House 101: Combi Creation Series

December 10, 2010: Now available as a 2-disc DVD set! [more...]

KARMA Sound Set Programmer Scott Raposa and Executive Producer/KARMA Developer Stephen Kay teach you to “Think Like A KARMA Programmer” in this multi-part series by demystifying the process of creating a combi. Using Korg's M3 Editor software, Scott starts with a blank slate (an initialized combi) and takes you step-by-step through the process of completing “House 101” - a completely finished KARMA-fied Combi.

Now complete! - with 45 Chapters (latest released on 05-Sep-2010) and 7 hours of material!
[Read user comments]

Even if you're not interested in creating fully developed combis from scratch, you'll learn all about:

  • Finding your way around the M3 Editor
  • Saving and loading M3 Editor files; transmitting and receiving data
  • Selecting a different GE for a KARMA module to replace an existing GE
  • Changing Programs on Timbres
  • Changing Key Zones, setting up splits, layering timbres
  • Using Timbre parameters, such as EQ, Transpose, Portamento
  • Using Tone Adjust to modify the sound of individual programs in a combi
  • Assigning Effects, chaining them and routing them
  • Assigning KARMA Parameters to the Master Layer
  • Understanding esoteric KARMA features such as Melodic Repeat and Auto-Bending
  • Modifying Scenes more to your personal taste
  • Copying Scenes from one to another
  • Putting the 8 Scenes into a completely different order
  • Assigning chords to the pads and keeping the parts from transposing up or down too far
  • Setting up the Drum Track in a combi, and having it play in only certain KARMA scenes
  • Setting up the X-Y Mode to mix the KARMA Modules in and out with your fingers
  • Configuring the LH controllers such as joystick, ribbon, SW1 and SW2
  • Configuring the eight Real-Time Sound Control Sliders to modify sounds and effects
  • Having only certain timbres respond to various controllers
  • The easiest way to record a song with your completed combi and turn it into a WAVE file - and a lot more!

free  Videos with this tag are free samples you can watch with no restrictions (five chapters).

premium  Videos with this tag can only be accessed through our Premium Content Area (PCA).


Can I see just the free sample video chapters?

How do I join the PCA area to watch the whole series?

Chapter 01 premium
Chapter 1: Quick Setup (05:22)

In Chapter 1, Scott guides you through the preliminary setup of the M3 Editor and an initialized combi.

Chapter 02 premium
Chapter 2: Module A - Drum Groove (11:58)

In Chapter 2, Scott shows you how to experiment with various Drum Programs and KARMA GE's to hone in on a drum groove for your combi.

Chapter 03 premium
Chapter 3: Module B - Bass Line (08:21)

In Chapter 3, Scott shows you how to experiment with various Bass Programs and KARMA GE's to hone in on a bass line for your combi.

Chapter 04 free
Chapter 4: Module C - Synth Line (05:56)

In Chapter 4, Scott shows you how to experiment with various Synth Programs and KARMA GE's to hone in on a KARMA-powered synth line arpeggio for your combi.

Chapter 05 premium
Chapter 5: Module D - Gated Synth (06:04)

In Chapter 5, Scott shows you how to experiment with various Synth Programs and KARMA GE's to hone in on a gated synth pattern for your combi.

Chapter 06 free
Chapter 6: Splitting The Keyboard (06:34)

In Chapter 6, Scott shows you how to split the keyboard so that the KARMA modules are only triggered on the bottom octaves. He then shows you how to assign and zone an organ program so you can play it on the upper octaves.

Chapter 07 premium
Chapter 7: Fun With KARMA (13:15)

In Chapter 7, Scott shows you some of the power already built-in to your combi even at this early stage, by varying the KARMA settings for each Module. He also demonstrates a method for “resetting” your Combi after playing with the KARMA sliders and switches.

Chapter 08 premium
Chapter 8: Timbre Parameters (07:50)

In Chapter 8, Scott shows you how to tweak some Timbre Parameters by changing the octave of the synth line and adding a bit of portamento to it. Then, he briefly explains the use of several other Timbre Parameters you may find useful in your own sound design work.

