Korg M1
Korg M1

M1, Digital Synth from Korg in the M1 series.

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All user reviews of 5/5 for the Korg M1

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Average Score:3.9( 3.9/5 based on 26 reviews )
 10 reviews38 %
 9 reviews35 %
 4 reviews15 %
 2 reviews8 %
Value For Money : Poor
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Korg M1
The M1 is twenty years old now, and has a basic 16 channel midi implementation only, as well as pitch bend and modulation.It does have four outputs which isn't bad for an old synth and a card slot for extra sounds. The on board effects are probably it's best feature and the keyboard is also very nice to play if you can find one in good condition. I must say I've never really got into the sequencer on this thing as it's not easy to master and the lack of the beloved knobs and sliders is a shame, though the M1 was designed during a period of change in which digital synths took over the world.

price paid: 300.00 GBP


As mentioned the sequencer is pretty horrible, but the basic navigation and sound editing is a breeze. The only thing I would change is the sequencer with one that was a little more user friendly.


Well as you know this by todays standardsth M1 is an old school beast, but it still sounds great. It has been previously argued that korg rely heavily on effects for their sounds. This is true to an extent with the M1 but the effects are really pretty cool, and the overall combination of sample and effect is a good one. By modern standards your not going to be blown away by the presets, though the classic piano still sounds great and the organ still pops up on house and garage records from far and wide, plus in combi mode you can make some pretty monstrous sounds if your willing to persevere a little. For me the reason I have stuck with this synth and would buy another one if it died on me, is that it is so easy to make new sounds with very little effort. I understand that hip hop heavy weights The Neptunes use an old 0/1W as one of the main stays of their set up and I read that they make subtle changes to the presets to make new sounds. They do this by trying different internal effects or taking a standard patch like a piano and scrolling through the different wav forms and samples with the same synth parameters applied. This is what I have done for years with my M1, reason being that I always get results. I have some sounds on my M1 that you would never believe it could produce and the fact is, they were very easy to achieve. In terms of out and out sound 'quality' it's not capable of the lofty realms of sonic perfection you get with modern soft synths but to me that's no bad thing. The analogue outputs take the edge of it and it still sounds top notch, and can hold it's own in a professional environment with ease.


I have to say this thing is very well made, there are loads of them still around in full working order, mine has been gigged all over the UK, it's been dropped a couple of times and is still in good shape. I've never had it repaired though the internal battery died after about 19 years It cost me about £1.00 for a new one which was a bit of a git to fit, but after a bit of swearing and violence it went in fine.

Oh I love this thing, I just love it, maybe because it's now very familiar to me like an old jumper or pair of slippers, or maybe because it is just such a beast of machine. I love the way it plays, it's so easy to edit the sounds, it still looks pretty cool to me and it's solid as a rock and the effects are superb. Long live the Korg M1.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: breakbeat-cafe (January 0-, 2005)

sin's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Legendary M1!"

Korg M1
Workstation synth 61 keys velocity sensitive and aftertouch monaural.
Released in 1988.
16 voice polyphony, 8 part multi-timbral.
AI synthesis (2 CSOs, non-resonant two digital filters, 3 envelopes, 1 LFO, 2 digital multi-effects).
8 track sequencer, 10 songs, 100 patterns, 7700 notes.
100 programs and 100 combis editable memory. 100 and 100 combis progs additional card RAM / ROM.
M1 pitch stick: Pitch bend, modulation and modulation + Y-Y.
2 inputs for foot control / switch and one input for sustain pedal.
2 pairs of stereo audio outputs.
13.5 Kg


The use of M1 is really simple. This is also the first real workstation. And it is also the basis of the architecture of all other Korg synths next ... The M1 has 8 soft keys under the screen to access most often at all values ​​of a given page. For example, the default page selection presets (Korg programs), displays a kind of quick edit with the most critical parameters (balance CSOs, filter, envelope, effect level ...). Combi mode, these buttons select the preset to play in each of the eight parts ... Very convenient! It is possible to change the sound quickly without going into publishing (especially useful for cutting effects recording ;) ). Actually edit the sound is really not complicated, you can not get "lost" in M1. I also underlines the high quality of the keyboard (the same as the DX7) which allows him to take pride of place as a master keyboard in your config.


Almost ALL presets have their original tube ^ ^ From Madonna (Piano PROG I41 8 ") Depeche Mode via The Orb (PROG I00 Universe), everyone used to the sounds of the M1 ... And because , samples and sound serious character (which lacks a bit today on the PCM synthesizers) and effects are fatal for some time to see beautiful (Flanger, Phaser 2, Set ...). It possible to expand the sonic palette via pairs of cards adding PCM multi-samples and presets.
It is possible to accurately mimic acoustic instruments (a reference to the brass and flute ^ ^), but excels especially in mixing sounds of hammers to strings saturated in samples flanger analogs synths or play a little sound good digital multi-diluted ... A feast for the compo!


