Synth Site: Korg: EM-1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Gorgeous Girl a professional user from USA writes:
Okay, here's my review of the EM-1. It gets a solid 3 out of 5. There are certain intangible qualities about it that make it better than its medium rating would convey.


Among the good points about the EM-1 are the large variety of quality sounds, the large number of sound shaping controls (there could be a few more knobs, but the front panel already hasa lot to offer), the rugged construction (feels solid and the keyboard feels good for what it is), portability (it's compact, but I would have liked to see an internal power supply), and the user interface is damn easy to pick up (great manual, too).

Among the not so good points are the lack of versatility of the internal fx (limited parameters in each, but for a box at this price, it's good), okay MIDI spec (doesn't record motion sequencing), limited opportunities for expansion (an audio input like on the EA-1 and ER-1 would have been nice here), lack of enough outputs to separate sounds for external processing, and limited polyphony (the MC-303 has more polyphony).

With 5 zeros and 5 negative ones, my rating of this unit ends up being 2.5 out of 5, which I'll round up to a 3. (1/13/01)

I've developed a system for rating gear based on what I'm looking for in gear. You can tailor the formula to suit you if you like. Read about it at, near the bottom of the page. While I would love to give all the gear I own a 5 out of 5, I know that this is simply not realistic. Then again, everyone works differently, so my score and your score on the same product may be very different.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jan-13-2002 at 11:55
Kelly a hobbyist user writes:
Ok... 3rd update...

It's better than I thought :)

Great for sketching or getting the mani lines down.

- kelly

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-16-2001 at 16:30
Rod a part-time user from USA writes:
Get the ES-1 instead of the EM-1 by all means. The ES-1 is FAR better IMHO. In fact the ES-1 is really the only electribe worth owning and is way more versatile since you make your own sounds with it instead of being stuck with dated and silly presets. EM-1 will get old very fast and you will wish you got the ES-1. My advice is to get rid of the EM-1 ASAP and invest in the king of the electribes, the ES-1. Owning the ES-1 makes owning EM-1 (or ER-1 & EA-1) totally superflous.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-12-2001 at 18:14
Kelly a hobbyist user writes:
This is an update to my last post on this thing:

It's cool at first, but it starts sucking later - WAY too limited. The only Use I get out of it now it for drums and using it as a step sequencer for another synth I have.

I'm going to sample all the waveforms and the drums and sell it...

- kelly

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-12-2001 at 15:09
zycho a hobbyist user from Bangkok, Thailand / State College, PA writes:
I just had this for a day or so. This machine is very limiting. I am glad there is still some room for my own creation in the preset storage. It has very awesome sound, and I feel this machine is overpriced. I feel it is more reasonable at $300 retail where people can push it down to $250 and so on. There are 50 synth sounds and 2 can be assigned to play together along with drum, which has 144 drum sounds. No external sound stuff. So for the age of electronic music of year 2000, it works. I dont know how long from now all these sounds will go boring.

As a novice, I feel this machine is limiting to my plan, but it is a heck a lot enough to start developing creativity. Effects can really expand the limitation for this machine. I have not tried other Electribes, but for one machine that has good typical synth and drum sounds I need, EM-1 works.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-12-2001 at 14:23
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