Chapter 09 premium
Chapter 9: Tone Adjust (06:56)

In Chapter 9, Scott uses the power of the Tone Adjust panel to tweak the various timbres in the Combi.

Chapter 10 premium
Chapter 10: EQ - Equalization (05:45)

In Chapter 10, Scott demonstrates using the EQ panel to tweak the frequency equalization of various timbres in the Combi, making them "sit better in the mix."

Chapter 11 premium
Chapter 11: Intro To MFX (07:19)

In Chapter 11, Scott begins a journey into the world of effect programming. He starts by setting up a Reverb effect on one of the Master Effect channels and then routing some timbres into the reverb.

Chapter 12 premium
Chapter 12: Intro To IFX (05:19)

In Chapter 12, Scott eases you into Insert Effects by choosing a Rotary Speaker effect for IFX3 and routing the Organ Program into the effect, where he then sets up various parameters.

Chapter 13 premium
Chapter 13: IFX Chaining (07:33)

In Chapter 13, Scott assigns some flavorful effects to IFX4 and IFX5, chains the effects together, and routes the synth line into the effect chain.

Chapter 14 premium
Chapter 14: Drum Kit IFX (06:36)

In Chapter 14, Scott shows you how to setup insert effects on a drum kit in a typical fashion, using IFX1 and IFX2 along with the DKit IFX Patch settings. Reverb is then applied to the Snare, Hi-Hats and Percussion, but not the Kick.

Chapter 15 premium
Chapter 15: More IFX (05:00)

In Chapter 15, Scott shows you a couple of tricks for "squeezing more juice" out of the 5 IFX channels.

Chapter 16 premium
Chapter 16: MFX Delay & TFX (10:49)

In Chapter 16, Scott wraps up the journey into combi effects by setting up a Master Delay and routing some timbres through it. He also demonstrates how to assign the Stereo Mastering Limiter to the TFX.

Chapter 17 free
Chapter 17: Master Layer SW 1-4 (06:21)

In Chapter 17, Scott begins teaching you how to KARMA-fy your combi, providing a general overview and assigning Switches 1-4 in KARMA's Master Layer to mute and unmute the four KARMA modules.

Chapter 18 premium
Chapter 18: Master Layer SW 6-8 (06:04)

In Chapter 18, Scott continues hooking up KARMA's Master Layer to the Real-Time Controls, adding Transpose settings to three of the KARMA Modules.

Chapter 19 premium
Chapter 19: Alternate Drum Maps (08:44)

In Chapter 19, Scott introduces you to Alternate Drum Note Maps, and shows you how to assign them to Slider 5 of KARMA's Master Layer.

Chapter 20 premium
Chapter 20: Slider 1 - Swing (10:16)

In Chapter 20, Scott teaches you how to hook up the Swing parameters for all four KARMA Modules to Slider 1 in KARMA's Master Layer, and explains several "special" Swing settings.

Chapter 21 premium
Chapter 21: Slider 2 - Rhythm (06:28)

In Chapter 21, Scott teaches you how to hook up the Rhythm Pattern parameters for the three melodic KARMA Modules to Slider 2 in KARMA's Master Layer, setting the stage for many future variations.

Chapter 22 premium
Chapter 22: Slider 3 - Duration (11:52)

In Chapter 22, Scott teaches you how to hook up Note Duration parameters for the three melodic KARMA Modules to Slider 3 in KARMA's Master Layer, along with some tips for utilizing real-time Duration Control.

Chapter 23 premium
Chapter 23: Slider 4 - Velocity (13:24)

In Chapter 23, Scott teaches you how to hook up Note Velocity parameters for all four KARMA Modules to Slider 4 in KARMA's Master Layer, along with some tips for utilizing real-time Velocity Control.

Chapter 24 premium
Chapter 24: Sliders 6 & 8 - Time Signature (09:05)

In Chapter 24, Scott shows you how to hook up Sliders 6 & 8 in KARMA's Master Layer to the Time Signature modifying parameters of two KARMA Modules.

Chapter 25 premium
Chapter 25: SW 5 & Slider 7 - Final Assignments (07:51)

In Chapter 25, Scott helps you complete the last two remaining RT Control assignments in KARMA's Master Layer with two very useful parameters: Cluster Templates on the Synth Line and Rhythm Multiplier on the Drums.

