Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

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rickyd
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Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by rickyd » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:27 am

I would like to know some pros & cons of using this machine from people who have personally used it. In addition, I have some specific questions about it.........


How many drum tracks are allowed?
I read that you cannot modify the swing during playback or recording - Which sucks something serious - but I was wondering if you can set certain patterns to have swing and certain ones to be straight 16-beat - For example, the intro pattern could be programmed to have swing, and the rest of the song will be straight 16-beats.
Are there any other similar sampler/sequencers in the same price range as this one, but has better features? I know there are some older ones that are, but they deal with floppy disks instead of SMC and my PC doesn't have a floppy drive, so that's out of the question.
This isn't pertaining to the Electribe in particular, but is a general question about these sampler/sequencers......If one wanted to record each individual drum track from the sequencer out to an external PC DAW, how would that be accomplished? I know that the PC's sound card first has to have enough inputs as well as the software DAW, but most of these sequencers I see don't have individual outputs for each drum track, so I'm confused on how this process is done - I'm new to this stuff so forgive me.

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by monolith » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:01 am

1) For a pattern you can assign 9 samples, plus the slice. So you could have 9 drum parts if you wanted.
However, part 6 and 7 cut each other off so you can do things like have closed hi hats 'shut' open' hi hats. Same deal with parts 8 and 9.

2) Yes.

3) I guess with the ES-1 you could have the DAW being master, and 'overdub' 2 parts at a time, by panning 1 part to the left output and the other to the right, as the ES-1 has 2 outputs.

Their might be an easier way, but that's what i'd do. I've got an ES-1, but am still very much a MIDI noob.

Download the ES-1 manual, and have a read. It's really easy to find.

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by rickyd » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:21 am

Thanks monolith for the reply.

I was wishing this thing could at least have 16 tracks for drums, as my compositions usually contain many percussions. Darn.

The 2 at a time-overdubbing process would be too slow for me it seems, but I guess on most sequencers this would be the only way to do it.

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by xenomorph313 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:25 am

Korg ES-1:
Pros:
  • 16-Step sequencer just like the old roland TR's
  • Built in effects - Distortion, Decimator, Delay, Phaser, Wah, Resonant Filter, Flanger, Pitch Shifter, Ringmod
  • Ability to play something, muck with the knobs and all the drum parts, then resample that as another sample
  • Super-easy-to-use interface
  • Ability to run another machine into its input and have it gated within the ES-1's pattern in time with the sampler
  • Lots of real-time knobs, whose movements can be recorded, and played back while new tweaks are added.
Cons:
  • Strange type of bit-reduction when sampling directly into the input. (12-bit) Some like this quality on drums, tho
  • Sample storage to external media is done via Smart Media cards, which are expensive/hard to find
  • Samples are named with numbers because of the small LED display.(e.g.: 00, 01, 02, 03.......10, 11, etc.)
  • All drum parts go on the same channel.
  • Not possible to take a keyboard controller and play a sample's pitch across the length of the keyboard.
Really, all in all a very fun sampler. You probably won't find a better sampling tool for the price they go for nowadays (around $150-$199).

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by rickyd » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:47 am

Very good overview of the pros & cons, xenomorph. I was thinking of giving it a try up til the last con. I wanted to be able to play the sample across an external MIDI controller. I know that wouldn't stop anyone from being able to play the pitch on the machine itself - hope not - but this option would still be nice.

For that price range, can't expect any better than 12-bit sample conversion I guess, so can't really argue with that.

The other turn off is that the LED display will only show the sample names as numbers, which really sucks if you have a lot of samples and don't know which is which.

I think I may pass on this one and save up for the next item on my wish list, Akai MPC-1000.

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by monolith » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:15 am

rickyd wrote:I know that wouldn't stop anyone from being able to play the pitch on the machine itself - hope not - but this option would still be nice.

I think I may pass on this one and save up for the next item on my wish list, Akai MPC-1000.
Unfortunately you cant program melodies to be played on the es-1. It's the main thing I dislike about it. That's why a lot of people like it mainly as a drum machine/sampler.
I've sampled a couple of notes of my juno and used them as bass notes, but if you use, say... E,D and A for a bass line then there goes 3 of your 9 parts.

I'd go with the MPC for a more 'do everything' sampler, then you can sequence your other gear with it too.
My girlfriend might be getting one soon, which will work out nicely for me, as the limitations of the ES-1 are starting to grate.

That said though, I do love the sound of the ES-1, even if I upgrade to an MPC or something more featured I'll definitely keep it around. It's so easy to use and very fun.

