sound mode

Korg sound editing basics

Korg arrangers have an advanced sound engine with a very powerful synthesizer. It uses multiple synthesizer techniques to generate sound. Basically it is a sample based synthesizer. But there are some implementations of the additive and subtractive synthesizer techniques in it.

The sound mode looks like a complex one. In fact it is. But with some idea on the synthesizer techniques, anyone can use most of the features easily.

What is a sound

First step is to know how sounds in the Korg arrangers are structured. There are keyboard sets/performances, sounds, oscillators, multi samples and samples which are the different components of a sound.

At the top level we see keyboard sets/performances which are a collection of sounds in different keyboard upper and lower tracks. Each track holds one sound.

Sound in a track contains one or up to 24 oscillators. Oscillators contain multi samples which are a collection of different samples arranged to play on different key ranges.

Samples are audio files which contain the original recordings of an instrument or a sound effect.

Synthesizer basics

Synthesizer generates sound on a keyboard. There are different types of synthesizers based on their sound generation methods. Korg arrangers use samples as a source of sound generation.

In a synthesizer, sound is generated using oscillators. In Korg arrangers, oscillators are used to play samples assigned to them.

There can be up to 24 oscillators assigned to a single sound which means 24 samples can be played together or on different trigger events in a sound. Each oscillator then passes through some of the components of the synthesizer like Filter, AMP, Envelopes etc. These components shape the sound from the oscillator.

Sound mode menu

Here is an overview of the different menu items in the sound mode of Korg PA arrangers


This is where the oscillators and the samples in them are assigned to a sound.


This section is for controlling the pitch changes of an oscillator


Filter removes some frequencies from the oscillator. The frequencies above or below the cut off point can be removed using the filter.


This page is used to control the volume, pan, touch sensitivity etc. of the oscillator.


LFO means Low Frequency Oscillator. It doesn’t generate any audible sound. It is used as a control signal to modulate the sound. LFO generates a cyclical signal in a specific shape based on the waveform assigned to it. Each oscillator can have two LFOs in them which can be used to modulate the sound.


In this section the effects for the entire sound are selected. This cannot be assigned specific to an oscillator.

Watch this video for a detailed overview of the sound mode

Part 1 of the sound editing series
Author: Manoj Mathew

4 thoughts on “Korg sound editing basics

  1. Hi Manoj,
    I got 3rd party sounds loaded on my Pa1000, Some sounds have problems, is there a way to find out what samples used to make up the sounds? in the sound mode, can I find out the samples used for the sound?
    Thanks for the help.

    1. Yes. In the sound mode, go to the basic page and the second tab. There you can see the samples for each oscillators. If it is a user sample, it would be from the RAM. Factory samples would be from ROM.

  2. Thank you for a quick reply, appreciated. I see the names of the samples now. Are these the original names of the samples or arbitrarily assigned named when I loaded the sound? Also I see some
    samples names greyed out, are these bad samples?

    Thanks again

    1. The names are those which are given while writing them to the memory from the sampling page. So those are the names you can find them in the RAM and from the sound mode. I am not sure why some samples are grayed out. I haven’t seen that before.


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