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Let's Play with Korg iM1

Korg's latest app is a beefy workstation full of classic cheesy sounds! In this Let's Play I try to make them sound less cheesy, while repeatedly citing the developer as Yamaha instead of Korg. iM1 is still on sale at the intro price!

Video Description:

Korg has released an app version of their massive M1 workstation on iPad! I start off exploring the basic sound design components before moving on to getting a very big sound using multiple voices in this Let's Play! If you enjoyed this please consider supporting this series by sponsoring them on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord

Buy Korg iM1 on iTunes: $29.99

Reader Comments 10

Nice one, Tim. Looking forward to watching this tomorrow morning with my first coffee.

The sounds from the iM1 might be cheesy, but by good are they lush.

June 05, 2015  | person_outline Slaphead

Yamaha huh... you know something we don't :-p

June 05, 2015  | person_outline Drakhe

@Drakhe: LOL, nope. I just seem to curse Yamaha randomly when mildly annoyed by apps. I curse IK randomly when I'm severely annoyed by apps. It seems like I have developed some oddly specific form of Tourette's Syndrome.

The built-in ROM samples of the M1 and iM1 are a mixed bag. Some good, some really bad sounding.

I think it was a simple decision for Korg to adopt the purist concept of recreating the M1 faithfully-- with some enhancements that wouldn't affect the ability to recreate the tone & vibe of that era.

However, I really wish that they would have provided a back-door from loading improved sample data-- either via soundfont, or even just Korg providing some access to samples from some more recent synths (perhaps the Triton?). Maybe a iTriton is on their to-do list.

June 05, 2015  | person_outline stub

Great Tim, I was hoping you would do iM1...thanks! Are you really down on Yamaha that much? I've been a bit critical of their apps but I've come around to appreciate how solid some of them are. I was thinking that maybe the whole Workstation concept took your mind back to the days of your Yamaha hardware keyboard workstation?

The Korg Legacy Collection (KLC) is a series of desktop synths based on Korg's past hardware, the M1, Polysix and MS20 (half of the collection) are now represented on iOS. That leaves the Mono/Poly, Wavestation and the effects plugin "MDE-X" (would love to see that in Gadget). I am hoping this is the trend, an iWavestation would be cool, though I don't know much about the Mono/Poly I'm sure it would be great on iOS.

June 05, 2015  | person_outline Toz Bourne

One feature of the iM1 that this tutorial helps to highlight, is that with the combi and multi modes you can edit & map specific sounds to key & velocity ranges (and midi channels)- such that each sound has its own parameter settings. This is a feature lacking on most iOS synths.

The huge variety of timbres means that if you had elaborate keyboard layouts (as I do on my K2661), you could make something of a stripped down version as a back up rig. Of course, with only 8 slots, you couldn't do something like a serious drum map, or more complex setup.

However, perhaps combined with Bismark BS-16i, and custom-made soundfonts, and something to route the MIDI, pretty elaborate custom performance layouts could be made--even with tuning maps if one were so inclined.

June 05, 2015  | person_outline stub

@Toz: Nah I'm not down on Yamaha... though I wish to they would stop with the fucking US and International versions of all of their apps. That's my only complaint about the whole company.

My first keyboard was a Casio, but the first keyboard I learned to play on was a Yamaha! The Casio sounded like shit, while the Yamaha was actually fun to play on so it was easy to go back to and practice. They will always have a place in my heart!

nice one!

June 06, 2015  | person_outline psysword

I keep hearing words like "dated" and "cheesy," and I respectfully disagree. There's a boatload of sounds here, especially with the IAP at another 5 bux. I find some sounds really deep and inspiring, others not my cuppa. But overall, I'm spending loads of time just listening to all the noyzes, have barely scratched the MIDI possibilities of splits, layers, etc. Having been at this synthesis thing since my Sonic Six and Moog Modular III, I'm digging this a lot, finding many of the sounds call forth new ideas for me. Pass the cheese, please. :)

June 08, 2015  | person_outline Bobbo

For those who dabble with alternative MIDI controllers, I've confirmed that the iM1 works with the M1 patches released by Patchman Music for the EWI USB controller. Getting the ROMs into the app required iTunes file transfer, but once they are on the iPad, they load into the User cards quite similarly to the desktop M1.

My setup has the EWI and iPad plugged into the iConnectAudio4+ interface, with analog out to a Yamaha MG10XU mixer. I had all this hooked up and working flawlessly from home, but when I got my rig to church, I found that the audio was horribly distorted and "chunky". Rebooting the iPad and iConnectAudio4+, reconnecting the EWI, and disabling WiFi and Bluetooth on the iPad did not resolve the issue either. I don't know if it's a weird grounding problem (we stand on plastic stage risers, so I'm sure there's some crazy static electricity junk going on), or something else.

I've encountered similar problems running an analog guitar through ToneStack using the iConnectAudio4+ (playing on a tile floor this time) -- it doesn't happen at home, but it does when I'm playing out.

June 10, 2015  | person_outline Matt Newby
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