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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90 Visitor comments
May 30, 2009 @ 5:03 am
This is one of the most underrated synths out there. sure the level of control isn't brilliant but little features like the chord hold facility when used in conjunction with the arpeggiator gets some great results. I actually did get mine for nothing but - yep you've guessed it - I had to get the keys fixed first. Grab one if you get the chance.
Siebe Pol
May 6, 2009 @ 3:58 pm
It's possible to add midi to the Poly-61. Check my youtube clip:

I used this link: http://www.angelfire.com/geek/srlabs/p6retro.html

Greeting from The Netherlands
April 28, 2009 @ 3:57 pm
i own 2 of them,if you keep the filter quite close you can obtain sounds much more smooth than juno106.Using the (simple but useful) arpeggiator or the hold function is a pleasure and tra nsforms very much the sounds.Unbeatable and peculiar organ sounds ,but use always a chorus at the output.Only 1 true minus:Rubber contacts of the keyboard that you can't find when thy are old
April 26, 2009 @ 10:39 am
This synth was the start of my keyboard collection. It was not my first synth per se - I owned one of those awful Casio VL-1 as a kid - but it sparked my interest. Soundwise, this excels at dirty and cheezy sounds and I'd rank it ahead of the Poly800. Control-wise this is not a very fun synth due to the lack of knobs, but then that was the trend at the time. While a Juno-106 would blow this out of the water, for the $150 AUD that I got this for its a real steal. Certainly not a classic but definitely underrated, I'll never get rid of mine if I can help it.
March 5, 2009 @ 6:41 am
Just acquired one of these. You can tell it came out around the same time as the Juno 60 as the back panel is almost identical. It doesn't sound too different to a Juno 106 imho. The great thing I've just discovered is that the arpeggio trigger in works through my 60's DCB midi box so I've been able to midi sync the arpeggio.
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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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