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
October 30, 2013 @ 7:02 pm
The M1 is a gem for a first circuit bending project. There's almost no way to mess up, if you attach all your bend points to the PCM card slot's ribbon cable pins. Just make sure you don't connect the power supply pin.
Angela O'Brien
May 24, 2013 @ 11:14 am
The only annoying problem is the battery that needs to be replaced every five year. Other than that it's an awesome synth but hardly we don't use it anymore since the VSTi is even better. If you tweak that right it's an exact copy of the M1 and it doesn't break down of old age all the time!
January 31, 2013 @ 12:18 am
I used to own one of these when they first came out. I remember shortly after purchasing my M1 I was in a music store talking to some guy about how great it was and showing him all the features and how it works. I must have been pretty convincing because the guy actually thought I worked there! When he found out I didn't he said "Well you should, you know more about this thing than the people working here" LOL It was a great compliment considering my severely limited keyboard skills at the time . Anyway, what a great keyboard the M1 was and still is!
December 16, 2012 @ 9:52 pm
The M1 was used heavily by Bon Iver on their self titled 2011 release. Especially on the songs Calgary and Beth/Rest.
Bobby S
November 15, 2012 @ 2:33 pm
I also knew Alex - was in school up there before you. Back then it was Bronen's Music. I bought my first synth from him, a miniKorg, in 1973. Alex is still up there and still playing with Double Axel.
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Rated 4.23 (1439 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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