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 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.
August 2, 2012 @ 4:54 am
I've had one of these for about 5 years and it is the most versatile synth I've ever used - being able to layer the three voices is amazing and it has an unbelievably fat and warm sound - a very underrated synth IMO!
June 14, 2012 @ 10:54 pm
Noisy, not very good string sounds. If you find one in a pawn shop pick it up, otherwise, buy something with Curtis chips. Mine is gathering dust after capturing a few samples into Maschine. I'd much rather use my D550 for pads.
May 28, 2012 @ 9:30 am
As others have pointed out the synth section is a bit limited but It still sounds great. When layered with the brass or/and strings sections it sounds massive. The brass and strings sections also sound great on their own.
May 1, 2012 @ 12:07 am
still wont get it how daft punk managed to get that 'solo' out from this, or stardust music sound better with you?!! can't hear any of trident sounds on either one. siriusmo is obvious one. any other rumours..
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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