MATRIXSYNTH: Exploring the Korg Polysix: Vintage Synth Magic

Monday, December 18, 2023

Exploring the Korg Polysix: Vintage Synth Magic

video upload by Ian Dixon

"The Korg Polysix, a 6-voice poly synth launched in 1981 for £899 / $1095, aimed to deliver an affordable polyphonic analog synthesizer experience. Featuring the DDM2044 4-pole VCF, also found in the Mono/Poly and Trident, its filter was used in notable synths like the PPG Wave 2.2/2.3, Emu Emulator, and early Fairlight models. With a single oscillator per voice, offering Saw, Pulse, Pulse Width, and a sub-oscillator, the Polysix's sonic palette is rich.

Noteworthy are the single ADSR envelope for the filter and amplifier, and the VCA's gate mode. Modulation features for the VCO, VCF, and VCA, along with a delightful delay on the MG (Korg's LFO), contribute to its unique sound. The Ensemble and Chorus effects add movement, creating a timeless sonic experience. While pre-MIDI, it boasts CV/Gate and an arpeggiator. Save your patches via the cassette interface with 32 memory slots.

If you're eyeing a Polysix, beware of potential circuit damage from leaked batteries. Experience it virtually through the Korg Collection.

The Polysix's influence extends to modern synths like the Korg Modwave and Wavestate, both featuring Polysix-modeled filters. The Modwave excels at creating Polysix-type sounds (grab my free Polysix collection for the Modave).

Used by Tears for Fears, Geoff Downes, Eat Static, Astral Projection, Jimi Tenor, Global Communications, Kitaro, Robert Rich, and Keith Emerson, the Polysix shines in synthwave and retro synth music.

Dive into my videos covering classic hardware synths (TX7, Korg Karma, MS2000) and explore my virtual collection, including the Wavestation and M1. Don't miss the journey into the sonic history of these iconic instruments!

00:00 Introduction
01:21 Synth Design
03:25 Starting with Init Program
04:41 Mapping controlls
04:58 VCF
06:04 Enverlopes
06:23 MG
07:40 Polysix effects
08:56 Arpediator
10:56 Extras on the VST
12:31 Issues with the orignal Polysix
13:02 Korg Polysix Plugin / Modwave
13:41 Polysix patches
14:07 Fear of Tears
14:27 Synthwave sounds
14:56 Patch demos"

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