Sunday, September 26, 2010

2010 - Korg Mono/Poly

It's mine, all mine, finally mine, mine, mine!

Uh.. yeah. I've been after this synth for a long time.
Not the model, but this actual synth.
When I bought my AN1X it cost me maybe $500.
On the stand next to it was a Korg Mono/Poly for over a grand.
Everywhere I went, online and in meat space, I was told that this synth was not so good.

Well... I thought it looked cool and despite the criticism it's received, I think it sounds great with loads of functions!

This particular unit was found by a friend of a friend at Canberra Tip. That's right, the rubbish dump.
Gut Shot
He was working at the recycling centre at the time and basically had the pick of the stuff that came through before being made into land fill or sold to the public. So it wasn't covered in rubbish and bird poo.
The Mono/Poly was in 100% working order too. Whoever threw it away probably had no idea on how to use it. My buddy had told me the story and I offered a sum of money, but that was rejected flatly.

Sometimes patience pays off.

Portamento Control
A few months ago my old friend came to visit, and I casually mentioned the Mono/Poly again and he told me it was sitting in a cupboard back in Canberra and hadn't been used for years. After a little more conversation it turned out that the owner of the Mono/Poly was into collecting Starwars and Manga paraphernalia. I'd sold off my Starwars Lego, but still had a box full of akira figurines, from back when I was into that stuff.

So we had the basis of a trade. My old house mate was the intermediary and brokered the deal.

The deal was agreed to and a few months later he turned up at my door with a bucket full of old videogame console parts and a rather smelly Korg Mono/Poly.

It smelled like it's been hanging about forgotten, at 9th Ward before it burned down.
There's a smell that every synth I ever worked on gets, when it has been owned by a smoker.
Especially smokers who don't go outside to puff. It's pretty foul, but does tend to go away after a while.

Anyway I got the synth indoors, tried to ignore the smell and plugged in my headphones.

It's a funny old synth. My daughter made her first scifi laser sounds on it at 14 months of age! The portamento seems to be a little off, as in I can't switch it off for each voice. The filter is on a chip as opposed to the MS10 I used to own, which was a sallen key driven by a proprietary OTA style chip. The sound is pretty similar and will self oscillate and has a nice resonance. The poly mode is kinda funny, it can do chords, but not really in the classic sense. 

As yet I haven't had much time to play with it, but I did open it up and take some photos
There are so many knobs, it looks like it'll be a real pain to get in there to clean 'em all and reassemble the board.  Not much dust inside it either, though I found an unidentified piece of hinged metal and a dead moth.

Time to dig out the midi-cv converter and play around.

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