Korg Pa2X Pro First Impressions

A Korg Pa2X Pro now sits upon the studio desk at Gadgetoid and I’ve had a single evening with it to form some initial opinions and recognise some of the more obvious good and bad points.

First and foremost the Pa2X Pro is, without a shadow of a doubt, fun to play. It’s absurdly quick and easy to load up a style, trigger an intro and start jamming along to one of the four variants of each style. The ability to load up and play along to very strong and well structured styles is something I missed on the Fantom X8 and miss in software synthesis, ocassionally it’s just fun to experiment or let yourself get lost in a sea of improvisational jamming and the Pa2X Pro is very conductive to this.

The touch screen is lovely. So lovely, in fact, that there’s a button on the surface of the keyboard that raises and lowers it automatically- I know it’s a simple thing, and completely pointless but it’s just nice. The screen can also be “unlocked” and positioned manually if the luxuary of motorization doesn’t take your fancy.

The keyboard feels great for a semi weighted bed, it’s comfortable to play rapidly and for extended periods of time. A fully weighted keyboard would be nice but it simply wouldn’t suit the Pa2X Pro.

I managed to upgrade the workstation to version 1.10. The process was simple and the documentation clear and unambiguous. Unfortunately whilst the software upgrade itself does not wipe user data there is a musical resources update that is “restored” to the system that does. This demands the backup of your user data and subsequent restore… somehow. I’ve yet to look further into this as I don’t have any valuable user data on the Pa2X Pro.

The vocal effects are excellent, hooking up a microphone to the XLR on the back gave access to a whole new depth of experimentation with the built-in TC Helicon filter and effects. Reverb, pitch shifting and harmony are available. Alas the effects unit is very limited to vocal effects only and is absolutely not a vocoder.

The only real issue I have with the Korg Pa2X Pro thus far is the front USB port which is “embedded” into the surface of the workstation in such a way that anything wider than a USB cable or your average USB memory stick would not fit. I had a compact SD card adaptor that was simply too wide to plug into the port and there are similar issues with spacing on the rear USB port. A USB extension cable fixes this problem in a jiffy but is a messy solution to say the least.

Watch this space for a full review!

Pictures sourced from Korgpa.com.

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