The Korg Trident is a vintage veteran par excellence, a luxury string synthesizer with strong character. In essence, one of the last veterans of the old school of Korg Synthesizers.
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.
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.
The Tridents sound very nice, warm and analog and have been used by Rick Wakeman, Joe Zawinul and Phoenix.
Clarity, simplicity and a very low stress factor with high musical output are those aspects that may make the Korg Trident irresistible for some users.
The Trident is recommended not only to those with a nostalgic bent but above all to those purists for whom such a sit-down&play instrument fulfills a musical need for simplicity – a simplicity welcome in the technologically overloaded home studio of today.
Let’s listen again to the Korg PR department and take a refreshing dip into Poseidon’s world of stormy seas, wind and waves: "In our modern world it is the amazing three-part polyphonic synthesizer from Korg that gives the musician absolute control over the sound waves. The Trident. Generate your own sound storms!"
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
Control: CV for filter cutoff, trigger in, 3 expression ins control volume of each section and a total expression for overall volume control