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Rating and Reviews: Korg M3-61 61-Key Synth

Power your on-stage performance or in-studio takes with the Enhanced Definition Synthesis Engine's premium sound-making abilities.

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Sound
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"Fantastic sounds sequencer and sampler" submitted June 27, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Electronic/pop
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: I have had my M3-61 for about 6 months now. I am returning to keyboarding after a long hiatus. I have had a lot of tunes in my head. After what amounts to a week of self- and internet-administered night classes, I have written several songs. The sound is good - I think the microKorg has a brasher sound over all so I am toying with the idea of getting one as a lead to use next to the M3. But the sound of the M3 is amazing and unbelievably flexible. It can do anything I want it to if I put some time into it. Feature: The sequencer and effects processing is tops for me. Couldn't ask for more. Ease of Use: Of course it's not easy but why would I want it to be? There is a learning curve but you can get over it in a few hours. In fact this is my first sophisticated keyboard with a sequencer. After investing some time in it I can write thumbnail sketches for songs in less than an hour, including pretty much all the instrumentation. Making it sound good, well that is what takes the time. The manual is actually amazingly clear for a consumer electronic product. In addition many web resources help with learning the ins and outs. Quality: Very dependable. Excellent finish and quality. I invested about a hundred in a high-quality rolling gig bag to keep it safe. Value: I haven't personally evaluated all the competitors but I feel that the M3 is an excellent value. Manufacturer Support: I have had no problems but there is a lot of internet learning material available. From wiki sites to a professional musician who wrote something like 10 pages of blog posts reviewing every aspect of use along with music samples. Software upgrades available online. You name it. The Wow Factor: This jump-started my ability to create music, and is something I have been missing for a long time. I did a fair amount of research before settling on this one and I feel the other reviews which factored into my decision were quite accurate. Overall: I have toyed with the thought of buying a 2nd M3 to make more complex sequences and to be able to use more controls overall - that's how much I am satisfied with the M3. However I am now moving toward pairing it with a laptop-based DAW. I showed the M3 to my bandmate and he immediately declared that he is saving up to buy one of his own.
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"Not a first-time Korg user, but I keep coming back!" submitted December 22, 2007

By a customer from earthlink.net
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Musical Background: I have been an ameteur musician for 30 years. I have a lot of synthesizers etc.
Music Style: Mostly contemporary worship and classical, and some pop.
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Sound: I own it, I love it! Comparing the M3-61 to three other late-model rack-mounted synthesizers, and after spending three days just listening to the huge selection of sounds, I am amazed that so few timbres are the same as those of other manufacturers. I am delighted at the variety and breadth of the choices. The tonal qualities of the sounds are crisp and clear. I wouldn't have expected this from a tone generator that can generate such complex voices. What I expected was that I could use maybe 10-20 percent of the voices for every day use. What I found is that almost every voice program is useful. I'll be banging on this little goodie for years to come. I got the Radias option board. It's like having a second synthesizer that you can call up and you can play the Radias voices along with the the main banks. Radias tones are also clean and vibrant. I'm glad I didn't miss this option. I opted to receive a factory-resealed unit, and the savings practically paid for the Radias. Another great Zzounds feature. Feature: If you want to have a good time, select any voice program, turn on the Karma and latch keys, and press one of the chord buttons. The tone will play with one of the built-in Karma arpeggiators and drum track accompaniment. You could use this thing without ever touching the piano keys for good solid background music. It's amazing. And I haven't even read the manual yet. The tilting M3M module feature is excellent. If you're not standing over the M3, this makes the controls accessible while you are seated. I pondered long and hard, did my research, but the testimonies of actual performing musicians and sales people who actually used the M3 was too strong to ignore. They finally swung me over and now I'm glad I listened to them. I really like the light-up buttons. The multiple scenes allow you to key up a whole song with multiple phases, and switch to the configuration you want at any time. The M3 is a very complex device, but it seems fairly intuitive to find yourself moving around the controls and features. There are many controls that you can use to act on the voices being played. The joystick, multiple sliders, the zip strip, the X-Y mode on the display are all very handy. The touch-sensitive display is pretty amazing by itself. It's as good or better than the comparable Roland and Yamaha keyboards. My fingers are a little fat for some of the options, so I'll have to do a little practicing. You can use the voice select features of the display to locate a tone by name or by category. It's a little touchy, but very effective. I could go on-and-on, but I'd be re-writing the advertising materials. Everything you want to copy onto the M3 can be loaded from a USB flash drive. And you can save whole performances and/or the entire machine configuration to the flash drive. You can also use a USB hard drive directly with the M3 in place of or with the flash drive. The M3 is both an A and a B USB device. That means it can use peripherals as well as be a controller for external devices. Thepossibilities boggle my mind. Ease of Use: The controls are clearly labeled. There is no text on the keys, only on the body of the M3M synthesizer. This means that the labels will not rub off with extended use. I can find my way around without any help from the manual. I have opened the manual up to various random pages and saw things that opened my eyes to features I was unaware of. And every feature is called up in an easy to understand manner. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this puppy. Quality: I have no complaints. I might wonder about having to replace a switch in the future. Hardware is always a nightmare when you need it. You know how fast these synthesizers go out-of-style. Fortunately there are only a few new keyboards that stand out and the M3 is one of them, in my view, at the top of the list, so I expect to find good extended support. Every control is easy to find and use. The buttons all have a consistent feel and I don't find any that are mushy or have inconsistent touch. Some are also velocity sensitive. Value: Top notch value. Even if you didn't need all of the controls or facilities this keyboard offers, the sounds alone make this synthesizer worth it. The Radias add-on just put icing on the cake for me. I like this kind of icing. Hey, I haven't even mentioned the supplied software yet! I haven't installed it because I am having so much fun exploring. I expect though, that the utilitities and drivers supplied will be top notch along with the hardware. Read the product description for more info. Manufacturer Support: Support isn't an issue yet. I may need it after I have banged on this thing for ten years. I notice that OS upgrades can be downloaded from the Korg website. Mine came with the latest version. The aluminum case, while sturdy, looks like it would show marks from general accidents or rough handling over time. I wish Zzounds would list a compatible soft case along with the other recommended options. I think I would go back and buy one. The one obvious missing thing: I would like to have an instrument definition file for Cakewalk (digital audio workstation at cakewalk.com). Then I could also use it with Overture (score based workstation/sequencer at geniesoft.com). These alway take a while to surface for a new synth, but I could really use it now. The Wow Factor: The M3-16 isn't as pretty as some of the keyboards on sale these days, but it isn't bad looking either. If you read the literature from Kord, and find out that it can really do all of these things, and how easy it all really is, you'll be more impressed with performance than looks. From the back, the M3 is pretty sexy. There are a lot of I/O ports and jacks on the back. This would make it easy to do insert effects from external processors. The vocoder options from the Radias make for some sexy sounds. There are several comb patterns the seem unique to me. I really liked the demos on the Korg website. Watch the demo video's in particular. The touch screen is very sexy. The brightness is adjustable and the X-Y mode is flashy. When I watch someone play the keyboard, I like to see them use the controls, not the just piano keys. Overall: Support. Did I mention that the manual is available on the Korg website? How about the myriad of other support and FAQ documents they have? OK, so I lied about reading the manual. While I was researching and then while I was waiting for my keyboard to arrive, I was downloading the literature I just mentioned. I just had to peek at each document, didn't I? There is so much of it that I created a separate diretory on my computer for it.
24 of 26 people (92.31%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Korg m3- the s**t" submitted November 29, 2012

