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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50 Visitor comments
February 14, 2013 @ 5:36 pm
An extremely smooth and liquid sounding instrument, that makes my Memorymoog sound downright harsh. The great big brother to the Polysix, and one of the best polys ever made. I've had mine for 20 years, and will never part with it. It's very strange that these aren't more expensive, i'd choose this over for example the overpriced memorymoog any day.
January 18, 2013 @ 4:05 pm
i have a trident i picked up years a go, it needed some work as it has the same battery as the polysix. after fixing and cleaning everything i was amazed by this beast ! i have a lot of analog synths (ms-20,polysix) also string synths like the ARP omni and the Crumar performer but this thing is absolutely FAT when you layer the strings with the synth section. i can understand why it considered to be korg's flagship model at the time...my only regret is that the Trident doesn't have any more LFO's. well, it's not a jupiter 8 and it's not priced as one.
January 17, 2013 @ 3:38 am
There are not many synths that can produce the super-pro authentic analog sound such as this one. Split is most incredible for layering strings and brass. Got my MK2 about ten years ago and it is gonna stay for my kids to record on one day. Do not miss the Flanger. Top.
December 30, 2012 @ 5:06 pm
3 stars.....Are you kidding VSE????
August 23, 2012 @ 12:51 pm
Recently got one at a decent price. Dead synth section, easily fixed by replacing the 30 years Varta Ni-Cd by a CR2032 from a 29 years old DX7 :) This said, I love this synth: stacking the 3 sections yields fat sound. SSM2044 filters deliver all the sweep you want. Only synth section is programmable. It is in catch mode; slightly moving a pot jump to the new value. 8-bits encoding: sometimes stairing. When programming, make sure to move all pots to ensure your prog have all the values. I don't like the flanger section very much: it sounds pretty like my Boss RBF-10, but can oscillate.
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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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