Some weeks ago i got my hands on a Korg AG-10, the lowest-end model of ai² synthesis series, which started with the 01/W in 1991.
The AG-10 was basically sold as a General MIDI Wavetable Sound Module and it came with two floppy with bundled software (Passport Trax, KORG MIDI driver, KORG SMF converter, Passport MIDI player, Passport QuickTunes), it was a great compact GM box for its time but it is more than a simple “rompler”, it had “hidden” editing capabilities, there was no softwares to program the synthesis engine at the time it was sold although most of the informations to program it is found in the manual.
Here are the specs :
- AI² synthesis engine, same as 01/W, full digital processing with 4 Mb ROM
- GM compliant
- 32 voices polyphony
- 16 parts / 16 channels
- Two FX units (Reverb, Chorus)
- Drum kits : 4
- Outputs : Head phone jack, L/R RCA jacks, 1 x MIDI out, 1 x MIDI Thru, To Host Computer (PCI/F) interface
- Inputs : L/R RCA jacks, 1 x MIDI in
- PC1/2 host select switch on the back side
- Front volume slider, power button and power LED/MIDI led indicator
- Power : DC 12v 400ma
With its editing capabilities, the AG-10 unit can be used as a kind of synthesizer, you can get some serious vintage sonic characters out of it, it approach the sonic capabilities of the other ai² series synthesizers for a cheap price and with its own character since it also have hidden waveforms/hidden modulations making it possible to make it sound like Roland D-50 / D-110, Ensoniq VFX / SQ-R and Emu Morpheus. Roland D-70‘s DLM, circuit-bending-like loop modulation.
The only issue is that there is no available editor right now to edit the AG-10, there used to be one which included hidden waveforms/hidden modulations but i cannot find it anymore… however it may be possible to do another easily.
I made images of the floppy disks to test and archive the bundled softwares with DosBox and Windows 3.1, those images are available below.
These are fairly hard to find and you won’t see many available for sale these days but if you see it, it might be of your interest to pick one up because it might be cheap and is not a simple GM sound module!