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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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.

112 Visitor comments
January 2, 2011 @ 12:36 am
@Lammergyer - Yea I do that. I thought M1 users could trade sequences online but I don't see any. If u could make sequences then get them in/out of it then we could trade them. Some basic riff patterns would be nice, for example.
Brian Herndon
December 30, 2010 @ 12:45 pm
I actually have an M3R in my rack. Bought it new (Yeah, I'm that old). It has a really nice Rhodes piano patch that I would love to be able to play on my M1 but I can't figure out how to transfer or set up the same programs etc. If it's in the M3R then is should be possible to get the same sound out of the M1 right? Anyone know how this would be done?
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.
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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