Well, we don't really talk a lot about "gear" here, but I just have to share.
I've been a workstation guy since the Korg X-Series came out, and have an X3R and a Triton Pro 76. I like the way the offer multiple simultaneous instruments, sequencing, and sampling (in the Triton), with a decent array of effects. Not something you'd score an entire film with or make an album with by itself, but a very useful songwriting and composing tool.
Through the years there have been a few attempts at making an all-in-one, all-purpose workstation, that could literally do everything you would need to produce commercial music. Kurzweil had their K250 in the '80s for something like $14K US, and it was popular with Paul Schaffer, Stevie Wonder a others. Fairlight had their system for something like $100K US, and people like Peter Gabriel and Jan Hammer were famous for using them. This is in '80s money, and they were ridiculously expensive, even though they were very powerful at that time.
A few years ago Korg decided to revive the "ultimate" workstation idea in the form of their OASYS "studio". This is a hardware instrument offered with either 76 synth-action or 88 hammer-action weighted keys and a comprehensive interface, but operated on software with several synthesis types, tons of effects, unprecedented audio fidelity and polyphony, open sampling, a powerful sequencer and even a 16-track hard-disk recorder onboard! The idea was not to make the ultimate hardware synth workstation for today, but to make the ultimate hardware-bound software platform from which to launch continuous updates for years to come...And they succeeded.
The only real issues were a lack of understanding by traditional software-synth users, a sequencer that could be more powerful, and of course the price. The 76-key model is something like $6,500 and the 88-key is over $8K. Tons cheaper than the predecessors, but still a lot of coin.
I decided about a year ago to heavily reinvest into my music, and my small production studio, and discovered the OASYS when looking into a replacement for the Triton as my main board. Now, at those prices for new, I am not in the OASYS demographic, but I noticed they were showing up from time to time for decent money on eBay and other sources. So I continued to research the Korg M3 workstation as well as the OASYS, just in case...And this week it happened...
Someone local enough for me to drive to listed a fully updated and expanded OASYS 76 on eBay for a price that made it much preferable to saving a few bucks and getting a new M3. I called and talked to the seller, we discussed terms, conditions and price, and I committed to buy his OASYS as soon as my tax return arrives.
I've been researching all the technologies, systems, interfaces and capabilities of the OASYS for months now, and I can tell you it will take years to learn all it has to offer. Korg appears to still be committed to producing expansions for it as well, making it a growing asset in any studio, as opposed to stagnant technologies which need to be replaced every few years.
I'm absolutely thrilled beyond words, and will post more when the deal is complete. Thanks for letting me share. :)