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
August 19, 2009 @ 12:45 am
I've had an X5 since the early 90s and have loved and played it to death. I just recovered and repaired a "vintage" M1 by fixing the keyboard and replacing its battery restoring factory programs, and am impressed with how substantial it feels and sounds. I was originally going to sell it, but I'm already beginning to grow fond of it as an instrument. The keyboard is actually a Yahama design and contains hidden weights in the keys as well as a key spring system that uses flat strips of steel sprung between the key and keyboard bed. This gives it a compelling and responsive feel.
August 18, 2009 @ 11:31 am
Hey Neil... Depends on you really. I just finished repairing a M1R for a client (needed new battery, buttons not working, etc.) and for what she spent she could have purchased a used working one, but she reasoned that her M1R has worked perfectly except for the button issues, she has no idea what she would be getting herself into by buying used. Consigning an old malfunctioning keyboard will not net you much in the way of $$ but if it's part of your sound get it fixed and use it or if it just a curiosity get rid of it now and don't spend another penny on it.
August 4, 2009 @ 5:44 am
Glory to the Korg M1 ! One of the greatest keyboards ever made.
I use mine with a Roland D50, Yamaha SY-99 and a Korg SG rack.
This rig sounds really fat, and i would'nt change a thing.
July 29, 2009 @ 11:17 am
I remember wanting one of these as a kid and having no hope of affording one. Over the years I had forgotten about it, until recently seeing one on stage being played by a friend of mine. I hopped on ebay and bought one that just arrived yesterday. All those old sounds are just as good today as they were 20+ years ago. This is also a great 'playing' synth. The keys feel really good for being non-weighted. Anyway, this is a great board, every keyboard player should own one! :)
July 28, 2009 @ 5:00 pm
I miss my M1. Even though some of the patches sounded canned there was still something about it, the first of a new breed. I have had the patch loss problem too. I used an Alesis Datadisk to back-up all of the sounds and then used it to reload them if/when they were lost. The Datadisk uses ordinary floppy disks and can be found for sale on various boards and online auction sites. There is also the Yamaha MDF-2 which does pretty much the same thing. Iuse these type of devices to back-up the patches I have created as well.
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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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