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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89 Visitor comments
December 11, 2012 @ 7:00 pm
One of my favourites! Maybe because it was one of my first synths. Very easy to tweak nice sounds from. Sounds different to (and better) than the Juno 60 which I also own. Solid metal construction of that era. Lost one in a fire and replaced it. The rotating pots are better than sliders in my opinion. Harder to read on the fly in practice but less likely to collect dust. Very underrated in my opinion.
Get one if you can
November 30, 2012 @ 8:43 pm
i have an extra voice board for this synth and my buddy has lost a voice in his monopoly, are the voice chips the same?
November 25, 2012 @ 10:24 am
Hi all
Quick question: if you have a Korg MS2000 already does ist make really huge difference to get a Polysix sound wise are they not rather similar?
Just based on sound ( ok one is analogue modeling other IS analogue ) but still I think they sound very close and related?

So maybe to get different sounds I should spend on a Juno106 maybe?? (lusher, less raw sound?).

Dandy Dust
November 20, 2012 @ 6:20 am
This instrument was my first love, if you know what i mean...
know it all
October 11, 2012 @ 7:52 pm
Hey "Ilovee", DCO doesn't mean the oscillator is digital, it means "Digital Controlled Analog Oscillators". A digital timer chip is used to create a square wave clock source instead of a shorted capacitor for tuning the analog oscillators. That's why a comparison of the 106 and the polysix can be made. Capacitors behave differently at different temps, meaning that synths took a long time to get stable after being turned on, and drifted etc. People were totally fed up with tuning issues, and needed tighter tuning on their ANALOG synths, so DCO was born. They're still analog.
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Rated 4.63 (1508 Votes)

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  • 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 - 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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