Korg Trident

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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.


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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Demos & Media

Playing various sounds and patches.
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DigitaleAnalogue
Audio Clip 1 Various sounds from the Trident mk1, submitted by Tomislav Babic.
BrochurePDF of 1980 Korg Brochure, submitted by Niels Kloes
ManualDownload the original owner's manual from SoundProgramming.net.

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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