Synth Site: Korg: 01/WFD Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Joe a part-time user from USA writes:
I have had mine for 12 years. I have to say, this is one workhorse. Well made, I have had no service issues at all. The pianos stink, but the organs make up for it, pipe and B-3. Strings are silky, and the horns sound big with a little work. The keyboard has a nice action for a synth-type. A couple of things, though...the view screen gets kinda hard to read in time, I'm frequently adjusting its contrast. And it is totally useless in sunlight. Secondly, the keys tend to stick, some electronic contact cleaner is a temporary fix. 32-note polyphony is tough for layered sounds, you get a lot of drop-outs if you are using big chords. But I still play mine a few times a week, and couple a Triton Classic with it. Guess I'm a Korg guy. But I'll tell you, put this board up against some of the newer lower-leval models from other manufacturers, and for many sounds, you'll pick the old o1. The N series looks interesting to me, as it is the same synthesis engine with 64-note polyphony.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jun-29-2003 at 23:44
Almost went with a JD-800 back in '92. Glad I didnt. The O1/w is to workstations what the Emu Emulator was to sampling. Ive never been much into computer sequencing. And with something as flexible as the O1/W's sequencer I dont need to. Excellent live board! Can insert program changes for a live show so your not having to hit a button to change sounds during a performance. personally, I would of bought the O1 for the sequncer alone! Great strings and pads. Never cared much for the bass sounds. On board effects are quite usable. Velocity crossfading between sounds fun to tweak with for live performance. Extended midi implementaion for controlling other equipment. I use mine to create several splits across the board to control my Jupiter 6 and my MKS-50 for gigs. Good keyboard feel night too light feeling. Kinda looking at a Triton LE right now.....But will alaways love the O1!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-03-2002 at 12:44
Mather's Studios a hobbyist user from UK writes:
This was my first ever synthesizer. I bought it back in 1996, but all these years later, despite having six other synthesizers, it's still the synth I rely on to bolster the main sound of a composition.

I was never a fan of having computers anywhere near the recording process. I've always used the internal sequencer and never had any problems with it. It is easy to use and the internal floppy drive means there's never a worry about running short of space for song data. I have found that over the years, each individual song takes up more memory as the complexity increases (I do a lot of doubled up 16-beat type rhythms which eat up the event memory), but this is not really a problem.

The sounds are great in general, although there are some I prefer to keep away from. I was never a particular fan of the piano sound for example. It works OK for faster dance tunes, and with some playing around with the effects, it is possible to make an acceptable compromise for slower ballad pieces. It's not convincing, and isn't my dream piano sound but it does the job - just. I also tend to find that for melody sounds I get stuck. Some of the guitar sounds are quite nice, but more recently I have turned to my Yamaha DX7 for solo sounds. It never fails to satisfy. Some sounds when played in the higher registers also show signs of digital artefacts. For some applications this can be put to good use, but for others it's an awful shame. One sound to come to mind is (I think) A24 - "Blue Moon". It's one of the guitar type sounds. It sounds great in the bass register and in the mid range but once past about the fourth octave (5th if on an 88 key piano keyboard), you will start to notice artefacts in the samples.

But what this synth excells at is pads. Ever since day one, prog A27 "Analog Pad" has been a favourite and still features on 90 percent of the work I do. I also think synth sounds such as A00 "Ephemerals" are first class. I have heard this sound on various pieces of Trance music over the years. Layer the two together A27 and A00 and you've got yourself a really thick, swirling sound. The drum sounds are also pretty good. The main problem is that there are only four drum kits to choose from, so it can become difficult to make new drumbeats which sound different.

As regards programming, I haven't ever really mastered it. I have attempted on a few occasions, but usually not made a sound worth keeping. I found that altering parameters on the graphic display seemed to not make any changes. The only thing I really ever found out how to do was alter the basic waveform which controls the sound. I made a decent bass sound with a good punch, but this is about the only sound I have used and kept.

As well as sounding great, the 01/wFD also looks the part too. The whole panel is a sheet of aluminium, rendered in an attractive satin black, with sheet steel on the underside and beneath the keys. The only plastic is on the ends and above the FD drive where the joystick is located.

So what is my main gripe about the 01? Pretty much the same as everyone else. What went wrong when the keyboard was designed? I had my 01 for about eighteen months and was terribly upset when I found that some of the black keys started to stick. I found ways of temporarily curing the problem, but there's nothing worse than a key sticking during a quick piano solo while you're recording. Then there was the constant nagging in the back of my mind when I played live with it - will one of the keys jam?

I now use the 01 in conjunction with an 88-note master keyboard which responds better to playing style. Even the piano sound seems to be that little bit more convincing if you're using a weighted keyboard.

My final verdict is a four out of five. I would need better solo and melody sounds to award maximum, but as a synthesizer it creates some of the best synth sounds I can get. No synth seems to ever beat the combination of "WS Analog" and "Raw Deal". Layer these two together and pan one hard left, the other hard right and you've got the best synth stab sound you could possibly ask for. Unbeatable.

Well done Korg - what my compositions would have sounded like without the 01 is a strange thought indeed.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-04-2002 at 09:50
Prog X from USA writes:
I bought the my two Korg 01/Wfds between the years of 1992 and 1995 when I was assembling my keyboard rig / home studio. I honestly have to say that I wouldn't want to make music with anything wlse, nothing else out there matches this unit's powerful sounds and ease of use. It absolutely is the biggest sounding keyboard in the world, with the greatest range of usable sounds I have ever heard. Unlike most synths I have listened to, the guitar/distortion sounds are THICK...not just the standard tinny viseogame-sounding stuff. And the pads...Oh my God they are INCREDIBLE!!! As a synth used to write New Age with touches of Heavy Metal this thing is a dream. The sequencer requires a little bit of savvy, but if you are willing to do the work, there is absolutely no style of music you cannot write on this thing. The only downside is that the effects section, while featuring a variety of which and sounding incredible, is somewhat limited in it's placement abilities, especially during sequencer recording. Take my advice and do what I did...get two if you plan to record using the built-in sequencers and want to write some really decent sounding songs.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-26-2002 at 15:02
Hanna a part-time user from UK writes:
Hi. Yeah, my Dad got me the 01/W after us having an M1ex for years. I don't gig it, but use it to write music on as I study music an uni. We have Trinitys at Uni, but the 01/W string sounds are way better. Really. I suppose it IS old now, but it's kinda like a tank. Kork's new range looks more like a japanese car, very plastic. Anyway, if you want a nice warm sound, get the 01; ^_^

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-13-2001 at 19:58
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