If there is one company in the world that undoubtedly knows about hands-on tactile control it is Korg, who have one of the most recognisable names in the world of music even among those who have never played a note in their lives, thanks to their constant presence on stages the world over. Korg first made a name for themselves in the '70s with huge synthesisers that had control panels covered with knobs, dials and patch leads, but in more modern times have taken something of a back seat in the controller market preferring to treat DJs with mouth-watering effect tools like the Kaoss Pad and Kaossilator. Of course, the market place is now dominated by soft-synths and controllers being used on a whole range of devices from desktops to iPads, so given Korg's rather enviable reputation in the synth world it makes a lot of sense that they have decided in recent times to release controller keyboards.
The release of the Taktile range is a historic event, as this is the first time Korg has offered full-sized controller keyboards, bringing the company kicking and screaming into the 21st century and hopefully ensuring the Korg name will be with us for many more decades to come. While the Taktile range does indeed include classic controller-style keyboards in both 25 and 49-key versions, there is also the option of purchasing TRITON versions of these controllers that are full-blown synthesisers too.
The design of Taktile is a modern, slick affair that oozes professional quality and manages to strike the perfect balance between amount of controls and a clutter-free, user-friendly control panel. Each member of the Taktile family shares the same semi-weighted keyboard that is used on Korg's workstation synths, such as the KingKorg and KROME. No compromises have been made in the playing feeling for the 49 or 25-key versions and as a result, these keyboards really are an absolute joy to play. Another feature common to all of the Taktile range is a ribbon-style touch controller as well as an X-Y touch-pad that has been borrowed from the Kaoss Pad, which can also be used as a mouse complete with tap to click function as well as two-fingered scrolling with the ribbon controller being put to use for left and right mouse clicks.
Both the Taktile and the TRITON Taktile feature banks of velocity-sensitive backlit trigger pads, with the 25-key versions having two banks of four pads; the 49-key versions have twice as many. Thanks to the velocity sensitivity these pads are perfect for creating dynamic drums and percussion, and thanks to the chord scale function the pads can also be used to create melodies in an instant. A touch scale function that is tweaked via the X-Y pad along with a nifty arpeggiator further extends the fun that can be had with the pads in chord scale mode. No controller keyboard is complete these days without a good selection of sliders and knobs and the Taktile 49-key version does not disappoint, with eight sliders and rotary encoder knobs. However, while the 25-key version has the same amount of sliders as its larger siblings, it is sadly lacking the encoder knobs. Thankfully all of the various Taktile versions come with separate pitch-bend and mod-control wheels and a rather dinky but functional high contrast OEL dot-matrix display.
Owners of TRITON Taktile will have the added advantage of access to specially tuned versions of the 512 preset sounds found in the ultra-successful TRITON workstation, which has sold over 300,000 units since its release. Unfortunately the TRITON Taktile does not have the full power of the TRITON workstation, as the sounds are contained in preset sound modules with a limited amount of parameters available for adjustment. All the versions of Taktile come with a generous amount of software, including EZDrummer Lite, Ultra Analog Sessions and Lounge Lizard as well as a limited version of Reason. Korg have done an outstanding job in both design and execution of the Taktile range, which ticks all the right boxes in terms of looks, usability, features and price.
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