Korg Kross 2 or Roland Juno DS61 or ?


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Just packed up my Korg Arranger to take out this afternoon and it weights a ton.

I have been considering getting another keyboard for a while now and after playing a Juno in my local music store I like that a lot and the low weight would mean it is easier for me to transport.

I have looked at the Kross 2 as an alternative but not any others.

Budget about £600 UK.

Any thoughts and/or advice welcome
 
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happyrat1

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Not intimately familiar with the Kross except that I know the original was released as Korg's bottom of the line a few years ago using the Triton LE soundset.

I do own a Juno DS61 though and I have to say you could do a lot worse than to get one.

All things being equal I'm happy as a clam in mud with my Juno and if money wasn't the deciding factor I'd opt for the Juno every time.

Plus it's got some nifty extras like expandable soundset and vocoder and sampling and step sequencer. I don't seem to recall the Korg having any of those features.

Unless Korg has definitely upped their game on the Kross I'd say the Juno is the better choice.

Gary ;)
 
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Well I visited my local store and checked out side by side both keyboards.

Very similar in feel, very similar in finctions.

The Roland sounded great and the menu system seemed very intuitive, downside as the small screen and hence text.

The Korg sounded just as good but with more pads for assigning actions to, upside was it is a newer model, downside the quirky Korg menu system.

Going down to what I primarily want the keyboard for, namely ease of transportation then there is a clear winner the Korg is 4 lbs lighter and has smaller dimensions all around.

So Korg it is ....... or is it?

I always take an age to decide upon new music kit, cars, tools, any purchase in fact so there is time to change my mind.

Visiting another music store in Manchester where they currently have both in stock so it will probably be time to play again, and ponder further.
 
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OMG what a store.

PMT Manchester, about 1000m2 of kit, you name it it is there and on display.

Spent an hour plus having a look around and a play of many different instruments.

Loved the Nords, and even had a go on a Roland GoKeys which the Grandson would love, possible Birthday prezzie there for him.

Anyway the purpose was to compare the Juno and Kross 2 yet again. The menu system on the Korg really sucks, it is just not intuitive for my old grey matter.

By contrast the Roland Juno was a joy to play.

If I do go with the Korg I will have to do a very un-man thing and read the manual and watch the videos.
 
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Well after hours of reading manuals for both the Korg and Roland and watching hours of Youtubie videos I went into my local Music Store (10,000 ft 2 and only 5 minutes from home) to check out both keyboards again.

Whilst they were unboxing and setting up the Korg I took the opportunity of having a tinkle of the keys on a variety of kit and fell for a Nord, wow what a machine with a top surface that has more bells and whistles than the Star Trek Enterprise.

Anyway after expensive test I walked out of the store with the Korg Kross 2 under my arm.

Spent a few hours having a play, keys in one hand manual in the other.

:)
 
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Congrats on your purchase Col.

The menu system on the Korg really sucks, it is just not intuitive for my old grey matter.
I'm not specifically familiar with the Kross, but I am reasonably familiar with Korg UI in general. What you'll probably find is it seems complicated at first, but after a bit of playing you'll have that "aha" moment and it all suddenly becomes clear. One of the reasons I really like Korg keyboards is the overall UX. I feel like Korg puts a lot of thought into this aspect.

Over the years I've always been able to get along with Korgs and Rolands, where I find Yamahas a bit counter-intuitive to operate. Of course all three manufacturers make some excellent keyboards, and other players might hold the opposite view.

I guess what I'm really saying is: Now that you've made your decision, I'm confident you won't find the Kross as daunting to use as you might think.
 
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Cheers Cowboy.

I already had a Korg arranger and really wanted to stay with the brand but the Juno was as good in the sound department but far easier in the menu actions, so it was atough call.

The Kross 2 only came out last September whereas the look and feel of the Juno shows it has been around for a while, that had a bit of a bearing on the final choice.

Certainly my research helped as in the music store I could replicate the vids and quickly set up combis and sequence patterns.

And it weights next to nothing, is compact and hence so easy to transport.
 

happyrat1

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Personally I once owned a Korg TR76.

I wasn't all that crazy about how Korg set up their menu system.

Personally I find the Juno DS to be a lot more intuitive and easier to setup and use.

Still I respect your decision and hope it works out well for you.

Gary ;)
 
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I completely agree with you Gary the Korg menu system is not user friendly.

Setting up combination sounds is almost as quick as the Juno.

With the Korg there are 16 favourite buttons x 4 banks to set up for pretty much one touch access.

