Music Workstation

image source: korg.com


  A solid workstation based on the proven AIČ technology.  The Korg N364 is a keyboard that features classy, proven sounds, and so many of them!  If I should pick a certain category of music the N364 is more suited for, I'd say soundtrack/ethnic.  Why?  Because while it certainly has all the usual pop/rock sounds we are used to, it also features some gorgeous ethnic instruments, and moving pads (a la Wavestation) to die for: evolving soundscapes, that absorb the listener and don't let go.  This synth also features a powerful 16-track sequencer, so it's easy to compose finished songs on just this one machine.  The on-board arpeggiator is a welcome addition, and while it doesn't have numerous arpeggio patterns, the ones on board are the most used anyway.  The excellent effects complement the N364 very well, and give it that "pro" touch that just makes it shine.  Also, the inclusion of a floppy drive allows the user to save song and sound data on common floppy disks - a useful feature, especially for live use.  And let's not forget the excellent aftertouch, that allows us to control all kinds of parameters from the dynamic keyboard of this synthesizer!


Korg N364 audio demos in mp3

The three on-board demo songs:


1.  Music Lab  - a great potpourri of pop/rock and fusion genres.

2.  MissionMan  - a cool, impressively-sounding ethnic electronica meets Mission Impossible tune.

3.  Ghost Page  - hip-hop, jazzy number.


Stream all audio demos below


Preset Combi with audio demo

My comments

00 FirstLight A spectacular evolving synth pad, with tremendous low end and sparkling highs
01 Grinding B Awesome groovy Hammond B-3 organ, with just the right touch of grit.
05 Max Impact Tremendous power in this patch
06 Rave Vox Typical syn vox, very used in House
07 OrchDivisi Realistic and full-bodied orchestral setup
09 Dance Trak Techno-Dance drum kit, perfectly set up for electronic styles
18 Morocco Incredible ethnic combination - recalling the Middle East and the marvels of the 1001 Arabian Nights!
20 XYjoystick Superb evolving pad, reminiscent of Korg's own Wavestation.
21 Super Jazz Another great organ jazz, very useful for jazz.
22 OB-Analog Super-powerful mega analog synth, straight from the '80s!!!  Obviously refers to Oberheim OB-series.
23 String Cue Beautiful and delicate string ensemble.
34 Fade Away Amazing patch that somehow is PERFECT for playing U2's "With Or Without You"!!!
35 9 Inchers For the NIN (Nine Inch Nails) fans
37 Velo-Pizz Great pizzicato string patch, perfect for those '50/'60s lounge/tiki/exotica arrangements
38 TheGamelan Superb amalgam of Asian ethnic instruments
39 UnderWorld Incredible sound FX patch, perfect for scoring a zombie movie!
42 Sax Band Realistic and expressive saxophone lineup.
48 NeverLand Melancholic split with pad and sax.
54 Power Band Mega powerful '80s "hair band" solo synth.
55 WaveJammer Powerful synth setup that reminds of certain sounds used by Keith Emerson in early E.L.P.
58 Night Train Another excellent ethnic combi.  Ready for a Safari?
59 Worm Hole Excellent sound fx
61 Stax Organ Spot on rendition of those recordings of Hammond during the Stax label period in the '60s.
68 Sir Robin Delicate Medieval patch!
79 AlienProbe Again, an excellent fx patch, great for scoring sci-fi movies
95 Trinidad Outstanding steel drum sound!!!
99 Sea Storm Great patch, perfect for scoring soundtracks!!!



Preset Combi with audio demo

My comments

01 StereoKeys Beautiful grand piano.
02 X Strings "Sugary" strings, with plenty of expressivity.
05 HeadHunter Incredible ethnic multi-sound, with a tribal choir on the left, jungle noises, and expressive African flute
07 X Brass Realistic brass ensemble
08 TheSingers Classical choir, usable in many genres of music.
10 <The West> Beautiful ambient combi!
11 Super EP A great-sounding Yamaha DX-style FM electric piano.
13 Maxi Stab The obligatory "Jump" patch on board.
14 12 String Classy 12-string guitar patch
15 <The East> Perfect for scoring a quiet moment in a martial arts movie!!!
26 Cathedral Powerful pipe organ in full flight!
34 Slappin' Very nice slap bass patch.
41 Rock Piano Great rock 'n' roll piano, Elton John style
45 Zen Garden Very nice Asian setup
46 Accordion Cool Italian-style accordion.  In this example, I'm playing an old standard from my region in Tuscany, "Maremma Amara".
49 RapToolKit Very cool highly-produced rap/hip-hop trap set.
53 Big Swell Beautiful synth from the '80s
55 Indian Jam Hypnotic sitars
56 Harpsicord Excellent version of the classic instrument, precursor to the piano.
64 Malaguena Great classical guitar, perfect for Spanish/Flamenco styles.
81 Bass/Piano Awesome and very useful split!!!  In this example I'm playing "Night Train", inspired by Oscar Peterson's Trio version in "Night Train"
82 Str/Oboe Again, beautiful soundtrack setup
83 RezzoSplit More analog 80s synth beauty.
86 DualManual Hyper-realistic Hammond organ, with the two manuals setup differently, and with a great Leslie effect.



