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Korg M1



Korg m1


audio demo trend price : 150€
manual schematic.zip factory patch demo video comments

KORG M1 (1988)


The M1 is world's top selling with even more units sold than Roland D50 or Yamaha DX7 and represents most of the nineties music from world to dance.

OK its' legendary but... M1 still worth a buy?

music workstation

m1 edit

info KEYBOARD (weight: 13 Kg) is mainly made out of sturdy steel frame and pretty heavy with 61 keys with Velocity and Aftertouch assignable to Cutoff / EG AMP / LFO pitch/ or LFO filter. The frontal panel features a 16 * 40 display with retro-backlight and contrast adjustment, 1 data slider for value editing, a slot for DATA card and 33 push buttons.On the left side a single joystick for Pitchbending (12 semi tones range ) and Sweep Filter modulation control.
Back panel terminal connectors: PCM card slot, headphones out, Midi interface, Main out plus another AUX pair (stereo or mono + mono) and 3 pedal inputs one for DAMPER and 2 freely assignable to program change Up-Down, sequencer start-stop, effect BYPASS, filter cutoff, data entry or effect parameter controls.

ac Power supply is internal.

edit VOICES up to 16 digital oscillators based on 16 bit AI System subtractive synthesis.
A basic patch is composed by 1 (the Single mode) or 2 (the Double Mode) detunable digital oscillators OSC1+ OSC2 with variable Octave range and Coarse. Each Oscillator has a PCM waveform assigned from the wavetable and this waveform can be read ad variable memory offset or start-delayed.

wavesWAVETABLE internal ROM 4 Mb size counts 149 different waveforms split in two main sounds groups:
-Acoustic sampled traditional instruments strings, violins, sax, piano + 50 PCM percussions and drums.
-DWGS mathematically generated PCM pre-calculated waves such as additive harmonic, Vocal Formants, plus digital basic derived from standard analogs synthesizers such as traditional analog Sine, Saw or Pulses.

performance PERFORMANCE these are the COMBINATION manages 8 patches with individual Midi channels, Volume mix, Transpose, Detune, Zone Split, Velocity Split and Damper on filter.

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


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

lfo LFO section features two modulators MG: MG1 modulates OSC1-OSC2 Pitch while MG2 modulates VDF.
Each LFO has 4 waveforms (Triangle, SawUp, SawDown and Square) with variable Depth intensity and Key-Sync retrig function with Delay Start parameter.

fxEFFECT section includes two digital DSP sound processor at 16 bits resolution with two standard routing modes: Parallel and Serial that features editable presets Reverb / Delay / Overdrive / EQ / Chorus /Rotary Speaker (Leslie) / Phase Shifter / Frequency Exciter / Flanger. diagram

memroy MIDI limited Control changes implementation, but the exclusive systems are complete.

edit SEQUENCER features 8 tracks sequencer up to 10 songs, 100 patterns 4400 notes (7700 reducing memory balancing between patch / combi).
The sequencer works in real-time or step-notes mode (quantisizing at 1/48 resolution).

scales SCALES section offers 4 presets Equal Temp 1-2, pure Major-Minor + 1 Microtonal user-free slot.

memroy MEMORY holds 100 patches + 100 Combi in RAM, NO ROM recall. Internal voice backup on lithium Cr-2032 or backup to a RAM card model MCR-03 must be a 256 Kb capacity as it is NOT compatible with previous 128 Kb MCR-02.

memroy UPGRADE Standard M1 model has 4 Mb of ROM that can be updated to EX status with an optional board, that means another 4 Mb for a total of 8 Mb. More waveforms can be added using external Korg M1/T1 PCM cards compatible with other 16 bits AI system like Wavestation, but a loop corrections are needed for some minor bytes differences in the header offset.
EX upgrade is factory native in successive T series.

korg m1 battery
M1 R battery replacement is such so easy! (click picture to zoom IN)


Related M1 models:

KORG M1r: rack mount version
KORG T1 (EX) (88-note weighted piano keyboard)
KORG T2 (EX) (76-note keyboard)
KORG T3 (EX) (61-note keyboard)

cards audio demo AUDIO DEMO


Korg M1 Demo Korg M1 presets Korg M1 Workstation
Korg M1 Demo Korg M1 presets Korg M1 Workstation




original scan


original scan




buy m1 memorry cards





m1 display m1 motherboard Korg m1 close up


- Classic !
- bread'n butter
- today bargain price


-limited filter
- some wavetable
-fx unit



"M1 today maybe a bit outdated sounds 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