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.

Lookup Korg Trident Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Korg Trident? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

51 Visitor comments
June 6, 2011 @ 3:46 am
If you are into vintage string synths they don't get any better than the Korg Tridents!
Agree too with the last comment... Indeed, the Tridents strength is in blending, swirling, combining creamy analog sounds and circuitry. Great keybed! Solidly built through and through! I had a problem with mine that the String section would sometimes come and go...It wasn't the capacitors fading or anything, just a loose connection that was hard to trace. When I rocked it, it would miraculously come back to life. Heavenly good synth in my opinion, slotting right up there with the best of them!
March 23, 2011 @ 10:42 pm
The Trident sound is huge ssm is definitely a different flavor for sure, the curtis chips just pale in comparison, this is the best sweetest sounding analog poly ever the output will rattle my windows, whereas the Jp8 does not at the same output volume, though the synth section does not compete overall with the Jp8, the strength in the trident is layering/blending the fat thick paraphonic sounds that its discrete oscillators produce, sweet indeed.
March 17, 2011 @ 3:08 pm
I had one for quite a while... threw it through a boss turbo overdrive pedal.. was incredible.. the strings are fat and the synh section is great for experimenting with sounds as you can save them! great synth!
March 10, 2011 @ 7:40 pm
As a owner of both CS80 and Trident synths.Ill tell u they're very close to each other in sounding. cant describe it, It's like they have the same sounding character
March 7, 2011 @ 10:17 am
Seriously Christiano, nothing on the planet sounds fatter than a Trident. It lacks a lot of advanced modulation possibilities compared to the more expensive competition at the time, but the basic sound is massive. To only make it sound like an accordion is an achievement indeed.
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 4.49 (767 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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)

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.