Patchwork: KORG 700 Univox

Written 1999/08/18

C.S. Graves

Our humble editor Gary was in a generous mood one day, so he gave me his KORG 700 to fiddle around with for a few weeks. My first impression was that it was a rather primitve old analog board, it didn't even have an ADSR envelope! Upon toying around with it, I did notice some of its limitations, such as the sustain switch that actually controls release time, but negates the ability to play sustained notes when switched on. Some of the terms and controls were quite different from your standard ones: one slider called "traveller" seems to control low and high-pass filtering, another "traveller" below that seems to control the resonance, and there's a switch called "expand" that seems to add extra resonance. The slider that controls decay time is labelled "percussive" at the top and "singing" at the bottom.

However, the slightly unusual setup is capable of producing some interesting sounds. One of my favorite switches on this thing is the "bender" switch, which at the beginning of the note adds a quick pitch bend up to the proper frequency. Neat-o! After carefully tweaking the relatively few parameters, I was able to produce some very Tomita-like patches, and others which sound almost like FM.

For the purposes of this article, the traveller slider on top will be referred to as Traveller1, and the one on the bottom will be Traveller2. The slider next to the attack will be called decay. Switches in the up position will be said to be OFF, and those in the down position will be ON.

Patch Name: Tomitalk Type: Lead

Traveller1: 0 Traveller2: 10 Attack:3.75 Decay: 8 Scale: 16' Mode: Sine Expand: ON Bright: OFF Sustain: OFF Bender: ON Repeat: OFF Vibrato: ON Delay Vibrato: ON Portamento: ON Repeat: 0 Speed: 4.6 Depth: 5 Portamento: 1

Patch Name: Persian Type: Resonant Pluck

Traveller1: 2.5 Traveller2: 10 Attack: 1 Decay: 3 Scale: 16' Mode: Sine Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: ON Delay Vibrato: ON Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 6 Depth: 8 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Gallium Type: Resonant Bass

Traveller1: 1.5 Traveller2: 10 Attack: 3 Decay: 3.5 Scale: 36' Mode: Chorus I Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: ON Delay Vibrato: ON Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 4 Depth: 4 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Hexahedron Type: Square Bass

Traveller1: 1.5 Traveller2: 5 Attack: 0 Decay: 5 Scale: 16' Mode: Square Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: ON Delay Vibrato: ON Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 5.25 Depth: 6.5 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Maoh Type: Resonant Bass

Traveller1: 0 Traveller2: 9 Attack: 0 Decay: 5.5 Scale: 16' Mode: Saw Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: OFF Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 0 Depth: 0 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Oh, Theremin! Type: Gliding Lead

Traveller1: 0 Traveller2: 8.9 Attack: 0 Decay: 8 Scale: 16' Mode: Saw Expand: OFF Bright: ON Sustain: OFF Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: ON Delay Vibrato: ON Portamento: ON Repeat: 0 Speed: 3 Depth: 5.25 Portamento: 1.5

Patch Name: Zeus Type: Square Bass

Traveller1: 0.8 Traveller2: 7.5 Attack: 6.5 Decay: 7 Scale: 32' Mode: Square Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: OFF Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: OFF Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 0 Depth: 0 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Singing Snowcube Type: Square Lead

Traveller1: 0.8 Traveller2: 7.5 Attack: 6.5 Decay: 7 Scale: 8' Mode: Square Expand: OFF Bright: ON Sustain: OFF Bender: ON Repeat: OFF Vibrato: OFF Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 0 Depth: 0 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Smarmy Type: Resonant Lead

Traveller1: 1 Traveller2: 10 Attack: 2.5 Decay: 8 Scale: 16' Mode: Saw Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: OFF Bender: ON Repeat: OFF Vibrato: OFF Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 5.5 Depth: 6 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Sting 700 Type: Sawtooth Bass

Traveller1: 8.2 Traveller2: 10 Attack: 3.5 Decay: 2 Scale: 16' Mode: Chorus I Expand: ON Bright: OFF Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: OFF Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 0 Depth: 0 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: UniRub Type: Resonant Bass

Traveller1: 0 Traveller2: 8 Attack: 3.5 Decay: 2 Scale: 16' Mode: Saw Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: OFF Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 0 Depth: 0 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Perplex Type: Vibrato Pluck

Traveller1: 0 Traveller2: 10 Attack: 1.6 Decay: 2.2 Scale: 8' Mode: Sine Expand: ON Bright: OFF Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: ON Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 6.5 Depth: 8 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Pseudo FM Type: Bass

Traveller1: 0 Traveller2: 7.25 Attack: 0 Decay: 3.9 Scale: 16' Mode: Sine Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: OFF Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: ON Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 6.5 Depth: 2.2 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Chronos Type: Sawtooth Lead

Traveller1: 3.5 Traveller2: 7 Attack: 5.5 Decay: 8 Scale: 32' Mode: Chorus I Expand: ON Bright: OFF Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: OFF Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: 0 Depth: 0 Portamento: 0

Patch Name: Proto Type: Resonant Bass

All parameters the same as Chronos except: Bright: ON

Patch Name: Juicy Qube Type: Resonant Bass

Traveller1: 2.8 Traveller2: 0 Attack: 0 Decay: 2.5 Scale: 32' Mode: Square Expand: ON Bright: ON Sustain: ON Bender: OFF Repeat: OFF Vibrato: ON Delay Vibrato: OFF Portamento: OFF Repeat: 0 Speed: Depth: Portamento: 0

I hope some of these patches will be to your liking. Many may seem plain, but they are designed to be musically useful, not a whole song-and-dance unto themselves. As usual with analog, try running them through some basic effects like delay and reverb. Now the Univox will really sing! Too bad it doesn't have any CV/Gate inputs!

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