Korg M3: Using the pads to switch KARMA drum grooves


You'd like to use the pads to trigger 4 different drum grooves, changing between them, while having the entire keyboard to solo on at the same time.


We are going to use the first 4 pads on 4 different MIDI Channels to trigger the 4 Modules on 4 different channels. We will set 4 different timbres to use 4 different drum kits - a different kit on each GE!

  1. This example will use an Init Combi as an example, which has a piano already assigned to play on the Global Channel. So select any Init Combi as a starting point.
  2. Turn the KARMA button On, and the Latch button On as well.
  3. On timbres 2,3,4 and 5, select the following Drum Programs:
    • Timbre 2: U-D003 Hip Hop Kit
    • Timbre 3: U-D005 Mashed Kit
    • Timbre 4: U-D006 Drum n' Bass
    • Timbre 5: U-D009 Hard House
  4. Check Page 3-1 Timbre Param > MIDI. Here you should see that by default, the 4 Drum Programs are on Channels 2,3,4 and 5. Set them that way if not.
  5. Select 4 different Drum GEs for the 4 KARMA Modules on Page 0-5 KARMA GE. For this example, use 1422, 1423, 1424, 1425. Make sure the "Run" checkbox is turned on for all 4 GEs. When finished, it should look like this:
    • padgroove4.gif
  6. Since we want to trigger each module with a different pad on a difference channel, on Page 7-1, set the MIDI I/O Input Channels for the 4 Modules to 2,3,4,5.
  7. The output Channels should also be set to 2,3,4,5, matching the channels of the 4 Drum Programs on Page 3-1. When finished, it should look like this:
    • padgroove1.gif
  8. Now, let's set up the pads. Go to Page 1-7 DT/XY/Ctrls > Pads 1-4. Set the MIDI Channels across the top to channels 2,3,4,5.
  9. At this point, if you trigger the first 4 pads, each one will start a different drum groove. However, they just layer up on top of each other, which is not really what you would want. You would want pressing a new pad to stop the previous groove and start the new one. We have the technology!
  10. Go to Page 7-4-2 Dynamic MIDI. Here we will set each pad to turn off the other 3 modules.
  11. In Dynamic MIDI 1, set the Input to A (listen to Module A's Input Zone), choose Source = Pad 1, Destination = Module&RepeatStop, and check B,C,D. This says "Pad 1 will stop Modules B,C,D (therefore allowing Module A to be triggered by itself.) Also, set the Top to 001 - this says that any velocity at all will trigger the action.
  12. In Dynamic MIDI 2, set the Input to B (Module B's Input Zone), choose Source = Pad 2, Destination = Module&RepeatStop, Top = 001, but check A, C, D. This says Pad 2 will stop Modules A,C,D (thereby allowing Module B to be triggered by itself).
  13. Set up Dynamic MIDI 3 the same way, except Input = C and check A,B,D.
  14. Set up Dynamic MIDI 4 the same way, except Input = D and check A,B,C. When finished, it should look like this:padgroove2.gifpadgroove3.gif

Now, when you play each pad, it triggers a different groove, and turns off any previously sounding grooves - instant switching between grooves! Furthermore, you have the entire keyboard available to solo on top of the grooves, without affecting the KARMA GEs.

Note that this combi is unfinished as far as any effects go. But it should give you an idea how to accomplish this sort of thing in your own combis.


Note that you could set the Output Channel for all 4 Modules to Channel 2, for example, and they would all play into that one drum kit on Channel 2, but I've shown you this method because it allows you to have a different kit on each drum groove if you want to.

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