above image courtesy of Benjamin Ward
The Korg Trident is an 8-voice, polyphonic analog synthesizer, with a 5-octave, 61-note (C-C) keyboard, 28 knobs and 33 multicolored push-buttons (each button with its own LED). It features a programmable synth with 16 memory locations (32 for the Mark II), a brass and a string section, and two piano presets and one clavinet preset. Each section (synth, string, and brass) has separate volume controls and can be set to play above or below middle-C or across the whole keyboard, allowing for splitting and layering.
The synthesizer section features 2 VCOs per voice. VCO-1 is switchable between square, pulse, and sawtooth waveforms. VCO-2 is set on sawtooth only. The VCF has controls for frequency, resonance, envelope modulation, and keyboard modulation (key follow). It also has its own LFO (sinewave only) that is hardwired to Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) with controls for speed and depth. The original Trident featured only one ADSR envelope generator. The Mark II features two ADSR envelope generators, one for the VCF and one for the VCA.
The string section has one VCO with a range switch (16', 8', 4'), a single VCF (Non-resonant Low Pass Filter) with keyboard tracking, and one AR (Attack Release) envelope. It has an "ensemble" effect and separate controls for "bowing" sound (simulating the bow hitting the strings), variable attack, and EQ (high and low controls).
The brass section has one VCO with a range switch (16' 8') and, like the string section, a single VCF with controls for frequency, resonance, envelope mododulation. The envelope section features one ADSR with a variable attack control.
A joystick controls a global LFO and pitchbend. The LFO has switchable waveforms (sine, square) and controls for speed, depth, and delay. There is also a flanger with controls for speed, depth, manual, and feedback. The Trident features 5 outputs: stereo and an output for each section. There is an input to trigger the brass and string envelope, and there are inputs for volume control for each of the three sections. With the original Trident, you couldn't modify a patch program, you had to start from scratch each time. The Trident Mark II fixed this problem. The Mark II also has a "Silence" control for the brass section. It will only sound when a specified minimum of notes are played (selectable between 2, 4, 6, and 8 notes). The Mark II allows patches to be saved via cassette tape.
[information compiled from the archives at Hyperreal and The A-Z of Analogue Synthesizers, by Peter Forrest, published by Susurreal Publishing, Devon, England, copyright 1994 Peter Forrest]