time/ patience to master the instrument, so they'll learn a couple chords maybe, and then just fuck around with the accompaniment beats/ pre-programed songs. Nothing wrong with that.

The trouble is, most of these beats and songs are generic and sort of boring - a dozen obscure Latin beats, a score of public domain songs like Fur Elise, and so on. It feels and sounds very half-assed! So having an affordable keyboard that can play Beatles songs and Beatles-inspired accompaniment, that's a nice change of pace, and I can see a lot of people getting use out of a product like this.

Hopefully this idea will catch on, and we'll start to see things like the Korg Gothenburg, the Yamaha CBGB, and the Roland Slave Pit/ Antarctica!
Miss Henson's 6th grade class - 2015-09-08
Oh, the things that Wesley Willis could have done with this thing.

Suck a racehorse's dick with Worcestershire sauce, Ringo.
The Mothership - 2015-09-08
Rock over London, rock on Chicago. Budweiser: the King of Beers.

EvilHomer - 2015-09-08
Eleanor Rigby, Eleanor Rigby, Eleeeaanor Rigby, Eeeeleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby was a real sad Chick
She had no friends
She was a lonely Person
She picked up rice and sat at windows

Eleanor Rigby, Eleanor Rigby, Eleeeaanor Rigby, Eeeeleanor Rigby

Father MacKenzie was a priest
He wrote down lots of stuff
Nobody gave A Shit,
because he was an AssHole

Eleanor Rigby, Eleanor Rigby, Eleeeaanor Rigby, Eeeeleanor Rigby

(pre-programmed Beatles solo)

Eleanor Rigby died
She went on a Hellride to the Grave
Father McKenzie sucked her bootyhole

Eleanor Rigby, Eleanor Rigby, EEEEEEleanor RigBY, Eleanor Rigby

Miss Henson's 6th grade class - 2015-09-08
Evil Homer's got the right idea here.

EvilHomer - 2015-09-09
Let. It Be. Leet. It. Bee. Let. It. BE. Leeet. Iit. Be.

I heard the Beatles were coming to town
They were a Rock and Roll band
I went to the concert
Paul McCartney played some Rock

Let. It Be. Leet. It. Bee. Let. It. BE. Leeet. Iit. Be.

Mother Mary was a jerk
She was inside my head telling me Bad Stuff
I told Paul McCartney this
His security guard punched me in the mouth

Let. It Be. Leet. It. Bee. Let. It. BE. Leeet. Iit. Be.

(pre-programmed Beatles solo)

They threw me out of the Rock and Roll concert
It was raining outside in the street
Mother Mary spoke to me again
She told me to let it be

Let. It Be. Leeet. Iiiiit. Be. LET. IT. BE. Leeet. It. be.

--> We could do an entire album like this! Anyone here own one of these keyboards?

badideasinaction - 2015-09-09
Mean Mister Mustard sleeps in the park
Shaves in the dark trying to save paper
Sleeps in a hole in the road
Saving up to buy some clothes


His sister Pam works in a shop
She never stops, she's a go-getter
Takes him out to look at the queen
Only place that he's ever been


fluffy - 2015-09-08
Korg strikes me as a company that is desperately trying to maintain relevance and visibility in a world of softsynths and cheap laptop-based music production software that can be driven by a M-Audio controller and an iPad app.

I love their cheaper bleep-bloop toys, and I use my Kaossilator and Wavedrum a lot, and I also enjoy DS-1 although I've yet to use it in a recording, but the last full Korg synth I had was an 01/W which I bought used nearly 20 years ago (jesus christ really?) and sold over 10 years ago when I moved to NYC and couldn't keep a lot of stuff, and which has long since been fully replaced and surpassed by Logic X's bundled softsynths.

Also this backing track sounds terrible and their performer should feel terrible.
fluffy - 2015-09-08
oh jeeze listen to the samples on http://www.korg.com/us/products/synthesizers/liverpool/

it sounds like some shitty MIDI that someone downloaded off Geocities, complete with amateurish arrangement mistakes.

Also they claim that you're supposed to be able to make original songs that just capture the "feel" of the original song but they have absolutely no samples of it being used in that way.

Man, Korg, what the fuck happened to you?

Old_Zircon - 2015-09-08
Actually, Korg is one of the few older companies that has found a niche, the monotribe stuff is't breaking any new ground but it has its place, and people seem to like that volca stuff. They seem to hit a nice middle ground between toys and serious instruments that makes them useful for a lot of different people, and they're all pretty cheap. All of these companies are a few years behind what's coming out of the small companies and DIY community and Eurorack world but Korg seems to be making good choices. Akai/Alesis/Numark/etc/etc are the one that's really shitting the bed.

