Review: Korg Triton Taktile-25

This may be everything you need for your next session
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This may be everything you need for your next session
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THE TRITON Taktile-25 combines features that make it a MIDI keyboard, control surface, drum pad, and synthesizer in a single pint-sized package. Use it to control software instruments, as a standalone synth, or as an external sound module for your computer. It comes with a bundle of downloads, including Korg M1 Le, Toontrack EZdrummer Lite, a $50 discount on Ableton software, and more.

This unit's onboard Triton sound engine distinguishes this instrument from the standard Taktile-25 ($349.99). First introduced 15 years ago, the Triton was once Korg’s flagship synthesizer. Since then, the company has repackaged its versatile sample-playback capabilities in increasingly affordable instruments such as the Triton LE, TR, X50, and MicroX.

It’s a MIDI Controller Like the Taktile-25, the Triton Taktile-25 has 25 Velocity-sensing keys and 8 Velocity-sensing trigger pads for playing notes, chords, and drum hits. The trigger pads have two banks, giving you 16- pad functionality when you switch between them. The pitch-bend and mod wheels respond smoothly to the touch. On the front panel are 8 hardware sliders, 31 buttons (23 of them backlit), a 2.5"-square touch pad, and a 2.5" ribbon controller (value slider). The monochromatic OLED display is no bigger than a wristwatch face, but it’s bright and crisp.

All connections are on the side panel. Because the only audio output is a stereo mini jack, you’ll need an adapter to connect to almost anything except consumer-level headphones. The Triton Taktile-25 has no power switch and turns on when you connect its USB port to a computer or another power source. I was pleased to find a MIDI Out jack alongside USB to accommodate different setups, and even more pleased to find assignable footswitch and expression pedal inputs.

When controlling external instruments, you can assign the eight sliders and the buttons beneath them to send MIDI CCs. The touchpad, in addition to being a real-time XY controller for MIDI CCs, lets you specify a scale and rub or tap it to play notes as you would a KAOSS Pad. You can even use the touch pad to position your computer’s cursor.

The Target DAW parameter optimizes the front panel for controlling specific DAWs, including Avid Pro Tools, Apple Logic Pro, and Ableton Live. Use the sliders to change levels, buttons to solo or mute tracks, and transport control to initiate play, record, and rewind. The internal arpeggiator offers all the usual patterns, as well as a trigger mode that repeatedly plays all held notes simultaneously.

You can store 16 scenes containing setup parameters such as MIDI channel, controller assignments, and so on—extremely useful when you’re using the Triton Taktile-25 to control numerous software instruments. It can’t save performance parameters, however.

It’s a Synthesizer The Triton engine delivers 62-note polyphony and one timbre at a time. Buttons access instrument families (piano, bass, etc.), and the value slider scrolls through selections. The sliders let you modify essential filter, effects, and envelope settings, but you can’t save any changes you make to the sounds—easily the Triton Taktile-25’s most serious drawback.

The instrument stores 512 presets, some of them in stereo and almost all of them useful. I was surprised when Korg told me it contains the same 32MB wave ROM as the original Triton, as I heard telltale signs that samples had been stuffed into as little memory as possible. The 48kHz audio quality is crystal clear, but I hadn’t realized how much romplers have progressed since 1999.

The Triton Taktile-25 is so lightweight and portable that it should have pegs to attach a strap so you can play it like a keytar. It has plenty to offer as a compact controller, and its functional adaptability is impressive for an instrument so obviously designed with economy in mind.

SUMMARY

STRENGTHS: Versatile and lightweight. USB-powered. Saves setup parameters. Good control connectivity. Generous software bundle.

LIMITATIONS: Can’t save edits to presets or performance parameters. Short sample loops. Stereo mini jack output only. No power switch. Small display.

$500 MSRP
$349 street
korg.com