Good things in small packages: 5 ultra-famous tracks recorded on a microKORG

Few synthesizers can match the mainstream appeal and star-studded history of the microKORG. Here are 5 famous tracks recorded on what could be the most successful synth of all time.

In absence of concrete sales figures, most of the synth-savvy world assumes the microKORG is the best-selling machine out there. Ever. Since it hit the market in 2002 Korg’s baby has stayed in production, a feat almost unheard of in the music, especially the synth, market.

But why exactly? Many users are quick to dismiss the microKORG as cheap and hard to navigate. Yet the truth remains, results are results. Millions of musicians are buying these bad boys, so you can be sure Korg did something right.

The need for an entry-level synth is paramount in the market, and one that can do so much for a smaller price tag is unbelievably attractive for a new musician. Take the stars in this list for instance; all in the early stages of their career, all recording hit songs on their little microKORGs. Haters be damned.


Tame Impala – Expectation

A few songs from Tame Impala‘s debut (and breakthrough) album Innerspeaker used a microKORG, but the film clip for Expectation is so far the only place I could find footage of the band playing one.

They’re also said to have used the synth at the beginning of Alter Ego, and for the wind sounds in Jeremy’s Storm.

The Killers – Smile Like You Mean It

Smile Like You Mean It, a 2004 hit from none other than The Killers, features the A28 patch on a classic microKORG.

Although he’s busy being gorgeous in the below video, there’s a score of live videos from Killers shows were you can peep Brandon Flowers noodling on the instrument.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll

Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ 2009 superhit Heads Will Roll features a microKORG for pretty much the whole track, playing the chords.

Conveniently, you can see Nick Zinner playing one in the opening moments of the music video.

The Prodigy – Girls

Amongst the (roughly) million forums I delved into researching this article, The Prodigy was the name which just kept popping up. Legend has it that a microKORG was one of the only synths Liam Howlett kept around after transitioning into DAWs.

The lick which kicks in at 0:45 has this tiny little screecher written all over it.

Digitalism – The Pulse

Another notable user is Digitalism, a duo formed in Hamburg in 2004 (what I’m quickly learning was somewhat of a golden era for this synth). A ton of their tracks utilise the microKORG, but you can’t go past The Pulse. It’s a belter.

You can suss out the band using it live in this video.

Against all odds, in 2018 the microKORG has stayed in production for over 15 years. If you’re looking for a first synth that can carry you all the way through to the top, we heartily recommend checking it out.