Korg Trident

Korg Trident Image

The Trident is a polyphonic and programmable instrument with three independent sections - Synthesizer, Brass, and Strings, released in 1980. It features 8 voices of polyphony and two of the instrument sections can be played simultaneously while in Split Keyboard mode.

Each section has its own unique VCO voice architecture, VCF (filter) types, and LFO capabilities. The Brass section's VCF and Envelope Generators are virtually the same as the Synthesizer section, allowing the Brass section to be used for generating additional synthy sounds as well as faux-brass sounds. The String section has some unique features as well such as a "Bowing" effect. Another unique effect included is a global flanger that can self-oscillate! Flanger controls include Speed, Feedback, Intensity and Manual.

Korg Trident Image

The Trident featured 16 user memory patches. In addition there were three preset memory patches for Piano 1, Piano 2 and Clavi. There is no way of externally playing the Trident with MIDI or CV/Gate without modifications (CV/Gate only controls expression and filter parameters). But the CV/Gate inputs are discrete for each of the three sections. There are also discrete mono outputs for each section and a mix output.

Korg Trident mkII Image

The Trident mkII version released in 1982 had doubled the memory (32 patches), an independent envelope generator for the VCF (filter) section and more. The specifications listed are for the mkII since it is the more popular and common of the two. The Tridents sound very nice, warm and analog and have been used by Rick Wakeman, Joe Zawinul and Phoenix.

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51 Visitor comments
August 2, 2014 @ 3:05 am
Stardust - Music sounds better with you [bassline]
June 18, 2014 @ 1:16 am
Got one of these bad boys recently and I absolutely love it. My most favorite synth!
April 7, 2014 @ 4:38 am
Hey Salmela!!

Can you please send me the name of the Midi Kit you purchased as well as any instructions for its installation!?
w.t. salmela
January 21, 2014 @ 5:53 am
The Trident is massive in size and sound! It's one of my analogs that I don't ever want to sell.

I installed MIDI-kit, which was pretty easy (my first soldering job ever!), and after that the Trident is a killer in modern studio setup as well. Can use it for really cool sequences now etc. since the synth section really provides most lovely basic sounds. Really good and deep sounding square wave f.ex.

For pads the synth is superb too. PWM mod and layering capabilities. The strings are THE best analogue strings IMO, and make it really outer space with the excellent flanger.
October 15, 2013 @ 4:45 pm
The synth section on its own is more lush and fat than many of the more popular polysynths. True and fat sounding 2 oscillator VCO ! Add that beautiful sounding vintage style built-in string section and a some brass lead and you got a synth monster which can capable of producing the fattest/lushest pads and leads ever heard on a poly. The flanger/bow/vibrato sections add even more life into it. A very underrated synth and one of the best in its category !
VSE Rating

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User Rating

Rated 4.49 (767 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 - 8 voice
  • Oscillators - Synth - 2 VCOs, Strings - 1 VCO, Brass - 1 VCO. VCO1: square, saw, pulse, pwm; VCO2: saw only
  • LFO - Sine or Square with speed, delay, depth
  • Filter - 24dB LowPass self-oscillating filter with cutoff, resonance, env intensity, key tracking
  • VCA - 2 ADSR envelopes or ON/OFF Gate
  • Memory - 3 Presets (Piano1, Piano2, Clavi). 16 User (mkI) or 32 User (mkII)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - CV for filter cutoff, trigger in, 3 expression ins control volume of each section and a total expression for overall volume control
  • Date Produced - 1980 (mkI), 1982 (mkII)

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