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
October 14, 2009 @ 6:31 pm
The M1 had a small flat cell battery inside to retain voice and program data. If I remember correctly it is a CR2032, which can be purchased at your local Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, etc. Replacement requires opening up the synth and battery removal will more than likely cause you to lose voice data, so make a backup before removing the old battery. I think the original voices can also be downloaded fairly easily here on the web. You will need a midi interface and the proper software to transfer the data. Do a google search. Plenty of step by step instructions listed out there. Good luck.
October 4, 2009 @ 11:46 pm
I started playing the M1 back in High School (1991), as my HS purchased 4 of them. I bought one of my own after I graduated in 1995, and I've had it ever since. I'll be living under a bridge in a cardboard box before I ever even consider selling it.
September 22, 2009 @ 7:10 pm
like this one in many ways. not stood the test of time compared to the roland d50. the d50 is a much more classier choice of a synth that never fails to impress with its organic timeless sound. like the cheesy piano sound on the m1 as it brings back so many memories.
September 17, 2009 @ 2:18 am
To the guys below. This is such a simple fix you are having panic attacks over nothing. GOOGLE (you know that?) for 'M1 Factory Sounds' or 'M1 default patches' (well there's a hundred things you could google for that would bring you all you need).

Basically you send the file (available everywhere as midi sysx) to your synth from your computer. Your computer obviously must have a midi interface, you can get a cheap usb one for peanuts these days. Owning a synth with no midi interface on your pc to EDIT it or send 'free' banks of new sounds it a bit silly so hopefully you already have a midi interface. It's only been around, and people have only been sending midi 'sound dumps' to synths for the last 25 years *sigh*
Kim Fokken
September 8, 2009 @ 1:58 am
I have had an M1 since 1989. It gets alot of use and in 20 years it has been serviced only 2 times. The first time was to replace the battery which at that time was 17 years. That is incredible. the second time an connection between circuit boards needed replacing but otherwise, this kybd is in mint condition and will not ever sell it. I have taken great care in handling and always use the Korg carry case when transporting. I am in a christian band and I love the sound quality and user friendly interface it has. I definately give this kybd a 2 thumbs up rating of a 5 star. My best investment in kybds.
VSE Rating


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
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.