KORG Legacy Collection - Software Review
I have been using the KORG Legacy Collection for about two years. Truthfully the only reason I got it was because I wanted a synth that could reproduce the ‘disco organ’ sound found from popular tracks such us ‘Robin S - Show me love’ & ‘Nightcrawlers - Push the feeling on’ . This sound preset can be found in the M1 . Having learnt where I could find this sound I headed on down to the KORG website and I wanted to purchase it .
At the time there was a rather great special that KORG was having . They were selling the Legacy Collection for a measly $90 (If my memory serves me well) and I thought to myself ‘ Why the hell not?’. For this small amount I was getting , at the time, 6 top class software synths.
Originally released back in 2004 , the KORG Legacy Collection was a pioneer of software synthesizers. Featuring sounds produced by the legendary KORG synthesizers. Recently KORG has been migrating and upgrading their website and online store, and now the newly updated Legacy Collection has been upgraded to included a 7th synth , the ARP Odyssey . In this review I’ll be breaking down my thoughts on each of the synths and the collection overall.
Originally manufactured in 1988 , this synth produced many of the sounds from famous tracks released in the late 80’s and early 90’s , most notably you’ll find the disco organ found in Robin S’s ‘Show me love’ .
The software features filter resonance, VDA modulation, and master effects. It provides all of the PCM, Program, and Combination data found in the original M1 and the M1EX internal PCM expansion, plus the PCM data and Program/Combination data from all nineteen optional ROM cards. It is equipped with extensive sounds, including 33,000 preset sounds and 34 cards.
This synth was the reason why I bought this whole collection. And to my surprise this is a stand out synth from the collection. There are so many great sounding presets here. Standouts for me are the ‘choir’ and ‘pad’ presets. So rich and ‘juicy’ sounding , I couldn’t get enough of these presets. And the ability to add/remove effects so easily & muting/soloing/level changing combo presets was a nice touch . Browsing for certain sounds was a little lacking here as they aren’t grouped as nicely as other synths in this collection.
MDE-X is equipped with 19 different effect programs carefully selected from KORG digital effects, including Compressor, Limiter, Overdrive, Equalizer (EQ), Talking Modulator, Flanger, Phaser, Chorus, Delay, and Reverb.
The plug-in uses an effect algorithm derived from the high-quality TRITON family of synthesizers. With its 128 effect programs, MDE-X can be used in a wide range of applications such as sound design, live performance, and mixdown sessions.
For me this VST is just a ‘stocking filler’ . Its just a little something extra for those who intended on buying the collection for software synths and got this great MDE-X VST included. Its a nice little bonus with some great sounding effects
As the name suggests , this is an monophonic/polyphonic synthesizer which was originally produced in 1981 and according to the KORG website ‘was considered the culmination of Korg’s experience building analog synthesizers: Mono/Poly. ‘Features included are 4 VCOs each with an adjustable pitch, level, waveform and more. Also you will find advanced ‘chord memory’ and arpeggiator functions; and the synchro and cross modulation functions which can create their own effects.
Enhancements included such as 128-voice polyphony with up to 16-voice unison, two integrated multi-effects and an eight-way virtual patching matrix.
The virtual patch functionality lets you use 159 different modulation sources to modulate 35 different destinations. This evolution of Mono/Poly allows for complex and diverse sound creation making it great for creating and tweaking your own sounds.
The‘leads’ and ‘pads’ presets here are amazing, well rounded and grouped together nicely. The oscillators can be a little daunting as there are a few too many for my liking , but for those tweaking can be allot of fun,and you could sit for hours tweaking up different presets and making your sounds.
Based on the original MS-20 released back in 1978 . Software features included are two oscillators , high & low pass filter, 32 voices of polyphony and more .
I absolutely love the sounds found in thi synth. The bass presets sound nice,deep and heavy . One of my favorite synths in this package, nice and deep analog reproduction. Just about all the sounds feel well weighted and grounded.
This synth was originally released in 1981. This is an 6 voice programmable polyphonic analog synth . Synth features here include sub-oscillators which include SAW/PW/PWM waveforms , chorus/phase/ensemble effect, chord memory , arpeggiator, unison and more. Like the MS-20 has 32-voice polyphony,up to 16-voice unison for individual sound creation.
This is by far my favourite synth in the collection. Just about every single preset sounds truly as an analog sound. The reproduction that KORG has done is outstanding. Every sound ,sounds so ‘full’ and ‘rounded’ with warmth and texture. The ‘bass’ and ‘pads’ presets are the standout sounds here .
The WAVESTATION synthesizer appeared in 1990 with its new "advanced vector synthesis system" which produced a new sound by combining and shifting between multiple complex waveforms.
The user could operate a joystick to "mix" or "morph" between four oscillators, or create a wave sequence by placing waveforms in a specific order to create rhythmic or melodic sequence patterns. In addition to these and other unique revolutionary features, the sound section has equipped all of WAVESTATION’s PCM, and the parameters of the delicate parts have been fully reproduced in the software by analyzing the circuit map of the original design.
Truthfully this is my least favorite synth in the package. Its hard to search for a specific ‘sound’ or preset as the presets are not grouped and their names don’t include for example ‘ loud bass’ or ‘dreamy pad’. With so many presets (there are over 1500) you could sit around for hours and end up not finding the exact sound you’re looking for. There a few stand out presets but personally I didn’t like the majority of them. I found a lot sounded ‘empty’ and ‘weightless. Editing of certain sounds are limited and the GUI is not really great to work with. With so many presets not labeled/grouped it feels weighed down by it’s over supply of sounds.
This soft synth is based on the legendary analog synthesizer released by ARP Instruments in 1972. KORG has completely reproduced the complex sound and parameter characteristics which are born from the entirety of the ARP ODYSSEY’s circuits. By reproducing the hardware sound into software form they digitized the transistor, condenser, and resistor used in the hardware model.
Software features include 3 filters, voice assign module, an arpeggiator, sequencer and many different types of effects. Sounds found here are mainly your typical 80’s , electronic styled presets . There reproduction of the original hardware sounds is very impressive.
Unfortunately , when I had purchases this collection it was when the Arp Odyssey was not included so I cant review this VST but if its anything to by , which Im sure it is , KORG will have once again have done a great job on this synth
The collection overall is truly outstanding. Wth thousands of great sounding presets over as many software synths, you’re bound to find some fantastic sounds for your projects. I have been using these synths for a couple years and one thing I would like to add is that every so often KORG releases FREE presets for you to download and add to the already huge library of sounds , for each of the synths. KORG have stated on their website that they are planning on refining the user interface on a large scale and more.
At such a great price , FREE upgrades and FREE soundbanks being added every couple months , this really is a great piece/pieces of software.
Purchase from KORG here