[AH] Korg PS3200 Power & keyboard cables Needed

From Benjamin Ward
Sent Fri, Jan 28th 2000, 19:28

>
>I just picked up a Korg PS3200 programmable
>synthesizer and I need to find the power cable and the
>keyboard interface cable.
>
>the power cord is 3 prong and it looks like it screws
>in to the front panal.

Yes, as it does on the PS-3300 I believe. Very secure fixture; very
un-findable (it is here in the UK anyway)...

>
>the keyboard interface is a 60 pin (video cable I am
>told) the model # for the part I need is Ps3001 this
>connects the keyboard to the synth.
>

These cable, made by Honda (that's right, the car company) are massive
military-style heavy duty connector cables, which are so chunky that the
connecting socket on the instrument and on the keyboard are at opposite
ends to one another. It's one of those items that's just worth _having_,
whether or not you have a PS-3200 or PS-3300 - which might explain where
yours went... ;-)

As a real longshot (probably the longest in the world, ever, in fact), it
might be worth contacting Honda HQ to see if there are any still around. I
don't know that any kind of video cable would be compatible. Anyone else?

>I have a few Questions for those who have used this
>model of synth before.

I had a brief acquaintance with one a year ago, but there are a few long
term owners on this list who would probably be able to tell you an awful
lot more. Since I'm pretty much a technical dunce, this is kind of a 'keen
amateur status' viewpoint!

>
>1. can I use my ms 20 as a controller until I find a
>keyboard cable?

I never had the time to experiment properly with mine, wanting as I did to
attempt to control it (albeit monophonically) from an SQ-10 sequencer (I
did have the PS-3010 keyboard with mine, incidentally). You could of course
not get any more than a monophonic performance out of it using the MS-20,
but I imagine you've already guessed this. The VCA-1 and VCA-2/Voltage
Processors might give a partial solution to the triggering problem, I'm not
sure. You certainly couldn't "plug-and-play" it with an MS-20, like you
could with say an MS-10.

And the 'overall' end-of-signal-path General Envelope Generator (GEG) might
look like the answer on the patch panel, but because of the structure of
the instrument, with its 48 individual Envelope Generators and their
corresponding VCO's and VCA's, how would the 3200 "know" which note you
were playing on the MS-20, and which note to sound? Hence the specific need
for the 48-key PS-3010 keyboard, and its 48 dedicated triggers and CVs.

Then there is the fact that there is also no "conventional" CV input to the
VCO(s) on the patch panel. Hmm... :-(

The smaller brother of the 3200, the PS-3100 apparently has quite a bit of
hidden modification potential. To quote my friend Frank Vanaman:

"I've just gotten a rather poor set of schematics for the 3100, and I've
made a somewhat startling discovery. Some of the functions which have knob
controls but no control voltage inputs (like S/H frequency, and the
frequency of MG2) can easily be voltage controlled- if one cares to do some
modifying (there's always that down-side).

All the pots on the panel are essentially voltage controls- things like
MG1- have a voltage control pot, and also have a little patch bay voltage
input signal circuit connected in parallel with the pot. The non-patchable
functions are also voltage controlled, and can be patchable in the same way
with the addition of the little voltage input circuit. Would I modify my
3100? Probably not. If I had *another*, well then maybe!

...

Most of the panel pots are just variable voltage sources rather than being
an integral part of the particular circuit they control, suggesting that
the function can be duplicated by the insertion of a control voltage in
place of the output of the pots.  MG1 frequency can be controlled by both a
pot (which sends 0-10v to the MG1 circuit through a resistor) and a jack
which connects to the same point through
another resistor.

Some other functions which are controlled from pots which only output a
voltage, and which cannot be otherwise patched on the 3100 would be:
MG-2 frequency
S/H clock frequency
GEG attack time
GEG release time
GEG delay time
Peak frequencies of the three bands of the Resonator
-and it seems as though it wouldn't be much of a task to add a group of
jacks with appropriate series resistors such that these could also be made
patchable.

Someone who's an actual electronics tech/guru might be able to shed more
light on this issue.

I'm not sure there's anyway to get a PS to make a sound without having the
keyboard connected, as you've got to trigger at least one of the 'gate'
circuits to get any sort of oscillator sound."

>
>2. are there any known problems that occur with this
>synth?
>

Um, one or two, or so I gather. The one I was custodian of for 2 weeks had
been heavily modded, and was virtually unusable without proper
documentation (hardly a problem exclusive to the PS-3200 of course.) I have
heard complaints of failed (and now irreplaceable) components and warped
and misaligned circuit boards, a subject about which other owners will have
much more understanding than I.

>3. are ther any midi kits for this thing?
>

Kenton (www.kenton.co.uk) do one. But it costs a small fortune to have
installed, although it comes in kit form too. Sunao Inami has an excellent
page about what he's done to his 3200:
www.threeweb.ad.jp/~cave/ps3200midi.html

Good luck finding that cable - It's a great instrument!

Ben