IN collaboration with local distributor CK Music, Korg has created a very interesting instrument, dubbed “Malaysia’s very own musical keyboard.”
Wishing to rectify lack of exposure to traditional musical instruments, the brand new PA600MY has a library of 31 ethnic Malay, Chinese and Indian instruments, compiled through a painstaking recording process involving professional musicians and real live instruments. On top of that, the keyboard has 43 localised styles to choose from including bhangra, chinese opera and zapin.
So if you’ve been tired of arranging music the same old way, imagine now you could be hammering away at a yang qin or finding out how the mridangam, nadhaswaram, or marwas actually sounds like in the comfort of your own studio.
Also notable is how high-tech the entire thing actually is — there’s a search function and the possibility to copy/paste, rename and delete resources stored in its 96MB of memory. If you ever get sick of your instruments, just download more stuff from around the world off Korg’s online shop.
Other cool features include 2 x 15-watt amplifiers, the SongBook application, four Stereo Master Effect processors with 125 enhancing effects, and a score-viewer function which can read lyrics and chords from most MIDI, MP3 and KAR files. All this and more packed into a considerate 11 kilograms.
But maybe it’ll make better sense if you looked at it yourself.
It’s the first musical instrument of its kind and CK Music also hopes to get the Ministry of Education involved in a race to preserve (what’s left of) Malaysian culture and heritage. It makes us slightly nervous; we too were guilty of staring at much of the PA600MY’s library and wondering what many of them looked or sounded like.
We love it, and we have even better news: those hoping for a more accurate representation of Malaysia’s soundscape fret not, we have news that there are developments in the pipeline which includes Sabahan, Sarawakian and even asli instruments.
The PA600MY is a result of almost two years of research and development initiated by CK Music with renowned Japanese instrument-makers Korg.