In 1981 Korg brought out the Polysix PS-6 Programmable Polyphonic Synthesizer. It featured 6 voices of analog oscillators under CPU control so make tuning more reliable.
With it's full editing capabilities, the instrument also has 32 memory locations for the user to save programs. An arpeggiator, and chorus, phaser, and, ensemble effect are also onboard as well as the ability to backup the synths data via cassette tape storage.
UNISON and POLY modes, to create incredibly fat six-VCO soloing and bass sounds as well as versatile six
voice polyphonic sounds.
CHORD MEMORY which memorizes intervals and chords, to produce exciting parallel harmonies by depressing single keys. Memorized chords can be arpeggiated as well.
HOLD sustains notes and chords indefinitely
ARPEGGIATOR the Polysix Arpeggiator automatically "sequences" (i.e. plays in sequence, one after the other) individual notes of a chord being held down, at any desired speed and in three different patterns. This effect is often used to create a feeling of musical "movement" via a rapid cascade of notes. Chords may be latched so as to arpeggiate
indefinitely, if desired. Any Assign mode can be used (except "Hold"), including Chord Memory, which allows you
to produce "sequences" of parallel chord or intervals.
Although the Polysix only had one oscillator per voice, it also featured built in chorus, phaser and 'ensemble' effects (using a 'bucket brigade' analog delay line design), to provide a fuller sound.
Waveforms: Pulse, Pulse Variable, Saw Up, Square, Sub Oscillator
Osc Modulation: Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Types: 24dB Slope (4-pole), Low Pass, Resonance
Filter Modulation: LFO
LFO Parameters: Triangle
Polyphony & Tuning
Modes: Polyphonic, Unison
Patches RAM: 32
Storage: Internal, 6
Speed: 0 - 10
Range: 1 OCT, 2 OCT, FULL
Mode: UP, DOWN, UP/DOWN
Latch: On / Off
ensemble (bucket brigade analog delay)
Keyboard: 61 keys, Non-weighted, Plastic
Controls: Buttons, Knobs, Mod - Wheel, Pitch -Wheel
Display Type: LED
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out, Mono Headphone
Audio Output Count: 2
CV Ports: CV IN, Trigger In
Control Features: Chord Memory, ARP Trigger, VCF CV
Year Released: 1981
Alphaville, Blancmange, China Crisis, Eat Static, Geoff Downes, Jean Michel Jarre, Keith Emerson, Kinks, Kitaro, Robert Rich, Roger Powell, Tears For Fears,
The synthesizer's main features are six-voice polyphony (with unison and chord memory voice assignment modes), 32 memory slots for patches and cassette port for backing up patches, and an arpeggiator.
On its release it was, along with the Roland Juno 6 which was released around the same time, one of the first times a polyphonic analog synthesizer was available at a cost effective price 'for the masses'. It cost about twice as much as the competing Juno 6 but had far more features and 'real' VCOs in place of the Juno's DCOs. It also had on-board patch storage and back up which the cheaper Juno lacked until the upgraded Juno 60 model.
Korg developed the Polysix with an eye on the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, trying to provide some of the features found on the more expensive synth in a compact, reliable and much cheaper design. While not as powerful, it used SSM2044 4-pole voltage-controlled, giving the Polysix a warm, rounded and organic sound.
Manuals & Documents
MSRP List Price
: $1,095.00 - convert
Retail Street Price
: $995 - convert
References & Sources