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Korg M1




Korg m1
  audio demo trend price : 200€
manual schematic.zip factory patch demo video comments

Music Workstation (1988)


The M1 is world's top selling with even more units sold than Roland D-50 or Yamaha DX-7. The M1 syntesizer represents most of the nineties music from world to dance.


music workstation

m1 edit

info KEYBOARD (weight: 13 Kg) 61 velocity keys with aftertouch.
Main panel features a 16 X 40 display, 33 push buttons and 1 data slider, on the left side a single joystick for pitchbending and Sweep Filter modulation control.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- PCM card slot
- headphones out
- Midi interface
- Main out
- AUX out
- 1 damper pedal input
- 2 pedal inputs assignable to program change, start-stop, bypass or cutoff.

edit VOICES cpu NEC-V50 (part of 70216 family) manages 16 voices polyphony based on 16 bit AI System subtractive synthesis - M1r DAC is a Burr Brown PCM 54HP.

STRUCTURE: a basic patch is composed by 1 or 2 PCM (single/double) samples with individual settings:
- pitch detune
- stereo panning
- volume
- delay start.

NEC V50 diagram



waves WAVETABLE 4 Mb ROM contains 149 waveforms organized in 3 categories:

A - 75 PCM acoustic: acoustic instruments including strings, violins, sax and piano
B- 44 PCM drum: percussions and chromatic
C- 30 PCM DWGS: pre-calculated mathematically generated waves like additive harmonic, vocal formants and traditional basic waves like sine, saw or pulse.
TECH: DWGS were originally developed on previous model Korg DW-8000.




waves EX UPGRADE standard wavetable can be expanded to EX with further 4 Mb PCM, in this case the rackmount became M1EX (EX upgrade is factory native in successive T series).
Even more waveforms can be added using Korg M1 PCM cards or others AI2 compatible Korg systems like Korg M3r or Korg Wavestation.
Here's the list of the official cards, but there are plenty more from third-part :

MSC-01S; MPC-01S Variety
MSC-02S;  MPC-02S Synth 1 FOR SALE!
MSC-03S;  MPC-03S Drums 1 FOR SALE!
MSC-04S;  MPC-04S Orchestra FOR SALE!
MSC-05S;  MPC-05S Piano
MSC-06S;  MPC-06S Fretted Instruments FOR SALE!
MSC-07S; MPC-07S Synth 2
MSC-08S; MPC-08S Percussion FOR SALE!
MSC-09S; MPC-09S Organ
MSC-10S; MPC-10S Ethnic 1
MSC-11S; MPC-11S Brass FOR SALE!
MSC-12S; MPC-12S Synth 3
MSC-13S; MPC-13S Ethnic 2 FOR SALE!
MSC-14S; MPC-14S Sound Effects
MSC-15S; MPC-15S Drums 2
MSC-16S; MPC-16S Environment

m1 cards

performance PERFORMANCE the COMBI mode manages up to 8 parts at the same time with individual parameter settings:
- aftertouch assignable to Cutoff / EG AMP / LFO pitch/ or LFO filter
- 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 6 EGs:
- VDA amplitude : OSC1 and OSC2 4 segments + 2 times
- VDF filter: OSC1 and OSC2 4 segments + 4 times
- Pitch EG: :OSC1 and OSC2 4 segments + 2 times.

lfo LFO
there are 2 delayed and syncable modulators (shapes: triangle, saw up, saw down and square) MGs:
1- MG1: modulates OSC1-OSC2 pitch
2- MG2: modulates filter VDF.


DSP manages a double 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.


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.

internal m1r

family EDIT: there are several editors for M1/M1r :
- Emagic Soundiver (out of business)
- Midiquest (commercial PC/MAC)
- M1LibEd (shareware, old PC) - SCREENSHOT
- M1 Manager (commercial, PC) - SCREENSHOT
- Caged m1 (now free, Atari ST)- SCREENSHOT

korg m1 editor



family Related M1R models:

related family

KORG M1R: expander dmoule version.

korg t series

KORG T series upgraded to EX memory, some versions can also import samples. VIDEO

KORG T1 (EX) (88-notes weighted piano keyboard)
KORG T2 (EX) (76-notes keyboard)
KORG T3 (EX) (61-notes keyboard)

korg m3r Korg M3R a slimmed m1 / m1 version with similar sound but different structure
Korg M01D Korg M01D a m1 software for the handheld console from Nintendo. VIDEO
Also Korg IM1 for Apple IOS VIDEO

VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION there are some free and commercial samples set:

  name price link demo
dexed VST plugin KORG LEGACY collection virtual VST plugin, along with:

free sample pack failed muso Free
piano samples
effet n/a
free m1 drum kit Hardballs Records free
39 drum samples
free drum set n/a
free m1 drum kit Hollow sun Commercial sample set
korg 01 set
effet n/a
M1 for KROME M1 for KROME FREE sound set for KORG KROME effet M1 for KROME
free m1r samples FREE "LORE" KOntakt sample FREE ! a gift from US korg m3r free sample N/A

demoAUDIO DEMO (no external PCM cards, no effects)

demo favourite : universe lore classic
demo favourite : quite modern !
demo favourite : retro house
demo favourite : performance fx
demo favourite : sinereverb
demo favourite : precint bass
demo piano: pianobar
demo piano: piano and flute performance
demo rhodes: plastic ep
demo organ: hammond b3
demo organ: pipe
demo string: pizzicato
demo brass: disco
demo celeste: plum me
demo celeste: magic stuff
demo bass: analog Sh101
demo bass: tb303
demo choir: relax
demo choir: chords
demo choir: another universe
demo choir: performance
demo synth: mystery
demo synth: syntbassy
demo synth: 8 bits
demo synth: vangelis
demo synth: high lfo
demo synth: delay pitch
demo synth: sequence filter
demo synth: crystal bell
demo synth: suspence
demo synth: whistle
demo synth: panning
demo synth: digital oldies
demo synth: choir DWGS
demo synth: bells and pads
demo pad: hyper flanger
demo pad: with modulation
demo pad: anklung
demo pad: also modulation
demo pad: clockwork
demo pad: traditional
demo percussion: anvil
demo FX: flanger and delay feedback
demo FX: reverb square
demo TRACK:Amiga shadow of the beast (all m1)*
TRACK:Amiga shadow of the beast 2(all m1)

*Shadow of the beast is a videogame from 1989 for Commodore Amiga, which music has been originally composed using samples form Korg M1 WIKI

effet Soundcloud M1

demo1 demo m1  



Korg M1 Demo Korg M1 presets Korg M1 Workstation
Demo presets Shadow of the beast M1 mix

korg m1 workstation










korg m1 factory reset

Just load the factory card MPC00P or EX. There is no ROM recall





original scan





To know your M1 version just hold INT while turning on the module. The os is the number after the "#"




original scan




original scan



original scan


buy m1 memorry cards





korg m1r for saleCHECK OUT EBAY OFFERS





m1 display m1 motherboard Korg m1 close up


- Classic
- today bargain price


- filter
- some PCm
-fx unit


REVIEW "M1 today sounds maybe a bit outdated but still fascinating and a very programmable machine with character and dynamics in the mix. "



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


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korg m1 4 out of 5 based on 33 ratings. price €150
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