The resurgence of hardware synths has breathed wondrous life into the production community. More and more producers are utilizing the complex timbres of boutique hardware synths in new ways to make their modern-sounding records.
Rose Ringed is one such producer who has relied heavily on the timeless and hard-to-find sounds of the Korg Polysix to blaze his path through the industry. And he must be doing something right, as some of the biggest names in the industry have already begun to take notice and consistently support even his earliest releases.
To celebrate the release of his latest EP, we decided to catch up with Rose Ringed to find out just how he uses his Korg Polysix in his productions to create such a unique and powerful sound.
Stream Rose Ringed’s Latest Release Below
Rose Ringed was born to a music-loving father and a jazz ballerina mother during the early trance rave era of the 90s. Playing the drums led to learning piano, getting inspiration from what is now the nostalgic sounds of the ambient and early techno parties in Amsterdam. His first EP ‘Spring Memories’ became an instant success after its release in 2018, when Kölsch played ‘In Your Arms Again’ during his BBC Radio 1 show.
It marked when Rose started to be recognized internationally, and streaming numbers increased daily. Since then, Rose has not looked back and has built up his portfolio with numerous releases and many more in the pipeline that takes you on a nostalgic journey of bliss.
His latest release, a three-track EP titled ‘For Us,’ is a perfect continuation of his top-quality productions and exacting attention to detail that will define his career for decades to come.
Rose Ringed ‘For Us’ is now on his Closed Eyes Recordings imprint. Get it here
Which parameters on the Korg Polysix are your favorite to modulate to create complex synth patches fast?
The Polysix is a pretty straightforward synth with limited modulation options. To me, its key power is in the warm sound it has; it’s one of the only analog synths I have, of which I think there isn’t a good software alternative to it.
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I mostly make a pad-like sound on this one, where I prefer to use the PW mode and modulate the speed and VCO taste. Then I put a slight, low-frequency LFO to the VCO to modulate its pitch, so it gets some excellent subtle movement. Then I give it a slow attack, slight decay, and long sustain and release to make the pad big and warm. The magic occurs when using the filter; I love giving the resonance a nice boost, so it almost self-oscillates and creates this extra mysterious voice.
Then, in the end, add the Ensemble fx to it, which Is like a combination of the chorus and the phaser it has in there; it’s my absolute favorite synth fx ever; it takes you to Melancholy Land instantly.
Although it’s a mono synth, using software FX makes the most beautiful stereo pad and string sounds. Especially when playing single-string notes, it already sounds warm, rich, and complete compared to VSTs. It’s my go-to synth for creating warm nostalgic pad sounds.
Also, with its powerful resonance, the filter is perfect for creating beautiful nostalgic melodies. For my album, I made a track years ago using a lead sound made on the Polysix, one of my favorite lead sounds I have ever synthesized.
Which plugins are your favorite for post-processing on the Polysix?
The sound of the Polysix itself is already so rich, warm, and full it doesn’t need much post-processing except for Reverb and Delay. I love to – like many others – throw a Valhalla Vintage verb with a reasonably long decay on it. Also, recently I’ve been a big fan of the Timeless 3 delay by FabFilter.
Lastly, the low-mids can get pretty messy and muddy with this machine so using Fabfilter Pro Q3 to edit out some frequencies is a must.
Tell me about a feature on the Korg Polysix that you wish you had started using sooner in your career.
Bit of a straightforward one but the saving of patches. I never used to save patches since I always forgot how it worked, I have a modded KIWI Polysix, so it has a pretty extensive Manual which I seem to neglect.
The track I made for my album a few years ago (I think around 2017) had such an excellent lead sound when I opened it recently to edit some parts; it somehow lost the recorded audio files. I made the lead patch on my Polysix and never saved it on the machine. So I recreated it and ensured I kept it properly this time, it was a perfect learning moment to play the patch since it was pretty hard to get it the same, but I think I got it close enough.
What are your four favorites presets on the Korg Polysix, and why?
Presets 1-2 (Group 1 Bank 2) and 6-6 are two very lovely pad sounds that I mostly use and tweak to taste. 1-3 is also a favorite; it’s a beautiful, almost Rhodes-like sound. If you open up the filter it gets an entirely different character which is nice to use for leads.
It’s hard to pick a fourth, but I have to say 7-5. It’s a very aggressive bass sound that I used to use a lot in my tracks.