3 of the Synth World's Most Outrageous Easter Eggs!

US Hidden features inside synthesizers      23/04/24

3 of the Synth World's Most Outrageous Easter Eggs!

Clever coders have hidden some pretty cool things inside synthesizers over the years. Magical Synth Adventure checks out 3 of the best:

Nord Lead 1 & 2

When is a Nord Lead not a Nord Lead? When Pelle's mode is engaged! Inside the classic red V.A. lurks a secret physical modelling synth. "Woutblommers" on the Nord User Forum has the lowdown:

First you have to enter Pelle's year of birth: 1965. Set Slot A to Program 19 and Slot B to Program 65. Only the numbers will do, so never mind if memory location 19 is holding another Program than the factory preset. Than press and hold the Portamento Auto button, after which you press and hold the Shift button (what else). Holding both press the Velocity/Morph button and release it again. Still holding the two first knobs press the Performance button and you will hear a click, which means the Pelle mode is active.

I think you'll agree that it sounds pretty different to a vanilla Nord Lead!

Yamaha WT11


The Yamaha WT11 is the curvy sound module companion of the WX11 wind controller. It's essentially a 4OP FM synth, comparable to the TX81z, but with features from the DX11/TQ5/V50/YS100-200 - so a pitch envelope, DSP effects etc. The issue is, it's usually non-editable. The user can alter what presets make up a multi-performance, but *not* the bountiful FM operators within.

There are secrets in the wind, however. A full-editing *secret* mode is rumoured to exist. It doesn't look particularly friendly to navigate, but it's cool that you get access to a fully-editable FM synth!

The WT11 can be placed in Secret Mode by pressing and holding DATA ENTRY+1 and EFFECT buttons while powering up the synth. Once the WT11 is in Secret Mode, three available sub-modes are available to be selected:
• Performance Edit Mode – Simultaneously press EFFECT and EDIT
• Voice Edit Mode – Simultaneously press EFFECT and PLAY
• Test Mode – Simultaneously press EFFECT and STORE

More details here: WT11 Secret Mode.pdf - Google Drive

Korg Mono/Poly

The Korg Mono/Poly already has a pretty cool assortment of sound-shaping features, XMOD & Sync come to mind. But if you'd like some extra audio rate action, it's possible to turn the MG1 LFO into high-frequency mode by wodging the knob between any two of the waveshapes - it takes some finesse.

You can then explore audio rate filter and pulse width modulation without the need for external CV! Check out the cool sound from around 3:20 in this Mono/Poly demo!

Posted by MagicalSynthAdventure an expert in synthesis technology from last Century and Amiga enthusiast.

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