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.

47 Visitor comments
Erick Pastrano
January 17, 2011 @ 10:54 am
This is in response to "EB" from 11-1-2010: I too had that problem with my Korg X3. The problem is the battery which is low or has no more juice to carry the memory. If you have not done so, you will need to replace or have someone replace the battery inside of the unit. Once that has been replaced, you will need another similiar or better korg unit to copy sound patches using midi plugins. This is where you will need to utilize the midi dump feature from the borrowing unit to your Korg X3. Ying King San Antonio, Tx
Shawn G.
January 8, 2011 @ 12:33 am
This was my first workstation and I made my first masterpeice of a song on this thing.I gave it away last year too another young and upcoming producer. I have other workstatons and synths but this thig was my heart and soul from 1994 too 2002.
November 16, 2010 @ 8:07 am
This was my second synth and the first one with a sequencer. I worked for months to get it, thinking it was some sort of O1/W bargain. It was not that good, but the X3 was exactly what I needed back in 1993. Usable sounds, easy to use and a very good sequencer. I learned how to make music in the tiny LCD... and accomplished some really cool songs a la Aphex Twin. It is a pity that the filter is just rubbish, and that many of the sounds were poor "real instrument" samples. Because when a patch is well programmed this synth is capable of very very lush results. Some of the pad sounds I downloaded somewhere are excellent and really fat.

A few years later I bought a Korg z1. I was blown away. It is three times fatter. But the X3 had its purpose back then. It was my entry synth into sequencing, it was kind of affordable and it sounded good. It also had a floppy which was amazing if you didn't have a computer.
November 1, 2010 @ 5:48 am
Hey Guys, I have KORG X3, something is wrong with it. Whenever i will turn on my piano, on the BANK A, it has ang instruments or name like "SUNRISE" (etc) on the first . but recently, all of these names/instruments had change and turn INITPROG01, INITPROG02 and so on. How will i restore it on default? pls help me guys, i really need your help.
September 1, 2010 @ 9:16 am
This had the typical Korg sound started by the korg M1. It was a very good price and really well made as virtually all korg products are.

Good synth sound and editting enough to have a go at. But with LCD screen very slow!
I think this would be a bargain second hand as it has the trade mark korg sound.
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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 - 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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