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.

Related forum topics


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
July 28, 2009 @ 8:25 am
@matt And of course the M1 has 'presets' many many famous ones - patch 01: Universe for example :) Just got to send some data to that puppy.
July 28, 2009 @ 8:23 am
@matt.. they are not stored on a ROM but a volotile RAM. If you disconnect battery power during service they will be wiped. Don't panic, just send the patches via midi sysex from your pc. GOOGLE for that, it's beyond the scope of the comments box here if you ask me. You are probably hearing 'init voices' in all patch numbers cos you wiped the data. Try editing one and selecting a PCM wave to use 'piano' or something and see if you can start to build a sound, if so the synth is good just needs reloading. :)
July 26, 2009 @ 1:56 pm
I was given an M1 by a school...they were going to chuck it cos it didn't work. I had it repaired - new power supply - and it fires up ok now. However, there don't appear to be any factory preset sounds in either progs or combi, except really basic tones, i.e. no fx preset, envelopes all at zero, all other parameters and settings are at zero also. Is this right? I also have a korg triton and the factory preset sounds on that are incredible all with fx, envelopes etc. Thanks.
July 15, 2009 @ 11:53 am
I have my M1 since 1992. The keyboard touch is fantastic like the sounds. But what a FLANGER!!! This is the sound of the M1! Even the software edition can't reproduce it... It really passes through zero and has a very distinctive sound...
Man In Motion
July 9, 2009 @ 2:38 am
I recently bought one, and it still sounds great. It's a perfect machine to do 80-90's music style and more. I use the M1 vst synth too, but hardware is more powerfull.
I really love it. To own this synth takes me back through the years........
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.23 (1438 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
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.