KORG G5 Bass Synthesizer  Sound Samples and Patches

Here are some sound samples recorded with my KORG G5 bass synth processor. It's a fairly basic, non-pitch tracking synth processor that includes waveshaping and filtering, all saved into 9 possible presets.

Overall there are only a handful of the 9 voice choices that are seriously usable  options for fat bass synth. The others are envelope only, or are too high voiced and/or thin to be used solo. But there's certainly plenty of usable bass synth tones out of the unit, and latency is non-existent since there's no pitch tracking going on. Playing feels totally natural. It tracks a BOSS OC-2 OCT1 signal in front very well which can be used to drive the G5's tones deeper and fatter, or blended in to add some sub-bass depth to the otherwise thin sounds on some of the voices.

While the waveshaping requires monophonic playing the filtering voices can accept polyphonic input well. And if you play held octaves then bend one note slightly out of tune from the other you can get some interesting ringmod warble and glitch type sounds which could be usable for some.

I think this unit is a contender for some seemingly easy modifications for anyone with electronics skills. I'd propose the following mods:

  • Frequency control knob. Would control the cutoff frequency by tapping into the expression pedal functionality. There's plenty of front panel chassis space for another knob, though it wouldn't be saved with the presets. Use a switched 1/4" jack to allow an expression to still control the cutoff when plugged in which would defeat the new Frequency knob.
  • Numeric bank indicator. There's a 3 color LED, I'm assuming it would be possible to tap into the electronics driving this to drive 3 separate LEDs instead. I'm not sure if there's LEDs in the shape of numbers, but 3 red LED that have 1 LED, 2 LED, or 3 LED illuminated to indicate bank would be easier to comprehend than green/yellow/red or whatever the color scheme is. Minor complaint.
One interesting feature with this box is that while the control knobs are basic and do not have any electronic display indicating their settings for each preset there's a helpful "original value" LED that lights up when you turn the control knob and hit the spot the patch is currently set to. Theoretically this would allow me to go back and figure out what settings I've used for each patch so I can document them and share them.
Note I'm a self-taught, intermediate player. While I lack formal training, I do have a fair amount of experience with wide variety of hardware multi-effects from Behringer, Line6, BOSS, and Roland, as well as other pedal and rack effects, and most software amp simulators and various plugin effects. Hopefully that lends itself towards some quality patches.

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My quick review of the unit:

  • Pros: No latency, extremely easy to use (no user manual really necessary to use this out of the box and get good sounds), has 9 presets available for quick recall. Some very fat and quality bass synth tones available in my opinion. Tracks a BOSS OC-2 signal well which can be used to help drive the synth tones even deeper and fatter and sounds good blended in with the G5 sounds. Has an expression pedal jack to control the frequency cutoff which I don't recall seeing anyone mention before, this can be used for manual filter sweeps and to further modify the overall tone of the sounds. Ability to instantly bop between presets without having to lineraly cycle through them like the Super Synth and Octavius Squeezer. Has some good sounding filter-only effects available, including vocal/formant filters - try sending some fuzz through them for more synthy type sounds.
  • Cons: Not a wide variety of tone options available as a lot of the voices are very high/thin sounding (unless that's what you're going for), out of production, expensive ($250+ used) for the limited functionality provided (though the sound and presets might make that price totally reasonble compared to other products), and extremely difficult to find. Does not effect/track notes above 13th fret on the G string on my instrument for whatever reason . Fairly large footprint considering the limited feature set. Difficult to remember what sounds are in what patch locations due to somewhat ambiguous 3 color LED to denote bank VS some sort of patch # system. 
Conclusion:  My favorite synth pedal effect - sounds great, tons of tons from 5 little knobs, totally super easy and intuitive to use and operate even if you know nothing about synthesizers. This is the model everyone else is still trying to beat in my opinion, and it came out in the 1990's. 


MP3 Patch Settings Description Instrument Used Interface Used Notes
n/aNoodling through my current 9 presetsLakland Duck Dunn P bass fingeredGT-10B USBBOSS GT-10B used as a clean interface, BOSS OC-2 and KORG G5 in effets loop. I cycle through the presets I've created after about 90 minutes of experimenting with the pedal. Some of the patches sound great, others like crap. I also cycle through just the KORG and then the KORG with the OC-2 in front. Honestly, I just blasted through the presets and didn't pay attention to where I started, etc. so it's a mish mash of sounds and I think I cyled through the first bank twice, once at start and again at end.
n/aExpression pedalLakland Duck Dunn P bass fingeredGT-10B USBBOSS GT-10B used as a clean interface, BOSS OC-2 and KORG G5 in effets loop. I play a single preset and experiment with the expression pedal, an Ernie Ball VP JR 25K which is not a perfect match for the unit but seems to work fairly well. Note you still get the envelope sound, if the preset has one, then you can cycle through the filter frequency with the expression. I have created some patches that use a static filter and allow you to sweep it manually with expression but didn't happen to save them. I'll have to try to recreate that.
n/aDissonant octave SAWLakland Duck Dunn P bass fingeredGT-10B USBBOSS GT-10B used as a clean interface, KORG G5 in effets loop playing a static SAW using Filter 5. Experimenting with octaved notes and held octaves where either the low or high note is bent out of tune slightly to create the warbled sound.
n/aRetrigger speed testLakland Duck Dunn P bass pickedGR-55 USBRoland GR-55 used for a basic bass amp sim and recording interface, KORG G5 with voice 5 set for a fairly fast downsweep. I then play at various speeds @ 120bpm to see how fast the filter retrigger is. All playing is open, no palm muting. In comparison the Markbass Super Synth required extremely heavy palm muting and hard playing to get acceptable retriggering with fast playing.


Last updated 09-11-2011  



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