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
May 31, 2009 @ 3:42 pm
I had this baby for many years and used it often as a stand-alone synth. At the end I managed to record complete, complex 6 minute-arrangements which really reached the limits of polyphony, memory, transparency (only two effects for all sequencer tracks), etc. - but it was simply amazing. One of the best keyboards, very good repetition. A lot of very good preset sounds, and with some parameters (eg cut off) it is easy to get nice new sounds very fast.
May 24, 2009 @ 8:35 pm
I use mine mainly as a controller, as the keyboard action is the best I've come across on a 61 note keyboard.Use the internal sounds when I want something retro, there are thousands of extra patches on the internet for free, some of which are awesome.And it just looks big and cool.
May 12, 2009 @ 4:40 pm
Yes,the first workstation.A great arrangement tool with good sounds.I also used it for new age sounds,it was easy to program.Sold it for a Trinity.
April 28, 2009 @ 2:45 pm
Does anyone remember the brown case M1s? I bought one of these early ones and it had a catastrophic system failure (never found out what). I got a new black case loaner from the music store and was told I could keep it. Still sounds great although I'm thinking of selling mine. Don't need an O1/Wr and this synth. By the way, Yamaha manufactured the keyboards for these.
ricky d
February 23, 2009 @ 1:01 pm
Ahhhh, the famous M1. Alot of the sounds are considered plasticky and most of the ROMs are recycled throughout most of the presets, which can get boring after a while. There are alot of good and useful presets however, but to get the most out of the M1 you have to program your own patches, which is what really makes the M1 fun to use. This most likely won't be the only unit in your setup, but if you are a collector of those classic sounds or you just love the M1's famous sonic character, then this is a must have. In truth though, the Korg M1rex is a better buy as it includes the M1 and T3 waveforms.
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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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