A monophonic analog synthesizer with simple polyphony and a 44-note keyboard. 10 000 units were produced between 1981 and 1984.
Four-note polyphony is available by microprocessor-controlled scanning, but all the voices use the same VCA & VCF envelopes, not making the Mono/Poly a true polyphonic synth.

The Mono/Poly features four SSM 2033 VCOs with typical controls for tuning, octave, volume and waveform. Available waves are triangle, sawtooth and pulse with pulse width modulation. Unfortunately only a single set of controls is available for the pwm, affecting all oscillators. There are also knobs for modulation sensitivity and source (VCF, LFO1 or LFO2), portamento amount, white noise level and detuning VCO4 ±35 cents from VCO2.

A resonant low-pass 24dB/octave VCF, an SSM 2044, serves as the filter. It has knobs for cutoff, resonance, keyboard tracking and envelope modulation (negative / to none / to positive). The VCF and the VCA have their own ADSR envelope generators. The VCA EG is switchable between single and multiple triggering.

The two LFOs are called MGs, or Modulation Generators. LFO1 is linked to the mod wheel and has controls for rate (0.1-30Hz) and waveform (triangle, sawtooth, ramp and square). LFO2 only features the triangle waveform and is linked to the arpeggiator. Controls for portamento and detune are available, as well as a switch for tansposition (octave up/down).

The latchable arpeggiator has a switchable range of 1 octave, 2 octaves and full. It can be set in up, down or up/down modes.
Also featured are hold and chord memory functions, which are similar to the PolySix model.
Featured keyboard modes are unison, poly and unison/share. The last one forces all oscillators to play, regardless of the amount of notes held down.
The Mono/Poly can use sync and cross-modulation simultaneously. This is done via the "effects" section. Both functions have single and double modes. With single, VCO1 is used as the source of sync/modulation. In the double mode VCO1 and VCO2 are the sources for VCO3 and VCO4.

On the back panel there's a headphone jack, an output jack with 3 levels, a trigger input for the arpeggiator with a polarity switch, a portamento switch plug plus inputs for external VCO/VCF modulation. CV/Gate inputs and outputs are also available, but sadly monophonic.

    weight: 12kg (approx.)
dimensions: 744mm(width)
            450mm(depth)
            144mm(height) 

back to Korg
please excuse the GTKY wup

I remember clearly my first synthesiser, a Korg Mono/Poly. The slash inbetween the Mono and the Poly was very important to this 15yo new waver. It actually designated that the synth was capable of both monophonic and polyphonic modes (which in Plain English means single-voice or multi-voice)

I was aching for a synth. The Human League and John Foxx were kicking butt in the NME, and I'd just been taken to see the Gary Numan concert at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda. I was hooked. A TRS/80 satisfied the intellectual urges, but, hell, a synth meant sex appeal!

I don't remember where the money came from (it was probably donated by my long suffering parents), but somehow it was there, after an appropriate time, and off my dad and I went to the keyboard store...<.PThe Mono/Poly was there, displayed at the back, in all it's digital glory. Amongst the polished timber of the pianos and the gleam of the music stands, it represented the future (tm)

We left with the device, a chunky armload by a half an armload (the standard dimensions of a budding new wave star), along with the salesman's recommedation of appropriate amplification, a Roland Cube all-in-one (a cool amp/speaker in a silver roadcase with a reverb unit that spaced out when you bumped the cabinet).

Young simonc had a problem -- no musical or keyboard training.. Not to worry! It was the new wave! It was cool to play your synth with one finger!!

I formed a band (no name), and practised a synth version of the theme from the Marlboro commercials, Telstar (retro synth), Popcorn (equally retro for the early '80s) and some Reels cover versions. We practised every Saturday in a room in the Melbourne Zoo, stinking of monkey dung. We finally got booked at the St Kilda Prince of Wales Hotel, an infamous live music venue at the time when Nick Cave's The Birthday Party reigned supreme in Melbourne Rock (what do you mean you don't have a drummer!?!)

The day of the gig came. The Mono/Poly was warm to the touch. The "drummer"'s TR808 was chiming out it's cowbells. I had my most fabulous turquoise mohair sweater on. It was a soundcheck.

It was at this time that I thought it was a brilliant idea -- very rock and roll -- to roll a hash joint. Well, it never got sparked, 'cause a pair of Victoria's Finest thought that was a serendipidous time to patrol the PoW...

The rest of the story is less interesting -- it involves embarrasment (on my part), anger (on my dad's part), and a shifty "warning" without charge from the local sargeant..

The point being, of course, is that the Korg Mono/Poly will forever occupy a special place in my memory. I can still feel the smooth fore-finger shaped dimple in the waveform modulator wheel to this day. Thank you, break, for reminding me of a young fellow who was, at one point, ready to take on the world..

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