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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47 Visitor comments
Juan Andres
October 22, 2009 @ 10:29 pm
It was my 1st synth and I still use it. One of the best seq inside a synth! Great strings and the possibilities of combi sounds has no limits... Besides the X3 I use a DW-8000, a MS2000B and Recently bought a Yamaha AN1x. I use them all live togheter and in real time, and now I'm looking for a Roland JP8000 to complete my hell gear :)
If you own a X3 don't sell it...
Bendor Blackwolf
September 27, 2009 @ 6:13 pm
After playing many keyboards from all types and times, from an ancient analog moog trough all and the almighty Roland Fantom-G, Yamaha Motif, Korg's TR, Triton, and M3,50 (and so on..)
When I played my first chord on the X3, I was shocked!
Didn't know what to expect, a device so old, has the best Strings sound
that I've ever heard!! and the best Accordion and church organ!
and it sounds real crappy in the Electro sounds...
It's as if this instrument was made for Metal music.
As a Metal keyboardist I've purchased it right away!
Even threw away my Korg X50 for it, and I barely touch my Roland Fantom now, I mostly use the X3 for everything!
It has a great feel in the keyboard itself, and the aftertouch reacts real fun, the sounds are fat and big, barely need compression to get out all the meat of it!
The only thing I'm gonna add to my gear is a 88 key MIDI controller,
to add more octaves to the X3's range.
The X3 is the best synth for Metal ever made.
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!!!
VSE Rating

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User Rating

Rated 3.7 (281 Votes)

  • 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 - 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
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Thomas Kolb and

    Thanks to Phil Young for providing info.

    Reviewed December 2007.

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