Korg M1

Korg M1 Image

The M1 was and still is a popular and widely used digital synthesizer and music workstation. The M1 features built-in AI Synthesis for full digital generation and processing using 4MB of PCM sampled and synthesized waveforms which can be shaped using analog-style editing. The M1 is capable of creating acoustic instruments with clarity, nice digital sounds and good buzzy techno sounds. The M1 is sort of like a workstation-version of the Roland D-50.

In addition to its acclaimed sound, it has a somewhat sophisticated 8-track sequencer. It holds 10 songs and 100 patterns and up to 7,700 notes, and offers full quantizing and editing. Full MIDI implementation suites the M1 ideally for studio production and MIDI system use. Up to 8 parts of multitimbrality with the 8 track sequencer makes for a powerful machine. Add to that a host of digital multi-effects and you've got one of the most widely and professionally used Korg synthesizers around.

Korg EX-M1R Image

UPGRADES: The EXK-M1 optional ROM expansion kit doubles the PCM waveform memory to 8MB (275 multisampled sounds) for even greater sonic possibilities. The EX-M1R is the same upgrade but designed for the M1R (rack version). That's right, there's a rack version of the M1 available as the M1R as well.

The M1 has been used by 808 State, Banco De Gaia, Ken Ishii, Depeche Mode, Fluke, The Cure, The Orb, The KLF, Plastikman, Bomb The Bass, Gary Numan, Robert Miles, Mike Oldfield, Kitaro, Rick Wakeman, Rod Argent, Joe Zawinul, Patrick Moraz, Pet Shop Boys, Vangelis, the Cranberries, Sin and Jellyfish.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Korg M1? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

115 Visitor comments
September 23, 2010 @ 2:02 pm
it's under the big mainboard inside, just what you see when opening the m1 metal outer bottom case. you must losen the 5 screws that hold the board there too -> swing open the board carefully after plugging out the small power supply flat cable that connects mainboard with power board. on mainboard's backside, you'll see the battery plugged in the typical ring-holder. you can pull it off. the battery is a typical button cell CR 2032 (3V) available on every corner.
after having replaced the battery you have to initialize the factory presets again by midi dump.

don't forget to save all your prog, combi, seq, sysex midifiles before you do the battery change.
William Day
September 22, 2010 @ 6:46 am
Does anyone know anything about where the internal battery is located on the Korg M1 Workstation? I opened it and looked but could not find the little 'coin shaped' battery.
Happiness to all of you helpers!!
July 16, 2010 @ 7:23 pm
Have to agree. got the m1r in its day was the successer to the DX7 but havn't used it for years got the soft version on vst and guess what havn't used it too much there either.
The sounds were done to death in he 90's programing is a b*****d so only really used the presets so nothing original there then
June 18, 2010 @ 10:21 am
Queen also used the Korg M1 in the album "Innuendo". If I remember exactly, the strings intro in "Show Must Go On" has been recorded using the "Low Orchestra" preset.
June 7, 2010 @ 7:18 pm
I owned one in the mid 90's. Nice performance synth, especially back then. Smooth piano sounds for its time. There are a lot better pianos on newer synths. For the money, $400 to $500, sounds good. Nice strings, and atmosphere sounds. Lots of effects and a nice sequencer. Still pretty good for performance but not for in depth programmers.
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices
  • Oscillators - 4MB PCM waveforms (144 multisampled sounds)
  • Effects - Digital multi-effects: reverb, delay, overdrive, EQ, chorus, rotary speaker, and more.
  • Filter - VDF: Variable Digital Lowpass Filter, velocity sensitive (non-resonant)
  • VCA - VDA: Variable Digital Amplifier; 3 independent 4-stage ADSR envelope generators
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with Velocity, Aftertouch, Multi, Layer, Split modes
  • Memory - 100 patches
  • Control - MIDI (8 parts)
  • Date Produced - 1988-94
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