Adding a Compact Flash reader to a Korg Triton

[Roberto Barrios] has a Korg Triton sampling keyboard which he enjoys very much, but has grown tired of using media of yesteryear to store his work. He had the option of floppy disk or Jazz drive and for a time he was using a floppy-to-USB emulator, but the keyboard still insisted on a 1.44 Mb storage limit using that method. He decided to crack open the case and add his own CF reader.

It should be noted that this hack could have been avoided by using the 25-pin connector on the back of the keyboard. He didn’t want to have external hardware, which is understandable if you’re gigging–it’s just more equipment to keep track of. His solution uses the floppy disk drive opening to mount the card reader. His electrical connections are made with a ribbon cable. He cut off one end, and soldered the individual wires to the contacts on the motherboard. The reader is seen as a SCSI drive by the Korg firmware thanks to a SCSI-to-IDE adapter, so the storage limitation is based quite fittingly on the size of the CF card used.

Look at that cable management. You’d think it came straight from the factory like this!


  1. Paul Potter says:

    Very nicely done.

  2. M4CGYV3R says:

    Taking apart and modding a many-thousand dollar synth requires some serious balls.

  3. echodelta says:

    Keyboards just don’t date as fast as our computers, so they are stuck with janky pieces of computer sticking to them. Great hack, ready for MI techs to install in millions of working insturments.

  4. cyrozap says:

    Where did he get that SCSI to IDE converter? I haven’t seen any of them cheap recently.

    • GrizzlyAdams says:

      I was thinking the same thing, the ones from ACARD are like $100+. Supposedly you can find fairly compatible narrow scsi-1 adapters for $25, but I’ve never seen them myself.

    • Dan says:

      I third that comment , i have not seen any under 100

    • blue_carbuncle says:

      You guys need to look at surplus/vintage computing categories in some of our favorite websites. These “X old hard disk to SD card” mods were perfected on the old Akais and can be found on the web. I got by for a number of years on my sony memstick floppy adapter for my dad’s old mavica camera. Good for him for not ruining a great synth. I dont know if the trident does it, but some of the others still recognize tape backups which can be truly useful when moving large amounts of data in a sneaky manner that sysex may take years to do lol. Hate this netbook keyboard cant wait for my laptop parts to show up and get back to the internet.

  5. Simonious says:

    Nice looking work!

  6. stunmonkey says:

    very nice hack, and very nice workmanship.

    i especially like what isn’t there as opposed to what is; working out a way to utilize/spoof the existing hardware is far more elegant than just brute forcing it by stuffing it full of intermediary hardware.

    too cool.

  7. qwerty says:

    Excellent work! The number of electronic instruments suffering from storage devices obsolescence out there is huge, let’s hope other people will find workarounds for them as well.

  8. Hello. I didn’t say I got the SCSI adapter cheap, mainly because I didn’t… And yes, I tried to be as little invassive as possible. Everyting can be reverted to original state with minor signs of having ever been modified. Thanks for the commens. Roberto

  9. retepvosnul says:

    Funny, I used the same CF board in my Korg D1600 multi-track recorder.

  10. meatman says:

    Nobody makes a scsi CF or SD card reader?

  11. Patrick says:
  12. Mudo says:
  13. Stephen Sullivan says:

    Hmmm… been looking for something like this for a while to add a CF reader to my old AKAI S3000XL – can’t seem to find a SCSI1-IDE reader anywhere – now at least I know one model to search for! Thanks!

  14. The Timmy says:

    neat. I wonder if such a mod can be had for the Roland S-10 Digital Sampling Keyboard. my only options right now are to: 1. repair the QD drive and hope my disks are still good, or 2. MIDI dump from a true DOS environment, which is a whole other ordeal that I am not going to get in to any time soon.

    OR.. does anybody know of a good sampler VSTi? Ableton Live has some impressive sampling capabilities, but I really just need modern approach to a traditional method that doesn’t replace software I already know…

  15. Nathan says:

    I wonder if I can do this with a Roland S10 I have

  16. anonamouse says:

    you can find cheap PCD-50B card readers here:

    also a handy power cable adapter for some samplers here..

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