Korg Kross 2 vs Roland Juno DS


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It is between these two, the local music store is bringing one in so I can try them side-by-side. I play bass in a 3-piece band and we thought a keyboard would be a useful addition. Is there any reason to choose one of these over the other?

I played an organ as a youngster but have not played for many years.
 
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happyrat1

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Some people prefer the Juno's control interface over the Kross. I'm one of them.

Also, the Juno can also act as a Vocoder.

The Kross has a full fledged sequencer while the Juno only has a Pattern Sequencer. Not a dealbreaker if you hook up to a laptop or an iPad.

Also the Juno can load user samples. The Kross cannot

Juno is abvailable as 61, or 76 or 88 key models.

Kross is only available as 61 or 88.

Juno DS88 weighs in about ten pounds heavier than the Kross 88 when it comes to transport. The 61key models are more or less equal.

I've owned a Juno DS88 for about a year now and couldn't be happier with it.

I'd suggest downloading the manuals of both machines and doing a side by side comparison before you test drive them.

Gary ;)
 
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Korg have their Video Manual series of getting you started tutorials and Roland have similar but more disjointed versions listed as Product Support.

Watching both series will stand you in good stead for the back to back session.

The Korg has the advantage in small physical size and lightweight (4-5 lbs lighter than the Juno), the Sequencer, ARP, inbuilt drum patterns and multi function Pads, the Kross 2 needs to have the latest OS and three patch files to give it very good piano sounds, so if the Kross 2 you play has not been updated the piano sounds will not be as good as the Roland. The Neon range has these updates as standard.

The Juno has the advantage of very good sounds out of the box and a much simpler user interface. The huge thing in favour of the Juno is its smooth sound transition from one instrument sound to another where with the Kross 2 hold a note then change the Program or Combi and the held note will cut off, with the Juno it will continue to sound until the key is released.

I have had my Kross 2 for nearly two years and only choose it over the Juno due to its small size and lighter weight.

It depends upon which functions are most important to you as to which is best for your needs.
 
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This has been discussed here a lot.



 
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I'm leaning towards the Korg Kross 2 since it is lighter and newer and the drums seem a little better. But I like how the voices are placed in buttons on the Roland instead of a dial, and the volume sliders seem nice.

Both user interfaces seem complex to me. I've decided upon 61 keys since it is more portable and I'm not comfortable with weighted keys.
 
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You can place your favourite Voices on the Pads with a Kross 2, press the Favourites button and you have 16 Pads x 8 banks of favourites (128) available.

A useful feature that you may want to checkout is that of a Split keyboard where to the left of the split point you have a single or multiple instruments of choice sounding and something totally different to the right.

ie
Bass left and Strings right
Or
Strings left and Sax right
Or
Whatever you want.

In the Korg a Program is basically a single instrument sound and a Combi is multiple layered instruments.

For some songs I play I have set up what is essentially four splits with different instrument sounds in each section, but the 61 keys do limit what I can achieve. I have done this primarily to negate the sound cut off of the Kross.

I cannot stress enough the advice I now give.

*** Do checkout thoroughly the sound cut off of the Kross 2 ***

I have found it to be a pain and it is a hardware issue that will remain for the life of the keyboard. There are workarounds but for my playing the cutoff needs careful managing and accurate timing.

Finally, if I had found the cut off before I bought the Kross 2 then I probably would not have bought it. As it is I will probably be selling or trading in my K2 in the early part of 2020.
 
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Interestingly, the Korg Microstation let you switch Programs (not Combis) without sound cutoffs. I wonder if maybe the difference is that the Microstation let you use buttons to switch directly from one Program to another, whereas the Kross doesn't really have that (instead using scroll wheel, or the Favorites mechanism). It might be an interesting experiment to see if the Kross still has cutoff if (while in Program mode) you use MIDI to send a Program Change to call up your next desired Program. Your PA700 can send Program Changes, so you could experiment that way. If it worked, you could do the same thing from an iOS or Android device. A smartphone or iPod Touch could probably fit velcro'd directly to the front panel of the K2.

If you end up looking for something else, If you want to stay under 10 lbs, the Yamaha MX49 has some ability to avoid cutoffs (you can create sets of 16 sounds, and switching among those won't have cutoffs), but it's only 49 keys, and is not as fully featured as the Kross (no sequencer, most editing requires a computer, etc.). The old Korg X50 *might* have it. And yes, the Microstation as I said, but it has mini-keys.
 
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The sound cutoff seems irritating, tell me more. I'm a beginner so it's difficult to imagine the issue. Is it a big deal to stop playing to change sound. Is there an example of how sound cut off impacts performance?

I understand, in lieu of the voices on buttons like the Roland, a person would use favorites on the Roland. I can imagine using a split keyboard, for example bass guitar on the left and trumpet on the right. Also, it seems to me a person could raise the left hand up an octave for example with rhythm guitar.
 
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Sound cut off is irritating for me but it depends upon what I am doing as to how annoying it is.

If I am playing along to a backing track (WAV / MP3 etc) then all I do is time it right by releasing the keys and very quickly pressing the button/pad to which the next sound is programmed, result is no discernable cutoff.