Preset Combi with audio demo

My comments

00 Star Burst Mega-evolving synth goodness!!!  Can you tell the Wavestation influence on many of this synth's patches?
09 Celebrate! Fantastic mandolin and percussion setup, perfect for Latin-American or Italian songs.
10 First*Snow Beautiful delicate synth pad, with twirling cascades of sounds, and crystal snow falling all over the place!
28 Lead &Pad Classic synth setup, perfect for '70s "Kosmische Musik" styles.
35 Bass&Vibes Outstanding jazz setup:  a warm, highly-expressive plucked contrabass on the left hand, and a perfectly-sampled vibraphone on the right = a player's dream!
42 Latin Band This eclectic workstation is also great for Latin music
56 Blues Harp Incredibly realistic blues harmonica patch, very expressive!
57 Grandioso "Grandioso" means "Grand" in Italian, and certainly this full synth patch is!
67 Madrigal More sounds suited for classical music
73 SilkRoad33 Yet another great-sounding warm pad!!!
90 FreeTime Beautiful ambient pad, with excellent reverb and delay settings.



Preset Combi with audio demo

My comments

05 IndianOrch Very expressive, realistic and perfect for a Bollywood hit.
11 CountOnMe Sweet: a warm jazz piano on the left, and a sweet jazz brass combo on the right.
13 Acappella The voices of the angels.
42 MillerTime Hyper-realistic jazz combo!!!  The name of this patch is obviously a reference to the Miller beer commercial ("It's Miller time") and the fact that this patch is perfect for playing 40's bandleader Glen Miller orchestra Big Band styles.
46 ToBeBass "Tube" bass perhaps?  A nice warm analog bass/synth.
50 PowderSnow Great evolving, moving pad!!!
52 Emmalog Cool analog synth and electric piano.
75 12ToneBelz More soundtrack composer tools!!! This is a knockout, perfect for thriller moments!!!!!!!
90 Encounters More sci-fi sounds, excellent!



Preset Prog with audio demo

My comments

00 Hyper Wave Sampled vocal synth, cool.
01 N264 Piano Intimate, melancholic piano patch.
02 Ultra Rez Mega-analog resonant bass.
03 MusicaLoop Two awesome sampled ethnic effects.
04 MonsterWah Incredibly expressive wah-wah guitar, thanks to the on-board excellent aftertouch!!!
05 N-Strings Beauty!
06 NuFretless Realistic fretless bass patch
11 PianoMagic Beautiful L.A. style piano
12 Arpeggiate Cool reso-synth.  Here I'm also engaging the excellent on-board arpeggiator.
14 MiniODLead Great '70s style OverDriven Minimoog solo sound!
15 SlowSunset The perfect pad:  unobtrusive, hypnotic and just beautiful.
16 SuperRound Super clean bass, presumably with round-wound strings - jazz/fusion like.
17 RealVoices Realistic vocal ensemble!
21 MutronClav A great trip to the '70s!!  The classic combo Hohner Clavinet run through a Mutron envelope filter!
25 Fragments Sweet sparkling pad.
26 Dyno-Bass Very expressive bass.
27 Jazz Organ Beautiful Hammond patch with a jazz setting (i.e. 800000088)
34 R&R Guitar Cool!  electric tube-overdriven guitar, perfect for classic rock and roll!
35 Antartica More movie material here...
42 SquareBass Supremely techno patch!
51 Dyno Roads Nice, nice Rhodes electric piano
52 Chrome Rez Cool synth, especially engaging the arpeggiator.
59 Modern Kit Very realistic and perfectly produced contemporary drum setup.  The sound designers at Korg really know how to record their drums!
62 LowEndBass Feel the low end on this bass!
63 JackSlide Very famous patch that was used in many pop / r 'n' b hits from the late nineties and early 00s!  A squiggly synth bass slide.
65 Padanomic Do we still have any doubt that pads are this machine's forte??
92 Vibra Harp Yep
97 BX3 Medium Inspired and presumably sampled from Korg's own BX-3 organ - awesome sound.



