Korg X3

Korg X3 Image

The nineties update to the legendary M1. Launched in 1993, it expanded on what made the M1 such a great machine and featured a range of solid, entirely usable sounds. The Strings and Basses are exceptionally good, although truly analog sounding sweeps and pads are not what this machine was about. The X3 (and subsequent X-series models that came after it) was designed as a middle-weight workstation, with the warmer and more powerful 01/W series taking the reins as Korg's premiere ROMpler workstation of the early nineties.

The X3 is based around 6 MB of 16-bit multi-samples, with basses, guitars, strings, drums, pads and much more. You can even add more PCM sounds to the synth, but additional PCM cards are expensive and/or hard to find.

Korg X3R Image

Korg X3R

Detailed editing and a flexible sequencer make this machine more than capable of running a MIDI rig if you are averse to PC based sequencing. If you can live without large touch sensitive screens or resonant filters, then you will find the X3 packs more punch than you may imagine. A rewarding synth to own, even 10 years down the line. What it lacks in instant hands-on tweak-ability and cutting edge sounds, it makes up for in the ultimately usable range of sounds. It has been used by Vangelis.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Korg X3? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

45 Visitor comments
September 7, 2009 @ 7:17 pm
I can remember when I bought the X5 and a friend asked why not the X3. Good question at that time, but a bit silly in hindsight. The ps/2 midi interface in the X-series was wonderful, and the X5 had all the features and sounds of her big brothers. I sold it a couple of years later to get an Alesis QS6.1,but the X5 was in huge demand in heavy metal circles even this millenium. The Korg X-series were definitely good stuff, I had to buy an 05r/w later for the sounds and memories.
September 6, 2009 @ 12:06 pm
lost all my softwear to load my x3 with different sounds any one knows where I can purchase them
Marcus The Pianist
June 30, 2009 @ 4:46 pm
THIS IS MY FAVORITE KEYBOARD OF ALL TIME!!! I'M STILL MAD AT MYSELF FOR GIVING MINE AWAY!! I WANT ONE BACK!! This keyboard didn't give as much "gritt" as the O1/W...But this board held it's own against all the flagships!!! The fact that floppy disk drive was on the side was a great "cosmetic appealence" to me. (all the other boards had their drives underneath the joystick). It has a GM bank wich was also great. The main piano patch was never redone in the newer boards like the SG piano as well as the M1 piano was. That [beep] s!! (talkin about the Tritons the M3s that aways kept an M1 piano in their banks). To me..this board was in a class of it's own.....and that's why I love it to this day!!!
April 15, 2009 @ 8:19 am
The X3 was my first "professional" synth / workstation, I got it when I was 14-15 years old around 1993-1994 I think. I remember being really impressed by the "smoky" sax Combi patch, the pads and the basses. The piano (preset) [beep] ed pretty bad. The sequencer was also really useful in putting down song ideas.

You can totally hear the fretless pick bass preset from the X3 (well, it's from Triton, but the basic sound character is there) on Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body"!! The VERY EASILY recognized drum sounds can also be heard on a lot of the tracks The Neptunes produced.
March 19, 2009 @ 10:29 am
Can I say that this is a digital synth that has an analog thickness in some of the patches. I have this in my setup and have been using it since the late 90's. Too bad the some keys are dead. The newer KORGs got lots of fantasy sounds. But this is the workhorse.
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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 - 32 voices (16-part multitimbral)
  • Oscillators - 32 Osc: 6MB PCM waveforms
  • Effects - 47 Digital multi-effects: reverb, delay, overdrive, EQ, chorus, rotary speaker, and more.
  • LFO - None
  • Filter - Digital Lowpass Filter, velocity sensitive (non-resonant)
  • VCA - Digital Amplifier with 4-stage ADSR envelope generators
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with Velocity, Aftertouch, Multi, Layer, Split modes
  • Sequencer - 16-Track, 10,000 Notes, 9 Songs.
  • Memory - 200 user programs, 200 user combis
  • Control - MIDI In / Out / Through (16-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1993

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