Keystage - MIDI 2.0 poly-at keyboard controller from KORG

I’m mainly excited for MIDI 2.0 because of the increased bandwidth. There are many other benefits too, and more keyboards with poly aftertouch is hopefully going to be a part of it. You’re right, though - there have been great options in place for decades and this is just a logical progression. It doesn’t have to be new to be better.

Unless the controller picks up and sends out high-resolution sensorial data which a sound source is also able to process at a similar resolution, the marginal bandwidth will not be of any use.

If however a sound source internally used a higher resolution (such as an analog synth, EaganMatrix, etc.) and made it accessible via MIDI 2.0, then having a MIDI 2.0-compatible controller could make a compelling case against control voltage. It would still depend on the resolution of the physical sensors though. A lot of IFs.

For instruments such as the Osmose and Continuum, MIDI 2.0 will definitely make a lot of sense, under the condition that they will receive a MIDI 2.0 update.

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I’m sure there are people who can and will make a great use of the poly aftertouch whatever features, but I’ll personally never be a good enough keyboardist for it to matter. It’s cool that the feature exists even if I won’t personally make much use of it.

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It’s the other way around: finally, you will be able to make a difference on keys by expressing yourself without a zillion notes. It is there now for everyone to learn :cool:

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I like that the poly aftertouch can affect the controller itself, rather than necessarily being sent out to an external synth. The one example i know of is changing the ratchet of individual notes in an arpeggiator sequence. Watch for a few seconds in this queued section of the Loopop video :

So this could be hooked up to a DIN MIDI synth, perhaps something very old that has no idea of poly aftertouch in MIDI and still do useful things with the poly aftertouch control.

I’ve been trying to think of other internal to the controller connections you could hook to poly aftertouch. Certainly note velocity ( the volume or accent of that note in the arpeggio ) could be connected too. I wonder about changing the length of those notes too.

ADDED : Looking at the manual it looks like maybe the length ( Gate Control ) of the notes in the arpeggio can be affected by polyphonic aftertouch. Pretty sure that it can. Not sure what that sounds like in real use though.


The Keystage Manual

Is there any way to download this thing ??
The only downloadable PDF they have is the multilanguage Quick Start Guide.

ADDED : Oh but here are the preset chords for chord mode. They might be fun to play around with, on any keyboard for those of us who play.

And here are the Argeggio Rhythm Patterns :

ADDED ( November 1st ) :
I thought this was an interesting arrangement with the Launchpad Mini. Loopop did this and showed using it in his video, but i don’t recall him talking about it. This would be used with Ableton Live of course.

I was also thinking you could put something like the Retrokits RK-008 MIDI looper with the Keystage as well.


Thinking some about the Keystage and its potentiometer versus encoder choice. As noted in this thread earlier by others, having pots can give advantages. But where it brings shortcomings, is in a “target rich” environment where the knobs are being bounced between multiple functions and/or values quickly. If change is made only between more or less static setups, and not used dynamically in a live performance sort of setting, these controls would work very well.

So what i am thinking is the Keystage is less suited to be used dynamically changing within a DAW like Ableton, but more often useful, mostly in a steady configuration, controlling with the eight knobs and the wheels and poly-aftertouch keys, in a more static control software or hardware surrounding. You can move between these surroundings, but you will need to synch up the controls again.

This post is continued in the MIDI 2.0 thread.

Did anyone get one of these? Thoughts?

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The announcements of the new desktop / rackmount versions of the Modwave, Wavestate, and Opsix, that all support MIDI 2.0 with property exchange, makes clear that the Keystage was developed as a part of this MIDI 2.0 synthesizer system.

Quite an impressive product range.


Yes I came here after seeing the modules offered at NAMM.

So has anyone purchased this keyboard?? Reading back through the comments it does not appear to have been well received.

No one bought it?

If it hasn’t been selling well, I hope the takeaway for Korg (and the industry at large) is not “nobody wants a premium MIDI controller keyboard” but rather “nobody wants a premium MIDI controller keyboard where you’re frequently changing knob functions, but their positions keep jumping around because you used pots instead of encoders.”


Just ordered the 61 Key. :smiley:

I just realized that with all my space constraints, gear flux, modular builds, etc. that instead of buying and shipping keyboards, I can just grab desktops, squeeze them into my small setup, and keep a nice, base controller.

I mean, I’ve done this in the past, plenty of times, but I somehow developed a distaste for it along the way. I think this controller ticks all the boxes though that might just bring all my oddball decisions into a nice cohesive yet flexible studio situation :slight_smile:

At the very least I think giving it a try will be a fun change of pace, and I happen to have a perfect set of things to control with it. It’ll be easy to tell if I can go this route or not now because of the way my gear is arranged (or disarranged :smiley: )


I just haven’t gotten around to trying it in the store yet. The 61 key model is marked as Top Seller on the Guitar Center website.

Thinking of getting one as a partner for my Push 3. First though I want to keep learning how to use the Push 3 by itself before complicating my life by adding stuff to it.


Wish it came as a 37-key model as well.


I watched the pros/cons from the Loopop video. I’m shocked this doesn’t have catchup for the pots. My Alesis Andromeda from 25 years ago has this. I always called it “turn past”.

This seems like a very basic feature. Looking at the firmware change log they don’t seem to be iterating very fast.

Midi 2.0 feels like the future but I’m not sure this keyboard is the answer. Probably best to wait and see Arturias answer to this. At the very least it will have endless encoders.

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I’m interested in that keyboard and… no sustain pedal jack, right? Is there a workaround? I don’t really need a damping pedal, more a sustain pedal :slight_smile:

A bit more research and I see that in the manual:

Maybe setting MIDI CC64 does the trick? Anyone who has one and a pedal would try?

I’m eyeballing one of these for poly AT duty. How did it end up working for your use case?


Surprisingly well, but I still prefer to have full keyboard synths in the end. The immediacy of just rotating a bit, and instantly playing (or playing two at once) for me is kind of key.

As far as controller+desktop setups go though, I’d say that the Keystage has been the best of the 2-3 such setups that I’ve tried over the years. It’s easy to use, the keybed while light (same as Hydras) works well, and the PolyAT is delightful to use.

I didn’t use the audio interface, or do anything in depth like set up profiles. I just switch MIDI channel to change synths.

So my case was fairly simplistic compared to some.

It’s a nice controller overall, though I have used ones with better overall feeling of keybeds, but then they didn’t have PolyAT. That was the main differentiator for me.


The poly AT is exactly what I’m looking for. I really don’t use soft synths and MPE isn’t a big deal for me atm so easily changing midi channels is probably the most important thing. I’m mildly looking at an osmose as that seems to sit somewhere between a hardware keyboard with AT like this and a squishy MPE controller (linndrum, roli, etc) but I’ve read mixed things on it as a controller.