Korg Poly-61

Korg Poly-61M Image

The Korg Poly-61 was released in 1982 as the successor to the Polysix. It was somewhat of a step up from the Polysix, as it has 2 DCOs for better reliability. It also retained the arpeggiator of the Polysix. The Poly-61 can provide cool gritty basses or trippy analog sounds and fx.

Korg Poly-61M Image

Also added is the familiar Korg joystick, which can be used to modulate the VCO or the VCF. However, its filter only has 7 steps of resonance and is not as fat as the Polysix's filter. It also uses the same method of programming the Poly-800 and Yamaha DX-7 use, so it's not a very useful synth for real-time-tweaking junkies. The first Poly-61s didn't have MIDI, but the Poly-61M released in 1984 corrects this. Overall, the Poly-61 is still a decent synth, and it can be acquired for practically nothing! It has been used by FM Static and The Faint.

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92 Visitor comments
Jens
August 16, 2014 @ 7:05 pm
Top those who say "but it sounds nothing like a DX7":

You guys seriously need to work on your reading comprehension skills. All that is said is that "It also uses the same method of programming the Poly-800 and Yamaha DX-7 use, so it's not a very useful synth for real-time-tweaking junkies. ", meaning its patch-programming is menu-based, quite unlike the hands-on approach on its predecessor, the Polysix. This of course has got nothing to do with the type of synthesis, synthesizer-architecture, sound, analog vs. digital, yadda yadda yadda.

Learn to read, really!
Lamster
August 3, 2014 @ 4:20 pm
I was playing mine the other night.
I paid £50 and the one I sold a year or 2 ago for £320 i paid £32.
Sounds Great very Analog an alternative to Juno60, JX3 and Polysix
I like analogs not current prices nearly all in need of some type of repair.
Or have parts missing broken that can't be replaced.
If you are going to pay £500+ these are now fetching on ebay make sure it has midi fitted or is Poly61M version make sure it has been refurbished.
Go see it before parting with cash even get the seller to open it up to look inside
I like cheap analogs Just got an AX73 for £60 HA Ha
Paul
June 18, 2014 @ 10:20 pm
One of the best combinations: a Poly 61 and an EHX Deluxe Electric Mistress. The epic flange that is achieved with just the initial setting when the synth is turned on is awesome. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless. Highly recommend this pair.
Tim Cracknell
April 18, 2014 @ 9:37 am
It plays very much like it's successor the Poly 800. The Poly 61 was also used by Ray Parker Jnr for the main synth lead on "Ghostbusters"
MLucas
February 13, 2014 @ 1:46 pm
I played a Poly 61-M and a DX-7 'back in the day' often on the same recordings, and they weren't at all similar. The Poly 61-M was not an FM synth -- it wasn't difficult to program and I used my own programs almost exclusively. I used it for leads, pads, that sort of thing and the DX-7 more for the FM pianos, or special effects like bells. It was not entirely trustworthy, I often performed shows with the screws removed so I could get under the hood if needed. Also the MIDI implementation was not good, so, if memory serves, it could only be assigned one channel in a sequence.
 
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  • 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 - 6 Voices
  • Oscillators - DCO1:sawtooth, pulse, and square; DCO-2: sawtooth, square
  • LFO - 1 LFO can modulate the DCOs or the Filter
  • Filter - 1 lowpass filter w/ ADSR
  • Memory - 64 patches
  • VCA - ADSR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator with external sync
  • Effects - Chorus
  • Control - MIDI (on later Poly-61M models)
  • Date Produced - 1982 - 1986
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