Preset Prog with audio demo

My comments

00 PipeDreams More synth fx to die for.
08 Xanalog Oberheim-ish analog brass
17 Velo Flute Highly expressive pop/jazz flute.
21 FunkyRoads Is it real???  This sounds just as good as my Rhodes
23 Euro Pipe Powerful church organ
24 Stratified Wow!!! This is a classic '80s chorus+delay guitar setup that was (and still is) very in vogue.  Sounds like the real thing to me...
26 Dance Bass Classic House thumping bass.
41 M1 Piano Here we have an old friend!!  The classic Korg M1 piano
46 SynthBass3 Powerful!!!
59 [Loop SFX] Yep
63 Godfather Excellent picked mandolin.
67 Real Shaku Expressive rendition of the classic Japanese instrument
82 VeloFlugel Incredibly realistic flugelhorn patch!!!
85 Swiss Box Beautiful, ambiental child-like memories
90 Universe X Again an old friend from the M1 days...



Preset Prog with audio demo

My comments

00 Sunrise This is the perfect pad.
20 GlideSweep More soundtrack composer tools.
37 ChamberEns Highly realistic small string orchestra - like something the Beatles would have used..
49 Orch Perc Perfectly sampled orchestral percussion.
50 DreamWorld This is a really good pad synth.
59 Heartbeat More thriller fx...
63 Whirly Nice Wurlitzer electric piano, complete with tremolo.
64 LeadGuitar Cool ;-)
78 MonoLead A great fusion synth solo sound
79 Hackbrett Nice - especially adding the GREAT-SOUNDING arpeggiator
95 WaveCycles Padaholic united



Preset Prog with audio demo

My comments

00 ElastikPad Warm, gluey, epic pad
05 JewelryBox Classic carillon sound
35 MagicBell Beautiful, subdued bell play.
51 DoubleStop Another great-sounding harpsichord patch.
52 Warm Tromb Realistic trombone emulation ;-)
67 Pitzpan Great, classic New Age sound
80 FlyingToys More movie soundtrack tools
87 Heavenly Yep!

and to conclude, a selection from the GM bank -


Preset Prog with audio demo

My comments

004 HonkeyTonk Excellent honky-tonk piano - Don't shoot the piano player!!!
016 Santur Expressive Middle-Eastern instrument
022 Musette Welcome to Paris!
053 Choir Beautiful church choir!!!
102 Goblin Warm, evolving... again a perfect syn-pad!


Korg N364 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge them)

Korg N364 manuals

PDF Manuals found at Korg sites

Korg N364 Features
Features at a glance
Year of release: 1996
Polyphony: 64 voices
Sound generation method: AIČ (Advanced Integrated) PCM (8MB ROM)
Preset memories 936
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: floppy
Sequencer yes
Arpeggiator yes, 5 types, 4 octaves
Effects 2 digital multi effects - 47 effects
Velocity yes
Aftertouch yes
Display backlit LCD


Korg N364 factory patches

at Korg sites


And here are the official data from Korg:

Korg's taken performance and function in affordable music workstations to an exciting new level

Let's face it, a musical instrument is only as good as its sounds; and themmore the merrier. The new N264 and N364 are absolutely brimming with 936 programs and combos based on 8MB of PCM ROM featuring 430 Multisounds and 215 drum sounds. And the N-Series sounds rely on Korg's renowned AI2 Synthesis System, the same system that's found in the 01/W and X-Series Music Workstations.

Whether you're creating complex sequences or using rich layers of sound, the new N-Series with 64-note polyphony can keep up.

RPPR, Real-time Pattern Play and Record,lets you record and save musical phrases and ideas as patterns. You can play a pattern back by simply pressing the key you've assigned it to.

The N-series has 100 RPPR pattern memory locations. Use the ones that come from the factory (we think they're pretty cool), edit them, or create your own. You can even store RPPR patterns on a floppy.

