Thought the hardware recording workstation went out with the 90s, along with the Spice Girls? Think again. Hot on the heels of new hardware workstations from Yamaha, Korg’s got a new workstation of its own:

Korg D3200 Digital Recording Studio

And I have to admit, this thing is actually pretty hot. (The D3200, not Ginger Spice.) 12 tracks of recording, 32 of playback. 40-input mixer. Up to 24-bit recording at 44.1/48 kHz. Like the Yamaha workstation, it’s built as a computer companion, with USB 2.0, drag-and-drop file sharing, and (if you do want it to be self contained) CD mastering and burning.

The Korg also has some twists of its own, focused on realtime control. There’s a 4×4 Knob Matrix for tweaking parameters, which can combined with the Session Drums feature for drum programming, with Tap Tempo and all. (Okay, drum programming with knobs is a little different, but I’ll go with it.) There’s also a 320×240 LCD display. I’m especially impressed with a friendly interface, both on-screen and in knob/fader/button placement. Many previous workstations looked cluttered; this one is perfectly clean.

US$1799 list, shipping in August. At that price, could be a good investment in place of a high-end audio interface and mixer, even for a computer user.

Oh, and in other news: the Spice Girls are getting back together.