Korg Delta

Korg Delta Image

Korg's Delta is an analog semi-poly synth/string machine, basically a slimmed down version of the Korg Trident. Though limited in the range of sounds compared with other synths of the same genre, the sheer quality of the sound from this little beastie really does make it something of a marvel. It can be found used for cheap and is worth it for the retro synth strings and fat bass synth tones.

The synth is split into two sections, Strings and Synth, for which there are separate audio outputs along with a combined output for headphones or mixing. Each section has its own controls. The String section has two pitch sliders (16' and 8') along with two tone controls (Bass and Treble) and variable Attack and Release controls to modify the sound. The Synth section has four pitch sliders (16', 8', 4' and 2'). There is also a white noise generator along with a very effective 24dB/oct low pass filter (high pass and band pass options are included too) and full ADSR controls. The synth has no memory storage or MIDI, however it does has voltage control and gate ins and outs.

The string sounds are very basic but with its separate outputs and when mixed together with the polysynth you do get that classic 'layered' sound which is useful enough on this synth; and it's fully polyphonic, so you wont be running out of notes! There is a handy joystick to the left of the 49-note keyboard for pitch bending and modulation capabilities. The construction is solid and heavy partly due to the implementation of a wooden base but also because it was designed for heavy usage on the road. Added bonuses: noise modulation, stereo out (strings/synth split), and the ability to combine synth and strings or turn off oscillators in the mixer section. It has been used by the Human League, Bitch Cassidy, Flock of Seagulls, Ladytron, Zensor and Broadcast.

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41 Visitor comments
September 28, 2012 @ 10:57 am
john, the external trigger seems to trigger the synth section, but only when its set to "single" trigger mode. This is useful, though you do have to hold the keys down, you can't just walk away and do something else. You can have the strings section playing as a sort of constant pad and the same chord or note being played in time with your drum machine/sequencer, according to the stored pattern on that machine. I've just tried it with two Deltas and a 606, it's surprisingly nice.
September 27, 2012 @ 11:06 am
i have heard that this machine can be triggered to play by on its on my the likes of the 606, has anyone actually done this? how well did it work?
August 1, 2012 @ 9:40 am
If you have a crackly, intermittent or completely dead synth section there's a very high chance that the 4 orange 1nF capacitors in the filter section are faulty. These are located on the central board on the front panel around the LM13600 chips. People seem to change the LM13600 and find they've still got the problem. Including reassembly and disassembly changing all four capacitors takes me about 20 minutes.
July 22, 2012 @ 9:10 am
I'm going to repair mine,,,i'll keep you posted with the costs but obviously it depends on the kind of the issue.
July 19, 2012 @ 5:30 am
I have one of these! A great sounding Synth (IMHO!), but the synth side is intermittent. Should I keep and get it repaired (any ideas how much for a repair? I have no idea how much to expect to pay as I'm a guitarist first and foremost.), or should I consider selling?
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Full polyphony (49 notes)
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO with white noise generator
  • LFO - 1 LFO: fixed sine waveform
  • Filter - 1 VCF: 24dB/oct LPF, HPF and BPF (with Cut off, resonance and env mod amount controls)
  • VCA - 1x AR for Strings section, 1x ADSR for Synth section
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - CV and trigger (In/Out)
  • Date Produced - 1979 - 1984
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Korg Product Brochure.

    Thanks to Ian Johnson for providing some commentary.

    Additional information provided by Carl Saff and Lee Matthews.

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