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
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.
Gear Before Beer
October 12, 2012 @ 2:43 am
To this very day, I get tons, and I mean TONS of use out of my M1R. I'm still making records with it!
David S
October 11, 2012 @ 10:54 pm
I'll never forget my first year of college, Alex at Northern Music in Potsdam, NY let me take home the M1 for a few days and play with it. I had a coffeehouse gig that night with my roommate, Lachlan, and we used it for the gig instead of my Kawai K1. What an amazing upgrade! I stayed up really late for a couple nights creating some cool sequences that I still have on cassette tape to this very day (labelled "M1 Songs"). I never did buy the M1, but later on I picked up an 03R/W from the same music store, among other toys over time.
That was the first time I was truly amazed by a synth!!
Lewis Nowosad
September 29, 2012 @ 8:13 pm
I own one of these things and need to now if there is a way to step up the octaves?
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Rated 4.23 (1419 Votes)

  • 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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