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by rickyd » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:34 am

That sucks that you can't program melodies either. I guess it's just as basic as u can get. The price range says it all.

I MAY - Keyword "MAY" - still get one though for use as a MIDI controller for my software sampler VST - "Shortcircuit", which lacks a sequencer.

The samples that I was going to load in the Electribe - if I get it - are mostly the same ones I already have loaded in Shortcircuit. Being said that, here is what I was gonna plan on doing.......


1. Load the VST into different tracks in my DAW. Like Track 1 - kick, Track 2 - snare, etc. and set the tracks up to be triggered by a MIDI device with different channels.

2. Load the same drums into the Electribe and sequence a song(s).

3. Set up each individual drum track of the sequence on different MIDI channels so they can send out MIDI notes to trigger the drums in the software sampler.


With this method, I wouldn't have to record anything from the audio outs of the Electribe. Everything would be triggered by MIDI. I know that the Electribe can be set as master to control external devices, but I don't know if it will let each individual track send out MIDI notes to an external device.

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by Trom69 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:55 am

rickyd wrote:3. Set up each individual drum track of the sequence on different MIDI channels so they can send out MIDI notes to trigger the drums in the software sampler.
xenomorph313 wrote:[*] All drum parts go on the same channel.
Better take a look at the manual and see if it really fits your needs. ;)
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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by tallowwaters » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:08 pm

xenomorph313 wrote: Sample storage to external media is done via Smart Media cards, which are expensive/hard to find
I've pointed this out numerous times - the sticky in this forum about storage solves this easily.
xenomorph313 wrote: Samples are named with numbers because of the small LED display.(e.g.: 00, 01, 02, 03.......10, 11, etc.)
You only have 150 samples and you can trigger each sample as you scroll to it, so it's pretty easy to hear.
xenomorph313 wrote: Not possible to take a keyboard controller and play a sample's pitch across the length of the keyboard.
Actually, it is via some software, but you have connect the ES up to the computer, which is a pain in the a*s.


Anyhow, sounds like the OP wants an ESX or MPC. The ES is a fun machine, but isn't going to be you central sampler.
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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by tallowwaters » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:17 pm

monolith wrote:
rickyd wrote:I know that wouldn't stop anyone from being able to play the pitch on the machine itself - hope not - but this option would still be nice.

I think I may pass on this one and save up for the next item on my wish list, Akai MPC-1000.
Unfortunately you cant program melodies to be played on the es-1. It's the main thing I dislike about it. That's why a lot of people like it mainly as a drum machine/sampler.
I've sampled a couple of notes of my juno and used them as bass notes, but if you use, say... E,D and A for a bass line then there goes 3 of your 9 parts.
You can always tweak the pitch knob and use your motion sequence to make melodies. It's not nearly as bad as you think.

Sounds like another person needs an ESX... ;)
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by rickyd » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:32 pm

Trom69 wrote:
rickyd wrote:3. Set up each individual drum track of the sequence on different MIDI channels so they can send out MIDI notes to trigger the drums in the software sampler.
xenomorph313 wrote:[*] All drum parts go on the same channel.
Better take a look at the manual and see if it really fits your needs. ;)

Glad you pointed that out. I saw it, but that xeno was talking about maybe the left or right channels on the audio ins or something...Well, if that's case then - If all drums can only go on 1 channel - my little MIDI multitracking plan is shot. lol. As mentioned before, I'll save up for a MPC 1000 or a RS-7000. Hopefully it will have the pros that are this machine's cons/don't haves.

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Re: Korg Electribe ES-1: Pros & Cons

Post by noisecomm » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:16 am

tallowwaters wrote:
monolith wrote:
rickyd wrote:I know that wouldn't stop anyone from being able to play the pitch on the machine itself - hope not - but this option would still be nice.

I think I may pass on this one and save up for the next item on my wish list, Akai MPC-1000.
Unfortunately you cant program melodies to be played on the es-1. It's the main thing I dislike about it. That's why a lot of people like it mainly as a drum machine/sampler.
I've sampled a couple of notes of my juno and used them as bass notes, but if you use, say... E,D and A for a bass line then there goes 3 of your 9 parts.
You can always tweak the pitch knob and use your motion sequence to make melodies. It's not nearly as bad as you think.

Sounds like another person needs an ESX... ;)

+1 I also do this with my ER-1 MKII. It helps to animate the patterns. I've been working with the ESX-1 & so far I've come around to really digging the potential of it, but the ES-1 is still a great device for immediate results. Plus it doesn't have that noise floor or weird volume issues.
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