Synth Site: Korg: Z1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.8 out of 5
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C. Smith a hobbyist user from London writes:
Pros: - Great front panel interface (X-Y pad fun, knobs responsive) - Astonishly wide range of oscillator and filter options - Clean sound that varies between harsh or soft depending on how you want it - MOSS is a synthesist's dream - Sturdy Aluminium Case - LCD screen large and easy to delve into - I never found polyphony to run out

Cons: - Very Heavy - Keybed is not terrible, but incomparable to great an1x/k5000 feel - Hmm..the slight problem i had with the sound

That last remark refers to the very subjective feeling I had about the sound. Where I'm sure most people love it, and I did for a long time also, I eventually began to consider the sound, though 90% gratifying was still rather, how should I say it, 'sterile.' For me, the sound is fundamental, and however deep I dug into the engine, I never found a consistent feeling that the synth would leap out at me with a remarkable sound.

That's not to say it is a bad synth; on the contrary, this synthesiser is a dream for any genre. It is a powerful monster capable of crafting sounds from ambient pads, persussive, sweeping weirdness to delightfully realistic, or perhaps surrealistic, musical instruments.

However, in comparing it too closely to my wavetable, additive and analog modelling synths, I felt imo it lacked the character, lushness or general indefinability of the rest of my studio.

On the other hand, it was more powerful and capable than anything I've ever played before.

In general, the z1 is still a worthy addition to a studio. It is best used to fill the gap between the workstation and synth, thanks to its ability to do everything, but not relying on boring samples. I would have kept it and loved it, had i not needed a more portable setup and it was not so heavy. Basically, if there was a rack verison, I would get it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-30-2006 at 04:09
Jeff a hobbyist user from England,uk writes:
Great synth which helps you to learn as you go, start by twisting a few of the knobs, see and hear the difference and before you know it you start to program your own. Very korg in it's build quality, i.e very good in my experience. Check on Ebay for the extra sounds that are availible if you can't/don't want to program your own sounds and see what this monster DSP synth can do, it inspired me to get busy making music again after a 18 month break!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-03-2006 at 10:35
DreamSequence a part-time user from Interstellar Space writes:
Wonderful synth if you understand the models and how to apply modulation. Example- the electric piano model has adjustments for tine position, hammer strike and so on. Having just adjusted and partially restored a Rhodes piano, I can tell you that the z1 model is very accurate- i.e. what the model does is what happens in real life when you move the tine and adjust the hammer! So this is one synth where broad real-life experience is richly rewarded. Ditto the synth models- they are flexable enough to model most analog synths. I was able to model my CS50 by routing the sub osc (set to sine of course) past the filters and then setting the two filters to mimic the cs50 voice and performance filters...etc. You get the idea. The Horn models are unreal, you can get trills, overblowing, etc. and automate all this with midi. Superb. The one beef I have with it is that it sits back a bit in the mix, like most digital synths. Not the best choice for analog monosynth sounds (303 and such). Bypass the internal fx (which are very 1994 if you know what I mean), use outboard and things improve somewhat. Still, you can't expect everything to sound raw can you? This is a very smooth sound, very much like a SY99 or K5000, but a LOT easier to understand. For the experienced synthesist this is a dream machine. Top marks.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-19-2005 at 21:41
Cain a professional user from USA writes:
Still one of the most complex and sophisticated synths ever. Its spec is a bit daunting for many and they will only touch on what it can do. This is not a synth for beginners. You will need a good basic knowlege of synthesis before you can get the best out of one of these. Many think that the Z1 is the greatest synth ever...Korg's 'master piece' one site calls it (we know which one). I think it's great. You have a great deal of real time control...then very deep menus which take you to madness. A bit like the Andromeda. That's it! The va version of the Andromeda. A classic! If ever a synth is worth 5 marks, this one is.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Aug-02-2005 at 02:58
neven dayvid a professional user from berlin writes:
lots of potential here. you can program very complex patches ( 4 LFO´s !!!), almost anything can modulate anything else. needless to say, some learning curve.

very underrated. for its price, a must have. still, for some analogue sounds, i´d rather reach for real anlogues auch as my jupiter-6, but with programmable arpeggiator, the touch pad (x-y), aftertouch, wheels and assignable knobs, your patches become so elastic and playable that i believe this one is a keeper.

it can sound very soft, lush and organic - i was looking for sth to complement the yamaha cs-line, and sometimes the z1 just reminds me of that - analogue synth timbres that you can mould and that directly mirror your playing technique...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-31-2005 at 14:53
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