Korg has unveiled the 4-channel ZERO4 Live Control Mixer (pictured) and 8-channel ZERO8 Live Control Console (pricing TBA). Both products integrate a digital mixer, FireWire audio interface (with support for up to 24-bit/192kHz audio), MIDI control surface and effects processor in a single unit for computer-based production and performance. Korg states that both products will be available in May 2007.
The Matrix Input Selector enables the user to instantly switch each channel between different sources (turntable, CD, mic, computer audio and guitar), or to use the unit as a MIDI control surface or as a combination MIDI controller and audio channel. All controller knobs feature two-color illumination indicating whether the controller is processing analog or digital audio/MIDI signals for precise control onstage or in dim lighting.
A selection of EQ types is available. The ZERO Live units include emulations of various EQ characteristics from famous mixers and isolator functionality, and EQs can act as a filter. This EQ feature is offered globally on the ZERO4 and is available per channel on the ZERO8.
Each channel on the ZERO4 has a dedicated insert effect (eight types), a Master effect and a bpm-based loop sampler (one-shot mode is also provided). The ZERO8 offers three effects processors, insert effects (eight types) and Send and Master (11 types each), all controlled via a Touch-display screen with KAOSS-style real-time manipulation.
A FireWire connection lets users process or mix audio sources from a PC in the digital domain, as well as transmit MIDI, on a single cable. In FireWire audio + MIDI mode, a single channel can be used for audio processing, such as EQ and level, while it's being used for MIDI control.
As a control surface, the ZERO4 offers 32 knobs, four switches, 12 buttons and four sliders. The ZERO8 offers 64 knobs, 8 encoders, four switches, six buttons and eight sliders. Dedicated ZERO Edit software lets users freely assign MIDI messages to the faders, knobs, incremental/push encoders, buttons, toggle switches and X-Y pads.
Lastly, the units feature high quality, low impedance mic preamps designed by Peter Watts, a veteran designer of professional mixers at UK-based Trident Corporation and at Mackie in the U.S.