Synth Review: Korg Trinity Rack. TR-RACK.

February 13th, 2010 by Hexfix93

Click Here to Listen to VAC’s Korg Tr-Rack Synth Demo.

This is my secret weapon. It can step in and do most any job. Yeah, the sounds are compressed rompler stuff, but seriously, the filters in this have this wet sound, this air to them that really makes things cut in the mix and sound lush and vibrant. I love the filters on this, I tried to like the triton, but the filters were not the same. I tried to love the M3, but the filters just don’t come close. These filters can sounds very acidic, and almost roland like, but a wee bit thinner. This is what is great, because you can stack so many sounds together and create these lush landscapes. With sound diver on the PC I am able to edit just about anything I want and get this to go where i need it to. Digital sample oscillators and two amazing filters to run in series or parallel. In combi mode, this is where the dream scapes happen and blow your mind away. Atmosphere and absynth on the PC TRY to do what this does, and they both fail big time. What is it about the trinity that makes it so special. In combi mode you can stack 8 programs on top of each other. You have 8 insert fx and 2 master fx. LOTS OF FX POWER! These fx are really good too. I prefer them to the ksp8 fx, not kidding either. The compressors with the verbs on drums can bring out brutal in your face industrial sounds. Add some over drive to a bass line and tweak the filter and you get mean acid. The bread and butter presets suck. But the motion synth presets are really good in combi and prog mode. The drums in this are the best workstation drums I have ever heard. All you need is 2 of these things, and you can cover a lot of ground. In the combi mode, you can make this like a vast array of modular synths. The modulations in this are really good and you can really get the sounds to animate, you can hear this in my audio clip above.
TR-Rack vs Trinity. Well, no touch screen. But seriously, I can edit the fx from the front panel no problem, I figured out how to use the interface without sound diver, but you need sound diver to edit some things like the envelopes because the front panel wont let you edit everything unfortunately. You cannot upgrade these. But the good thing is that there are 4 banks of rom sounds, and the trinity synth only has 2 unless you buy the rom cards and install them your self. When I had my trinity keyboard, I didn’t have that much other gear so I was using it in seq mode which is the multitimberal mode, 16 tracks, and there you get sounds without fx, and you have to custom build your fx chains and send your parts to them in the fx mixer page of the sequencer mode. In this mode you don’t get to use the great combi patches, so in old vac I hardly ever used those. Now that i have two racks I can use one for drums, and one for combis. Seq/Multi mode on the rack is really limiting, because you only get one memory so you have to manually change it on every song you make and back it up on the computer via sysex. The small screen makes editing the multi really hard, and you cannot see patch names only bank and numbers in this mode. So multi is a no go for the racks. So you get one patch at a time in prog mode, and get to layer up to 8 programs in combi. The racks are not good for multi timber setups. I like using the TR racks in prog and combi mode. This works out great for me, and its easy to take a preset and mangle it with fx. The FX are so great, verbs, delays, flanger, phaser, chorus, decimator, bit crunch, limiter, amp sim, over drive/high gain. All of these can make lush or super mean and twisted sound depending on how you tweak the parameters. The DACs on these are better than the triton. Tritons sound crunchy, these have this warm color to them. This air to them that I have not heard on any other synth to date. Not even the flag ship oasys has this AIR in the sound that I love so much. Seriously. I have read reviews on sonic state that said, you cannot do industrial with this, truth is, i made most of calling of the dead with a trinity keyboard. So they obviously don’t know how to mess with FX worth a shit. LOL. No software fx, and rompler can even touch the sound quality and fx quality of the trinity. The triton cannot either. The m3 fx are damn good, but the filters and sounds are not as good in my opinion. What I cannot believe is that these racks go on ebay now for about 200 to 300 dollars. In the right hands. These can kick major ass. I give this a 15 out of 10. No joke, this is my favorite workstation of all time.

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Category: 08-Synth Reviews! | 14 Comments »

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14 Responses

  1. Rob Says:

    Whatever Korg does with their synth technology, is working. Their effects or whatever it is they use, make the sounds really fresh. I’ve always been a Korg Synth fan. Love their rack stuff.

    Korg Synthesizer

  2. Carson Duke Says:

    Just picked up Monomachine, Machinedrum and I am also moving back to non computer based sequencing. I’ve been trying to find an ASQ -10, i’ve thought about getting an MPC300 or an MPC60, but decided on the MPC5000. Had a chance to play the Jupiter 6 this weekend (non-Europa) and loved it! I’m selling my Prophet T8 as well.

    Current Rig
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    Linn Drum LM-2
    Virus KC
    Roland VS-1880
    Korg MS20 and SQ10 Sequencer

  3. Chris Says:

    When my 88 key V3 started to get a bit unreliable, I picked up a Triton and was very disappointed at the sounds, given that the Triton was supposed to be the Trinity’s successor. At this point, I have a Trinity rackmount, because IMO all the Triton is, is a Trinity with compromised parts. They clearly cut corners in a number of regards – or at least, their specs for the Trinity hit the “sweet spot”. When I plugged the rackmount into my setup, from the very FIRST NOTE I could instantly remember how easy it is to make the Trinity sound good. Their piano patch sounds better DRY than anything I have heard out of the Triton. I still have the 88 key and don’t move it around much – but works good as a ‘programmer’ for the rackmount.

  4. Steve Deffinger Says:

    Can’t agree with you more. I have spent thousands on equipment but I can’t stop using the Trinity and TR rack.
    Do you know if the GM sound Tremolo Strings on the Trinity are on the TR rack? I can’t locate them. Or do your know how to program a tremolo effect on an existing patch? I hate carrying around a second sound module just to get the tremolo strings.

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  8. Nope Says:

    Back in the day I had the Korg M1 & O1/W, but I skipped the Trinity. Currently I have a Triton Pro X & Kronos X 88. I have a bit of gear (keyboard/modules) so I was not overly-concerned with getting a Trinity,….until I heard a TR-Rack demo on Youtube, that featured many “Motion Pads”. That did it for me. $173.50 later (& thanks to Ebay) I will soon be the owner of a TR-Rack. I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can play it. It should make a great addition to my Triton/Kronos, Motif-6/EX5, XV5080/JV1010 setup. One can never have “too many” synths IMO. =D

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