I use it for about 93. I've done several albums with and I love more!
It is one of those rare synths have changed how to create instruments with electronics. Just like a Mini Moog, a DX7 or D50 :)
In short, a classic to have!

Seith's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Not crazy not!"

Korg M1
Keyboard 61 keys very tough




Pooh disagree with the opinion below, except about the m1 is like the DX7 D50 or a legend.
not for those who spend their time paw on the number of sample per square meter.
The m1 has a very large bank syssex sounds very good and certainly not the piano multisample or the rope hear you pete and the trunk of the Steinway that opens with the squeaky hinge.
apart in the audio bumps (mode prog / combi) have much to do following your pattern, I love the pop eignthies dedious and its fit next to my nickel Wavestation EX, d-50, and when dx7IIfd even more recent of bikes I would change for reasons not his or xf grononos who do everything and anything .....
would do well to listen to albums such as Calling All Stations Genesis (after the departure of Collins, phew!) and also the solo albums collins elsewhere, and I could cite many other sounds or M1, Wavestation, d-50 etc ... recognize.
While it should not be the dominant synth but it has in the bank always the little sound that stands as the Wavestation also


so expensive 350 euros for an m1 but it was in a near new (remy thank you ...)
I could have paid me more, I love my rack but I wanted the keyboard
It is enthroned in the collective side of my comrades as popular .....

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Super!"

Korg M1
see other reviews


Easy to use!


see below


I just got the M1 not long ago ... For now I am just getting to know this synth!

And I must say that the sounds are superb!
Compared to many other synths (even newer), the sound is clear, clean, spatial (stereo), very professional, it "sounds" direct (thanks to the effects included).

I never get tired of scrolling the presets ... I feel that each preset reminds me of a half-dozen TV ad spot, generic, etc.. for which the M1-without doubt has been used for. It sounds direct, it is usable (for my taste) in a immediately in a piece, almost without touching anything.


jprintz's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"Sounds for those who have or want it!"

Korg M1
See what has been said before.


Easy navigation, 80s style, but to turn pages must access with the keypad. Each parameter set is visible on the screen, by category (filter, envelopes, oscillators, effects ...).


Sounds are agreeable like with any synth: on condition that we roll up our sleeves. Just one example: the remake of Queen's "Show Must Go On" in a round of hands from waveforms "saw", open the filter to 3 / 4, with an envelope pretty fast and short, not too much reverb and the effect "symphonic", slight detune osc between 1 and 2 and voila! Ah yes! Do not neglect the parameter "delay" on the Oscillator 2: 4 or 5, we get a slight phase shift which is by itself a nice chorus effect with acyclic absolutely superb!
Everything is valid or almost. Just let go and play!
I do not use the factory sounds. They impressed me at the time of its release, and I was somewhat baffled by the programmability (ergonomics typical 80s). Today, I program at 100%, virtually from scratch, and this is a  serious fact, and with pleasure I find more!
Think of the M1 as a synth in its own right, meaning that its boundaries and limits do not necessarily come from itself, rather think about your imagination and emotions that you want to restore. Reducing a  synth to its imitative abilities has always been nonsense. John McLaughlin had quite well understood leaving the album "Bello Horizonte" in there using the Prophet 5 as an instrument in itself. I do not compare the Prophet to the M1, but really any use of a musical synthesizer is noticeable every time ...


It is an old story, as usual, starting with a misunderstanding and a warm reunion. I would say that today it is a must, as the DX, the ESQ1 the Wavestation, etc. ...
Given the price, hurry up to buy all this stuff 80-90 years before it is useless, because I must say that in concert, the audience connected to it and it's nice to see and hear!

sonic75's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"Magnificent!"

Korg M1
Everything has already been listed. Mine is an expansion + one (very rare). Perfect for the times we are in 1988 ... Don't forget that some compare the M1 to actual complete workstations, which is completely, stupid.


Perfect for those days, 1988 ...


The sounds are not outdated, they are beautiful tablecloths and the leads are very powerful in creating their own sounds of course, some cool effects too. I do not talk about the factory sounds that can be heard too. The effects are just but sufficient!  It has a strong personality, a grain that we no longer hear.


Very good synth, sounds warm and powerful. Very strong, very beautiful appearance simple and original. As time passes we arrive at very satisfactory results. Those who buy it to "own" a Korg M1 and not looking further than the factory sounds they will be a little disappointed ...  When we see the comments of the type "the sounds of the M1 sounds like casino" I am shocked, really there are people who know nothing about synthesizers and the music and who still give their advice!
excess official05/11/2009

excess official's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Korg M1
Already listed by others,
see also the sites that refers to ...
Beautiful finishes, keyboard master reference today!


The M1 is the simplification of the synthesis par excellence ...

The ergonomic design is perfectly suited to its capabilities,
Everything is done to make it as musical as possible approach.

