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Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:17 pm
by HalloweenJack
It's not my intention to spam the forum but I feel like a baby on his birthday :birthday:

A very good and generous friend of mine has just gave me a vintage Korg Sigma for free, well I know that it's not the most sought after synth and that it's a very limited machine, but I always thought that thing like that always happens to other people, I never won a lottery, never had a bargain on a synth, never won anything, but this time it happened to me :guitar: :keys1: :dancer:

I played it for a couple of hours and yes, it's limited, but the filters are interesting (they seem to me like the MS20 filters without extreme resonance/self oscillation), I like the fact that I can modulate the sounds with the filters using a joystick, very intuitive and musically "clever" imho, and when I "layer" the (awful) presets with the synth voices something interesting always happens, can't wait to trigger it with a CV sequencer or other analog synth...again, it's very limited but it looks like that the very limited "things" that it does are with some kind of "personality"...

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:44 pm
by ppg_wavecomputer
Lucky you.

It can do some fairly unique things, and the aftertouch function is nice to have. I sold mine because they have an unhealthy inclination to break and are a pain in the a*** to fix.

Stephen

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:12 am
by HalloweenJack
ppg_wavecomputer wrote:Lucky you.

It can do some fairly unique things, and the aftertouch function is nice to have
Just discovered the aftertouch, thank you for point it out :thumbleft: , it's a nice addition!

My Sigma is not in the best cosmetic conditions, well it's not bad but it looks definitely used, there's something moving inside when I shake it :o , tomorrow I will try to open the bottom and have a look inside...

I discovered that my friend received it as a gift about 25 years ago, he's a trumpet player and didn't know what to do with it, so he kept it in a closet for all this time and forgot about it, some days ago he "discovered" it while relocating and decided to give it to me knowing my passion for synths...when I switched it on today I was sure that it was not working after all this time, but when I saw the two red lights flashing I understood that there were some chances...obviously I'm not sure that it will be working for the next weeks or months, but it was a gift, no money spent, so if it will be not working anymore no problem :roll:...

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:21 am
by Psy_Free
Congratulations. Although it does have limitations the Sigma can still produce some awesome sounds, especially when using the 'Ring Mod'. I wouldn't part with mine ever.

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:24 am
by ppg_wavecomputer
My favourite trick was detuning the two sections against each other, using the aftertouch function, and running them through the ringmodulator.

Quite nice. Poor man's Vangelis.

Stephen

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:11 pm
by HalloweenJack
Thank you Psy!

Yes, detuning is nice, looks like this synth has surely some strenghts between its limitations...

Just noticed that the keyboard sensor switch (the one with I , I+S, S), is partially loosen, I cannot accurately switch between the 3 positions, I will try to repair it: has anyone experience in opening/repairing this synth? Any suggestions or is there something I should be aware of?

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 10:13 pm
by Yekuku
Congratulations for your new toy !
The Sigma is a fun synth, a bit limited though, the ring modulation and the aftertouch features are where it excels.
I have successful restored a few sigmas and from my personal experience they are not hard to repair, most of the parts are still available. The korg i35 IC''s are rare but I havent seen any of them fail yet.
Anyways,
The problem you are describing sounds like an easy fix, the switch just needs cleaning, a bit of deoxit should do the work :)

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 3:08 am
by crystalmsc
Congrats, it's a very desirable synth for me. Stigma is currently my favorite plugin, it's so lucky to have the real one for free.

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:27 am
by HalloweenJack
Yekuku wrote: The problem you are describing sounds like an easy fix, the switch just needs cleaning, a bit of deoxit should do the work :)
Thank you for the advice, I will try it! :thumbleft:

crystalmsc wrote:Congrats, it's a very desirable synth for me. Stigma is currently my favorite plugin, it's so lucky to have the real one for free.
Didn't know that there is a plugin, the Sigma is a synth that's never been on my radar, if the plugin is free I will download it, just curious to make a comparison 8-)

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 4:58 pm
by philip
Now you need to get drunk to operate it

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:42 pm
by crystalmsc
HalloweenJack wrote:Didn't know that there is a plugin, the Sigma is a synth that's never been on my radar, if the plugin is free I will download it, just curious to make a comparison 8-)
That's the most analog sounding 64bit freebie that I really like, you should definitely try it!
https://www.fullbucket.de/music/stigma.html

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:14 pm
by HalloweenJack
crystalmsc wrote: That's the most analog sounding 64bit freebie that I really like, you should definitely try it!
https://www.fullbucket.de/music/stigma.html

Thank you!

Just downloaded, I will try it :thumbleft:

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:41 am
by nameless wonder
lucky indeed! Congrats!

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:06 pm
by dlmorley
I love the Sigma. Deceptive. It can get some unique sounds. Not a massive low end machine but for melodies and "singing" tones as well as some pretty out there stuff, its great.

Re: Just received a Korg Sigma for free!!

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:34 am
by HideawayStudio
There is a fair bit more to the Sigma than first meets the eye... it is definitely not an instant gratification machine and needs some time to really explore the possibilities.

It was very popular among a number of synth heavyweights in the late 70s as a performance synth so don't let people let you think this thing can't be made to fly with the best of them with some care.

I love mine and will never part with it as there really is nothing quite like it.

For example - you can create some superb solo brass with it using the ringmod and the joysticks...

Try selecting (counting from the left) tabs 1 (Ring Mod) and 5 (with A/R set in the 10 o'clock position) in the Synth section and tab 4 (tone 10 o'clock) & 5 (fc 8 o'clock) in the Instrument section and then carefully tune the SynthPitch trimmer above the RIngMod (around 12 o'clock) until the two parts of the synth start gently phasing with one another (near zero beat).

Switch the left Effect Tabs 2,4,5,6,7 on (ie. rocked towards you) and center the Balance Control.

With some careful tweaking you should be able to produce a really cool solo brass like this using the LPF/HPF joystick mostly in the lower left hand quadrant. Put both K/B sensor switches in the centre position.