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
maik
March 7, 2011 @ 12:08 pm
@ mxmx
Don't fiddle with it if don't have electronic skillz! Bring it to a service technician, it's worth it!
David
February 23, 2011 @ 1:35 pm
@nitro
If it's a Roland drummachine you want to sync it with, the easiest way is to connect a trigger out (most of Rolands drummachines have that) to the arpeggio trigger in on the P6.
That is how I sync my P6 to my tr-606. The only problem is that I lose the tombs...

If there is another better way to solve this, I would also love to know
nitro
January 2, 2011 @ 12:54 am
I want to clock mine with din sync. anyone know how?
nitro
January 2, 2011 @ 12:52 am
ok, so when the oscillators drift it's like detuning slightly. nice.
mxmx
November 28, 2010 @ 6:23 am
uh. just broke mine when trying to calibrate it. was checking the voltages from the psu (service manual, first step), when the voices suddenly went dead. no more reaction from the keyboard, though the test points on the voice board seem to give the correct values still; strangely, all the diodes on the programmer board are lit up simultaneously now. can't figure out what's wrong. any ideas, anyone?

thanks!
 
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Rated 4.62 (1509 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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