Korg PolySix

Korg PolySix Image

The PolySix was a milestone because, along with the Roland Juno 6 which appeared almost simultaneously, in 1981 the PolySix was the first opportunity ordinary mortals had to get their hands on a proper programmable polysynth. Up until then, you had to be loaded to afford a Prophet 5, Oberheim OB-Xa, or Roland Jupiter 8.

At first glance it looks like a scaled-down Mono/Poly, but really it's not! In fact it had a lot of great new features such as 32 memory patches, 6 voices of polyphony, cassette backup of memory, even programmable modulation effects and Chorus, Phase, Ensemble!

The Polysix has warm-sounding real analog oscillators, softer and brassy-er sounding than the Juno. Engage the built-in Chorus on a simple single-oscillator sawtooth patch and you were pretty darned close to that expensive Prophet sound. But the big ace in the Polysix's hand was the Ensemble effect. Instant Mellotron-like strings.

Like the Mono/Poly the voices can be played in Unison for a 6-oscillator lead sound that was so big, it was often too big! The advanced arpeggiator can memorize and sequence chords across the keyboard. The PolySix has now been recreated in software as part of the Korg Legacy software bundle! The PolySix has been used by Eat Static, Geoff Downes, Astral Projection, Jimi Tenor, Global Communications, Kitaro, Robert Rich, Keith Emerson and Tears for Fears.

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88 Visitor comments
p6
September 18, 2012 @ 9:35 pm
This actually has more features/flexibility than than the Juno 106, AND sounds nicer. If you compare the LFO section, Juno has just 1 that controls everything. P6 has one main, and separate one for PWM. You can simulate depth of LFO on VCO and VCF at once (as on the 106 with seperate depth sliders) by using the P6 mod wheel for VCO depth. You ALSO have the extra option to LFO the VCA on P6, not on 106! On top of this you get a cool arpegiator, much better filter, DISCREET VCOS and one of the best unison modes ever. 106 is very poor in comparison, sorry.
starspread
August 21, 2012 @ 5:01 pm
@waylen roche
If you got MIDI you can use logic to arpeggiate the polysix. Open up the envoironment->mixer and create a new arpeggiator, wire it to the midi track, then drag 'n drop it onto the midi track on the arangement window, done! Or search youtube on how to create an arpeggiator.
tr
July 28, 2012 @ 11:39 pm
The Sound used one of these, might want to add that to the list
Ed
July 18, 2012 @ 4:37 pm
Recently got one of these and it's a great synth. Have a 106 too and although the features are similar the sound is quite different in my opinion. It's definitely not a case of having one or the other. The Polysix is more harsh and angular and it can be a bit harder to tame if you're looking for more of a subtle part for your track. Also, my effects section seems to add a fair bit of noise to the signal when used. Does anyone else find this? Is it worth getting looked at or just part of this instruments character? Thanks :)
theoutsider
July 13, 2012 @ 6:41 pm
I finally got my hands on one of these, & luckily (oddly?) the battery's already been replaced & almost all of the ICs have been socketed. Aside from a few dings in the "wood" sides, it's in near-mint condition. The sound... a refreshing change, but neither better nor worse, than the Junos (have a 2 & 6, had a 106 before), just different. I mean despite some comments here, having a p6 didn't instantly make me want to sell off my Junos. They get along just fine. Wish it had portamento and noise though, but with KiwiTech pulling more & more rabbits out of their hats, well... wait & see.
 
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  • The link above will take you to a 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 - 6 Voices
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO per voice (saw, PW, PWM) + 1 sub-oscillator per voice
  • LFO - 1 LFO assignable to VCA,VCF or VCO
  • Filter - Low-pass only, self-oscillates at high resonance. ADSR envelope for VCF (filter).
  • VCA - VCA uses filter's ADSR envelope or simple gate on-off
  • Effects - Chorus, phaser, ensemble
  • Memory - 32 patches
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator (Up, Down, Up/Down, Latch; Full, 2-oct, 1-oct; rate 0.2 to 20 Hz)
  • Control - Chord memory, Arpeggiator sync in, CV input for filter cutoff.
  • Date Produced - 1981

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