Sonic LAB: Korg OPSIX Review

'Twas an FM Christmas Eve...      24/12/20

The Korg OPSIX has generated a lot of interest as FM synths often do. We want to see if they've made it any easier to understand this generally impenetrable synthesis method. And this is the aim of the OPSIX - bringing the creation and editing of FM sounds into a more understandable and tweakable package.

The OPSIX is the same kind of case as the Wavestate, and probably has the same Raspberry Pi internal processor, though we haven't popped the case this time...

With a 6 operator FM synth engine, compatible with DX7 voices, five synthesis types  -selectable per operator,  plus a modeled filter, sequencer and three FX  Korg call it Extended FM.

Each operator can give you a variety of waves outside of the usual sine, plus 5 synthesis engines:

FM, Ring Mod, Filter, Filter Fm and Wave Folder.

This opens up the tonal options quite considerably and gives some great building blocks.

The FM engine offers 40 algorithms, with one user algorithm, a fader for level and knob for ratio for each one, making it way more hands on than regular FM programming methods we've seen before.

The added filter, 3 LFOs and 3 envelopes, 12 slot mod matrix and effects generators make it a very capable synth. Though I would have liked to see a delay  setting for the envelopes which are ADSR types with a morphable curve (linear/exponential).

The FX are in the same kind of league as the Minilogue XD - and we recognized several algorithms from that including the Riser and Submarine shimmer reverbs.

Filter types - Korg has modeled a number of filters digitally and are pretty well done - a particular favourite of mine is the Poly6 filter, lovely on pads.

 

DX-7 patches can be loaded as complete banks - there are 1000's of these available online - a good place to start a patch as many have been programmed to take advantage of FM synthesis's excellent velocity response.

Try : http://bobbyblues.recup.ch/yamaha_dx7/dx7_patches.html and the DEXED DX-7 editor for a good combo (https://asb2m10.github.io/dexed/)

In actuallity, the OPSIX is a great instrument, capable of some really pleasing sounds, though lacking a little in bass examples, these are programmable and not lacking if attempted.

I liked it and I think Korg have created another compelling instrument.

Available now priced at £649, $799

https://www.korg.com/uk/products/synthesizers/opsix/

 


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