Korg - Their Story
Founded back in 1962, Korg, at the time named "Keio Kenkyujo Ltd", operating out of Tokyo was tasked with improving on the rhythm machine that partner and part-time professional accordionist Tadashi Osanai was playing with at the time; the Wurlitzer Sideman Rhythm Machine.
The first product made by Korg was released in 1963 and was called the Disc Rotary Electric Auto Rythm Machine - Donca Matic DA-20 ... Rolled of the tounge! It took the name Donca as this was the sound produced by the machine!
Korg continued to release many popular organ products throughout the 60s and 70s but decided to head into the synthesizer which was a niche but booming market at the time. They competed in this side of the business by producing the 'miniKorg' which was released in 1973.
They hold the unique position of being the very first company to have added a "transpose" option to their keyboards which of course over the years has become an invaluable resource for amateurs and professionals alike, especially with the ever growing disregard for learning notated music. They also added "Synth Affects" for the very first time opening up a world full of possibility for electronic music. Korg's M1 workstation is credited as being the highest selling synthesizer ever up until 1988 having sold 250,000 units.
Korg has had a bit of a to-and-thro relationship with various other well-known brands such as Yamaha who bought shares in the company during the 80s. Korg eventually managed to by back the vast majority. Vox, which in the 90s was primarily a manufacturer of guitar amplifiers was purchased by Korg in 1992. Korg was also the sole distributer of Marshall products for many years however this eventually came to an end in 2010.
Korg - Notable Products
Notable products have included:
- Korg M1 Workstation
- Donca DA-20
- Kronos Series
- Professional Arranger (Pa) Range
- MicroKorg Range