Korg OASYS - two years later
Author: Vedran Dakic
Date: 12 Nov 2006
To tell you the truth, I started writing this review back in January 2005., when the OASYS was introduced, and where I had a huge honor of playing one of them for awhile. Almost two years have passed, and I'm still doing the same thing - updating/upgrading the initial review as time goes by - which kind of tells you the story more then I ever could, in a way. Now, since IT-review.net decided to cover music instruments as well, I decided that it's time to do one very, very big upgrade to the initial review and just let it out in the open with many new things that happened in the OASYS world.Being a proud owner, I'm able to do many more things then just the basic review, especially having in mind that I (ab)use this machine heavily, both for recording in studio and, especially lately - live playing.
Let's get back to the beginning of the story, back in the year 1994, when the initial OASYS saw the light of day - as a prototype. I remember that back in those days, I was still carrying around a Roland D50 and only dreamt of having Korg keyboard. The design of the inital OASYS keyboard was something out of this world - custom DSP's, custom design with enough power to have synthesis engines and effects in software, and many other things, but what was an unbeliveable shock was that this was not only on paper. I mean, this thing could work with FM, analog synthesis, sample playback, WaveSequencing, Vector Synthesis, additive synthesis, physical modelling - so just about everything. Add the awesome TouchView(tm) interface and controllers and there you have it - ultimate synth. But the fact of the matter is that it was way too expensive to make it into production (rumours I heard said something in the range of $20.000).
Year has passed, and then another year and - there was still no OASYS on the market. So, we're back in the year 1996. OASYS made it to production but - in pieces. They're called Trinity, Wavedrum, Prophecy and Z1. Let's take it from the top.
The first visible thing on Trinity that looked like the OASYS was the TouchView(tm) interface. A lot of other initial ideas were there as well, especially when you take a look at the interface - buttons next to the TouchView(tm) display, value sliders, etc. The same goes for other products, that were built around "pieces" of the original OASYS. In 1997, Korg introduced Z1 to the marked, which was a lot different then any other keyboard at that particular time. There was no TouchView(tm) interface, but it had loads of other interesting things - especially X-Y pad. And Z1's sounds are something quite uncomparable to anything I've ever heard on any other keyboard. But - Z1 will have his place in the reviews. Back then, Korg even produced a OASYS PCI card, which is still widely used in various studios all over the world (proud owner here). This thing was killer-sounding, with some of the most incredible effects I've ever heard, especially Overb, who made it in the OASYS keyboard in 2005.
So, I'll just skip Triton, Triton Classic, Triton Rack, Triton Studio and Triton Extreme and go back to present day, where OASYS has been on the market for nearly two years. All of the other keyboards will be reviewed separately. Knowing the OASYS PCI card and the first OASYS keyboard project I was positive that this will be a huge step forward for all keyboard players, Korg and Korg's future.