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Adding control to an older synth.

edited January 2014 in Hardware

I have a Korg Poly800 that I am looking to add a few (or many) knobs, sliders and clicky things on. The synth has midi, and there is a mod that adds a ton more support. 

The right panel of the poly 800 is really just empty space. There is plenty of room for a Brain JR and all the knobs and sliders I can reasonably fit. My question is how to make them talk to each other internally. I would love to link the Hawk800 to the Brain JR, and have it be a self contained upgrade, i.e. Just turn on the synth and twiddle the knobs. Is this even possible? I guess my direct question is can I assign CC data to the knobs internally. Or am I asking the right question?

My technical skills are limited and my coding even more so, but I have a good group of people willing to help me, including you! 

Here is the mod:

Thank you,



  • If you did the project with a Brain v2, you could run the midi out from the brainv2 into your Poly800. Then they would behave as one controller I think.

    The brain jr. would not work because it has to be speaking with a computer or midi host, since it only has USB MIDI I/O.

  • Ah, thank you for the clarification. I spoke with the gentleman who makes the Hawk800 mod and he thinks it should not be an issue. 

    The poly800 is weird one to program. You type in the number of the parameter you wish to edit and then furiously tap ^ or v until you reach a satisfactory sound, and then change to a different parameter to adjust that. I am deciding between adding knob per parameter control, or seeing about making a select button for each control and adding a knob to replace the up-down buttons. 

  • edited January 2014

    Is it possible to wire into the Brain JR directly instead of using the usb port? The Brain JR price point would be easier to sneak past my wife than the V2.

  • The Brain Jr. has no MIDI I/O jacks, so it can only connect to a computer via USB MIDI (or standalone midi host).

    I can't think of a work around that doesn't involve a computer.

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