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.

Check Korg M1 Prices on eBay

The link above will take you to a 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.

112 Visitor comments
mike brees
December 18, 2009 @ 8:00 am
I own a M1 after a trade with a Roland EM arranger. I am amazed by its sound generators and i was going to sell it at the beggining but now i am not selling it for any reason. I own several synths but the live feeling of M1 and its sounds is unreplacable
October 31, 2009 @ 12:03 pm
Haven't used my M1 for a few years, so I dug it out a while back and then thought I'd have a look what was on the net and just found this site. Thought I'd just let people know that my M1 had stopped responding to the DOWN key which was fairly annoying. After looking at some hairy dismantling instructions I thought I'd just try some spray switch cleaner and after a few minutes it's back in full operation!

Now I need to get a midi cable and see if I can get it talking to my mac...
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.
Post Comment!
VSE Rating


User Rating

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

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.