A Quick Look at the Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-1 Digital Kit

Don't let its diminutive size and low price fool you: you actually get not only quite a bit of synthesizer in Korg's Nu:Tekt NTS-1 Digital Kit, you also get a generous software package along with it!

Nu:Tekt is what's promised to be a whole new line of DIY-style products from Korg. NTS-1 isn't the first product released under the Nu:Tekt brand, but it is the first to come to the US. (There's also a Nu:Tekt headphone amp that's Japan-only.)

First of all, NTS-1 is, as the name implies, delivered as a kit that you get to assemble yourself, though it requires no soldering and all necessary tools are included. When it's all assembled it's roughly reminiscent of the old Korg Monotrons, though it has more of an iPhone 4-style 'ice cream sandwich' shape than the swoopy Monotron cases did.

Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-1 Digital Kit assembled, in hand
Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-1 Digital Kit assembled, on desktop

Remember how part of the marketing for Korg Prologue and Minilogue XD had to do with the 'user oscillator' and associated software development kit that lets people create and/or use custom digital oscillator designs? Well, believe it or not, a little cottage industry has sprung up around those custom oscillators with third parties big and small selling them as downloadable add-ons.

We bring this up because NTS-1 is basically a monophonic digital synthesizer voice that can load the same custom 'user oscillators' as Prologue and Minilogue XD, and it brings along a subset of the the digital effects section from Minilogue XD to boot.

To be clear, NTS-1 has the same capabilities as the digital oscillators in Prologue and Minilogue XD, so even if you don't buy and load custom oscillators you can still generate sawtooth, triangle and square VPM waveforms right out of the box (some assembly required).

There's also a variety of modeled filter types, an envelope generator, three LFOs and a decently powerful arpeggiator. The aforementioned digital effects engine is broken into three sections: reverb, delay and modulation, with the latter including selectable chorus, phaser, flanger and ensemble effects.

On the bundled software side, you get desktop and iOS 'LE' versions of Korg's popular multi-instrument Gadget app, the Korg Module piano iOS app, Reason Lite, Izotope Ozone Elements and a bunch of instrument plug-ins including Korg M1 LE.