The Korg OASYS is a workstation synthesizer released in early 2005, 1 year after the successful Korg Triton Extreme. Unlike the Triton series, the OASYS uses a custom Linux operating system that was designed to be arbitrarily expandable via software updates, with its functionality limited only by the PC-like hardware.
OASYS was a software implementation of the research project that ultimately resulted in the OASYS PCI, a DSP card which offered multiple synthesis engines. The original OASYS keyboard concept had to be scrapped because of excessive production costs and limitations of then-current technology.
Production of the OASYS was officially discontinued in April 2009. Korg sold just over 3000 units worldwide. The final software update was released on November 24, 2009.
In 2011, Korg Kronos, a successor of Korg OASYS, was introduced at that year's NAMM Show.


The standard Oasys comes with hardware similar to many personal computers:
It features Korg's OASYS technology, which allows multiple synthesis engines to be used simultaneously. The OASYS also includes second-generation KARMA technology. It has either a 76 key synth-action, or 88 key hammer-action keyboard.


The optional EXB-DI adds 8 channels of ADAT Optical format 24-bit 48 kHz digital output, as well as a word clock input.
The EXB-DI was first made available for the Korg Triton Studio keyboard and Triton Rack module - on these units only 6 outputs are available via ADAT.
Bar a few early models of the Oasys, the EXB-DI is user installable.

Synthesis engines

As of November 24, 2009 the latest version of the OASYS OS is 1.3.3a, featuring the following synthesis engines:
  1. HD-1: A PCM synthesizer, with 628 MB of preloaded samples and Wave Sequencing.
  2. EXs: A sample library that works by itself or with other engines. EXs-1 is a set of instruments and EXs-2 is a grand piano.
  3. AL-1: A 96-note polyphonic virtual analog synthesizer
  4. CX-3: A modeled tonewheel organ based on the current CX-3
  5. STR-1: A plucked string physical model
  6. LAC-1: Optional bundle including two virtual analog synthesizers, the PolysixEX and MS-20EX, which are updated models of the vintage Korg Polysix and Korg MS20. The LAC-1 is available as a free upgrade, but has to be requested by the current owner of the OASYS from Korg.
  7. MOD-7: Optional that Combines Variable Phase Modulation, waveshaping, ring modulation, PCM sample playback, and subtractive synthesis in a patchable, semi-modular synthesizer. The MOD-7 is available as a free upgrade, but has to be requested by the current owner of the OASYS from Korg.


HD-1 Program

The HD-1 is a sample+synthesis engine with a two "oscillator" structure. In addition to the two "oscillators," an HD-1 Program contains a Vector Envelope, Common LFO, two common key tracking generators, KARMA settings, and effects.

HD-1 Oscillator

Each "oscillator" consists of a sample playback oscillator, dual multimode filter, nonlinear "drive" and low boost section, amp, and pan. The sample playback oscillator has four velocity zones, each of which can play a mono or stereo sample or a Wave Sequence. Velocity zones can overlap or crossfade. Korg claims very low aliasing distortion, due to the use of band limited interpolation.

Wave Sequencing

Wave Sequences were first introduced on Korg's Wavestation synthesizer, released in 1990. Wave Sequences allow a single note to play through a list of samples, one after the other, with or without crossfades, with other associated parameters changing for each sample, as listed below. This can create smooth, evolving timbres, or rhythmic effects. Internally, Wave Sequences are implemented by using two voices; voice A plays the first sample, voice B plays the second sample, voice A plays the third sample, and so on. Other synthesizers have featured concepts which are similar in some aspects, such as PPG, Waldorf, and Access Virus wavetables, Synclavier resynthesis, and Ensoniq Transwaves and Hyperwaves.
In the lists below, features new to the OASYS are noted.
OASYS Wave Sequences include, for each step:
And, for the sequence as a whole:
Additions to the original Wavestation implementation include time/tempo modes, sample-locked tempo sync, constant-time crossfades in tempo mode, fade-in and fade-out shapes, swing, trigger quantization and key sync, note advance, real-time duration modulation, control of reverse and sample start point per step, and modulation outputs.


EXs is a Korg acronym for "EXpansion Sample". They are sample sounds that come pre-loaded with OASYS. EXs-1 is a sample library with acoustic instruments including guitars, brass, piano, strings, beside others. EXs-2 is a grand piano sampled in each key with 4 velocity levels plus damper. The 1G RAM of OASYS only permits to load 1 EXs at a time, but the user can expand it to have both working at the same time.


EXs3 includes over 700 MB of brass and woodwind samples, perfect for orchestral and pop productions. Recorded using world-class instruments and players, the collection features piccolo, flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, English horn, bassoon, contrabassoon, soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, trumpet, piccolo trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, trombone, French horn, bass tuba, contrabass tuba, dual-trumpets, dual-trombones, and brass ensemble. Designed to be richly expressive, the samples include multiple dynamics, straight and vibrato versions, breathy and overblown tones, legato, staccato, trills, flutter, growl, sforzando, glissando up/down, falls, doits, voice, breath, attack elements, grace notes, and key noise elements. 128 Programs and 64 Combinations take full advantage of the new sounds.


EXi is a Korg acronym for "EXpansion Instrument". It refers to all OASYS synth models other than the HD-1, including the AL-1, CX-3, etc.

EXi Program

This is the Program structure for playing EXi. It is similar to that of the HD-1, but differs slightly in a few ways, such as:
Virtual analog synth engine.
A modeled tonewheel organ based on Korg's dedicated CX-3 organ keyboard.
This organ mimics and in many ways enhances the sound of the Hammond organ and Leslie speaker with amplifier simulation and other enhancements.


A plucked string physical model that allows you to pluck, strike, scrape, or otherwise "excite" the string with 16 different "pluck" types, noise, or any of the onboard or RAM-based PCM waveforms.


The optional LAC-1 Legacy Analog Collection EXi adds the MS-20EX and PolysixEX virtual analog synthesizers.
The MOD-7 includes six oscillators which combine simultaneous VPM, Waveshaping, and ring modulation, plus a PCM oscillator, noise generator, audio input, two multi-mode filters, three 2-in/1-out mixers, and an input main mixer – with a patch panel for routing them together.
Note: The MOD-7 and PolysixEX/MS-20EX plug-ins are only available from www.korguser.net. Owners must register their Oasys at the site in order to purchase them. This includes providing the Public ID and serial numbers of their unit.

Notable users