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I recently got the chance to sit down with the Korg Krome EX 88 for a couple of weeks to really try it out. This keyboard came out in the beginning of 2019 and it was instantly being talked about as it is an affordable option that still packs a punch.
A couple of things that I noticed before getting it sent to me was that it lacked sample pads. I knew that people would be commenting on this and I wanted to give it a whirl to see if I would miss the pads as well.
The Korg Krome EX is probably the most affordable, yet still quality workstation that I would recommend. It has what you would desire in a workstation and it scaled down to a nice and affordable price. The main thing that they have focused on is to appeal to the EDM musician with the sound selection. Continue you on to read my full thoughts below.
Korg Krome EX Review
The Korg Krome EX is sleek, lightweight, and intuitive. I had the pleasure of sitting down and playing this for a couple of months and a few things stood out to me.
The key-bed feels synthetic, however, it plays incredibly well. The key responsiveness really jumps out at you as you can play with dynamics and not worry about the keys returning to their natural position with your fingers.
Out of the box, it came with a power cord and a converter that plugs into the back of the keyboard.
The box that it comes shipped in is rather large, so be sure to have help carrying it and also make sure that you enough room to get it in your door. I noticed that I wasn’t able to fit inside my car as the box was far too large.
- Great Key-Action
- Amazing piano & electric piano sounds
- Sleek exterior design
- Tons of drum samples
- Large interface
- Good connectivity
- Durable for touring
- Lack of Sampling Pads
Very rich, crisp EDM leads are loaded with this synth along with some popular trap beats. This is definitely appealing to the kind of music that is totally in right now. Today’s music is in a place where hip-hop and dance are completely ruling.
The video below is me testing this keyboard out, enjoy it.
Electric Piano & Piano Sounds
The electric piano sounds on the Korg Krome EX are definitely something to note. The first piano preset is surprisingly realistic. I was very impressed overall with how good the pianos sounded and I was a bit shocked as the price is on the cheaper end for a workstation.
The piano sounds are different on this Korg keyboard as they were recorded by Seigen Ono, a Japanese sound designer that is highly regarded. They went and added the upright piano as it has been being used all over pop music as of recent. To me, this is a very smart call by Korg.
The Korg EX comes with over 2500 different drum samples that have all of the current styles you will be looking for. These samples are much more up to date than older workstation sounds in my opinion.
The sleek design is really hip and is pretty light-weight. We’re seeing a trend in keyboards lately, they’re all trying to design light-weight products.
I feel like the days of the heavy keyboards are coming to an end as nobody wants to tour with these or even carry them into their studios. Unless we’re talking about old analog synths, then it’s a different story.
This keyboard is also made in 61 keys and 73 keys. These keyboards do not have weighted keys, for those who enjoy weighted keys.
Dual polyphonic arpeggiators
This is a pretty cool function of the EX. You can run two different arpeggiators simultaneously. The arps can actually generate bass licks and drum patterns and I find this to be a cool feature.
Lack Of Sampling Pads
While a lot of people have been very critical of the lack of sampling pads, I’m not as critical. I originally thought that I would be, but I like that this such a clean look without sacrificing too much.
Now, if you’re someone who uses sampling pads a bunch, you probably wouldn’t want to go with this.
Somewhere that I feel like Korg made up for this is with its connectivity. When connecting with my laptop and my DAW, I was able to navigate to control my DAW seamlessly.
The EX 88 is loaded with Korg’s NH (natural-weighted hammer-action) keys. Upon my first touch of the keys, I was a little worried as they felt synthetic. With this being said, as soon as I started playing, I instantly loved the keys.
I was able to play with dynamics and the key-action was superior to most keyboards that I’ve played in its price range. I believe that the way the keys play and feel for workstations are some of the most important parts of the instrument.
USB & SD Storage
In conclusion, I believe that the Krome EX 88 is a solid choice for musicians who are looking for a quality workstation and aren’t looking to break the bank.
In other words, I would put this in my list for the best budget workstation keyboards. These have all been tested and tried out by myself.
Would I recommend the Krome EX 88? Yes, I definitely would. I think that the fact that it is moderately inexpensive is whats key.
I also have to say, I’m blown away by the internal sounds of this keyboard. I’ve played a lot of keyboards in which I just don’t find many of the presets desirable and this is not the case.
I was looking to purchase a Korg Krome EX, but after reading your article, it appears I need to do a little more homework. What do you conisder a comparable keyboard to the Krome EX ? Korg or any other vendor, Yamaha, etc.
Trying to keep within a $1500 limit. Any advice is appreciated
I want to buy one but first I need to know if samples sounds can be loaded on it just like Triton.