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Rediscover Korg M1
Old 16th November 2012
  #1
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Rediscover Korg M1

Purchased a Korg M1 from a friend, just because it was cheap ($50), replaced the battery and loaded it with sounds. In the heydays of the M1 I hated it (and all Korgs except the 3200 series and Oasys), except the "Universe" patch.

Now I started to play it and discovered that it is awesome for soundscapes etc. There are still an awful sound character by the M1 or brass, basses etc ATMHO, but the big spacy pads are really awesome.

My plan was just to fix the battery, load it with the factory presets and sell it. But now I'm hooked on it. Why in the world are there so many good synths out there?
Old 16th November 2012
  #2
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flat's Avatar
Some of those Ai/2 strings and pads from the M1 and particularly the later 01/W are some of the best 90s rompler sounds about.

Alot of the 3rd party sounds often make the presets (which many judge a synth on) look pathetic.

If you like some of those atmospheric sounds and do decide to sell the M1, I strongly recommend the Legacy version, as it has so many sounds. Along with the s/w Wavestation its incredible value for $$$.

'Universe' patch is heavenly, but I always see the opening credits of 'The Simpsons' when I hear it.

Excellent use of it, is in that classic Nord 'Mike Oldfield' demo, where it can be heard in the background (along with JD800) doing a goosepimple inducing choir/pad sound.

Comes in at 0:28 ...

Old 16th November 2012 | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
Excellent use of it, is in that classic Nord 'Mike Oldfield' demo, where it can be heard in the background (along with JD800) doing a goosepimple inducing choir/pad sound.

Comes in at 0:28 ...

Nice demo The note binding and vibrato sounded just like how Mike Oldfield play his guitar. Nice an big sound too.
Old 16th November 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
I've LOVED the M1 since the day it came out, and still do, it's a wonderful, wonderful machine!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post

'Universe' patch is heavenly, but I always see the opening credits of 'The Simpsons' when I hear it.
But wasn't that a D-50? I remember reading somewhere that Danny Elfman had "Roland D-50 choir" written on the original music sheet of the Simpsons
Old 16th November 2012 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
If you like some of those atmospheric sounds and do decide to sell the M1, I strongly recommend the Legacy version, as it has so many sounds. Along with the s/w Wavestation its incredible value for $$$.
+1. I wouldn't bother with the hardware when the plug-in sounds basically the same, is integrated in your DAW, and it comes with all the expansion cards built-in and more.
Old 16th November 2012
  #6
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Alex Aliferis's Avatar
 

The plug-in also adds resonant filters, so that alone is a huge step up.
Old 16th November 2012 | Show parent
  #7
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
But wasn't that a D-50? I remember reading somewhere that Danny Elfman had "Roland D-50 choir" written on the original music sheet of the Simpsons
I read somewhere and also assumed it was an M1. ..but those sort of breathy glassy etheral type sounds could come from either synth tbh.

I've always 'not' used that sound (even though it layers so nice with other pad/string sounds) because of the Simpsons association lol. The fact that it might not be M1 as you say, has just undone a ridiculous mental block I had with it
Old 16th November 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
I read somewhere and also assumed it was an M1. ..but those sort of breathy glassy etheral type sounds could come from either synth tbh.

I've always 'not' used that sound (even though it layers so nice with other pad/string sounds) because of the Simpsons association lol. The fact that it might not be M1 as you say, has just undone a ridiculous mental block I had with it
I think your M1 mental block can safely be undone heh

It's since been edited out, but if you go to the Internet Wayback Machine from 2010 (wait a sec to load):

Roland D-50 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

you can read that "The choir "aaahhh"s that begin the main title theme to the simpsons were played on a D50 choir setting. This can be seen in Danny Elfman's original cue sheet".

and I remember actually seeing a photo of the Elfman's original cue sheet and it indeed had Roland D-50 choir written on it. I can't find that photo anymore but it's got to be somewhere on the Internet. Maybe someone can find it

And now I expect a song from you interely based on the Universe patch, on the double! heh
Old 16th November 2012
  #9
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flat's Avatar


I've never actually owned an M1 keyboard, but had the M1R and have the Legacy version. However, I once went to see a used one, and have to say the keybed was one of the nicest 61 key actions I ever used. (Yamaha I think).