We feel that the musicians contribute to make this workstation (see references in the net), often compared with the Roland D-50:
In fact, even if the AI ​​synthesis of M1 is very close to the LA D-50 (but simpler, fewer parameters), we have two quite different instruments:
The M1 features a "double" multi-effects (such as a flanger + reverb, or more complex)
a system of combinations of sounds very intuitive, a small but very effective filter ...
A sequencer which will be useful if you use it other than to compose whole pieces.

The M1 is a reference to an ergonomic all-digital synthesizer!


The M1 sounds of beauty, a unique expression!
The original patches are great but very marked late 80's,

Of course, once programmed his desire, he may lose some of their Type 80's ...
I definitely want to stress that it is a synthesizer: a customizable tool!
I really feel that some did not understand that, and they just judge the pre-recorded sounds without having seen the potential of the instrument to create their own sounds.

The PCM's internal covers both the analog (square waveforms, etc ...) and acoustic instruments (the superb fretless bass ...)

It is the only one that generates choirs of this type, I think that's the main reason that made me want to buy it
Sounds very clean, very smooth, no grain sexy, but a presence like no other face of current workstations.

We know immediately or you will when you create a sound unlike this same concept today (eg M3)

Its internal sounds contain everything you need to combine a wide range of sounds, the key is there (the expansion cards, except one that increases the polyphony, are in fact no real interest)

The M1 is especially interesting to get if you search this end his 80's, but beyond that is more than a vulgar ROMpler (I do not even have that term)

A workstation with high Identities


The M1 has its own reason for becoming a legend

a superb workstation, aesthetically
and technically very homogeneous (sounds, parameters) without the current devices.

funky_nikoo's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Korg M1
Synth 61-key (5 octaves = control modulation and pitch with a 'joystic'. MIDI (in out through). 2 inputs assignable pedals entrepdale + 1 sustain .

Sounds are two spars catgories:
- 100 'programs' ditables: these are the sounds of bases
- 100 'combis' ditables: they are combinations of sounds (8 maximum), labor from the 'Programs'

Polyphony: 16 channels


The config is very simple and intuitive. Concerning the edition of sounds, all is very well Dfine in the pages of menus, with the possibility Obviously to compare the changes with the original sound at the touch of the button ... 'compare' !
The manual provides only basic information, but the shipping is really simple trs.

by against the squenceur Intgr no point - these days - nothing, it is totally Exceeds and really does not have enough memory (8800 notes), but n'ach not what you keyboard sounds squenceur any fawn!


Oh la la ... ... the sounds of the M1 and Piano .... if spcial!
What is certain is that this is not a sound of a Stainway but sincrement for someone looking for a first synth is the IDAL: full of sound DIFFERENT , from the natural sound (piano, organs, guitars ...) to the analog type sounds.
The sounds are a little old Obviously - hence the rating I give this section - but we're talking about a machine that has 20 years, let Tolra!
The keyboard is an excellent quality of the semi-weighted keys is perfect for use as a keyboard matre.


I had my first in 90, I sold a WAS before buying one again. I am then re-re-spar in 95 ... before buying one this year (so this is the time troisime j'achte this synth.
As you can see, for me it's now a matter of feeling with this synth mythical Has a real rvolution the late 80's.
The rating is low for extrmmement synthesis of this class, and even for a simple use of the master keyboard type dpense worth.

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Korg M1
16 voice polyphony, very good touch, excellent built-in effects (chorus, delay, flanger, etc. ...). 2 banks of 100 sounds, prog / combi, enough. No need to get tons of sounds in a synth to make good music ... The sounds of plants may be exceeded but if s'atarde a bit to create your own sounds then it's huge! The current synths (and I) are not better or worse! The sequencer may be a fair bit today but still recorded on the sequencer?? There's computer for that is more flexible and much simpler. Its 8 parts multitimbral is more than sufficient for me because I also use other synths to make my pieces.


Very easy to use once understood the spirit of synth there's no problems.


The sounds are wonderful (I speak not of sound factory), they are very varied. We can get any kind of putting it sounds thoroughly. As well as the beautiful warm layers of leads or felted or dynamic effects breathtaking. For low against something else in ...


I have my Korg M1 for 13 years and I'm not about to part with it. It is beautiful, powerful, strong, and is perfect for my music. I had a lot of synth of its kind after the M1 but I sold them all because they are not better, not because the current machines include a super sampler, 36 separate outputs, 1012 sounds, 60 voices polyphonic, sequencer overpowered and 57 multitimbral parts they are "better". My Triton sold after four months, for example ...
I would do this choice without a second's hesitation. With the D-50, the M1 is inimitable and remains for me the best synth. Long live the 80s!

wxc's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Korg M1
8 track sequence is combined is not huge


A simple use mine is nine I achter there some day and frankly I am very contentje advise it true that one may sound old but if you're too lazy on the job is a regale me I lot of sounds and has an EXCELLENT EXCELLENT touch those who are working on will korg what I mean, but we still have some knowledge of the keyboard to use it.


Exelente, me!


I can since it is great!