If I am playing using one of the inbuilt drum patterns and try the process I wrote about in the previous paragraph then as soon as I press the button/pad the drum track stops or changes with a definate change in the rhythm to the drum track associated with the next sound even when they are the same drum pattern. so think of it as say you are at the end of bar 7 of a 12 bar repetitive pattern when you need to change the lead instrument sound then at worst the drum pattern stops or resets itself to the start of bar 1.

Try this with both the roland and the Korg, select any instrument or combination and play say a C chord, hold the keys down and change the selected instrument to another different instrument sound, release the keys and play the C chord again.

With the Roland the C chord will continue to sound after you have changed the selected instrument sound and when you release the keys and press them again the new instrument sound will be heard.

With the Korg as soon as you change the selected instrument sound with the keys pressed the new instrument sound will be heard, hence with the Korg you never change to another instrument sound whilst any key is pressed or when the drum track or ARP function is in operation.

So as I said in my first post in this thread, It depends upon which functions are most important to you as to which is best for your needs. Yes the cut off is annoying but it is a case of weighing up the pros and cons of each keyboard and choosing the one accordingly.

Or

Save up a lot more cash and buy the ultimate workstation, a Korg Kronos, (my tongue firmly in my cheek suggesting this but hey when you are instore if they have one do have a play of it).
 
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The sound cutoff seems irritating, tell me more. I'm a beginner so it's difficult to imagine the issue. Is it a big deal to stop playing to change sound. Is there an example of how sound cut off impacts performance?
You don't have to stop playing to change the sound. But if you change the sound while playing, any notes you're holding down (with fingers or sustain pedal) will immediately stop playing as soon as the new sound is invoked, and any sounds that you've stopped playing but have long releases that trail off after you let go of a key will also stop decaying and go to silence as soon as you invoke the new sound. It can be annoying when changing sounds quickly in the middle of a song. Note that even the Juno DS doesn't do this flawlessly, you can still often hear momentary glitches when you switch sounds, and the character of the previously held sound can change after the new sound is invoked (it depends on the particular effects settings on the sounds you're switching from and to), but it generally works pretty well and is better than having the sound cut out completely, if you do a lot of this kind of sound switching.
 
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I bought the Korg despite the sound cut-off, it seems like it will be fine for me.

I have a dumb question. The power supply can be plugged in and the batteries can be left in at the same time, right?

Also, I wish the drum machine was a little more accessible. Can anyone recommend a good basic rock beat. Thanks.
 
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I leave the batteries in my Kross 2 and not had any issues.

The batteries do last a fair amount of time, that said I only use alkaline ones not rechargable and since Ni Mh rechargeable are only 1.2v per cell I would not suggest that you consider them. Li Ion rechargables would probably be better but the downside is the cost.

If you have not viewed them yet watch the full series


The series will help you quick start your learning of the keyboard.

You can set up your own beat using the Pads if you like.

What I have done is saved Combi's to the User Bank and then modified each to my own liking including selecting a Drum Pattern from the many available also changing the ARP pattern and saving the Combi again.
 
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What I have done is saved Combi's to the User Bank and then modified each to my own liking including selecting a Drum Pattern from the many available also changing the ARP pattern and saving the Combi again.
This is the key to UX happiness on the Kross. If you spend a little time learning about how to use Combis you’ll not only be able to arrange your sounds to have everything you want at the touch of a button (or two), it will solve many other challenges for you too - eg the aforementioned note “cutoff”.
 
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Thanks kindly for the help. As recommended, I selected a combi that seemed to fit and then added my own simple drum track with the step sequencer. And then saved it to favorites. Easy!

I notice that the combis include alot of preset extras. For example, I found one with velocity sensitive volume on the piano. Whereas, it seems the programs are almost limited to sound only.

Perhaps it would be worthwhile to work through the combi section in the operator's guide.
 
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Combis are basically little more than COMBInations of Programs. It's what you use when you want to play more than one Program at a time (i.e. multiple Programs split or layered). There are some other enhancements in that mode, like control of external MIDI devices, but you shouldn't be seeing different velocity response on the pianos, AFAIK.
 

happyrat1

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Combis are just Korg's name for what other manufacturers call registrations, setups of performances.

They allow you to easily recall splits and layers and arpeggiators at the touch of a button.

That's all they really are.

Think of them as Macros.

Gary ;)
 
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Curious how well you like your Kross now that you have had it a few weeks/months?
 
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Curious how well you like your Kross now that you have had it a few weeks/months?
I can give you feedback after owning a Kross 2 for two years.

I sold it.

Its size and lack of weight were great plus points.

Combi’s are very quick and easy to set up but you cannot adjust the volumes of each layer on the fly very easy, adjustments are via menu and the selector system.

Piano sounds are lacking but the latest update gives 30 new piano programs.

Sequencer is fiddly to use.

Sound cut off when changing Programs or Combis can be very intrusive.

The menu system per Program or Combi is extensive, over thirty tabs of extensive, so there is a whole host of adjustments available, you end up with rsi after programming a few since it takes so long to navigate.

Add Programs or Combi’s to the Favourites and you can easily change them by a single touch.

Keybed is pretty poor (61 key) but you do get used to it.

LCD panel is far to small and old tech.

Setting up splits and assigning Programs to specific regions of the keybed is easy but 61 keys are way not enough and the 88 key version of the Kross 2 is a big ugly plastic box.

The only reason I bought the Kross 2 instead of the Juno DS was its size and lack of weight, for almost everything the Juno was better but its sequencer is not a patch on the Kross.
 
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