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
Peter-Jan
May 11, 2009 @ 4:51 pm
Aaahh ! My first polysynth. Like a first sweetheart, it still has a place in my heart. What a sound. Always been a Korg fan, I find the sound much warmer than the Yamaha's and Rolands. This beauty proved it again comparing it to its rival, the Juno 6. The VCO's together with cjorus or ensemble: unbeatable at that time. Allas, I had to sell it because I fell for the majestic Rhodes Chroma......
Mezzo
April 29, 2009 @ 12:32 pm
Made the mistake of buying the poly 61 instead of this synth. The one VCO with the effects sections kills the two DCOs on the 61. Great little synth, Gritty and warm like a summer day in the city. These are starting to rise in value. They made plenty but many suffer from battery leakage and key contact issues. Check before you buy.
Mads
March 1, 2009 @ 8:44 am
No not the only. The juno 6 does also have CV for the VCF.
pg
February 15, 2009 @ 1:31 pm
my first analog, and one of the few (only?) polysynths to have a CV VCF control. plug in a simple step sequencer and run your sequencer clock into the trigger in to get those shimmering drexciya-style arpeggiations.
jaume Torres
February 8, 2009 @ 11:27 am
Polysix is a little travel. You can feel cool and warm sounds that scary you! easy to program but difficult to find the end!
I had one and .. sold it...
 
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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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