But then there's this, I don't even know.

Leviathant - 2015-09-08
I've got a soft spot for Korg. They seem to do a good job of making tools that are both flexible and affordable. Back in 1998, I picked up a Boss DR-660, because it was basically the latest/greatest drum machine Roland/Boss had out, and maybe I'd read that Squarepusher used it. Surely I would gain an edge with the DR-660 then! But everything I made with it sounded like the kind of beat you'd get as accompaniment on a Casio. I liked the step programming of the x0x machines, but even by 1998, they were well out of reach, and no one was making anything like it. Then Korg comes along with the ER-1 (which, coincidentally, they just released for the iPhone). A drum synth with an x0x style step sequencer, and I think it was 9 at Guitar Center. That was insane.

Picked up a used MS2000 later, also on the cheap, and it's fucking great. They're all over the earlier Ladytron records.

More recently, through reissues of the MS-20 and the Odyssey, they've made it possible to own those machines without cruising Craigslist or eBay and spending thousands of dollars on an old, potentially broken machine. Or you can buy cheapo Volcas. Or get Korg synths for your Nintendo DS. Or your iPad. Or as VSTs.

Korg never struck me as desperately trying to maintain their relevance. That sounded more like Roland up until last year or so.

Folks who buy MS-20m kits aren't going to buy Beatles auto-chord arranger keyboards, and they're not meant to. But if a bunch of Beatles fans who play Beatles cover songs blow money on things like the Liverpool, maybe they'll reinvest that and us bleepy-bloop types will be able to buy a new Arp 2600 in the next couple of years.

Or, even better, they make a Sub37-style Odyssey spinoff. All analog signal path, but computer controlled, so you can store patches and have more complex mod routing.

I don't begrduge them this abomination.

EvilHomer - 2015-09-09
>> Folks who buy MS-20m kits aren't going to buy Beatles auto-chord arranger keyboards, and they're not meant to. But if a bunch of Beatles fans who play Beatles cover songs blow money on things like the Liverpool, maybe they'll reinvest that and us bleepy-bloop types will be able to buy a new Arp 2600 in the next couple of years.

Exactly! A lot of people (particularly on Youtube) seem to be angry about this, on the grounds that it sounds like crap and THEY would personally never use one. But the keyboard enthusiasts who feel this way are missing the point: this product isn't meant for them. It's meant for casual users and Beatles fans.

badideasinaction - 2015-09-09
See, even as an entry product it seems kinda flawed, but I do also understand it's not for the synth geek market. There will always be a market for the Casio synths of each era, this one seems aimed at the wrong market to sell for the kids, but I guess parents will get it for their kids.

The promo for it is still pretty terrible.

Old_Zircon - 2015-09-09
I actually had no idea any name company had made a keyboard like this since the 90s.

I guess it could be fun to circuit bend except everything probably happens in DSP.

Old_Zircon - 2015-09-09
Just as an aside, those reissue Vox guitars are the center of an act of shameless corporate evil by Korg right now:

http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2014/04/phantom_guit ar_works_vox_korg_legal_battle.html

tl;dr Vox never trademarked their designs, one guy in Oregon has owned the trademarks since 1992, Korg is now trying to run him out of business by suing him for infringement on trademarks he owns so their new, shitty reissues don't have to compete with his nicely made and very reasonably priced stuff.

Old_Zircon - 2015-09-09
Waiting for IZ's commentary, since he seems to know everything and everyone in Oregon.

fluffy - 2015-09-09
Casio and Yamaha still make their entry-level "press a key and go" synthesizer lines, available for purchase at your local Target/Wal-Mart/Costco/Guitar Center.

EvilHomer - 2015-09-09
OZ- I hate to defend Korg, but Meussdorffer's behavior does strike me as kind of shitty. He sounds like a nice guy who does quality work, but trademarking a design that you ripped off from a line of guitars you'd seen thirty years prior, that does seem like a douchebag move. I'm all for small businesses and sticking it to the man, but not if the small businesses are the ones using underhanded trademark practices to run the competition out of town!

fluffy - yes indeed! There are a lot of great options for entry level keyboards on offer from Casio and Yamaha. This Beatles one is priced a little high - I checked one website, and the retail there is 0 - but you have to figure, licensing markup, plus the Union Jack livery, maybe that price point is not unreasonable. Most Beatles fans are now aging, financially-secure Boomers, and not to slag off the band or anything, but the Beatles were never really known for the discerning quality of their musicianship; it's possible that Beatles fans won't even notice the cheap-sounding synths.

