The Korg RK-100 S 2 was just recently announced at NAMM 2020 and it is the newest release to the keytar family. While this is a very niche market, there are some keyboard enthusiasts like myself who really enjoy keytars.
This keytar is the successor to the Korg RK-100S and it has been long-awaited in the keyboard community.
One of the knocks on keytars for many years has been that they have dated sounds that just aren’t very usable. Well, with the introduction of MIDI, keytars have made a strong push.
The Korg RK-100 S 2 has some surprisingly nice sounding synths as well as MIDI capability.
One of the things that really grabs my attention is the aesthetic of the RK-100 S 2. Korg chose to use real wood for exterior of the keytar and I think it looks and feels great.
My opinion of the Korg RK-100 S 2 is that it is one of the best options for keytarists who want internal synth sounds. With this being said, if you’re looking to run it as a MIDI controller, you may want to check out the AX-edge or the Vortex 2.
- Pretty good sounding internal sounds
- MIDI out to run it as a controller
- Great bundled software
- Included soft case
- 2 ribbon controllers
- Can be powered 6x AA batteries
- No Bluetooth
Korg RK-100 S 2 Overview
The Korg RK-100 S 2 is available in both red & black, with both models having a wooden hybrid exterior. Overall, the keytar is quite light, weighing in at 6 pounds.
The keytar has gotten a lot of negative energy towards it over the years, and I really don’t understand it. While the sounds have always been kinda sub-par, I do believe the recent releases, including the RK-100 S 2 have made major improvements.
You can also run the RK-100 S2 as a MIDI controller in case you just are really not digging the sounds. One thing I was really surprised about this keytar is that the sounds are definitely a step up from its predecessor.
The bundled software with the RK-100 S 2 is a really great offer from Korg. All in all, there are 11 different software included with your purchase.
- Korg Gadget LE 2
- Korg Module
- Korg Collection M1 Le
- UVI Digital
- AAS Ultra Analog Session
- AAS Strum
- AAS Lounge Lizard
- Propellerhead Reason Lite (Free DAW)
- Izotope Izone
I am surprised by the amount of good software that Korg has been offering lately, all for free.
One of my favorite ones on this list is the AAS Lounge Lizard electric piano VST. This is currently one of the best electric pianos that you can possibly find and it’s great to see it offered for free.
Skoove is a nice resource for pianists who are just getting started. Another of my favorites is the UVI pack. UVI makes some incredible VSTs and it’s awesome to see this offered for free as well.
The vocoder on this keytar is a nice little function. The only other keytar that I know of with a vocoder is the Vocaloid by Yamaha. The problem there is that it’s not currently offered in the USA.
There is a monaural mini-input jack which allows you to connect a mic to access the vocoder functionality. I’ve always enjoyed messing around with vocoders as I just find them fun.
Internal Sounds Of The Korg RK-100 S 2
This is really where this instrument shines. In the past, keytars have had a horrible reputation when it comes to their internal sounds. I’ve even thought that they sounded downright cringy in the past.
All of the lead synth sounds have been upgraded and they sound a million times better than their predecessor’s sounds.
There are 200 presets that are all taken from some of the most popular sounds in music today.
I like how Korg did their layout, as you can access your favorite sounds directly on the front of your instrument with a single click.
If you find a sound that you really enjoy, say a bass sound: you can then choose to arpeggiate it with the built-in arpeggiator.
If you’re looking for a keytar solely for internal sounds, this is definitely one of the best options available. You will find a bunch of different pre-sets that you will most likely enjoy.
VS The AX-Edge
The Ax-Edge is currently a beast of an instrument. The Korg comes up short in sounds, as it has 200 and the Roland has 500.
Another department that Roland wins is in the technology of Bluetooth. You can use the AX-Edge as a BlueTooth MIDI controller. This feature isn’t going to be super important to everyone, but for some, it definitely will be.
I play an Alesis Vortex 2 live and I love the Bluetooth technology. It allows me to cover the stage without having a cord attached.
With this being said, the sounds on the RK-100 S 2 are not to be overlooked. I don’t think it’s fair to say they’re better than the Roland, but they definitely are comparable.
One thing to state is that the Korg keytar is $200 cheaper than the Roland.
The RK- 100 S 2 is an 8-note polyphonic synth with 2 oscillators that helps you unlock a world of creativity.
Live Or Studio Use
You can get a lot of great work out of the RK-100 S 2 whether it’s in the studio or playing gigs. I’ve always thought keytars were awesome to see live as they free the keyboardist.
Overall, Korg definitely made a better product with the RK-100 S 2. I think that this has everything that you need in a keytar, I would’ve just liked to see Bluetooth for my own preference.
It’s nice to see keytars becoming a little bit more relevant and I definitely think this keytar will continue to help with this.
What are your thoughts so far on the RK-100 S 2? Let me know below!