Hacking The New Electribe


Recently a user on the Korg forums was able to hack the OS for the new electribe and electribe sampler.  This effectively lets you load the OS from either unit onto the other one, giving you all of the functionality of each.  Well, almost all.  We’ll go into that in a minute.

First, here’s a thread from the Korg Forums where you can read a little more about this, and how it’s done:


Feeling a bit adventurous I figured “why not?”, and gave it a go fairly soon after it was announced.  I’m happy to say that it worked fine for me, and now I have the ability to switch between the two OS’s right from the unit itself whenever I want.  It really is like having both units at once, with the caveat that it appears the electribe’s PCM data, and the sampler’s stock samples are both stored onboard the units themselves.

This means that when turning the electribe into the sampler version, you only get the 16 basic OSCs until you load your own samples.  Not a big deal though, as it is a sampler after all and most people probably don’t want the stock samples anyway.  Also, just like with the stock electribe sampler, you only get 1 basic filter model for the highpass, low pass, and band-pass filter types.

I should point out that if you have the grey electribe and use the sampler or import samples from the card, there’s an error where some of the user samples get listed again as factory samples.  If instead you use one of the electribe sample managers to load up your samples (I highly recommend this one: http://www.appification.de/ElectribeSampleManager/ ), then this doesn’t happen however.  The sample managers make loading samples into the electribe SOOO much easier anyway, I think it’s a must for any electribe sampler, hacked or original.previewHowever, if you own the black sampler version and you want to load it with the grey electribe OS, things are a little less rosy.  Primarily, because you don’t have access to any of the PCM data from the grey electribe, you only can use the very basic 16 analog-modeled OSCs.  This severely limits your sound pallette.  You get all the functionality of the grey electribe, but a tiny fraction of it’s sounds, and no way to load more.

As you can see, the hack definitely seems to benefit the owners of the grey electribe as a result, which has some sampler owners a bit peeved to say the least.  🙁

I spent the last couple of days prepping samples to use in sampler OS version loaded onto my grey electribe, and so far everything has been working fine.  It’s definitely nice to have my own sounds to play with in the electribe, though at the same time you only get 24.7MB of memory and that does feel a little stingy. By the time I get a decent selection of drums, synths, and other samples in that much space, they’re all real small snippets of audio anyway.  Also, the all of the samples take a couple minutes to load each time you power on the sampler version, which I find kind of takes away from the spontaneous aspect of the electribes.

In some ways it just makes the regular synth electribe more appealing for me, though I’m struggling to say why at this point.  No need to prep samples?  Quicker to grab when I have ideas I want to capture?  Not sure.

I need to experiment with putting longer samples in there and not using it for all the sounds in a song. Just to see what I can do to mangle single samples and longer loops.  And I will admit, I like being able to use stereo samples as well, it definitely makes my electribe songs a bit more spacious now.  It’s a cheat to get more reverb in my tracks without giving up the master effect for it.  🙂

All in all it’s pretty fun to see how this all came together, and to suddenly have both electribes available in one box.  It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, Korg does next.  Do they release a super feature rich OS update to tempt people, even if it breaks the hack?  Or do they find a way to embrace the concept and make it official, along with being able to load the samples and PCM data correctly from each unit?

It’ll be interesting to watch, and if nothing else, it’s certainly made owning an electribe right now sound like a great idea 🙂

Peace and beats,

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