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
May 16, 2010 @ 10:03 pm
With so many types of synthesis, the Z1 don't have a signature sound. It's up to you to decide how it will sound. It's like a synthesis swiss knife. Even if it has been released more than a decade ago, I still don't know how can I get a better synth in the current market. Only if it had individual outs!

An advice for those who think it sounds digital and sterile: You can link filter 1 with filter 2 (in serial mode) on the filter routing page. Yes, you'll loose the 2nd multi-mode filter, but your Z1 will sound very warm and analog. PWM can be achieved on the oscillator page; it's called 'Wave Form', and it can also be even applied to saw waves. If you want it to sound even more drifty, there's a random feature. So yes, it's possible to get a lively analog sound with a Z1.

It can take a while to figure out how to get the best out of this synth, but it really worths. Once you master it, other polysynths - analog or digital - are no longer a real temptation.
April 9, 2010 @ 8:12 am
I do not know what it is about the Z1. I keep putting it in my closet and then 2 weeks later I pull it out to use again. I just cannot let it go. The sounds it makes are hard to reproduced with any other synths. Yes it is a little digital sounding but wow the sound's it does make are fantastic. The XY pad puts motion and feeling into any patch. You can modulate everything with anything even modulate the modulators. Programing is not as bad as some people state and the most important functions (Filter cutoff, rez, env) are all on the front panel as realtime knobs. You also have 5 performance knobs that you can assign to multiple functions. The screen shows graphic views of the envelopes not just numbers. This may not be a true analog synth like my Prophet 08 and Moog Voyager but the sounds it does make are unbelivable. This keyboard is a keeper.
March 15, 2010 @ 9:06 pm
This synth was also used by Ed Rush & Optical.
January 16, 2010 @ 1:41 am
One of my favorite synths, over the years i owned a few(all digital), tg77, tg33, n364, nord lead2, wavestation, novation k, fantom x, v-synth...
Only kept Z1 and V-Synth. The synthesis is superb, fx are weak, interface is... totally stupid - no direct octave shift buttons?!! Crazy. No dial wheel either :( Buttons are crap, they begin to fail pretty soon. It's a shame Korg never improved or re-worked this idea (moss exb doesn't count).
Korg should continue Legacy software line with soft Z1, call it MOSSS.
January 6, 2010 @ 9:50 am
A destroyer, I feel intimidated by this synth, is there a sound it cannot make? I really like the sound but the interface kind of holds me back, I am not a big fan of menu-diving, it slows the workflow down and hampers the creativity, if there was some software editor available with all the parameters on one screen I would buy it without question.
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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
  • Images from

    Thanks to Jason Clubb and Scott Denison for providing information.

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