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
February 5, 2014 @ 7:08 pm
Teh Poly is NOTHING like a DX7!
It does not sound like one or play like one.
I have a DX and it has a better keybed by far, and is actually more user friendly since it has a tiny screen that shows patch names and params.
The Poly 61 and poly 800 simply have a numerical display.

On the plus side even the factory patches are better than any DX patch. I can get funky on the Korgs, but my DX sticks with 'lately bass' and a few buzz saw patches that work well with an ANALOG filter on them.
I know it is not a popular synth, but this review is absurd.
December 30, 2013 @ 9:55 pm
@Jim You are talking UTTER rubbish & I seriously doubt that you have ever heard a 61

Any mentions of any of the DX range should be ignored (removed) as this is ANALOG not digital and sounds completely different and has a radically different way of programming sounds. DX FM uses sine waves as sound source/modulator.

Poly 61 has digitally controlled (analog) oscillators and analog filterS (one per note)

Whoever owns this site should moderate it and remove all the CR@P about DX
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.
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 4.37 (1083 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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