|Formerly||Keio Electronic Laboratories|
|Founded||1962(as Keio Electronic Laboratories)|
|Founder||Tsutomu Kato |
|Headquarters||Inagi, Tokyo, Japan|
|Products||Electronic musical instruments|
|Subsidiaries|| Vox |
Korg Inc. (株式会社コルグ, Kabushiki-gaisha Korugu), founded as Keio Electronic Laboratories, is a Japanese multinational corporation that manufactures electronic musical instruments, audio processors and guitar pedals, recording equipment, and electronic tuners. Under the Vox brand name, they also manufacture guitar amplifiers and electric guitars.
Korg was founded in 1962 in Tokyo by Tsutomu Kato and Tadashi Osanai as Keio Gijutsu Kenkyujo Ltd.. (京王技術研究所) because its offices were located near the Keio train line in Tokyo and Keio can be formed by combining the first letters of Kato and Osanai. Before founding the company, Kato ran a nightclub. Osanai, a Tokyo University graduate and noted accordionist, regularly performed at Kato's club accompanied by a Wurlitzer Sideman rhythm machine. Dissatisfied with the rhythm machine, Osanai convinced Kato to finance his efforts to build a better one.It later became Keio Electronic Laboratories
The company's first product was an electro-mechanical rhythm device, the Disc Rotary Electric Auto Rhythm machine, Donca Matic DA-20, released in 1963.The name "Donca" was an onomatopoeic reference to the sound the rhythm machine made. Buoyed by the success of the DA-20, Keio released a solid-state version of the Rhythm machine, the Donca matic DE-20, in 1966.
In 1967, Kato was approached by Fumio Mieda, an engineer seeking to build keyboards. Impressed with Mieda's enthusiasm, Kato asked him to build a prototype, and 18 months later Mieda returned with a programmable organ. Keio sold the organ under the name KORG, created by using the first letter of each founder's name plus "RG" from their planned emphasis on products targeted for the organ market (emphasizing the letters R and G in the word "organ").
Keio's organ products were successful throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Concerned about competition from other organ manufacturers, Kato decided to use the organ technology to build a keyboard for the then-niche synthesizer market. Keio's first synthesizer, the Korg miniKORG, was released in 1973.
During the 1970s, Korg's synthesizer line was divided into instruments for the hobbyist, and large expensive patchable instruments such as the PS series. In the early '80s, Korg branched into digital pianos.
Korg is credited with a number of innovations. The "key transpose" function was Kato's idea after a singer at his club needed her accompaniment played in a lower key, which the accompanist wasn't able to do. Korg was the first company to feature effects on a synthesizer, and the first to use a "sample + synthesis" sound design. The M1 workstation, released in 1988, sold over 250,000 units, making it the bestselling synthesizer ever at that time. The M1 is still to this day regarded as the perfect workstation.
In 1989, Korg recruited the design team from Sequential Circuits as they were relieved of their duties by then-Sequential owner Yamaha. Yamaha Corporation has always been a major partner of Korg, supplying them with circuitry and mechanical parts. In 1987, shortly before the release of the M1 Music Workstation, Yamaha acquired a controlling interest in Korg. The takeover of the company was amicable, with Kato drawing up the terms, and the two companies continued to independently develop their product lines and compete in the marketplace. After 5 successful years, Kato had sufficient funds to repurchase most of the Yamaha share in 1993.
Korg has since diversified into digital effects, tuners, recording equipment, electronic hand percussion, and software instruments.In 1992, Korg acquired Vox, then primarily a manufacturer of guitar amplifiers. Korg was the exclusive distributor of Marshall Amplification product in the US for decades. This arrangement ended in 2010.
Kato died of cancer on March 15, 2011.
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An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronic circuitry. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical, electronic or digital audio signal that ultimately is plugged into a power amplifier which drives a loudspeaker, creating the sound heard by the performer and listener.
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A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument that creates percussion sounds, drum beats, and patterns. Drum machines may imitate drum kits or other percussion instruments, or produce unique sounds, such as synthesized electronic tones. Most modern drum machines allow users to program their own rhythms and beats. Drum machines may create sounds using analog synthesis or play prerecorded samples. Some drum machines have buttons or pads that allow the performer to play drum sounds "live", either on top of a programmed drum beat or as a standalone performance. Drum machines have a range of capabilities, which go from playing a short beat pattern in a loop, to being able to program or record complex song arrangements with changes of meter and style.
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A digital piano is a type of electronic keyboard instrument designed to serve primarily as an alternative to the traditional acoustic piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced. Digital pianos use either synthesized emulation or recorded samples of an acoustic piano, which are then amplified through an internal loudspeaker. They also incorporate weighted keys, which recreate the feel of an acoustic piano. Some digital pianos are designed to also look like an upright or grand piano.
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Yamaha Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation and conglomerate with a very wide range of products and services. It is one of the constituents of Nikkei 225 and is the world's largest piano manufacturing company. The former motorcycle division was established in 1955 as Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., which started as an affiliated company but later became independent, although Yamaha Corporation is still a major shareholder.
An electronic keyboard, portable keyboard, or digital keyboard is an electronic musical instrument, an electronic or digital derivative of keyboard instruments. Broadly speaking, the term electronic keyboard or just a keyboard can refer to any type of digital or electronic keyboard instrument. These include synthesizers, digital pianos, stage pianos, electronic organs and digital audio workstations. However, an electronic keyboard is more specifically a synthesizer with a built-in low-wattage power amplifier and small loudspeakers.
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The Yamaha MM6 is a compact synthesizer manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation, and was first introduced in January 2007. The MM6 includes fairly high quality samples for the price of the keyboard, however it is still a professional level piece of equipment. The default samples that is provided on board the MM6 are based on the Yamaha Motif series workstation sound sets. This keyboard comes with 418 patches, and 22 drum kits, all based upon those that available with the Motif series workstations.
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The Korg OASYS PCI is a DSP-based PCI-card for PC and Mac released in 1999. It offers many synthesizer engines from sampling and substractive to FM and physical modelling. Because of its high market price and low polyphony production was stopped in 2001. About 2000 cards were produced.
The timeline of music technology provides the major dates in the history of electric music technologies inventions from the 1800s to the early 1900s and electronic and digital music technologies from 1917 and electric music technologies to the 2010s.