Korg Z1

Korg Z1 Image

The Z1 is like a polyphonic Prophecy housed in a full sized and featured Trinity workstation-like casing! It does all the analog sounds and more. This is a great analog modeling synth with 12-voice polyphony, thirteen waveforms, four LFOs, two resonant filters, two effects units and more. The ability to create unique sounds is endless. The factory patches could use some help, but overall the sound is very nice! It has a fully polyphonic arpeggiator that blows all others away. It has five preset arpeggio patterns and fifteen user patterns. Unfortunately there is no on-board sequencer. There is incredible real-time control available with knobs to control the two resonant filters, and a touch controlled 'XY' pad for tweaking patches in real-time. The Z1 is used by KMFDM, Gary Numan, LTJ Bukem and Orbital.

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88 Visitor comments
December 6, 2009 @ 6:19 am
Part 1/2

I dont really get why people say its difficult to program. you have seperate buttons for each section (Osc, filter, mixer, LFOs, enverlopes, FX, amp etc) which houses a large screens layout of multiple perameters, controlled via 5 context knobs. each part is layed out in a simple fashion. the only real thing I found "difficult" about its programing is the sheer amount of perameters there aviailible to tweek (which is REALLY no bad thing)

2 moss Osc's with 13 types, a very well featured noise generator & Sub Osc, 2 multimode filters, 4 LFO's, 4 Enverlopes (tho its actually 5! as the amp stage has a dedicated ADSR) ARP, a modulation list as long as your arm, & a butt load of controllers (pitch, mod, X-Y ribbon, 5 soft knobs, 17 dedicated knobs, aftertouch, big screen thats well laid out. 6 part multi (so you can stack a VL string & horn section!) -
December 6, 2009 @ 6:18 am
Part 2/2

there are a few minor gripes tho. the FX implimentation is a bit stupid in multi-mode, 2 insert FX which are fed by a single send (not so bad) & 1 global reverb/delay & EQ which is applied to everything (this is bad).

this synth DOES sound digital & stale... IF! you dont know how to program it. start assigning controllers & modulation to different things & all the patchs come alive.

people often get VL synthesis wrong, as they expect it to be just an all singing all dancing acoustic emulation with no work. the fact is, its a synth emulating a REAL PHYSICAL instrument. so to get the nuances & beauty out of them, you have to actually feed the model playing infomation, like velocity, ribbon controller & aftertouch manipulations. THEN this thing comes ALIVE like no typical subtractive VA can!

its a beautifull synth caperble of a litrual limitless sound palate. you just have to provoke it ;)
Alex Mac
October 23, 2009 @ 5:14 am
Just bought one off ebay for a couple of hundred quid. It was damaged and scratched but a few days with sandpaper, glue and silver paint and it's as good as new.
People say its hard to program but I've never heard such great sounds so it's worth the effort. Site proudly next to my Triton.
The controls are great too especially the abundance of knobs and x-y pad.
Awsome sounds especially if you upload the dance sounds available off the Korg site.
I had a sequenced apr groove running in no time.
Forget the overpriced EXB-MOSS card for the triton, feed this through the Tritons effects and you have an aditional 6 notes of polyphony plus all the controls and keyboard and a great arpegiator too.
Neven Dayvid
October 15, 2009 @ 7:09 pm
Not so much difficult but extremely annoying to program. It is one of those synths that look great in the printed ads, but fail to deliver. The cheapskate knobs, the partially illogical interface...
While the synthesis is absolutely stunning, the effects are just as substandard, so you wish you could just rip the fx processor out and chuck it in the bin.
I did record with it and totally loved a few sounds, but all in all it felt like they had to be extruded from a quagmire of mediocrity.
Maybe they were attempting too much too soon. A (just a little too) flawed masterpiece.
Daniel Westin
October 15, 2009 @ 7:02 pm
this synth is also used by Michael Cretu of enigma and Sandra...
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.44 (1351 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 - 12 voices (expandable to 18)
  • Oscillators - 2 osc (13 types including pulse, saw, tri, sine, organ, electric piano, piano, brass, reeds, strings, more) 1sub-osc, noise
  • LFO - 4 LFOs; 18 waveforms including sine, tri, saw, square, sample/hold, stepped
  • Filter - Resonant low, hi, dual band pass
  • Effects - 2 effect units with 15 effects including Reverb, Parametric EQ, chorus, phaser, flanger, rotating speaker, overdrive, auto-wah, talkbox, decimator, compressor
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch
  • Memory - 256 patches, 32 multis
  • Control - MIDI (6 parts)
  • Date Produced - 1997
  • Resources & Credits
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    Thanks to Jason Clubb and Scott Denison for providing information.

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