Korg has released the Pa500 Oriental ($2,299 MSRP) interactive workstation, a Middle-Eastern edition of the Pa500. It features the ability to access quarter-tones and Arabic scales, making it easier to play non-Western music on a Western instrument.
The Pa500 features a miniature one-octave keyboard on the front panel, with LED-equipped keys that allow you to select with ease the notes that will be flatted to the nearest quarter-tone. Furthermore, four preset buttons provide one-touch access to the most commonly used quarter-tone scales.
Korg has added more than 100 new sounds, covering a range of both classical and folk genres. New classical instrument highlights feature kanon, nay, oud, kawala, and Arabic strings, as well as a new orchestra sound that uses 11 oscillators; the added folk instruments include mejwez, mezwed, yargohol, zukra, chubebe, zurna and 10 different chabi sounds. Also provided are 805 dedicated drum samples featuring instruments such as tabla, req, daf, bandir, tabel, katem, kasur, and khishabah. The Pa500 ORT also provides 128 Oriental PAD sequences that are compatible with Arabic scales.
According to the manufacturer, the workstation can scan your performance for voice leading, chord content ,and timing information, as well as add drums, percussion, bass, guitar strumming, and so forth to your performance if needed. For more information, please visit korg.com.