Actually the whole synth is very handsome in person. Minimal, but somehow very sleek and slick. I'd still take an 01/w over it though.
Old 16th November 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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Qfactor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post


I've never actually owned an M1 keyboard, but had the M1R and have the Legacy version. However, I once went to see a used one, and have to say the keybed was one of the nicest 61 key actions I ever used. (Yamaha I think).

Actually the whole synth is very handsome in person. Minimal, but somehow very sleek and slick. I'd still take an 01/w over it though.
Btw, you guys are aware, right, that the 01/W was originally known as "Korg M10" until one Korg dude in Japan mis-read an upside down synth as "01W"?!! heh
And the rest, as they say, is history!!

Qf
Old 16th November 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qfactor View Post
Btw, you guys are aware, right, that the 01/W was originally known as "Korg M10" until one Korg dude in Japan mis-read an upside down synth as "01W"?!! heh
And the rest, as they say, is history!!

Qf
The world is upside down some times, even in Japan....appearently heh
Old 16th November 2012
  #12
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all the korg romplers are good for this kinda thing :-) most of them are a lot more interesting than the m1 itself. Most of them have pretty much all the m1 sounds.
Old 16th November 2012
  #13
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danielb's Avatar
I never had an original Korg M1, but I've been using the LE version a lot in my music. I think it sounds amazing.

These three track are full of M1LE, especially the first two:







BTW I also suspect that the choir sound in Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" is in fact a Korg M1. Looking around the 'Nets, I see other people have the same theory.
Old 16th November 2012
  #14
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the donal's Avatar
I remember playing with an M1 in a local music shop as a teenager.

The Universe patch really captured me.

It was one of those presets that got everywhere. I saw a Hawkwind gig where they basically started with that sound and a projection of planets disappearing into the distance.

It was cosmic, maaan!
Old 17th November 2012
  #15
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tvsky's Avatar
 

congratulations !

now there is a whole world of unloved , unfashionable and forgotten romplers to explore cheap

emu morpheus and proteus 2000/2500 are great , roland jd990 and vx/fantom engine romplers are great , kurweil k2xx of any flavour , all the yamaha rompler/fm hybrids are interesting and so much more ......
Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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Qfactor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Prophet View Post
The world is upside down some times, even in Japan....appearently heh
Agreed! But do you think Australia, on the other hand, would be the most upside down of them all?
Uh-oh!! heh

Qf
Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #17
tomcc πŸŽ™οΈ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qfactor View Post
Agreed! But do you think Australia, on the other hand, would be the most upside down of them all?
Uh-oh!! heh

Qf
There have been a few Korg M10s for sale on Ebay over the years here but I could never find any reference to them on Vintage Synth Explorer.
That maybe explains why
Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qfactor View Post
Agreed! But do you think Australia, on the other hand, would be the most upside down of them all?
Uh-oh!! heh

Qf
heh Geographic from Europe, yes. But not regarding 80s synth classics: From Australia came another 80s classic; Fairlight, that still is at the the top of my wish list (actually not the popular IIx but series III).

Happy that Dr Moog not mis-read an upside down Minimoog as booW/!n!W
Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #19
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielb View Post

BTW I also suspect that the choir sound in Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" is in fact a Korg M1. Looking around the 'Nets, I see other people have the same theory.
I always thought it was a modified Emu library sound from one of their samplers?
Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
I always thought it was a modified Emu library sound from one of their samplers?
There are some sounds that all synths from that time had, and especial the Choir from Universe, that also could be found in the Korg synths, Roland S-50 series Factory Library, EMUs Factory Library and ROMplers such Proteus, The D-50 Factory Presets, Fairlight IIx Factory Library etc.

