Korg Trident

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CJ the noisemaker
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Korg Trident

Post by CJ the noisemaker » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:06 am

I remember when I played the Korg Polysix, but what I remembered was how limited it was. Only ONE envelope generator that was supposed to control both the filter and amp. A sub-oscillator that couldn't detune -or- change waveform. So when I seen our beautiful VSE site, I came across more Korg synths, and reluctantly began to search what it had to offer.
That's when I came across the Trident.

Sure I wanted more oscillator functionality, but this beast has two of them, with brass, and string oscillators to boot! Plus envelope generators for filter, amp, string, and brass, no having to share. At this point, I really want to get my hands on it.

So what I wanted to know was...
How many people on this forum own, or use, or have used a Korg Trident synthesizer? And if you do/have, how does it sound? can it be phat, or funky? What about functionality, is it limited to creating some sounds, or can nearly anything be created with it?
And did anyone famous use the trident. If so, who and on what album?

I can do nothing right now but see your comments, and hope I find one soon.
Being that you can do so many things with it [the synthesizer]... you can make sounds bigger than life.
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Re: Korg Trident

Post by adhmzaiusz » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:23 am

The trident is a quality, well built synth. All the different sections sound great, with envelopes for each. Alot of people praise the string section, but to me does not sound as rich as a crumar performer which is the only string synth i can compare to. The synth section sounds good on its own, and can easily make this machine the main polysynth of one's studio. As far as phat or funky, i really personally would put it somewhere in the middle of the two.
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Re: Korg Trident

Post by spookyman » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:57 am

I had one for about 3 years. And i was very happy with it. But sold it as i needed some money...

The envelopes are quite slow, absolutely not snappy at all. And the possibilities are limited too. Never expect the possibilities of a Prophet 5, Jupiter 6 or 8, OB-8, etc...it's miles away.

But for live sound, it's perfect (except the weight and size). Very very easy to use, with 32 memories (mk2), and the sound is really sweet. It's a SSM 2044 and 2056 based synth, so you will have a very nice and "liquid" sound.

Perfect for pads, very warm strings, fat brasses, dark 70's ambiance sounds, etc...but not very good for leads (no mono mode, or portamento), and basses.

So if you can find one for 500$ - 700$ in good shape, take on. But i would not pay more for this synth.

As far as i know, Rick Wakeman used one, and joe Zawinul played also one.

For me it's a little bit a fatter sounding Polysix. But much more bigger and heavy than the younger brother !

Clusterchord made once a very nice demo of the Trident. :wink:
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Re: Korg Trident

Post by madtheory » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:24 pm

A very satisfying pad machine. Very difficult to get MIDI conversion. Also very big, and seemed to be very well built. Good review here:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_ar ... ident.html

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CJ the noisemaker
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Re: Korg Trident

Post by CJ the noisemaker » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:38 am

spookyman wrote: The envelopes are quite slow, absolutely not snappy at all. And the possibilities are limited too. Never expect the possibilities of a Prophet 5, Jupiter 6 or 8, OB-8, etc...it's miles away.

...but not very good for leads (no mono mode, or portamento), and basses.

Clusterchord made once a very nice demo of the Trident. :wink:
I don't know, Clusterchord made good use of his Trident, and the EGs sound quick enough. But I guess it has a sound that is in it's own category.
Being that you can do so many things with it [the synthesizer]... you can make sounds bigger than life.
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Re: Korg Trident

Post by spookyman » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:27 am

The ENV on the Trident are absolutely useable.

With not so fast, i mean...not so fast as on a Jupiter 4 or a Moog Synth, where you have really a snappy attack on the sound.

But the envelopes in the Trident are, in my humble opinon, an important part of the vintage sound and sweet character of this machine !

I didn't talk about the flanger, with the ability to goes in resonnance ! That helps to achieve some crazy sounds...
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Re: Korg Trident

Post by Ian S » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:23 am

Another trick the Trident has, just in the brass section, is the ability to set a number of "silent" notes, so if you set it to 4, for example, brass would only sound if you played 5 or more notes at once. I can't remember exactly what the options are, but 2,3,4 would sound about right). Also, go for the Mk II, which has 32 memories as opposed to the 16 in the earlier version. Wakeman used a lot of Korg gear in the early 80s, I'm pretty sure his "1984" album was done with the Korgs. If I remember rightly he had the Trident, 2 Lambdas, 2 Sigmas, & a PS synth, probably a 3200, among others.
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Re: Korg Trident

Post by iProg » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:56 am

I've played both a lot and I currently own the Polysix. The interface and functions are more limited with the single LFO and Osc, but there lies a great variety of sound possibilities under the hood.

The trident sounds more lush and more 70's, especially the brass does not have an 80's vibe at all. The self-oscillating flanger sound gives a distinct character.
The Trident is super-heavy. Weighs a ton! Its string section reminds me of late 70's Yes sounds and Joe Zawinul style...

Both are fantastic instruments, but in general I find the PolySix more reliable :)

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Re: Korg Trident

Post by DX » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:23 am

This is a spanish 80's band playing one of these (Mk II).
Altough the sound is not very complex, it makes an idea about the colour.

Roland Promars, E-mu EMAX and some other machines...

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Re: Korg Trident

Post by Micke » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:55 pm

Ian S wrote:Wakeman used a lot of Korg gear in the early 80s, I'm pretty sure his "1984" album was done with the Korgs. If I remember rightly he had the Trident, 2 Lambdas, 2 Sigmas, & a PS synth, probably a 3200, among others.
Yes Wakeman did use heaps of Korg gear in the early '80s. However, the "1984" album was recorded with his old setup (Minimoog, Prophet 5, Yamaha SS-30 etc. plus live orchestra and choir) in early 1981, some six months before he aquired all those Korg keyboards. Afaik he first used them on the "1984" world tour in the fall/winter '81.

Wakeman's recent solo albums "Retro" (2006) and "Retro 2" (2007) also feature the Trident, at least the first one.

The Trident was also used by Kevin Komoda of Canadian synth band Rational Youth:



Komoda didn't do much on Rational Youth's album "Cold War Night Life" though** and they didn't aquire the Trident until
after that album was recorded.

**One thing he did on CWNL was that trumpety sound on the chorus of Saturdays In Silesia. The synth used for that part was the Korg 770.
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Re: Korg Trident

Post by synthetic242 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:00 pm

spookyman wrote:The ENV on the Trident are absolutely useable.

With not so fast, i mean...not so fast as on a Jupiter 4 or a Moog Synth, where you have really a snappy attack on the sound.

But the envelopes in the Trident are, in my humble opinon, an important part of the vintage sound and sweet character of this machine !

I didn't talk about the flanger, with the ability to goes in resonnance ! That helps to achieve some crazy sounds...

I agree at the synth-part. but the Brass-part is snappier.
Can easily make bassdrums...
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