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Korg Polysix

Remarkable for being: The most popular way to dive into & get swallowed by the vintage vortex.

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When buying one, watch out for: leaked battery resulting in erratic behavior of the synth.



No words can express the horror I felt after unpacking my first "fully working" Polysix, bought from a man whom I didn't know, from a place too far away for me to travel, powering it up and finding the sound totally messed up, then opening the panel and seeing the even bigger mess on the circuit board caused by the infamous blue Varta battery. I think it had been put there intentionally by the Lord of the Synths to test the devotion of synth freaks and their zest for continuing the effort of the United Fundamentalist Synth Freak Church to keep the gospel of vintage synths alive no-matter-fucking-what. I did that. I stretched myself horribly. I put my effort into repairing it and played it. Will I go to synth-heaven?


I've come across a lot of people comparing Polysix and Juno-60, so let me not break the convention this time and let's start with a quick comparison. First that comes to my mind is that P-6 and JU-60 are two totally different synths. Why do people compare them, then? I guess because they cost similar amount of money, because they were prodcued in the same time, and because they both are what is called "a reasonably priced vintage polysynth". The reason I still perceive them as totally different is because they are totally different sonically, and this is most crucial for me. Other than that I'd say they're pretty much the same (lol).

Technically speaking, first thing that struck me is the Polysix envelope; it is a lot more sluggish than Juno's. Juno is very snappy and rounded, so to speak. As far as the filter goes, the Polysix VCF broadens its sonic possibilities to a great extent. You will be able to create some odd and cool harmonics messing with the resonance on the VCF. Next comes the PWM; Pulse Width Modulation is one of a kind, as setting the maximum value of the PWM makes the wave so thin that it virtually vanishes. Last but not least, there are the much-praised three effects that add this special character to the Polysix sound. All of this makes the Polysix quite a plastic (=versatile across timbres) synth in its relatively small editing scope and you'll bound to find it less "samey" than the Juno (I'm not mentioning the fact that the P6 will take you much closer to the sound of the old Prophets, because if you care for the Prophet, you probably know this already).


So. Juno has its invincible, lush, thick-as-brick chorus, Juno has DCB (or MIDI when speaking of the JU-106), Juno has PWM controlled by envelope, Juno has High Pass Filter, and Juno too has a unique filter that can do some weird interference. It simply sounds very different, very sensual & harmonious. The Polysix struck me with the stiffness of its soundwave - it's somewhat muddy and gets glitchy when pushed a little bit further beyond the safe boundaries. However, it's great for all things wet (swampy), dirty (dusty) & retro (classic). It stands out in this respect. Prophets are clean / icy, Junos are warm / creamy, whereas the Polysix is damp / scratchy. So I'll take the Junos for basses, pads and various electronica candy, and I'll take the P6 for brasses, strings and leads. Let those two complement each other in a productive union.

ps. One of my favorite sounds ever is the Korg Legacy VST Polysix bass. It just fucking shreds everything else to pieces with its deep, warm, full, supple, fuzzy, crystalline presence. I thought that when I buy the real Polysix, there will be the danger of me dying from eargasm. But nothing of that sort happened - quite the opposite. I almost died from confused disappointment. The real P6 bass sounded like a woodchuck's ass compared to the VST P6. Funny. I never expected the results presenting themselves this way.


Korg Polysix WCOG Kustom Satanik Black version:


Watch the video demo:



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