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
February 26, 2013 @ 9:50 am
Bought a pristine P61M last September for 200 $. I was first disappointed as I found it rather thin compared to my Trident, but it finally found where it sounds at his best: all kind of ostinatis & arpegios. MIDI implementation is basic: notes and prog change, no more.
As other said, keep the battery under strict control: don't let it spreading its nasty guts on the boards, as it will litteraly eat the tracks.
February 13, 2013 @ 7:10 pm
The definition of underrated. Punchy envelopes, a super grainy 4 bit DCO2, and a discreet filter like the ms20 with a strong and haunting resonance gives this instrument a character of its own - sort of like the Jupiter 6. Far from the sound of Poly 800, this is a very gritty, analog sounding machine. If Korg had added a chorus/ensemble effect, I believe it would have been much higher in regard today. Still, push button programming is never optimal, but I feel it works well enough here. Too bad about the battery leakage, so beware.
February 3, 2013 @ 6:39 pm
my first ever synth. i loved it. man, you can get deep with this thing when you get in there.
i just loved making big deep dubby chords, ran through a guitar delay pedal.... super..
and that rpeg, oh yeah i loved that thing, throbbing dark grungy techy lines... and pads that go for ever... i loved the env, you can get some really long attack times...
i am most definitely on the hunt for another...
i regret loaning it out, for it never returned.
possibly one of the most underated synths ever...
D Djordjevic=Deian Mountbatten
January 19, 2013 @ 10:11 am
I haven't used my Poly-61 much in my music recording home studio anymore since 1988,it just couldn't compete against my Prophet,my OB-8 etc,and in 2002 when I still used to live in my former matrimonial house in Welling,I decided to give it away to an Elvis Presley impersonator who also lived in Welling. He thought it was better than being knocked dead with a golden microphone ... The Hammers! ;o)
www.myspace.com/sirdejandjordjevic www.myspace.com/ultravoxii
Regards,Sir Dejan Djordjevic,Basement Flat Rear,
189 Sandgate Road,Folkestone,Kent,CT20 2HJ,UK
January 17, 2013 @ 3:10 am
Takes some time the get inside this great sounding keyboard but once you have it sounds great and not in such a high price. Original sounds fits nicely for Techno and Jungle and the Chorus keeps it in the right way. Very good mostly for studio work.
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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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