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. It has a very dirty sharp sound much like the Yamaha DX7. This is good if you are into the lo-fi sound of electronica. 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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89 Visitor comments
danik
March 13, 2011 @ 8:30 pm
For its price, if found in good condition it is a GREAT synth. The polyphony really cuts it for those 80s pads and lead sounds. DCO2 is somewhat crappy if set to triangle, but can be useful at times, especially with the detune parameter, who needs chorus? This guy is FAT! The filter is pretty dirty in a good way, and the envelope is classic ssm2056-sounding ;) Programming is not that hard, but since I already removed the battery, I'd prefer to get rid of the preset system and go with the analog-controls-mod, seems easy enough. Could use an oscillator level control, though... oh well.
JoeXtinct
February 5, 2011 @ 4:30 pm
Love my Poly61, so much that I pimped it out with a custom UV paint job and screenprint. I take it only us Poly 61 owners know how bad [beep] this machine really is. Programming is actually very stright forward and not complicated at all, plus the joystick rocks. You can take your Poly 61 to the next level with parameter knob and switch mods, like that one guy has it on youtube. Interestingly, this beut is trading at rock bottom prices (even less then the Poly800) at times on Ebay.
Mykringo
January 31, 2011 @ 4:28 am
Just picked up a poly 61 at auction in Sydney for $15 Australian. Most keys weren't working but after pulling the keyboard apart and cleaning up the rubber pads most keys are now working. I see some comments about a kit for rejuvinating the rubber pads, how effective is this and any ideas where to pick a kit up in Australia?
Simon Davidson
January 21, 2011 @ 11:41 am
the first synth I ever bought back in 1990, loved it
Eple
January 17, 2011 @ 7:04 am
I've been on the hunt for an affordable, preferably broken Polysix for a solid month, however a Poly-61 dropped into my lap for the grand ol' price of free. Not knowing what to make of it, I was legitimately surprised by its character once I plugged it in and started playing it; It's dirty, un-refined grittiness is simply awesome. It's a fantastic, and very underrated synth - that and I guarantee you'll love the arpeggiator.
 
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  • 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 - 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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