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.

Lookup Korg M1 Prices

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
March 28, 2012 @ 1:09 pm
Just get mine last last week. Sound? well as everyone says, it is a distinguished vintage. Today, I think only a few base sound and programs are good and quite usable. But since i'm a 90s kid, the EP voice brings back the songs i like, so i can play them today. Hard to edit sounds but it's a good starting point for those who are learning synths. Aside from the EPs, choir voices, organs and percussions tones are really good. It's a keeper until I need a newer synth for a pro-use.
Celtic Cyber Orchestra Project
March 13, 2012 @ 7:30 pm
Found myself a fully operational M1 at a 'pawn like shop' here in Belgium. Stood against the wall with dust on it. Shopowner told me he never sold it to anyone and it has no value anymore to him. So I asked him if I could get it...and he GAVE it to me for FREE...went home, plugged it and...wow, still working. Had to change the battery after a short while but hey...now I got me a dream machine ! EVen found the machines' original software on the net...
Mr. Hoffman
March 7, 2012 @ 10:48 pm
Even though the Korg M1 out sold The Roland D-50, the D-50 sound was much more variable...And the organ and brass sounds produced by the D-5o were and still are spot on..Not to underscore the M1, the M1 did have the on board sequencer, also the M1 did usher in the digital Synth. Clav. sound which is still popular in modern music..I would like to have one for sure..Instead I have the old tried and true Roland D-10 & the zany Roland JX-3p....
February 20, 2012 @ 11:35 pm
@brag boogie: Good point. I mentioned a $450 price on the one I was looking at. Maybe I would have taken it for $100. I then thought "it's just another synth architecture to learn for a device that has terrible editing and very ordinary sounds that do not stack up to a VST". Do I still sound like someone angling for a cheap price on a crappy synth? I'm calling it as I hear it...and if you dig deeper on the comments you will find I'm not the only one. Other people who rate it favorably describe the keyboard as a fine controller, not as a good synth engine. I'm just here to bring the sanity.
Brage Boogie
February 20, 2012 @ 4:01 pm
@TheSynthMagnet: I see your point and I might agree. But then again, by logical extension, you might have written your piece because your looking for a cheap m1, just like the people raving about this and other synths MIGHT have done so to boost the second hand prices of theirs...
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.23 (1440 Votes)

  • 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
  • Resources & Credits
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