01W Overview

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rev 02Dec16
A First Look 
  Audio Connections
  Playing Live 
  Recording (or "Sequencing") 
Overview: How the 01 Makes "Audio Output" 
  Quick Overview
  Wordy Explanation with Details

A First Look

Audio Connections


The simplest way to hear your 01 is to plug stereo headphones in the PHONES jack on the back panel. Click here for more details on headphones, plugs, and adapters.


You can play the 01 through your home stereo system by connecting a pair of cables from "1/L" and "2/R" to your stereo's "Left" and "Right" inputs. Click here for more details on the outputs and cabling.

Playing Live

To play live, all you have to do is connect your 01 to an audio system, then pick a Combination (COMBI button) or Program (PROG button) to play. There are 200 Combinations, 100 in Bank A plus another 100 in Bank B. Press the BANK button to switch between Banks. The same goes for the 200 Programs - there are 100 in each Bank.

Combinations can sound richer and be more complex than a Program because they are combinations of Programs. Up to eight Programs go into one Combination, and those Programs can be spread across the keyboard in various ways. (Click here to see a list of 01 Combinations.)

Programs are built up from one or two basic Sounds, which are explained later. (Click here to see a list of 01 Programs.)

Recording (or "Sequencing")

You can have the 01 record every keyboard key you push in the order ("sequence") you push them. You can then edit this recording (fix mistakes, add or delete notes) and play back the result. This is all done in Sequencer Mode (after you push the SEQ button). (Click here to read about Sequencing.)

How the 01 Makes "Audio Output"

Notice, I didn't say "sound". The word "sound" can cause all kinds of confusion because we are rather casual in our terminology.

Quick Soundmaking Overview

It starts with a Sample
The 01 starts with short recordings of various instruments. This short recording is called a "sample".

Which is PCM encoded
This sample is encoded so it can be stored in memory for use by the internal computer. The type of encoding used is called Pulse Code Modulation, or "PCM".

PCM Samples are locked into memory
These PCM encoded samples are kept in ROM, a type of memory that never forgets and cannot be changed. There is ROM inside the 01 ("factory installed"). You can get external PCM Cards (with ROM inside) to plug in the back of your 01 (the "PCM DATA" slot).

PCM Samples cannot be input or output in any way. They can't be saved to or read from floppy. They can't be input or output over MIDI. They can only be read by a microprocessor connected to the ROM.

Very technical 01 users can make their own PCM Cards and/or copy existing PCM Cards. But the copy is from ROM to another memory integrated circuit.

PCM Samples are divided into Multi-Sounds and Drum Sounds

Multi-Sounds and Drum Sounds are used to create a Program ("Prog").

Progs are used to create Combis.

Wordy Explanation with Deatils

The rock-bottom basis for all 01 audio are recordings of instruments. Set up a microphone, grab an acoustic guitar, pluck a note, record it, then digitize the recording (change the recording into ones and zeros a computer can store). The world calls this bit of recording a "sample". You can store this sample as a file on your computer disc, where it is often called a "wave file", and may have a file name with the extension ".wav".

Korg recorded an acoustic guitar, as described above, and stored (or "burned") the sample into ROM (an integrated circuit inside your 01). Korg also sampled various drums, horns, strings plus modified waveforms of other stuff, and  "burned" it all into ROM. Korg has divided these samples into two groups. One is called "Multi-Sounds", the other "Drum Sounds", collectively called "Sounds".

Notice in precise 01 terminology, a "Sound" is what everyone else calls a "sample".

Sounds (samples) are used to create what Korg calls a "Program" or "Prog". The rest of the world calls this a "patch". New 01 users tend to use "sounds" to mean "Program".

When you create a Program (EDIT PROG), you select a Sound (sample), only now it is called an "Oscillator". (You rarely see this term so don't worry about it.) In EDIT PROG, you modify the Sound (sample) in various ways to make it sound (to your ears) the way you want. All these modifications are stored as a "Program", with a specific name and number. For example, Program "A04:RosewoodGt" is made up of two Sounds: "048:A.Bass 2" and "033:G.Guitar", PLUS various envelope and effects settings.

You can create and save and exchange Programs. Progs are saved to disk, and Prog settings are sent over MIDI using SysEx messages. You CANNOT change Sounds (samples) and you can't get them out of the 01 (to save on disk or put into a computer program). These are stored in ROM, which can't be erased or modified. (Technically there might be a way to do this, but it would take some engineering modifications.)