Chapter 26 premium
Chapter 26: Preparation For Scenes (08:22)

In Chapter 26, Scott shows you how to assign names to the 16 Real-Time Sliders and Switches in KARMA's Master Layer, and copy Scene 1 to all other scenes, in preparation for upcoming chapters on scene creation.

Chapter 27 premium
Chapter 27: Melodic Repeat (13:46)

In Chapter 27, Scott introduces you to the underlying functions of some of the Melodic Repeat parameters, present in many GEs and key to achieving impressive scene variations in the upcoming chapters.

Chapter 28 premium
Chapter 28: Melodic Repeat Part 2 - Drums (09:39)

In Chapter 28, Scott continues with the Melodic Repeat feature, showing you how it works on a drum GE in contrast to the previous chapter's melodic GE.

Chapter 29 premium
Chapter 29: Pitch Bending - Part 1 (11:51)

In Chapter 29, Scott introduces you to KARMA's pitch-bending parameters and the "Bend Window" concept, and shows you how to get some musical results.

Chapter 30 premium
Chapter 30: Pitch Bending - Part 2: Drums (04:39)

In Chapter 30, Scott wraps up the introduction to KARMA's pitch-bending parameters with a discussion of the two types of drum pitch-bending effects available in the Drum GE RTC Model.

Chapter 31 premium
Chapter 31: Building Scenes - Part 1 (13:42)

In Chapter 31, Scott leads you through creating your first official Scene, using everything you've learned so far about the Module and Master Layers.

Chapter 32 premium
Chapter 32: Building Scenes - Part 2 (13:44)

In Chapter 32, Scott leads you through creating your second official Scene by copying and modifying the Scene you created in the last chapter, again using multiple features of the Master and Module Layers.

Chapter 33 free
Chapter 33: Building Scenes - Part 3 (11:38)

In Chapter 33, Scott leads you through building your third new Scene. Switching back and forth between the Master and Module Control Layers, you'll hone in on the exact settings for each Module - ending up with another cool variation!

Chapter 34 premium
Chapter 34: Building Scenes - Part 4 (14:27)

In Chapter 34, Scott leads you through creating two more completely different Scene variations by manipulating KARMA's Master and Module Control Layers. You're getting there!

Chapter 35 premium
Chapter 35: Building Scenes - Part 5 (10:17)

In Chapter 35, Scott leads you through creating your final two Scenes, bringing the total to eight completely different Scene variations, ranging from extremely simple to complex. Congratulations on reaching this important milestone!

Chapter 36 premium
Chapter 36: Reordering Scenes (07:12)

In Chapter 36, Scott shows you how to use the M3's "Swap Scenes" command to put all 8 of the Scenes you've created into a completely new order, starting with the simplest in Scene 1 and ending up with the busiest in Scene 8.

Chapter 37 premium
Chapter 37: LH Pad & Damper (09:35)

In Chapter 37, Scott shows you how to assign a layered pad sound to the left hand area and zone it separately from the right hand to create a split. Then you'll make the damper pedal latch only the left hand sound.

Chapter 38 premium
Chapter 38: Pads, Chords & More (11:14)

In Chapter 38, Scott leads you through assigning 8 different chords to the 8 pads. Then you'll make some adjustments on how they act with the combi, including learning how to use the Force Range parameter to keep the parts from transposing up or down too far.

Chapter 39 premium
Chapter 39: Drum Track (14:31)

In Chapter 39, Scott teaches you all about how to set up the Drum Track feature within a combi, and shows you several different ways to use it with KARMA, including having the Drum Track active in only a few of the scenes.

Chapter 40 premium
Chapter 40: X-Y Mode (11:03)

In Chapter 40, Scott shows you all you need to know to hook up the M3's X-Y Mode to the volume levels of the four KARMA Modules, so that you can mix them in and out in real-time using your fingers on the touch screen.

Chapter 41 premium
Chapter 41: LH Controllers - Part 1 (08:49)

In Chapter 41, Scott begins a two-part explanation of assigning functions to the left hand controllers (Joystick, Ribbon, SW1/SW2). In this part, you'll learn all about configuring the Joystick.

