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
November 21, 2009 @ 9:42 am
Hi people
Somebody knows how Brian Auger can produce a great organ sound with this keyboard in the Burdon-Auger Band during 90s
November 20, 2009 @ 8:24 pm
as for saving the sounds, try pressing write, then typing the program number to save to. perhaps you have figured this out already.
November 16, 2009 @ 2:48 am
The weak point of the Poly-61 are all the connectors that may not work properly after 25 years.

Here is a site of a friend of mine that has tons of information about this synth and its insides:

The forever
November 10, 2009 @ 12:24 pm
I have one of these synths and they are great,mine has a problem though-It will not save the sounds even when the power is switched on.
I press write and the led blinks I then press write again and hey presto the led goes off but sound does not save.
Anyone have any ideas?I have replaced the battery.
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!
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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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