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segunda-feira, 23 de janeiro de 2017

Now for something really really rare... Korg MP-100 and Korg RP-100!

If you never heard about them, that's not surprising, as these machines are really really rare!

As you'll be able to notice in the photos I attached to this post, the MP-100 is a Music Programmer, while the RP-100 is a Rhythm Programmer, and both of them are in basically new condition, as I got them almost 10 years ago as New Old Stock (NOS) products from a store that was closing and have barely used them ever since...

I tried them only a couple of times, and in one of those times, I decided to make a small demo showing how each of these units work.

I know the quality of these demos is pretty bad, but my aim was really to just give an idea on how they work and to show that everything was ok with both units.
Both are very short videos, but I think they can definitely give you an idea on what to expect from each of them.

Despite this, I ended up posting them in youtube, since I felt they can definitely give you an idea on what to expect from each of these machines.

And since I never took down those videos, I thought it would be a great idea to make this post and share these videos with you, so that you can get a good idea on what possibilities these machines offer!

The first video is for the Korg MP-100 Music Programmer.

While the second one shows off the Korg RP-100 Rhythm Programmer.

In practice, they are good to come up with simple melodies or rhythms while you are away from the studio, since you can use batteries with them.

This makes them a bit like the ancient Korg Volcas of the time, despite I'd say any similarity lies in the format...

I imagine these were nice units for beginners at the time, but nowadays you can use an iPad for sketching ideas instead, for instance using Korg Gadget, which even allows you to edit the sound you are using (something that is impossible in these machines...).

I ended up never trying to interface them with other machines, but you get a DIN port that can work as MIDI Output or DIN-Sync Output for the Korg MP-100, and as a Tap In (not sure exactly what you can connect to this port...) or DIN-Sync Output for the Korg RP-100. And both machines feature an headphones output if you don't want to bother anyone else with the sound coming from the internal speaker.

I wouldn't expect the Korg MP-100 to be that useful as a sequencer, since nowadays there are lots of amazing sequencers available for not that much cash and I have quite some nice sequencers available.
But the Korg RP-100, I think it can really shine if it is used together with other gear!

As you noticed in my youtube demo of the Korg RP-100, you can easily create simple rhythms with it, by setting the amount of steps you want for your groove and activating deactivating those steps (a bit like a so called x0x sequencer presented in the classic Roland TR drum machines).
My expectation is that you can use the headphones output to actually produce a clock signal to your eurorack modular synthesizer, and I definitely intend to try that anytime soon!

But since it's a Korg machine, I'm expecting Korg to have used 48 pulses per quarter note in their DIN-Sync signal (as they did in their Korg KPR-77 drum machine), rather than the 24 pulses per quarter note used in the Roland gear I have...
If that's the case, it will be a serious drawback, as it would have been great to use this machine to send clock to my eurorack modular synth while keeping my Roland gear in sync (I could send the sync signal to my Roland MC-202 which would distribute it to my Roland TB-303 and Roland TR-909).

The best thing to do is really give it a test and see what will happen, and I'll definitely post something about it when I do that!

In the meantime, if you have any of these machines and want to share some tricks, feel free to do so as I have spent very little time with them!

I have actually been looking to sell them for a while, but since I haven't been lucky with that, it could be nice to find a way to fit them in my setup!

Either way, if any of my readers could be interested in these machines, they are in true collectors condition and for 100€, I think they are a pretty good deal for a Korg collector, so if you are interested, be sure to send me a message!

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