From where that sound originally came is something to solve for detective Poirot
Old 17th November 2012
  #21
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I always wanted to have the famous Korg M1 Piano and Organ patches (the 90s house ones) and then I discovered that they have been used earlier in the factory patches for the DSS-1 (and perhaps DW-8000). That was a pretty cool discovery when I got my DSS-1. heh Congratz for the M1.
Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #22
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Prophet View Post

From where that sound originally came is something to solve for detective Poirot


I see it now ...

Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post


I see it now ...

heh heh heh If someone can solve The fiendishly difficult mystery of Depeche Mode's Choir sounds, Hercule Poirot is the man. He can solve everything, and not only "The mis-read 01/W on the Nile"
Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #24
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danielb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
I always thought it was a modified Emu library sound from one of their samplers?
It's completely possible that I'm wrong, of course. The reason I think it's possible is that I accidentally nailed the sound while experimenting with sampling the M1LE into my Ensoniq EPS to add some lofi fairy dust to the VSTi sounds.

The original M1 was lower-fi than the VSTi version so the resulting sound may be closer to the original, or maybe DM sampled the M1 sound into an Emax or Emulator to mangle it a bit.
Old 17th November 2012
  #25
ozy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Prophet View Post
Purchased a Korg M1. now I'm hooked on it.
welcome in the club

Old 17th November 2012
  #26
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Has someone here A/B compared the M1 with Korg's software M1?
Old 17th November 2012 | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy View Post
welcome in the club

Thank you Ozy
Old 17th November 2012
  #28
Sky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Prophet View Post
Has someone here A/B compared the M1 with Korg's software M1?
I played a Korg M1REX rack module for several years before trying the software, Korg Legacy Collection - Digital Edition. To my ear, the digital synths translate beautifully to software. I've switched from hardware to software versions of both M1 and Wavestation SR and not looked back.

The Korg software synths include factory and extended sound banks. Also, custom programs and combis exported from the hardware as MIDI sysex dumps load correctly in the software. A few years ago, the Korg software seemed a bit of a CPU hog, but it runs fast and stable on newer Macs in my experience.

Sky
Old 17th November 2012
  #29
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crufty's Avatar
i did an ab; the 'real' hw sounds different

but not diff enough!

plugin is not exactly trouble free on osx mountain lion / 32-bit au.
Old 17th November 2012
  #30
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I really didn't like the M1 I had (in 2009/2010?). Sure it had some nice sounds but it felt so constrained next to a DX7 or D-50 (or even a JD-800) I found no reason to keep it. I think it's engine was far too limited, it's filters were worthless (what filter?) it was stuck with absolutely ubiquitous and 'obvious' dated sounds from the time with very little you could do to change that (not like FM and D-50 which are 'real synths' or JD-800 which has a GOOD filter and proper synth engine to mangle the PCM parts).

Overall it was the least inspiring and least liked of all the synths i've ever owned, closely followed by the wavestation which had a bit of that 'curse' too, but was at least vaguely interesting from an engine POV. I also didn't like the build of it - decent yamaha keybed but case sounded 'hollow' - felt like play by wire - disconnected, not like an instrument but triggering a box of samples - hard to explain but I felt it, never felt that with my other synths. Also the buttons were terrible on it, horrible shaped plastic and not very tactile. Didn't like it's sounds that much and didn't like it as an object = didn't like it. I know quite a few synth nuts who feel the same about the M1 - one synth nut (who programmed synths for a very famous synth guy *cough* Duran Duran ) actually said the word "Yuck" to me when I mentioned I'd had an M1 once. Gotta agree.

Agreed - the soft versions are every bit as capable if you need those sounds and actually improved thanks to the filters. Personally I have no need for those sounds hard or soft. Not with all those other great synths out there inc interesting/powerful older 'romplers' like the SY85/TG-500 or JD-800.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielb View Post
BTW I also suspect that the choir sound in Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" is in fact a Korg M1. Looking around the 'Nets, I see other people have the same theory.
Emulator 2 is what I read! Try queens 'the miracle' album for loads of M1 (and the strings on The Show Must Go On IIRC). Sounds great in all those songs but that was then...
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