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
December 24, 2010 @ 5:11 pm
Does anyone remember the M3R? It was a stripped down rack version of the M1 that came out in 1988. I remember when I and a bandmate found an M3R that was probably sitting around for years in some guy's garage in the early 2000s. It worked and we pulled it out of there and started using it for layering through MIDI, just like that. I remember some of the presets like "Nocturnal". Which brings me to my next point... unlike the M1 it used the combinations as its main programs, you had to go to edit mode to hear the actual programs, not very intuitive.
December 12, 2010 @ 11:17 am
Nitro, Supposedly, you can just play the midi file from a sequencer or software sequencer MIDI'd into the M1 while in Sequencer Record mode.
1. Go to M1 Sequencer Mode - find record page - start record (real time I guess)
2. play MIDI file through the midi port assigned to the M1
3. See if worked (Sorry, I read all this somewhere)
I'm still looking for a way to sysex a whole sequence into the M1. Have to build it with channel messages and CC events. ORIGSEQS.syx from Dr. Evil's site. Its a long sysex message.
December 1, 2010 @ 8:49 pm
hshs, if you know where to get a fully functional M1R for around $100, please point me in the right direction.
November 30, 2010 @ 8:08 pm
Sorry folks, but NO, the M1LE VST doesn't sound identical to the real M1. I have both, and i have compared presets side to side. Some patches sound almost identical and some sound completely different. Some patches with a lot of reverb and filters sound muffled. The programmers that created the VST decided to change the Low pass filter to make it more "analog" and in the process completely changed some of the presets. Considering you can get a used hardware M1R for around $100, you will be better off with the real thing that with a vst that will be worthless and obsolete in a few years.
Overall, the M1 sounds are very clean, thin and digital, which is why you have the M1 has combi stacks of presets, so it doesn't sound as thin. If you are looking for the ultimate "vintage" digital synth, get a Roland D-50
November 9, 2010 @ 6:01 pm
I just got one for the first time. Can anyone tell me if I can program midi files and dump them into the sequencer. It would be a quick way to get started. :)
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  • 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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