You mentioned earlier buying an M-Audio controller for . Can you recommend any specific models?

I've not had much luck with controllers myself. The thing is, different people have different approaches to music creation, and thus different needs for their keyboards. I've shopped around for controllers before, but I've never seen any full-sized, 88 key controllers for under a hundred bucks, and even the 0+ ones tend to have cheap-feeling action.

fluffy - 2015-09-09
The two MIDI controllers I use most:

* A Casio Privia PX-300 (hammer-action 88-key keyboard, really nice feel, although the newer Privias are even better). It cost about 0 back in 2004. I have no idea what's current.
* An M-Audio KeyStudio (61-key spring-action) which I got for like at Woot, I think. Sometimes I prefer the spring action, but mostly I use it because it has mod/pitch wheels, which the Privia doesn't (since it's intended as a stage piano). Usually this one just floats around and I just put it on my lap when I need it.

Currently I don't have anything with aftertouch, which I'm getting annoyed with (since painting it in as a control in Logic after-the-fact is annoying and takes me out of the flow) and I've had my eye on the Akai MPK88 which could theoretically replace both of those controllers for me and then some, since it's hammer-action and also has aftertouch, mod+pitch wheels, plenty of fiddly knobs, transport controls (which would make my recording life SO much easier), and even little percussion pads which is awesome for beatmaking. But I've not tried one in person. At some point I'll have to wander over to a Guitar Center to try one out.

The downside to the MPK88 over the Privia is that it doesn't have a built-in sound engine or samples or whatever (it's JUST a controller) so if you want to be able to just turn something on and play music, it doesn't handle that. But pretty much all the time I'm recording MIDI and routing it through a softsynth or one of my 1980s analog synth modules or whatever so that's not a big deal to me.

fluffy - 2015-09-09
Oh also when I travel I usually have my little Ion Discover USB keyboard (a rebranded Akai LPK25) in my bag. No good for playing concertos on or whatever but good enough for sequencing in Logic or whatever. I like it better than the Korg nanoKey series. The LPK25 generally goes for ish which is I think what I paid for it too.

I also have a Frankeinstein-esque electric drum controller (pieced together out of a hodgepodge of Alesis and Roland parts) and, as mentioned earlier, a Korg Wavedrum. I do not recommend the drum controller setup (specifically the Alesis TriggerIO at its core, it's a fucking piece of shit), but the Wavedrum is great, albeit not a MIDI controller.

badideasinaction - 2015-09-10
fluffy - yeah, I have one of the Casio Privia models - I wanted a weighted 88-key controller and theirs felt pretty good, had okay sounds built in and only weighed 25 pounds so it lets me move it around easily. Only problem with it is the hollow nature of it means there's a lot of key thumping noise when you're playing it, so it might be annoying to play it in a setting where there's also a mic.

EvilHomer - 2015-09-10
I've not had much luck with Privias, either. A friend of mine recommended them in the past, but I've tried a few models, and the keys feel strange. The weight is nice and they're certainly priced reasonably enough, but the plastic keys feel rough and sticky, and they're not very responsive. It's hard to describe, but all the Privia models I've tried have had a very distinctive feeling to them, and it's a thoroughly unpleasant experience!

At home I use a Yamaha DGX-650, and I really like the action on it, but it's far too heavy to move around. There's also a nice Casio Celviano at work, but that model's been discontinued, and again, way too big and heavy to lug around.

I guess what I'm really looking for is a digital piano, without the piano...!

fluffy - 2015-09-11
Hm, I love the Privia feel, personally, but it feels like the Yamaha grand piano I learned on growing up. It's certainly no Steinway feel, but it's what I'm used to.

I haven't tried the MPK88 at all so I can't speak to its key feel, but you might want to check it out since it is just a controller without a synth engine. The shipping weight is 67 pounds though so it's probably way heavier than you'd like.

Some people really like Roland keyboards for their action and other people swear by Fatar so you might try those out. It looks like Fatar no longer sells their own standalone keyboard units and have gone back to just providing it as a part for other manufacturers to integrate, but Kurzweil and Studiologic both seem to offer a few keyboards based around Fatar keys. Look at the Studiologic SL-990 since that looks like it's based around Fatar's top-end mechanism.

15th - 2015-09-09
Take it to India and kill yourself.
chumbucket - 2015-09-09
A tour of all the best places to get mugged in Liverpool.
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