|Synthesis||AI synthesis (digital waveforms)|
|Oscillators||144 Multi Sampled Waveforms (4Mb)|
|Filters||VDF: Variable Digital Lowpass Filter |
|Keyboard||61 Keys, Velocity, Aftertouch, Multi, |
Layer & Split modes
|Sound||Digital, harsh, but also some nice ambient sounds|
|Good for||House & Rave Sounds, Ambient|
|Less good for||Acoustic instruments, regular warm synth sounds|
|Miscellaneous||We have 3 Cards: MPC-01, MPC-03, Valhalla RAM|
The 80s was dominated by three milestone synthesizers: First the Yamaha DX7, then the Roland D-50 and last came Korg M1. The M1, with clean and slick panel that was typical for the 80s digital synths, was unique in one way compared to all other synths before: It was a Music Workstation - containing synth sounds, digital sequencer, effects and all one needed to make a complete synth track/production in the box. Even if it was not the first workstation it was the first workstation targeting common musicians. It became a main synthesizer for the dance music during the 90s.
There was also a rack model of the M1, the M1R.
Korg M1 demo of some sounds, by alphacode909
The sounds were allocated by two categories:
- Combinations (of programs)
The first program that one met when trying out the M1 or M1R was a knock out: "Universe" - an ambient sound that still today is a legend synth sound.
Up to 100 programs and 100 combinations could be stored in the internal memory or on an optional RAM cartridge. The memory was also shared with the sequencer - the more sounds stored the less space for sequenses and vice versa.
Detail from the panel
KORG M1 BROCHURES
M1 Cards, extracted to SysEx files. The easiest way to load the sounds to the M1 is to load the data files by a freeware SysEx program, such SysEx Librian (OS X) or the Windows Media Player (Windows).
Make right settings to enable transfer of the patches from the computer to the Korg M1:
- Global / Page + until Memory Protect. Set it to Off
- Global / Page + until MIDI Filtering. Set all options to Enable
Korg Xpansion Cards
The Korg M1 Factory Sounds
The Korg M1 16 Expansion Card Data
* MPC-01 - ROM Card
* MPC-02 - Synth 1
* MPC-03 - Drums 1
* MPC-04 - Orchestra 1
* MPC-05 - Piano
* MPC-06 - Fretted Insts 1
* MPC-07 - Synth 2
* MPC-08 - Percussion
* MPC-09 - Organ
* MPC-10 - Ethnic 1
* MPC-11 - Brass
* MPC-12 - Synth 3
* MPC-13 - Ethnic 2
* MPC-14 - Sound Effects
* MPC-15 - Drums 2
* MPC-16 - Environment
The Korg M1 Valhala International Gold Series Cards
The Korg M1 Valhala Studio Series Cards
BATTERY REPLACEMENT OF THE M1
When the M1´s battery dies, all the sounds stored in the internal memory are lost. A standard CR2032 battery is what's needed and can be purchased for some few $ at Ebay, Radio Shack etc. Avoid cheap "no-name" batteries if you don't want to replace the battery soon again.
- Unplug the power cord. If a card is present in the card holder, remove it.
- Release the screws at the bottom plate and remove it.
- The battery is at the flip side of the largest board. Unscrew it
- You might need to release a cable to easier flip the card, for instance the 5V cable (marked CN9) located to the left of the large board
- Carefully flip the board. The main part of the cables don't need to be released. Push the battery backwards and release. Notice what side is up and what side is down.
- Replace the old battery with the new battery (don't mix them up - if you do, you'll find out when you check the M1 and need to redo it)
- Mount the board and connect any cables released
- Before attach all screws at the button plate, check that the M1 is working properly. If not, connect all cables properly - a cable could accidentally been pulled or be intermittent attached.
- When everything is working, attach all screws at the bottom plate again
- Transfer the sound to the M1 (described above)
The large board when released the bottom plate The 5V cable (marked CN9) is easy to remove
The battery exposed at the flip side of the board Pull the battery backwards to release it
BATTERY REPLACEMENT OF THE OPTIONAL RAM CARD
The optional RAM Card requires battery power to preserve data in memory. If the RAM Card not is working (blank) the battery must be replaced by a new CR2016 battery that can be purchased for some few $ at Ebay, Radio Shack etc. Please use not cheap non-brand batteries - they will not last for long. How to replace the RAM Card battery is described in the Owners Manual, page 136.
Korg M1 with a clean and slick panel that was typical for the 80s digital synths
KORG M1 LEGACY
The M1 was discontinued long time ago. There are two options to still experience the M1: A second hand M1 or the Korg M1 Legacy that is a software M1 manufactured by Korg. It can read System Exclusive (SysEx) files from the original M1 and it has something that the M1 did not have, resonance to the filter.
Korg M1 Legacy
M1 HARDWARE VS M1 LEGACY SOFTWARE
Listen and compare some factory presets of the M1 hardware and the M1 Legacy Software:
|M1 Hardware||M1 Legacy Software|
|00 Universe||00 Universe|
|01 Piano16||01 Piano16|
|20 DreamPad||20 DreamPad|
KORG M1 EDIT SOTWARE