The main thing in the Korgs favour is its small size and the fact its 2/3rds the weight of the Juno which for this old guy with a bad back makes it far easier to transport. Had the Juno been of the same size and weight I would have bought the Juno
 

happyrat1

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Does the Kross 2 allow you to load in new sounds and samples and do vocoding and sampling?

The Juno DS does.

That made it a clear winner in my book.

Gary ;)
 
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Yes it does all the items you quote.

Like the Roland Korg has a Library of available sounds.

Load WAVs onto the SD card and import them and they can be assigned to one of the 16 x 4 banks of Pads for call up as required.

There is Vocoder function
 
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That's a hell of an improvement over the original Kross.

Gary ;)
Whilst that maybe an improvement.

Its causing me one hellofa headache, I nearly just screwed up.

Spent an hour creating Combis and saving them to User locations and Favourite Pads then was just about to power off the Kross and a light came on above me (not sure it it was devine intervention or my Wife turning on the room light) and I remember a brief section of one of the Korg Video Manual tutorials where you then have to press Function and Write the Favourites to memory, which I then did.

Phew.
 

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I was just reading about the Korg Kross 2 and was amazed to read that it can run on batteries! It also needs external speakers. Is this right?
Ray
 
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I was just reading about the Korg Kross 2 and was amazed to read that it can run on batteries! It also needs external speakers. Is this right?
Ray
Yes it takes AA batteries, and supposedly it can run for 7 hours, mind you that does not say if that includes the illuminated Korg logo that is so bright it can light up the next County.

It does need either powered speakers of an amp, I have a small battery powered 7W Boss amp that will do job but for now its headphones
 
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I remember a brief section of one of the Korg Video Manual tutorials where you then have to press Function and Write the Favourites to memory, which I then did.
Yep that's pretty standard in the Korg world. You'll get used to it!

To give you a live example of how easy it can be to use Korg 'boards once you get used to them. Last night one of my bands did a "dress rehearsal" for a ticketed show we have coming up in a fortnight. I realised that the way I had my Program set up for one particular song wasn't going to work in the context of the set list. The problem was I only realised this as the band kicked off into the song, leaving me in the dust.

No problem! I jumped into the menu, created a new Program by tweaking an existing one, placed it in a new position in the sound bank, saved it (by pressing the "write" button, hehe) and managed to jump back into the song with the rest of the guys!

Granted, all of this is on a Krome, not a Kross. But I suspect the Kross would be even easier to operate.

I wouldn't have been able to do that in the first week I bought the machine, but these things really are a dream to work with once you get your head around them.
 
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Not intimately familiar with the Kross except that I know the original was released as Korg's bottom of the line a few years ago using the Triton LE soundset.

I do own a Juno DS61 though and I have to say you could do a lot worse than to get one.

All things being equal I'm happy as a clam in mud with my Juno and if money wasn't the deciding factor I'd opt for the Juno every time.

Plus it's got some nifty extras like expandable soundset and vocoder and sampling and step sequencer. I don't seem to recall the Korg having any of those features.

Unless Korg has definitely upped their game on the Kross I'd say the Juno is the better choice.

Gary ;)
Are you sure? Triton LE?, that's was a really bad keyboard, has been my only Korg and sold it, i think i played like 5 times before sold it. Now i understand why Kross piano sounds are kind of familiar. Wow!
 
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Does the Kross 2 allow you to load in new sounds and samples and do vocoding and sampling? The Juno DS does.
Yes it does all the items you quote.

Like the Roland Korg has a Library of available sounds.

Load WAVs onto the SD card and import them and they can be assigned to one of the 16 x 4 banks of Pads for call up as required.

There is Vocoder function
Well, yes and no.

Korg has announced that they will have sound expansion packs for the Kross 2, but as far as I can see, none have been released yet. Or at least I could not find them. (The Roland ones are at http://axial.roland.com/category/juno-ds61_juno-ds88_xps-30/ )

Korg lets you assign samples to the pads, but Roland allows you to bring in custom multisamples and play them across the keyboard. The new Kross update appears to let you do this if your original multisamples come from a Kronos, M3, or other sampling-capable Kronos, so possibly one could find a way to do this from other sources using third party translators/converters (and at least for the original Kross, there was an unsupported 3rd-party utility that let you do this kind of thing if you were brave and technically inclined), but direct importing and keyboard assignment of user samples does not seem to be an official/supported feature on the Korg.

The Korg does have a mic input which works with the vocoder effect, but I don't think it has the level of vocoder functionality than the Roland's dedicated vocoder section has (things like pitch correction and gender).
 
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We have 2 keyboard players and we bought a Juno DS 61 and a Korg Kross 2 88, just last week. We love both of them.
 

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