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KORG Gadget for Mac Review




Screen Shot 2018 01 09 at 20.49.49

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KORG Gadget for Mac Review

KORG Gadget for Mac is a collection of more than 30 gadgets available on your primary DAW as plugins or within a simplistic DAW which Korg calls Korg Gadget. The mobile version Korg Gadget for iOS is one of the most successful music apps on the iOS platform. Korg Gadget first released for iOS and was ported mid-2017 onto MAC.

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With the support of MAC OS, the instruments and insert plugins also became available as VST/AU/AAX plugins in your DAW (MAC OS). One of the main difference between the MAC and iOS version is that the with the MAC version you buy all included plugin and content. With the iOS version, you get a starter pack. Later you need to purchase different gadgets if you want to use them.

You could, in an ideal world, sketch on your iPhone/iPad your ideas while commuting in the tube, train or on a plane. Later in the studio continue to work on the composition on your MAC. And at night at home do some changes on the couch again on your iPad and when ready do all needed tuning and mixing/mastering in Ableton Live.

KORG does not try to replace existing DAWs; the idea is to offer a platform for easy to use sketching platform and with the available MAC plugins an integration of the gadgets in your main DAW. For me the primary use of the devices would be in Cubase, if I would be using Live as the main DAW, I might leverage the integration more and would sketch more in the KORG Gadget MAC Application.

Lisbon as a track instrument in Cubase
Zurich Universal Audio Recorder Plugin
Zurich – Universal Audio Recorder

Korg keeps the Gadget application for iOS and MAC on the same level where possible to support seamless integration between both OS platforms. KORG (USA) did send a review copy with no strings attached.


After purchase, you download (4isdh GB file) and install the provided package and authorize the software when first time launched. The included Gadget is installed as plugins and available within your DAW without the need to use the Gadget Application which makes sense if you have already a DAW and prefer to continue to use it.


Out of the more than 30 Gadgets, the latest three ones that have been added are Lisbon (Polyphonic Sci-Fi Synthesizer), Vancouver (Layering Melody Sampler), and DOTEC-AUDIO DeeMax (Loudness Maximizer).

The included Gadgets as of early January 2018:

  • Abu Dhabi – Dynamic Loop Slicer
  • Alexandria – Legendary Vintage Organ
  • Amsterdam  – PCM SFX Boombox
  • Berlin – Monophonic Synchronized Synthesizer
  • Bilbao – Lightning Sample Player
  • Brussels – Monophonic Anthem Synthesizer
  • Chiang Mai – Variable Phase Modulation Synthesizer
  • Chicago – Tube Bass Machine
  • Darwin – Digital PCM Synthesizer
  • DOTEC-AUDIO DeeMax – Loudness Maximizer
  • Dublin  – Monophonic Semi-Modular Synthesizer
  • Firenze – Funky Electric Keyboard
  • Gladstone – Acoustic Drum Module
  • Glasgow – Superior PCM Synthesizer
  • Helsinki – Polyphonic Ambient Synthesizer
  • Kamata – Wave Table Synthesizer
  • Kiev – Advanced Spatial Digital Synthesizer
  • Kingston – Polyphonic Chip Synthesizer
  • Lexington  – Duophonic Analogue Synthesizer
  • Lisbon – Polyphonic Sci-Fi Synthesizer
  • London – Hypersonic PCM Drum Modul
  • Madrid – Dynamic Bass Machine
  • Marseille – Polyphonic PCM Synthesizer
  • Miami – Monophonic Wobble Synthesizer
  • Milpitas – Wave Sequence Synthesizer
  • Montpellier – 4VCO Analogue Synthesizer
  • Montreal – Vintage Electric Piano
  • Phoenix – Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer
  • Recife  – Futuristic Drum Module
  • Rosario – Guitar Effect Processor
  • Salzburg – Premium Acoustic Piano
  • Tokyo – Analog Percussion Synthesizer
  • Vancouver – (Layering Melody Sampler
  • Wolfsburg – Hybrid Polyphonic Synthesizer
  • Zurich – Universal Audio Recorder

With this expanding collection, you get simple to use synth and drum instruments which KORG calls Gadgets.

If you do not own a DAW or look for a DAW that can be seamless be used for sketching on you Ipad and MAC KORG Gadget is an excellent simple DAW on MAC and iOS device. Keep in mind that you need to buy both the MAC and iOS version as they are not bundled. When you work in Korg Gadget, you can export the composed track zo your DAW, entirely only to Ableton Live.

KORG Gadget Simple DAW on MAC
KORG Gadget Simple DAW on MAC

Pricing looks like it is an issue when you compare the regular price of KORG Gadget which is 299 USD/Euro vs. the iOS version which is priced at a fraction. However, one essential information for you if you do fall off your chair when you compare iOS price versus the MAC OS price. The iOS version comes with in-App purchases, and if you get the iOS app on the same level as the MAC version, the overall costs for the complete iOS package would be higher then buying the perfect package for MAC (sometimes reduced when on sale). The MAC version includes the full lineup of all gadgets is included as standard.

User interface & Usability

KORG Gadget for Mac is a mini-DAW, the included instruments are also available as Plugin for your main DAW. The plugin support AU, VST, AAX, and NKS.

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You can synchronize projects between the Mac version and iOS version via iCloud. If the iOS version is as complete (meaning you paid for all gadget on iPad), you can compose on your MacBook/iMac and the road on your iPad.

The UI is different depending on which gadget ou load. Overall the UI Is clean and simplistic.

Rating:  Four out of five stars

Korg Gadget is a excellent simple DAW that balances approach and ease of use. Korg Gadget synths and drum machines come with great tone. Korg Gadget for MAC provides you with all gadgets as the plugin to use in your main DAW. If you use Ableton, you can quickly transfer the project to Live. If you want to test the water first, you can get an impression by installing the free of charge “KORG Gadget Le” version. If you are an Ableton Live the value of Korg Gadget for Ios and MAC is higher due to its functional integration where you sketch on your iPhone or iPad and do the fine tuning in Ableton Live. For a Live user, the rating is Five out of five stars.

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