Korg Pandora Mini captures artist tones for bassists and guitarists

(ShackMan | Posted 2011-02-03)

Korg Pandora Mini captures artist tones for bassists and guitarists

And now that that's out of our system, let's move on.

It's Korg's latest generation of Pandora effects processors, and they get smaller and more tightly packed with effects every single time. This little bugger makes no exception, and it's only a little bigger than your average deck of playing cards at that; small enough to fit into your pants pocket along with your phone and a patch cable without discomfort. And Korg doesn't make you pay for the portability, either. At $100, this is one of the cheaper Pandora's that have been released.

Powered by Korg's REMS (Resonant structure and Electronic circuit Modeling System), the Pandora MINI gives you control over 158 effects. They get divided up as follows:

  • Pickup and Dynamic Models
  • Amp Models
  • Cabinet Models
  • Modulation and Filter Effects
  • Delays
  • Reverbs
  • Noise Reduction

You can use one from each category at the same time, so up to seven of them can run simultaneously. Fully customized, you can wind up with 400 patches on the Pandora Mini. 200 are pre-programmed, and 200 are open to be saved as user patches. Of the 200 pre-programmed patches, Korg decided to save many users the trouble of finding what many go for first: artist tones. Saved on the processor are 115 Song Presets that call up an artist's signature tone. Four of these patches can be saved to memory buttons on the front of the device for immediate and easy recall.

The Pandora Mini also contains 100 rhythm and metronome patterns that are well suited to tempo training, jamming and composing. The Tap button makes it easy to set the rhythm or delay tempo. The AUX input allows jamming along with an MP3 player, CD player, etc. The press release and Korg's website say that the Aux input tuner can adjust the pitch of the input signal by +/- 1 octave, and, since I know the question will come up, I'm sure that includes all the semi-tones in between to fine tune the song and match the key. An auto-tuner with muting is also built in.

Of course, being that small, it wouldn't make sense to force players to plug into a wall wart twice the size of the processor to use it. No, Korg's Pandora is still battery powered. This latest version can also be powered via USB from a computer. Once plugged in, users can download Korg's Pandora editing software for free and edit all the patches and parameters to their heart's content.

The Pandora MINI is available for around $100 street price. For more information on the Pandora MINI or other products in the Pandora line, visit Korg's website.

James Rushin is a bassist, keyboardist, writer, and composer living and working in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He has performed with Selmer artist Tim Price, Curtis Johnson, guitarists Ken Karsh and Joe Negri. His compositions have been featured at West Virginia University and Valley Forge Christian College. He will be spending the Fall and Winter months working on playwright Frank Gagliano's Voodoo Trilogy and Bodoni County Songbook.

Got questions? Comments? James can be reached as ShackMan in the Music Gear Review forums, or you may e-mail him at James.Rushin@MusicGearReview.com.

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