A Brief History of Korg

A Brief History of Korg

Back to blog

KORG’s history is full of important firsts, timely real-world solutions, high value, and constant innovation. The shelf life of tech based musical instruments is short compared to traditional acoustic instruments. As a result, many giants of the Synthesizer world exploded in popularity and folded within a decade. For the past 60 years, somehow KORG always manages to offer timely, must-have innovations, and even bestselling gear that remains relevant for decades. Clearly there is something different about KORG.

KORG’s Synths, digital pianos and related gear has something that will satisfy the needs, wants, and curiosity of any electronic musician or Keyboard player, from casual player, through industry leading professionals. Expect high quality, and high value, user friendly and simply fun gear. Most of all, expect to be delighted. Highlights for KORG’s range include:


Since the creation of the world’s first workstation (The KORG M1) KORG set the standard, offering some of the finest professional workstations ever created. Following in the tradition of the Triton, OASYS, M3 and Kronos, Korg’s Flagship Workstation is the powerful and intuitive Nautilus. The Nautilus brings you everything the Kronos had to offer, plus more preset sounds, effects, expanded Piano suite, in a more streamlined easy to operate package. The Nautilus is accompanied by the more affordable, Updated Krome EX, and compact but potent KROSS 2.

  • The M1 workstation, released in 1988, sold over 250,000 units, making it the bestselling synthesizer ever at that time.


The company that brought you the first, and most admired line of Workstations, now sits on top of the Arranger world. KORG’s new Flagship Pa5X (88, 76 or 61 key) features a new sound engine and control surface with intuitive color tilt screen interface, pad matrix, and mixer section. A deep range of capabilities make THE PaX5 a must have Pro-studio Arranger, and its ease of use make it equally indispensable in a live setting. KORG’s Pro Arranger (PA series) also includes the Pa1000 through Pa300 and amazingly value packed i3.

  • The Pa5X was designed with elegance and durability in mind, featuring a sturdy aluminum body and genuine wooden side-panels for a luxury appearance.


Katoh and KORG have always felt music is for all (pros can’t have all the fun). The EK50L and EK50 entertainment keyboards are packed with accompaniment features that will make performing and songwriting a lot easier (and more fun) than you ever imagined.


KORG’s range of Digital Pianos covers a lot of territory. KORG offers 6 types of Key Beds. RH3 “Real hammer” and NH3 “Natural Hammer” provide a realistic acoustic Piano action, adding authenticity to KORG’s Flagship GB-1 Grand Piano simulator, C1, LP series Piano’s and bestselling D1 Digital Piano. RH3 action is also found on the SV series stage piano and Nautilus workstation.


The Modwave Wavetable and Wavestate Sequencer operate on KORG’s unique Wavestation Vector based music Synthesis, first seen in the 90’s. Today's KORG Wave tech offers more polyphony, unique sounds, flexibility, and ease of use than ever before. Both the Wavestate and Modwave come at a price too good to ignore.


A fully realized Analog Synthesizer resurgence may not be something KORG banked on. However, KORG is one of the driving forces that helped the return, and ongoing popularity of Analog Synth. If you’re looking for fat Analog tone, in an easy to use, affordable Hardwired format, the Polyphonic Prologue and Minilogue or monophonic Monologue are a great place to start. The MicroKORG series has been a bestseller since the Earth cooled (well, almost), and well worth the Micro price tag. If you don’t already have one, why not? The amazing success of the MicroKORG brought on the long hoped for but unexpected return of the gently updated 1973 MiniKORG 700 FS Limited Edition Full-Size miniKORG Reissue.

  • Keio's first synthesizer, the Korg miniKORG, released in 1973

  • 1973 MiniKORG 700 FS Limited Edition Full-Size miniKORG Reissue


If anyone said the semi modular MS-20 will return one day, nobody would believe it. Seeing is believing, right? The full-sizedMS-20 FS Full-size MS-20 Synthesizer in blue slim key bedMS-20 Mini Monophonic Analog Synthesizer and table top module,MS-20M + SQ 1 Monophonic Synthesizer Module with SQ-1 CV Sequencer re-creates the KORG monophonic 70’s classic right down to the iconic right hand patch bay.


The KORG Volca series puts the power of 100% old school tone generating synthesis in the palm of your hand (literally). These tiny modules (10 in all) are all but two under $200. Modules include a true analog push button-controlled Synth, a few Bass synths, percussion, beat boxes, samplers, loopers, sequencer, and more.

  • 1978 MS-20 patchable semi-modular monophonic synthesizer

40 years after first appearing in 1978, musicians hungry for this absolutely timeless sound can hear the genuine analog power of the MS-20.

What else is up KORG’s sleeve?

From Nu:Tekt, KORG brings you a mini, open architecture digital filter, Oscilloscope, distortion generator and more. The inflation defying price of Nu:Tekt gadgets are nearly more fun than money can buy.

Plus, KORG offers Electribe sequencers, Kaoss pads, mini midi controllers (Nano Key), and maxi-midi controllers (RK-100S Keytar) Sorry, Devo hats sold separately.

KORG USA still calls Long Island New York its home base in the USA and continued to distribute and represent Marshall until 2010. Today’s Korg also brings you Nu:Tekt DIY Modules, SEQUENZ stands and cases, ARP synths and Korg Education. Korg also represents and distributes Blackstar amps, Spector basses, Aguilar Bass amps, and pedals, Darkglass outboard Bass gear, Waldorf Synths, and more.