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
November 9, 2009 @ 5:27 am

I know this problem and it is solved pretty easy!
When you open the case of the Poly-61 there is a big connector on the main board (on the left) that has got a few empty holes. This connector must have been places unproperly. Just loosen it and fit it in the right place. Everything should sound normal again!

I had this problem a few months ago when I worked at my own Poly-61.

Hope this helps you!
Ali MC
October 30, 2009 @ 10:41 pm
Heya, I got given one of these but I can only get it to emit a strange highpitch sound... is that because the battery has died? I have read online the batteries need to be replaced and then the sounds re-uploaded via tape... can anyone help me with more info about this? I'm not much of a synth person at all but would love to get this thing going... Cheers!!
October 27, 2009 @ 12:35 am
does anyone know where i can get one, i need one badly! here is my email, incase anyone can help, this is THE keyboard that is missing in my rig, I have a Moog LP Stage ii, a Micro Korg, and alot of soft synths for my electro dance project called "The Warning" this would def add a dark 80's feel to the mix, just what I need, anyone can help EMAIL: EdwardDelavilla_3@msn.com
October 12, 2009 @ 6:16 am
I have a Korg Poly61 and have just replaced the blue battery that helps keep the presets,now I have to track down (hopefully at minimal cost) a rescue disc or tape for re-loading the data for the presets,can anybody help,please.....?

September 24, 2009 @ 8:03 pm
This is a great (and very underrated) polysynth that produces some stunning sounds. It's capable of amazing pads and arpeggiator sounds, which is what I mostly use it for. I don't like it as much for leads, though it can produce some great basses.
It's mono, so it's a good idea to team it up with a chorus for lush pads. Poly 61 + Electroharmonix Stereo Polychorus has turned out to be a great combination for me. Thinking about it, the chorus was actually more expensive than the synth... It's a freaking steal!
The Poly obviously has its flaws and shortcomings. Aside from the lack of knobs, the limited resolution of some parameters (resonance and envelope stages in particular) can be a pain. Having a sub oscillator and glide would also make it even more useful. But overall, it's a great sounding analog polysynth at an unbelievable price. Bargain alert!
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  • Check Price
  • 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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