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
Maikel Yeremy
December 9, 2009 @ 12:52 am
Solid, cheap polysynth. Don't get it for over $300 - you'll be sorely ripped.

Pros: easy quick editing, pitch-stable, has pulse width modulation, has an additional vibrato LFO aside from the assignable LFO, has a do-able arpeggiator.

Cons: no portamento, stepped settings of no more than 8 ~ 16 settings per parameter, DCO's are a little sterile and the waveshapes get crunchy above 2khz, reliability is in question because of age. The 'CHORD MEMORY' mode is just not that great...would've been better if it was a poly chord memory and reduce the polyphony as more voices are used, or at least include a unison detune setting.

Suggestion to replace this synth: Oberheim Matrix 6.
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.
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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
  • Resources & Credits
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