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
groovechaser
August 23, 2009 @ 7:18 am
I love mine. For the price, you can't beat it. It produces some nice authentic 80's electro sounds. Hook it up to your fx processor and you have a monster! The only thing I noticed is the arpeggiator hesitates sometimes on certain notes and throws the timing off. It could be a glitch on mine.
Bishop
August 8, 2009 @ 6:31 am
Poly61 it's a very special keyboard.. for sure !
Amazing & dirty sharps analogs sounds out from this unit.
The only one problem (except rubbercontacts :-) I have
it's to sync it with Roland rythmbox like 606, the problem it's not 24/48 difference. Problem it's a 1/2 step delay response from the keyboard.
Anybody have another solution like buying a KPR 77 & sync it out with a 606?! Thanks
il
July 23, 2009 @ 10:58 pm
Nice but obviously the Polysix IS better (and more expensive) also the JX-3P is a nicer all round synth with better filters (Jupiter 8 ones!) and lovely roland chorus. If you are to choose between this and a JX-3P go with the Roland - better build and better looks. Korg always were a bit ugly AFTER the polysix (polysix looks nice!) and through the 80s. Their design dept was sadly lacking compared to Roland's
Funkberto
July 23, 2009 @ 7:05 pm
The Poly-61 appears in the JONZUN CREW's video "We are Jonzun Crew" (Only check it in Youtube)..
Geir Helgi Birgisson / hageir (on the forum)
July 20, 2009 @ 12:59 am
Wow,
another underrated synth!
This one's a true bargain right now.

The sound of the oscillators is so amazingly cool!
Especially the 2nd osc. which is this lo-fi 4-Bit Osc = AWESOME!
I wish osc. 1 had the option to turn it off, like osc. 2.. (Mod? Yes probably!)

"The unique sound if the Poly-61 is because under the hood, there is nothing at all like it. The fliters used were a run of SSM chips that were not produced very long and only used in a few devices."

This ^^^ is just awesome as well :)

Also, I think I can sync the arp with a constant Impulse-Machine click from my Machinedrum..
(If it's like the SH-101's syncable trigger input)

Anyways, awesome, awesome synth, DX-7 comparison is way beyond me, haha.
Thumbs up!
 
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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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