At The Kore: Native Instruments Kore 2 Workstation


I am or shall I say was a hardware guy at heart…but times change and so do people.

I like a certain work flow.  Turn it on, play it, make music…done.

Native Instruments Kore 2 gives me that.  They sent it over for review. Let’s take a look shall we?

Into the Kore

kore 2I remember their name back when I used to read ‘Home Recording’ magazine, and I knew nothing about these plug-ins they were speaking of.

Let’s just say Native Instruments has been around for a while, and for good reason.

They continue to innovate and set the bar for software synthesis, sampling, and music creation tools.

To me, one that stands out AND consolidates the powerful juices of Native Instruments has to be their Kore 2 workstation.

This thing is a sound hounds dream come true!  Simple to pull up a sound, even easier to tweak it, yet powerful enough to satisfy even the most demanding power users.

It started Kore 1, the first software to come with it’s own controller, and to allow you to easily browse your entire plug-in database by “attributes” or characteristics.

Need a soft, digital, spacey lead that’s perfect for your down-tempo tune? No problem, just dial it up.kore controller

I can’t speak on Kore 1, I never had a chance to play with it, so I will speak on Kore 2, the software version.

Enough people must have complained because now you can get it with or without the custom hardware controller, maybe some folks want to use their own, fair enough.

So what the heck is Kore?

It’s a standalone sound module, vst plug-in host, and multitimbral music machine, that can also be used as a plug-in within all major DAW apps.

What’s at the Kore?

kore browserFirst off, you don’t need anything else but Kore to get started.  It has the sound engines from some of Native Instruments legendary tools like Absynth, FM8, the crazy modular Reaktor, the Kontakt super sampler, Massive, their gigantonormous synth monster, and even the tastey crunch of the Guitar Rig fx suite.

Forget all the technical stuff, I’m gonna tell you just like I tell my buddies.

Get this joint!

Why? Listen, it comes with 500 sounds out the box!

Each sound is programed with 8 variations that are easy to switch to via the interface.

But even more important, you get the EXACT SOUND ENGINES FROM THEIR FLAGSHIP PROGRAMS integrated into Kore.

This is like having each individual plug-in at your fingertips.  No, you can’t pull up the plug-in interface, but that don’t matter, remember we want to get in and get out!

(I must say that if you do end up liking one or more of the engines, you can purchase the individual plug-in you like and it integrates seamlessly with Kore 2.)

Why I love Kore

kore browser 2

1. Variety –

I like variety. Many vst plug-ins you get either are sample based, or synth based, but very few offer multiple types of sound generation.

Kore has the top of the line sample playback engine of Kontakt, mixed with the crazy synth, wavetable, fm, other world goodness of absynth, fm8, massive and reaktor, and even the lovely guitar-fx-pedal-on-steroids engine from guitar rig.

No need to choose one over the other, you have them all.

2. Expandability-

kore soundpacksYou know, most hardware workstations you buy are limited in expansion to maybe a few cards, but not Kore.

Not only does it have it’s own sounds, but there are Kore Soundpacks available that give you the best of as well as new sounds from all of their other software products. (which are each amazing in their own right…more on those later)

Oh and if you want to skip the Kore Soundpacks and go straight for the full plug-ins, guess what?

Each of their instruments are already optimized to work with Kore, so anything you add from the native instruments library you’ll be able to pull up in Kore…it’s crazy.

What if I want something other than Native Instruments?

So you want to mix native instruments sounds with some other companies sounds? In hardware, that’s a pretty tough thing to do. Try to mix motif sounds with fantom sounds without buying both workstations….have fun.

Kore can load ANY other vst synths or effects, right within it’s own interface!

Yes, Kore is effectively the ONLY host you’ll need to hold ANY plug-ins you wish. You can even import the presets from those plug-ins, tag them how you wish, and allow them to be called up the same way as other sounds within Kore, via it’s attributes. (you must own the other plug-ins, Kore looks at the plug-in to handle the sounds)

3. Creativity-

kore sound design

one of the main functions of Kore 2 is also the ability to layer sounds together.   So you’re not just stuck with the presets, or just tweaking presets, you can layer however many sounds you computer can handle, creating you own new sonic love mojo!

Take a sexy sampled guitar from the Kontakt engine and mix it with a psycho lead from Massive, see what you get.  Your imagination is the only limit…well that and how powerful your computer is 🙂

This let’s you become a sound designer without knowing all the intricate details, just layer, tweak, save, and it’s yours forever.

Kore 2 The Bottom Line

To me, Kore is like my fantom or a motif or any other workstation…on steroids, protein shakes, and any other performance enhancing drug you can think of!

It gives me one interface for 10’s and thousands of sounds.

I can load all my other software workstations into it!

I can load this up standalone and sequence it with my mpc, or I can load it up in ableton live, flstudio, cubase, logic, or any other software sequencer and let it be my vst sound module.

This thing turned me into a Native Instruments groupie, I love how easy it is to expand, find sounds, and create new sounds.

It’s also easy to setup as a multi channel sound module, just like your favorite emu or roland racks…yeah, however many midi channels your computer can handle.

Kore can be your main sound module, period, trust me…try this thing out NOW.

Get it directly fromthe native instruments website, download the demo and play with it.

Or go on over to my favorite music stores and purchase.

You can buy native instruments kore 2 software edition at musician’s friend

or you can get the full kore 2 software synth system from american musical on their easy payment plan.

I’ll have many more articles and videos about Kore 2 as I learn more sexy ways to use it.

If you have any questions, just ask!

If you’ve tried it before, lemme know what you think.  If it’s new to you, lemme know what you think.


  1. Hey bro, I’ve been doing some scoping on Kore 2. I just finished watching your videos and reading your review. I actually had a chance to play around with the sounds in Kore 2.1 last week and I got to say I like them. They got edge to them and I think I can put those sounds to some good use. Too bad Native Instruments don’t make instrument soundpacks for Maschine.

    I just ordered Kore 2 (with controller). I haven’t touched the controller yet so I don’t know how good it is but from what I’ve been reading in other reviews hardware junkies like it. If the quality & ease is there like on Maschine I should happy with it.

    Should have it by next week and I’ll see what I can do with it once I make some room for it in my studio and get acquainted with everything.
    I’ll keep you posted man.

    • @Madbull1971, yeah man, Kore is pretty dope for sure, especially if you have other NI plugs too. I don’t have the controller, but I’ve heard it’s good, still I think Maschine is the evolution from Kore and thus a bit more hands on and such. Don’t get me wrong, the Kore controller is hands on, but don’t expect all the similar feedback and everything that you get from Maschine.

      I think they learned by doing the Kore controllers, and put that knowledge into Maschine.

      But I still think you’ll love it, I’ve been thinking about getting the controller myself. I don’t think the hardware is 64bit yet and I’m planning on building a 64 bit maschine so….lol

      lemme know what you think

  2. I have a question is the kore synth multitimbral where I could have sounds on different midi channels and can you put the vst on different midi channels also can you use the rewire vst within kore


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