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Korg M1R



korg m1r rack expander
audio demo trend price : 150-200€
manual schematic.zip factory patch demo video comments

KORG M1R (1988)


Rack version of the best-seller workstation M1 with exactly same characteristics.

Today, is the M1r still worth to be in a modern recording studio?

korg m1

music workstation

info RACK (weight: 6 kg) 2 units
The main panel features a 16 * 40 display , 36 buttons and a main data pot encoder for value editing.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- Midi interface,
- main out
- AUX out (stereo or mono + mono)
- 2 pedal inputs assignable to program change, sequencer start-stop, FX Bypass, filter cutoff and data entry.

Frontal panel terminal connectors:
- headphones
- card slot for data and PCM


edit VOICES main core is a NEC-V50 manages 16 digital oscillators based on 16 bit AI System subtractive synthesis.
A basic patch is composed by either:
- single mode: 1 PCM per oscillator
- double Mode: 2 PCM per oscillator
The oscillator features some edit functions like detune, pan, volume and variable start offset.
diagram diagram

waves WAVETABLE hold a 4 Mb ROM, 149 waveforms split in 3 main sounds groups:
1- acoustic: sampled traditional instruments including strings, violins, sax and piano.
1- drum: 50 PCM percussions and one-shot drums.
2- DWGS: pre-calculated and mathematically generated PCM. Vast array of interesting waves such as additive harmonic, vocal formants and also traditional basic waves like sine, saw or pulse.
INFO: DWGS were originally developed on previous model DW-8000.


waves EX UPGRADE standard wavetable can be expanded to EX with further 4 Mb PCM.
Even more waveforms can be added using Korg M1 PCM cards or others 16 bits AI2 systems like Wavestation.
INFO: EX upgrade is factory native in successive T series.

performance PERFORMANCE
the COMBI mode manages up to 8 patches in the same time with individual parameter settings:
- Midi channel
- volume mix
- transpose
- detune
- zone split
- velocity split
- damper on filter

filter FILTER
section is the VDF Variable Digital Filter is a non-resonant lowpass filter with Keytrack function.

adsr ENVELOPE there are 6 EG in total:
- AMPLITUDE VDA: OSC1 and OSC2 4 segments + 2 times
- FILTER VDF: OSC1 and OSC2 4 segments + 4 times
- PITCH EG:OSC1 and OSC2 4 segments + 2 times


lfo LFO
section features 2 modulators MG:
- MG1: modulates OSC1-OSC2 pitch
- MG2: modulates filter VDF
Both LFO features 4 waveforms: triangle, saw up, saw down and square.
Some extra modulations parameters include delay-start, modulation synch and variable depth.

fx EFFECT the M1r DSP manages 2 X 16-bits sound processors combined in parallel or serial mode.
There are mainly 9 effect categories:
- reverb
- delay
- overdrive
- equalizer
- chorus
- rotary speaker
- phase shifter
- frequency exciter
- flanger

memroy MIDI
limited CC# implementation but the exclusive systems are complete.
TIP: the MINDSCOPE function is a neat too for incoming events monitoring.

works in both real-time or step notes mode (quantizing up to 1/48 resolution) and manages 8 tracks.

scales SCALES
one microtonal user-free slot + 4 ROM presets:
- equal temp 1-2
- pure major-minor

memroyMEMORY holds up to:
RAM: 100 patches
RAM: 100 combi
RAM: 10 songs + 100 patterns 4400 notes (7700 reducing memory balancing between patch- combi).
Sounds can be saved using special MCR03 card.

TIP: internal battery is a CR2032 with holder, it is quite common and easy to replace.

korg m1 battery

internal m1r

family EDIT: there are several editors for m1/m1r like Soundiver, Midiquest or older Caged m1 for Atari St.

internal m1r

family Related M1R models:

related family

KORG M1: 61 keys keyboard version
KORG T1 (EX) (88-note weighted piano keyboard)
KORG T2 (EX) (76-note keyboard)
KORG T3 (EX) (61-note keyboard)


cards audio demo

effet Soundcloud M1r

demo1 demo m1  


m1r ATARI Notator with Korg M1R KORG M1R EX
M1r demo ATARI Notator with Korg M1R KORG M1R EX

rackmount m1r


Wiseman says:

download for free:

- Factory sounds

- M1 schematics



original scan




original scan





buy m1 memorry cards





isnide M1r main board Korg m1r close up


- Classic
- bread'n butter
- today bargain price


- limited filter
- some PCM


"Compact M1 version .
today some sounds may be a bit outdated, but still an interesting. Programmable machine with character and dynamics in the mix. "


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all snapshots*, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci

korg m1r 4 out of 5 based on 33 ratings. price €150