Hardware workflows can be musically productive and rock-solid reliable. But why choose between hardware and software? Combine them.

DirectEMX is a VST Editor for a Korg Electribe MX. Now, why would you want to drag a mouse around when you have physical knobs? DirectEMX has a number of answers to that. You can copy and paste patterns and parts. You can dump content from the groovebox for backup or fine-tuning. You can record and automate every parameter from inside your VST host of choice, for tightly-controlled sequences. And you do all of this without lots of mucking about with MIDI messages, which can be complicated on a groovebox. In fact, you can even import and export patches from inside your host, right from the plug-in.

EUR25, Windows-only, and sounds like a major, major hit with Korg owners. Naturally, those with the ESX groove sampler want support, too, and it sounds like the developer is considering adding that.


Thanks to reader cooptrol for the tip! Oddly, he starts his note with “I know you’re not a fan of grooveboxes.” I’m not sure where he got that idea. Some of my best friends are grooveboxes. If you’ve got groovebox (or other) stories to share, feel free to let us know.

In particular, got a groovebox + computer workflow you like?

  • Patrick Richardson

    some of us have been waiting for over a year for the release of the Beat Thang, which promises to finally raise the bar of integration between hardware groovebox and software GUI/librarian.
    I've used tons of boxes (RS7000, all Roland SP all non-x series Elecribe). I want laptop support for my SP-505 and Electribe EM-1 !

  • Peter Kirn

    Yeah, I'm hoping I get to catch up with the Beat Kangz at NAMM next month; I'm curious, too. How do you mean "laptop support" — like this plugin?

  • I love to work with those type of plug. With just my laptop and a groove box/synth in the sofa. I like to build myself this type of plug with Max/M4L…But if there's an "official" already plugs why not to use it? And i want to put this link:&nbsp ;http://ctrlr.org/ cause the man behind this  have build a big and beautiful project. A lot of AU/VST plugz free and with source code!!!! for a lot of synth!!!!!!

  • How do I login as Cooptrol? still getting used to the new system…
    I have used grooveboxes for some years and still haven't found the perfect method for producing with them. This VST is a blessing, I am craving for an ESX version. Tee guys at directsynth have launched a poll to vote for a DirectESX ora DirectEMX for Mac. I guess they will release both eventually. If you have an ESX, please vote for it!!!  THis is the poll: http://twtpoll.com/kcp3lw
    As for producing with electribes, I made a post on the Electribe forum some time ago listing all kinds of possibilities: http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic….

  • griotspeak

    well dag nabbit. making this for myself was a long term goal of mine. i might still have the chance, since this is Windows only. O how i would love to look at that source code.

    Great work.

  • The problem with doing it in Max, Pd or M4L, is that NRPN management is hard. And this VST helps naming the envelopes in your sequencer with the correct Electribe parameter name, and not just some CC6 CC98 CC99 mystery shit.

  • Kim

    I was going to build one of these as soon as I was done with my grain plugins. It is a much needed vst. the Mx will be a sought after classic one of these day.

  • It probably goes without saying, but Live is a huge time saver. Generally I’ll take my EMX1 and write on it or use it to control other synths. It lets me focus on the moment and sound design. I just stream the input into Live and cut and arrange as necessary.

  • Holotropik

    Korg (Electribes) -> Ableton -> your ears.

  • For the EM1 editor:


    It will possible with pure data but it needs some patching time.


  • You can vote for the OS X version of DirectEMX here (3 days left):

  • You can vote for the Electribe ESX version, DirectESX here (3 days left) :http://twtpoll.com/kcp3lw

  • strunkdts

    woah! makes me wish i didnt get rid of the 2 i had. Still got the SX though. Cmon KORG gimme gimme!

  • Hi, DirectEMX is now available on MAC OSX in the VST format. It also includes better NRPN management for Ableton Live.