KARMA 2: Understanding GE types and categories


You are trying to learn KARMA basics and are confused by the difference between GE types and GE categories, and how they relate to the various RTC models.

GE Types

Every GE currently falls into one of four types. Note that none of these 4 types are identified in any of the KARMA-related pages in the Kronos, Oasys or M3; you will see these types listed only in the KARMA Software for your keyboard (and they are listed in the Voice Name List PDF for your keyboard model, in the KARMA GE section of the voice name list). To hear examples of the following GE types, you can browse to the Karma Workstation section of the Karma-Lab Media Player, or click [here] for the introduction.

  • Generated-Riff: Produces riffs, arpeggios, and chord clusters based on the notes given as input source material. The notes are expanded, transposed, replicated, and otherwise altered to form a Note Series by the parameters in the Note Series page. Effects are generated based on the Rhythm Pattern driving the Index Pattern, Cluster Pattern and others. [listen to audio example]
  • Generated-Gated: A Note Series is created as in 0: Generated – Riff above, but only a portion of the Note Series is retriggered according to the parameters. Effects are generated based on the Rhythm Pattern driving the other attributes. The notes themselves can be generated repetitively in several different ways, or as a sustained set of notes which is then “sliced and diced” by a selected controller value. This can be used to simulate several types of popular techno effects, such as gating a synth pad with a hi-hat track and an external audio gate/compressor. A special variation of this GE Type allows simulation of the Triton and M50 Arpeggiator. [listen to audio example]
  • Generated-Drum: Uses special patterns of predetermined pitches rather than the Note Series to generate notes. These can be used not only to create Drum Patterns, but also to create controlled musical patterns. Effects are generated based on the Rhythm Pattern driving the three independent Drum Patterns. Riffs based on the notes in the Note Series can be applied as pitch bend, to create wave-sequence-like effects and other unique effects, and to control other things such as the length of Phases. [listen to audio example]
  • Real-Time: Different from the previous types in that the actual notes given as input source material are used as a starting point, from which effects are generated over time according to time calculations. Examples include glissandos, repeated notes and arpeggios which start with the note(s) given as input (Melodic Repeat), and Auto-Bending an input note a certain amount or to another note . [listen to audio example]

GE Categories

The 12 system default GE Categories that you see when selecting GEs for a KARMA module in your keyboard (or that is shown next to the Module name A, B, C, and D in many Kronos, Oasys and M3 pages) are merely suggestive names chosen by Korg/Karma-Lab to suggest the general purpose and "feel" of the GEs within each category. As with programs and combis, you can also define your own category names for certain GEs. There is not really any correlation between the GE categories and the GE types: the type defines how the GE works under the covers, and the category describes what the GE "sounds like".

You can listen to examples from each category by choosing any program, enabling KARMA and latching it, playing a chord to start KARMA playing, and then on page P0:Play, on the KARMA GE tab, touch the big category button next to the red Module A and browse through the GEs in each category. Each GE you touch will be auditioned instantly without leaving the category browser.

  • 00 Arpeggio: generates arpeggiated lines.
  • 01 Melodic: generates melody lines.
  • 02 Harmonic: generates harmony lines.
  • 03 Chord Rhythmic: generates rhythmic chord accompaniments.
  • 04 Strumming: generates strummed guitar lines. Best used with guitar-like voices.
  • 05 Pick: generates articulated (picked) guitar lines. Best used with guitar-like voices.
  • 06 Bass Pattern: generates bass lines. Best used with bass-like voices.
  • 07 Gated: generates choppy, gated, "electronica" lines.
  • 08 Drum: generates drum lines. Best used with drum voices.
  • 09 Wavesequence: generates wavesequence lines. For more information, see KARMA wave-sequencing
  • 10 CC: generates MIDI Control Change messages, with or without accompanying notes, to control effects and synth parameters such as Filter Cutoff, Resonance, etc.
  • 11 Real-Time: generates glissandos, repeated note effects and auto-bended lines from the exact input notes, rather than creating a Note Series first as in many of the above categories.

How GE types and categories relate to RTC models

The RTC models (presently there are 13 different models) are strictly for standardizing how the switches and sliders on the KARMA control surface of your keyboard work, so that you don't have to memorize/learn thousands of different control surface schemes for all the KARMA GEs. In the original Karma Workstation (KARMA 1 Technology), every single Performance was different. This was very flexible, but also very confusing.

When you initialize a GE in the KARMA Software's Generated Effect editor (in other words, when you create a custom GE from scratch), the first thing you are asked to choose is an RTC model. Each model loads a particular set of default starting parameters, including a GE Type that is suitable for this RTC model:

RTC Model GE Type
BL1 - Bass/Lead 1 Generated-Riff
CL1 - Comp/Lead 1 Generated-Riff
DM1 - Drum/Melodic 1 Generated-Drum
DP1 - Drum/Perc 1 Generated-Drum
EG1 - Dual Env Gen 1 Generated-Riff
GC1 - Gated CCs 1 Generated-Gated
GV1 - Gated Vel/Pat 1 Generated-Gated
LF1 - Dual LFOs 1 Generated-Riff
MB1 - Mel/Rpt Bend Real-Time
MR1 - Melodic Repeat 1 Real-Time
RB1- Real-Time Bend 1 Real-Time
WS1 - WaveSeq 1 (Bend/Repeat) Generated-Gated
WS2 - WaveSeq 2 (Ind. Phrases) Generated-Gated
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