Chapter 42 premium
Chapter 42: LH Controllers - Part 2 (10:44)

In Chapter 42, Scott finishes a two-part explanation of assigning functions to the left hand controllers (Joystick, Ribbon, SW1/SW2). In this part, you'll learn all about configuring the Ribbon, SW1 & SW2, and Aftertouch as well.

Chapter 43 premium
Chapter 43: Real-Time Sound Control - Part 1 (11:23)

In Chapter 43, Scott begins a two-part explanation of assigning functions to the eight sliders in Korg's Real-Time Sound Control Mode. In this part, you'll learn all about configuring the first four sliders for Filter Cutoff, Resonance, F/A EG Intensity and F/A EG Release.

Chapter 44 premium
Chapter 44: Real-Time Sound Control - Part 2 (15:40)

In Chapter 44, Scott finishes the two-part explanation of assigning functions to the eight sliders in Korg's Real-Time Sound Control Mode. In this part, you'll learn all about configuring Sliders 5 to 8 to control user assignable functions such as sound control and effects control.

Chapter 45 free
Chapter 45: Simple Sequencing and WAVE (07:02)

FINAL CHAPTER! - In Chapter 45, Scott brings the House 101 Series to a conclusion by showing you the fastest way to record a song with your new combi (Auto Song Setup), and then how to export your song as a stereo WAVE file that can be made into an mp3 or burnt onto a CD.

Actual User Comments

I joined up last night and this is the best $$ I have spent this year. I got through the first 5 tutorial videos last night and all I can say is, you have opened up new worlds to me! These videos are fabulous. I have always been intimidated with using KARMA and the M3 editor, but I had it up and running in less than 30 minutes and was creating new KARMA combis within an hour. Excellent stuff man! If anyone reading this is debating on joining; trust me, it is worth it. -- Cowtothesky
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The videos are great so far! It's actually an excellent blueprint for anyone who wants to develop their own combis. I look forward for the next chapters. Keep up the good work! -- orpheus2006
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I just watched the entire first 13 chapters. Definitely helps overall understanding of the M3. This is a great series in general. -- Synth_Gear
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I'm really loving these chapters on setting up the RTC Master layer. The drum maps were previously hard to wrap my brain around but between this chapter 19 video and the corresponding wiki article, it's all crystal clear now. Folks: if you own an M3 this content is worth every penny. -- shannong
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Great presentations and so well organised, exactly what I need to understand what I'm doing and why. These videos make it much easier to do and I remember the info because it is well sequenced. I was previously learning in bits and pieces all over the place, making understanding and remember harder. These certainly do give me confidence in Real Time Control and encourage me to make my own combis and change others with better results than before. -- ozatau
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Thanks for doing this - it's great to see more tutorial videos. KARMA is really amazing, but sometimes seems too complex for the average person. A video is much easier to learn from than a manual. -- rkarlberg
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You watch it one time and you got it - clear and easy, brilliant, thank you. Now I feel a little like a KARMA expert - now the KARMA things and the context are getting clearer to me. -- Cruiser
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I didn't realize you could assign 16 parameters and adjust them for each of the 16 voices in the combi mode... (Chapter 9 Tone Adjust) WOW.. I had been going to trouble of making modified copies of patches and calling them up.. Missed this when going thru the manuals... This one insight is more than worth the price of admission for me... Keep up the good work. -- angelonyc
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I can honestly say the House 101 video tutorials are the best way I've found to learn the M3 quickly. I've also purchased the [other company] DVD's but for some reason everytime I try and watch them I fall asleep - could be just the time of day I'm viewing them but I've never fallen aslep watching Scott's stuff - it's much more hands on and practical. I just hope they continue to produce these excellent video tutorials, they are well worth the small price to pay for the PCA. -- stkeys
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I would like to say the videos that are already here are a god send.. so helpful, clear, to the point. nice! -- flight
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Great job guys. Keep 'em coming. -- AtlantaM3User
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I just watched the first 3 videos in the Premium Content Area, and I feel like I am going to be able to understand this beast. The videos are very helpful and well worth the small price of admission. -- wvought