By Toby McMillian in Nitro, WV
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Musical Background: Been playing all my life if you include having a casio when i was about 6. Primarily piano, the rest i just program. Not a pro.
Music Style: Mostly hip hop, with a smear of r&b, metal, punk, and whatever mood I'm in @ the moment.
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Overall: Love this gear. So many high quality sounds, and the sequencer is such a great tool. I use the m3 on every project and track that I make. Nice drums, awesome guitar, even a whammy bar(joystick) for added sickness. Karma is an awesome feature in the m3 as well. Super heavy duty construction,and I live the wooden end panels against the beautiful white keyboard. The expansion also delivers lots of extra quality sounds. I highly recommend this product to anyone for any type of use. Live, recording, or just playing piano. You cannot go wrong with the Korg m3.
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"The M3 is for M-e!" submitted July 18, 2007

By a customer from cox.net
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Features
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Musical Background: Composer, Studio songwriter
Music Style: Jazz, Trip-hop, electronic, orchestral (filmscore)
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: I think the sounds are wonderful! That's why I got one! I was looking into the OASYS, but decided the M3 had enough of the OASYS for me personally. The sounds are rich and realistic for the most part. I do orchestral, electronic, trip-hop, jazz. The sounds are great for everything I do! Feature: I think the PADS, Karma, the TouchView "Kaoss" function (or X-Y MODE) are great features. At first they may seem "novel" but start USING them and WOW! They make some things easier, some things more fun. Cool features. The sequencer is about the same as my Triton but the resolution is better now. 480PPQ. I have noticed the difference there. I record audio into the sequencer using the in-track sampling and it sounds just as good as recording into my DAW. I run my studio mics into my preamp and run it into the M3. It works great and my computer doesn't get used as much now. BUT, I also LOVE the editor plug-in! I run Logic and (Cubase sometimes) this feature rocks. It's plug and play with the computer. I load my AKAI samples in and with the 256MB expansion add on. I have TONS of AKAI CDs and I can load them in with no problem. They convert beautifully! I now load my Peter Siedlaczek's Advanced Orchestra samples and all of my Spectrasonics titles right in the M3 when I need too. I won't go on and on. In short, I think as a workstation, the M3 has all the features needed to make great music and it makes it easy and fun! Ease of Use: Since I have a history with Korg products, it was easy to jump right in. The TouchView really helps and 99% of what I want to do I can do without looking at a manual. I think for a beginner it would be fairly easy to get going though. Quality: This new design is great. It seems pretty durable overall and it looks great. Manufacturer Support: Don't know. The Wow Factor: I think the M3 is the sexiest keyboard out there. It looks great in the dark on the stage and in my studio. :) Overall: You'll have to tear it out of my cold dead hands.
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