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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90 Visitor comments
December 3, 2013 @ 7:02 am
in the lows and mids it really sounds like a dx with added resonant filter. but it hasn't got the clear high mids and programming flexibility. better get a dx.
October 31, 2013 @ 9:17 am
This synth does indeed have a full digital OSC. It's osc nb 2, it is 4 bit digital. This second osc gives some digital tone to this synth (and also alias inplenty with full open filter.
October 1, 2013 @ 8:15 pm
I would agree, this review is completely wrong. It sounds NOTHING like a digital DX-7. lol. It is able of creating vary harsh cutting sounds though, as well as great warm pads. Running it through a decent Chorus unit or plug-in really makes it shine like a Juno-106/60 but has two DCOs A VERY UNDERRATED SYNTH. Kenton's MIDI kit gives it some nice updates and control of Arp sync, time division, and some limited CC control of the filter. But the kit cost more than the synth itself.
Paul Smith
August 11, 2013 @ 3:48 pm
This review is pure garbage - look elsewhere for a pro review. This synth has no relationship whatsoever to the digital DX7. This analogue synth sounds as different as could be and programming is COMPLETELY different. Seriously BAD review by a DX7 lover I think, or somebody who has no experience of either synth.
April 8, 2013 @ 12:44 pm
Recently bought a midi version from ebay out of curiosity. I owned a juno 106 and sold it before buying this one and I have really been enjoying it. Ive been using it in mixes more than i thought i would. I sound even better using on board fx in abelton live. Its not a jupiter 6 or monopoly that I own but it has its own character that you might be interested in. I could have been my lack of programing knowledge when I owned a juno 106 but to my ear the poly61 is all around more appealing to my ears.
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Rated 4.37 (1079 Votes)

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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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