Specifications subject to change without notice

  N364 - 61 Key Music Workstation
  Sound Generation Method:
  AI2 (Advanced Integrated) Synthesis System
  Sound Source:
  64 voices, 64 oscillators (single mode); 32 voices, 64 oscillators (double mode)
  61 notes, with velocity and after touch sensitivity
  Waveform Memory:
  PCM 8Mbytes Effects: 2 digital multi-effect systems, 47 effects
  ROM 200 programs + GM 128 Programs + 8 drum programs/200 combinations; RAM 200 programs/200 combinations
  5 types, 4 octaves
  Sequencer Section:
  10 songs, 100 patterns, maximum 32,000 notes, 16 tracks, 16 timbres (Dynamic Voice Allocation)
  Real-time Pattern Play and Record:
  100 patterns, 10 pattern sets, 60 pattern assignments per set Floppy Disk Drive: 3.5 inch 2HD/2DD
  Custom LCD display with backlit
  Power Supply:
  AC, Local Voltage
  Power Consumption:
  11 W
  AC cord, Preload program disk
  1076.4(W) x 338.3(D) x 106.1(H) mm
  10.9 kg
  EXP/Volume pedal XVP-10
  Foot Controller EXP-2
  Volume Pedal KVP-002
  Damper Pedal DS-1
  Pedal Switch PS-1 / PS-2
Realtime Pattern Play & Record:
  When first introduced back in the 1980s, the Music
Workstation caused a revolution. For thefirst time, it was possible to sketch, compose and perform a complete song, with all of the parts, on a single instrument. The Music Workstation opened the door to thousands of people who wanted to develop their musical ideas without investing in multiple instruments and recording equipment.

Over the next 15 years or so, the Music Workstation improved with better sounds,more memory enhanced control and greater user interfaces. So now it's 1997 and Music Workstations sound great, have great effects, can record more notes, have more voices, etc., etc., etc. What now?

How about making the process of composing and
constructing a song simpler? Seems like a good idea, but where do you start?

Let's explore an area that challenges a large number of musicians: drum grooves and rhythm tracks. This is supposed to be one of the fun and easy parts,right? How many times have you said, "I'll lay down a simple groove and build on that," just to find out that you can't get it to feel right, or you aren't satisfied with the parts you played? Then you have to develop the rest of the song, finding the parts that will work in the chorus, solo, and on and on...What if this process could be made easier?

Well, it can. The function of the Pattern has been
around longer than the Music Workstation. Patterns
can be used to create and assemble drum grooves
and rhythm tracks, but they haven't made the process all that much easier.

With the new N364/264, Patterns take on a whole
new meaning. The Real-time Pattern Play (RPPR)
and Record function of these instruments gives you
the tools to simplify creating those illusive rhythm tracks.

The Real-time Pattern Play and Record tool starts
with an old idea and expands it into to a new and
creative device in your song writing arsenal. Let's look at the basic application.

The N364/264 come with a library of patterns. This library is independent of any song and canbe loaded and saved to disk as its own file. Using the RPPR function in the sequencer you can
select up to 100 patterns and assign them to keys for playback. Press a key and the pattern starts. Release the key and the pattern stops. Now comes the fun part.

Pick a basic tempo and press any of the keys that
are assigned to patterns. Play with different pattern types. Or juggle the order. Once your ideas have taken shape, put the sequencer in record, and just play your patterns by pressing the corresponding keys (in real-time) into the sequencer. That's it!

Gone are the individual drum hits, and the stubborn battle with timing and feel. Gone are the multiple passes for different drums and cymbals. Now you have a wide selection of patterns to choose from. And the ability to concentrate on the structure of the song.

For more adventures, let's take it a step further.
The library of patterns is great for many situations, but sometimes you might need something a bit different. That brings us to second R in RPPR: the Record Pattern Function.

With the N364/264, you can create your own patterns and add them to the library,from the ground up. Remember, you can save a pattern library to disk so you can create as many as you
like or need.

By using the Pattern Create Function, you can select from the various drum kits in the N364/264 and record the patterns you need. Save them in the library and use the Real-time Playback to finish
off your tracks. In total, you can have ten sets of patterns in the N364/264 at one time, giving you a library of 100 patterns to work with.

So far, we've looked at how RPPR can be used to
streamline the writing process, but how can it be used in a performance situation?

As you will see, RPPR adds a considerable amount of flexibility to live application settings.

First of all, a Pattern is not limited to drums and rhythms. Any program in the N-Series can be used in a Pattern. Each Pattern has its own tempo parameter, as well as a selection for the type of trigger mode. You can set the trigger mode to play a Pattern once, play continuously, or play as long as the key is pressed.

Link to diagram of RPPR Play Mode So with up to 100 Patterns assigned to the keyboard, there can be drum, bass, and backing parts with different tempos and notes for different sections of a song. Instead of having a fixed sequence to playback, you now have the freedom to change the structure of a song in real-time, because you're triggering and arranging the Patterns on the fly, and not merely playing a fixed, pre-recorded sequence.

RPPR in a live situation lets you use the power of a Music Workstation, the sounds and effects, but removes the performance constraints that you get when using a fixed sequence. You're once again free to be spontaneous, changing the song based on that particular performance.

Many times, instruments that incorporate new technology or tools can actually take away from the creative process-not so with RPPR. For both writing and performance situations, Real-time Pattern Play and Record removes limitations, brings new options, and streamlines the entire process.
Specifications subject to change without notice



SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION
  Home page  website.