How Does the Transposing Button on a Korg Keyboard Work?

By Chris Anzalone

Updated September 22, 2017

If you own a Korg keyboard or synthesizer, you have likely noticed a button or feature indicated by the word "Transpose." This refers to the process of adjusting the pitch of the keys either up or down. But where the "Octave Shift" feature switches the keys to the next octave (for example, from C2 to C3), the "Transpose" feature simply adjusts the keys one note at a time, so that "C" becomes "C#," and C#" becomes "D," for example.

Locate the"Transpose" button. Though some keyboards feature the transposing feature on a digital menu, others do not (particularly older models that feature it as a button directly on the device). If no "Transpose" buttons appear on your keyboard, proceed to step 3.

Click the "Transpose" button to activate the transposing feature, and use the appropriate dial to adjust the key either upward or downward. On many Korg keyboards, the dial will appear with the word "Value," while other keyboards designate another nearby knob for this function. For example, to make adjustments on the Korg SV-1, you would use the "Treble EQ" dial. Other models, like the PS60, contain two "Transpose" buttons ("Up" and "Down") that you can press to automatically change the key in either direction without a need for a knob. Consult your manual if you do not know which dial to use on your particular model.

Locate the "Transpose" feature on the LCD menu. If you do not see a "Transpose" button on your keyboard, it most likely exists as a digital feature. Korg features the "Transpose" function as part of its "Global" menu, so you will want to start there. For example, the "microKORG," the "Trinity" series and the "M" series all use the "Global" function for transposing keys. If your keyboard uses an LCD screen,

Click the "Global" button on your keyboard (or turn the Mode/Select knob to "Global," if applicable), then click "Edit" and locate the "Transpose" feature on the LCD screen. Use the "Value" dial or other navigation buttons to move between the options on the screen. If using a microKORG, just turn the knob that appears above the words "Master Transpose."

Raise the "Transpose" value to a higher number to raise your key, or select a lower number to lower your key. For example, "+1" changes "C" to "C#," while "+2" changes "C" to "D." On the other hand, "-1" changes "C" to "B."