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NAMM 2024: Korg unveils the Opsix mkII, an updated version of its six-operator 'Altered FM' synth

 Korg opsix mkii.
Korg opsix mkii.

NAMM 2024: In another major announcement made in the lead-up to NAMM 2024, Korg has revealed the update to its Opsix FM synthesizer. Described by Korg as a "digital synth like no other", Opsix mkII doubles the polyphony of its predecessor from 32 to 64 voices.

Opsix mkII operates using the same 'Altered FM' synth architecture as the Opsix, a six-operator FM synth engine that augments classic FM synthesis with a variety of modern sonic possibilities. Korg tells us that mkII's Altered FM engine has been kitted out with new "sound components, waveforms, filters, shaping possibilities, effects, LFOs, envelopes, modulations and more".

On top of the six-operator FM engine, which offers five operator modes, Opsix mkII is capable of subtractive, analogue modelling, waveshaping and additive synthesis, and signal paths can be rerouted internally to achieve semi-modular synthesis. Parameters can be modulated using a modulation matrix equipped with three envelope generators and three LFOs that can output 23 different waveforms.

Sounds can be run through a variety of analogue-style filters, including filters modelled on the Korg MS-20 and Korg PolySix, along with resonant two- or four-pole low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and band-reject filters. Opsix mkII has an impressive effects section that offers 30 effect types, including a 3-band EQ, chorus, phaser, flanger, distortion, compressor, delay, reverb, grain shifter and more.

Notes can be played in via the synth's 37-key, velocity-sensitive and release velocity-sensitive keyboard, or programmed using a step sequencer that offers up to 16 steps per pattern with up to 6 notes per step, and makes use of Korg's Motion Sequencing technology, which lets the user record changes of up to six parameters for each step in a sequence. There's also an arpeggiator onboard with seven preset patterns.

Like it's predecessor, Opsix mkII's interface is centred around an OLED screen and what Korg call the Operator Mixer, a set of six backlit faders and knobs used to set the level of each operator, adjust their wave shape and change the operator mode; the controls will light up red or blue to indicate whether they're tweaking the carrier signal or modulator signal.

Opsix mkII is equipped with headphone out, stereo line out, MIDI in/out, along with a jack for a damper pedal and a USB-B port.

The synth is priced at £699/€799 and will ship in March this year.

Find out more on Korg's website.