If you want new Sounds (samples), you have to get a PCM card that plugs in the "PCM DATA" slot in the back or your 01. PCM cards makes additional Sounds (samples) available for creating Programs. Notice the PCM card alone doesn't give you any Programs, only raw samples. You either create your own new Progs, get a floppy with new Progs on it, or get a different card that plugs in the "PROG/SEQ DATA" slot in the back of your 01. (If you have a floppy, there is no reason to use the "PROG/SEQ DATA" card unless the Prog and/or sequences are not available on floppy.)

Finally, to wrap things up, Combinations (or Combis) are made up of Programs. Combis are also stored on floppy and can be exchanged over MIDI using SysEx messages.

In Korg-Speak: Multi-Sounds and Drum Sounds are used to create Programs.
Programs are used to create Combinations.
In Real World Speak: Samples are used to create patches.

It Starts With "Sound" Samples

The 01 is a sample-playback synth - it plays back pre-recorded (though sometimes edited) samples. This is different from a sampler, which lets you record new samples.

There are two groups of samples: Multi-Sounds and Drum Sounds. They are stored separately and handled differently, but these "Sounds" are the basis for all sound your 01 makes. (A  list of Multi-Sounds is on pages 138-139 and lists of Drum Sounds are on pages 18-23 and 43-46 of the 01/W Percussion Manual.)

Drum Sounds make Drum Kits

Drum sounds can't be used "raw", or by themselves. A Drum Sound must be placed in a Drum Kit before it can be heard. The 01 comes with four Kits locked into ROM. You can use these Kits, edit them, or replace them. One common change is to replace one of the ROM kits with a General MIDI Kit. For more details, click here to visit the Drum Primer.

Multi-Sounds or Drum Kits Make Programs

You can't listen to a Multi-Sound until you put it into a Program (also called a "Prog"). A Program can hold one or two Multi-Sounds or one Drum Kit (no Multi-Sounds if you use a Kit).

(A list of Programs is on page 136, and a table showing the Sounds in each Program is on pages 140-143 of the 01/W Percussion Manual.)

In Korg terminology, when you specify a Multi-Sound/Drum Kit, you are assigning an "oscillator". Historically, the basic sound for analog synthesizers was an oscillator. The 01's sampled waveform has replaced the electronically generated waveform, but the function is similar. So an 01 "oscillator" is a generic term that means either a Multi-Sound or a Drum Kit. The manual also uses "voice" and "oscillator" to mean the same thing.

The 32-Sound Limit

You won't see it expressed this way in the manual, but that is the basic limit of the 01. If you assign only one Oscillator to a Program, you can push down 32 keys at the same time and hear every note. If you push down a 33rd key, one of the other notes will drop out, keeping the total at 32.

If, however, you assigned two Oscillators to a Program, you can push down only 16 keys at the same time.

This may not seem a big deal - how often do you play with your entire forearm? Where this really shows up is in Combinations (discussed shortly) and sometimes when Sequencing. Just be aware that if you think you hear notes dropping out, it's possible you've exceeded the 32-Sound limit.

Once you've assigned an Oscillator in your Program, you can modify the Sound/sound. Using the Edit Program pages, you can modify the Sound in lots of different ways. That's really what makes a Program different from a Sound. The raw Multi/Drum-Sound is held (or not), detuned, distorted, delayed, panned, filtered, and/or tracked. When you've got all the modifications the way you want them, you give your new Program a new name, and save it.

Combinations are Multiple Programs

A Program lets you play up to two Multi-Sounds at a time. A Combination (also called a "Combi") lets you access up to 8 Programs at the same time. You can have them play at the same time when a single key is pressed (called "layering"), or you can have different Programs play on different places on the keyboard (called "splits").

Technical Detail
The 01 is controlled by a microprocessor. It is rumored to be an 8086 clone, one of the 20-MHz V50 series made by NEC. But the schematics show it is a UPD65016-GF-058-38A which is driven by a 32 MHz clock. There is a 20MHz clock used to drive the DRAM refresh circuit.

Copyright ©1998, 2000-2002 by Ken Westover at Cliff Canyon Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
This material may not be distributed without the written permission of the author.
  E-mail questions or comments to cliffcan@indra.com.
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