Korg M1 sound design
Old 10th April 2009
  #1
thx1138
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Korg M1 sound design

Don't laugh, but I've just been reviewing the Sonicstate Top20 series and the Korg M1 is in it. I can't believe how amazing the sound design for that thing was. Just listen to some of those sounds in the video here:
Sonic State - News (Video Item) Top 20 Greatest Synths - Episode 6, More Than 26 Minutes of Lusty Synth Action

Does anyone have any insights into how some of those sounds were created?
Especially the Dream Pad sound (@4:18) and the sound around 6:00 with those looping bamboo-y type sounds. Holy batman! What a technical feat it must have been to fit all of those sounds into 4 (in words four!) Megabytes.
Old 10th April 2009
  #2
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rokuez's Avatar
 

i don't have an answer but i really was digging those sounds from the vintage synth videos on the m1!!!!

Does the rack m1 sound precisely the same?? sorry not trying to threadjack, but just curious.
Old 10th April 2009
  #3
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I got hold of a Korg X5DR recently, and it's surprisingly good - very warm for a digital with some top quality effects. It has the M1 piano and other classic sounds in it.

When the M1 came out I read the description of the synthesis and discounted it as boring - 2 oscillators, fixed samples, "tone control" filters etc. What I overlooked was they sound pretty damn good and that's what sold them.
Old 10th April 2009
  #4
Great videos! Had to two friends that each bought one when they first came out and loved them. Me... never really liked it. Yes it was groundbreaking, one of the first workstations, very complete, and you could make a whole song, etc, etc. but I just never liked the sound, too clean, too commercial. For me anyways. I got an EPS instead and sampled everything in my house and record collection.
Old 10th April 2009
  #5
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Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
 

The "dream pad" at 4:18 is - as written in the video - program Internal 90 "Zephyr". "Zephyr" is composed of the following two PCM samples as oscillators:

OSC1 = Pole (Pole is a notorious M1 sample)
OSC2 = Strings (a string ensemble sample probably from the DSS-1 library)

Of course these samples go through envelopes, filter, etrc, and then through "Concert Hall" and a "Symphonic Ensemble" FX in series.

The "sound around 6:00 with those looping bamboo-y type sounds" is the most famous M1 sound, the first preset that greeted you upon turning on the machine - Program Internal 00 "Universe". I personally think this sound in particular was responsible for selling so many units of this classic machine.

"Universe" has the two following PCM samples as oscillators:

OSC1 = Choir (a choir sample also probably originated from the DSS-1 library)
OSC2 = Lore (the most famous M1 sample, from the DSS-1 library).

and of course these also go through envelope, pitch shifts, filter cutoff etc., and through "Live Stage" and "Stereo Delay" FX, in series.
Old 10th April 2009
  #6
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I used both an Ensoniq EPS 16 and a Korg O5RW sound module which had many of the M1 sounds plus more. I still have the O5RW in fact. I still dig a lot of its soft synth pad sounds, very atmospheric and dreamy. I haven't turned it on in awhile though, I need to fire it up. I can't believe the internal battery still works in it. I have presets I made over 16 years ago still saved on it.
Old 10th April 2009
  #7
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My first synth was an X5D, which was really cool. Not a workstation, but its engine and sounds derived from the M1, and yes, it had that great M1 piano. But it was also very tedious to program, and I never found a PC editor that actually made things easier. It ended up being a great controller: small and light, but I only used few of its sounds. I'd like to buy another one and give it a second try, but I don't have space for another keyboard.
Old 10th April 2009
  #8
thx1138
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@Mr. Varaldo
Thank you very much!
This made things a lot clearer for me.

You know I believe that this is probably one of the best workstations that were ever made. I'm rather into analog synths but sometimes just out of curiosity I like to try out the new workstations: Fantom, M3… And most of what's in there leaves me totally cold. Some cheap Homearranger Keyboards have better sounds in them. Big shoutout to those sound designers that worked on the M1!
Old 10th April 2009
  #9
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alexp's Avatar
 

I liked the Roland W30 a lot. Its the only "workstation" I have owned!

alexP
Old 10th April 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
I liked the Roland W30 a lot. Its the only "workstation" I have owned!

alexP
Don't you have an ESQ-1?
Old 10th April 2009
  #11
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bcgood's Avatar
 

This thread inspired me to fire up my O5RW today. Here's a clip of it if anyone cares to hear it. This is a song I played after watching an old movie with a scene that had a spooky piano playing at a circus. I can't remember the movie but it was when I was taking a film history course at college. The sequencer used is a Roland MC500 MKII. I played this around 10 years ago. I found an old 2 meg floppy disk with the song on it, (MIDI not audio).

Cheers,

bcg

O5RW_bcgood.wav
Old 11th April 2009
  #12
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Beermaster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rokuez View Post
i don't have an answer but i really was digging those sounds from the vintage synth videos on the m1!!!!

Does the rack m1 sound precisely the same?? sorry not trying to threadjack, but just curious.

Yep It does !

The M1 sounds have pretty big 'fingerprints' in that it's pretty difficult to create sounds that don't scream 'M1' at you. Part of the problem is that the Filters doesn't have resonance its just a filter. Peter Gorges produced a superb ROM card using just the original internal PCM sound set - It was Utterly superb and really showed what a professional sound designer can do.
Old 11th April 2009
  #13
thx1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
I liked the Roland W30 a lot. Its the only "workstation" I have owned!

alexP
Uuuh, yeah. thumbsup
One word: Prodigy!
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