Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

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Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:33 pm

Image

Just found myself another secret weapon.. a PE-1000 Polyphonic Ensemble..

Talk about bizarre.. 59 free running oscillators, each with its own tuning pot, and a VCA on every key!...

I'm loving this thing!

A sea of oscillators hide under the keybed...
Image

They sure liked coloured spaghetti in those days..
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I'm not quite sure why some report this thing as not having sustain/release - you can play huge crescendos on this thing and spend the next few seconds hearing them all gently fade away note by note just like the Novachord does.

The pitch expand and octave coupler concept is really cool allowing you to layer octaves and detune them to produce a huge sound.

She came in sounding very nasal and lacking in bass but a quick filter recalibration returned a wall of bottom end!

I love polysynths from this era - the PS-3100, Syntorchestra, Polymoog, PE-1000 et al all did their own thing in their own weird way with equally bizarrely named controls but bags of character!

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by Jabberwalky » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:37 pm

I've always wanted to try one of these. It's like a freaked out Minikorg essentially. The filters are the same as the Minikorg as well.

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by Walter Ego » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:46 pm

Here is a great recent write-up by one of my favorite electronic musicians, Jon Sonnenberg, about his PE-1000. Great info and tips. I would love to have one myself...it's of the same era as the SB-100 Synthe Bass I have...

http://artoftravelogue.blogspot.com/201 ... emble.html
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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by pflosi » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:53 pm

Dan, you know that we all would love a quick sounddemo :thumbright:

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:37 am

Yes, I'd love one demo that would make me ponder my decision to sell my 1000 back in 2002 :).

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by madtheory » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Looks great. Very interesting features and quirks.

I think this was Edgar Froese's main strings/ pad machine for the Logos era tours? Very lush sound, not characteristically a string synth type of sound.

I find it odd that Korg went for divide down oscillators in the PS series though. It appears that they had a mature and reliable technology with the PE1000.

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by HideawayStudio » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:09 pm

pflosi wrote:Dan, you know that we all would love a quick sounddemo :thumbright:
My wish is your headache! :D

I have just recorded a "warts and all" live improv directly from this weird beast into delay and reverb but no modulation effects..

Any phasing/swirly effects you hear are from the synth itself and are due to the interactions between the octave coupling, detuning and chorus which in fact works by detuning the oscillators over octaves with LFOs!

1976 Korg PE-1000 In Action...


Hopefully it gives you some idea of its sonic potential.

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:42 pm

madtheory wrote:I think this was Edgar Froese's main strings/ pad machine for the Logos era tours? [...]
Not at all. TD had two PE-2000 around the time of Pergamon (East Berlin 1980) as well as a PS-3100 (featured proinently on "Force Majeure") but they never had a PE-1000 (Michel Huygen of Neuronium used a PE-1000 alongside aPS-3200 on early Neuronium albums but that's about it). For Logos, TD used Oberheim OB-X(a) and Jupiter-8 (Schmoelling), Jupiter-8 (Froese), and Prophet 5 (Franke).

"Lush" isn't exactly the term I would have associated with the PE-1000. "Brassy" would nail it.

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by Sir Ruff » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:04 pm

They are weird, great machines, but my biggest complaint (and the reason Jon S. now owns his :lol: ) is the lack of envelope modulation on the filter. I know you can sweep with the foot pedal, but you would think that true env. or LFO modulation would be de rigueur on a synth that contains such a funky filter.
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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by tomorrowstops » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:13 pm

Interesting. There's one of these at the studio, which I sit down with time to time. For me, I find that it's pretty 'blah'. Its only every once in a while that I can coax something interesting out of it. Its great at the pitch shifting detune stuff.

That demo sounds pretty great though. I'm gonna have to mess with it again soon!

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by pflosi » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:19 pm

Thank you Dan, that was very neat! Sounds great!

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by Walter Ego » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:32 am

That's a gorgeous and evocative demo. Beautiful playing. It has a very dreamy quality.

One went on shopgoodwill.com in the last few months for around $500. Makes me wish I'd jumped on it.
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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by madtheory » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:19 pm

ppg_wavecomputer wrote: Not at all. TD had two PE-2000 around the time of Pergamon (East Berlin 1980)...
Ah right. I just read the E&MM interview from January 1982. It was just listed as Korg Polyphonic ensemble, no model given. You're right it's definitely the PE2000 in Froese's rig. They had a bit more than just the polysynths though! PPG Wave 1 and 2, Franke's modular, Minimoogs, ARP Pro DGX etc. I'm sure you've seen the article anyway. One of the thing I'd love to see is a demo of the PPG and the other sequencer they were using at the time (it doesn't say what it is in the E&MM article). A lot of people say they were using tape playback but Froese always denied it.

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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by Micke » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Other famous users of the PE-1000 include Vangelis (eg on "Albedo"), Space (if I recall correctly both the PE-1000 and PE-2000 were featured on their first album) and Wally Badarou (M's first album, including the song "Pop Muzik", some early Level 42 songs, as well as on Janic Prévost's "J'veux d'la tendresse").
Last edited by Micke on Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Korg PE-1000 - One Weird Beauty!

Post by rschnier » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:25 am

Sir Ruff wrote:They are weird, great machines, but my biggest complaint (and the reason Jon S. now owns his :lol: ) is the lack of envelope modulation on the filter. I know you can sweep with the foot pedal, but you would think that true env. or LFO modulation would be de rigueur on a synth that contains such a funky filter.
Agreed, but since each note/key has its own EG, which one would modulate the filter? I suspect that's the problem the designers ran into.

P.S. Thanks Dan for the interior p**n shots :lol:
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