Korg launches its first ever MIDI 2.0 keyboard controller, Keystage

The keyboard also boasts Polyphonic/Channel Aftertouch and MPE compatibility for you to elevate your playing experience.

Korg has unveiled Keystage, its first ever MIDI 2.0 keyboard controller designed for both on stage and in-studio use.

Described as the “ultimate MIDI keyboard for producers and performers”, Keystage comes in two variations — 49 or 61 keys — and is equipped with a semi-weighted keybed that supports both channel and polyphonic Aftertouch, and MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression).

As Korg explains, Keystage is the first of its peers to adopt the MIDI 2.0 Property Exchange. Unlike MIDI 1.0, MIDI 2.0 allows for two-way communication between devices, ensuring seamless auto-configuration for optimal compatibility.

When connected to compatible software, Keystage simplifies parameter assignments, displaying them on its OLED screens, which can be controlled in real-time using the dedicated knobs. The controller also provides official integration with most DAWs including Ableton Live and Korg Gadget, allowing you to enjoy immediate “plug-and-play connectivity”.

In terms of playback options, Keystage’s arpeggiator offers a vast selection of patterns that can be customised with aftertouch, triggered ratchets, randomisation, and gating, while chord mode comes with 32 preset chord sets as well as an extra 32 slots for you to customise and save your own.

Users will also receive a powerful software package with each purchase. This includes the Korg Gadget Producer Bundle which features over 40 small synthesizers and drum machines called “Gadgets”, WaveState Native LE, and Ableton Live 11 Lite, which is officially compatible with Keystage.

Connections wise, Korg has included a USB-B port, MIDI (IN, OUT connectors), expression and damper jacks, two unbalanced 1/4″ TS outputs and a stereo headphone output on the Keystage.

The 49-key version will set you back $599 while the 61-key variant is priced at $699.