Korg iM1 Brings Classic M1 Workstation To iPad

Korg has released iM1 – a recreation of the classic Korg M1 workstation for the iPad.

When it was originally released in 1988, the Korg M1 music workstation rapidly became a best-selling keyboard, and many of the iconic sounds of the M1 have been heard on recordings since.

Korg says that iM1 is a ‘faithful reproduction of the M1 sound’, but expands on it, by offering features not available on the original. 



  • A faithful reproduction of the original M1 Sound – The PCM data provides the library of the original M1. Korg analyzed the circuit diagram of the original design, and replicated it in software. Engineers with an exhaustive knowledge of the M1 made careful adjustments in order to obtain the sound of the original unit, something that cannot be obtained simply by sampling the original sounds.
  • A continued evolution of the M1 – the iM1 provides further evolutionary developments. Synth parts now have the Filter Resonance that was requested at the time of the original, as well as VDA modulation. The effect parts, originally consisting of only two effects, have been powered-up to 18 effects. The user interface has also been refreshed with additions such as a KAOSS pad.
  • A gigantic library encompassing 3,300 sounds and 34 cards – In addition to all 19 of the ROM cards originally released for the M1, iM1 also covers the sounds of the M1EX which expanded the internal PCM of the M1, as well as the sounds of the KORG T-series which appeared as an evolution of the M1. There’s also “BEST OF M1”, a selection of 100 great M1 programs. The new “Smart Sound Browser” makes it quick to find the desired sound. You can also view the sounds ranked by how often they are selected by iM1 users around the world.
    *with all the Expansion Card installed via In-App Purchase
  • KAOSS pad – iM1 features a KAOSS pad from the popular KAOSSILATOR, allowing you to perform intuitively just by touching the screen. By using the dual KAOSS pads to play phrases or adjust the sound, even people who are not accustomed to keyboard instruments or knowledgeable about synthesizers can enjoy performing the iM1. There’s also a conventional keyboard, as well as the “Smart Keyboard”, which lets you specify a scale setting and play phrases with a single finger.
  • Use with KORG Gadget and GarageBand for song production – iM1 can be used together with Gadget. You can use iM1 as a sound module within Gadget, taking advantage of the program sounds in iM1 for music production. iM1 also supports Audiobus and Inter-App Audio, so it can also be used for GarageBand etc.
  • Connect a MIDI keyboard and use as a sound module – In addition to enjoying iM1 on its own, you can connect a USB MIDI keyboard via a Lightning adaptor (sold separately) and play the iM1 as an external sound module.
  • Interchangeable with the KORG Legacy Collection and the original M1 – Sounds that you create in iM1 can be sent from your iPad via iTunes to a Mac/PC. If you have the Legacy Collection M1, you can use those sounds in a DAW. Data compatibility is maintained not only with the plug-in but also with the original M1; this means that you can transfer data in system exclusive format from the original M1.

Here’s the official video intro:

Korg iM1 is available now in the App Store at an introductory price of $19.99 (normally $29.99).

34 thoughts on “Korg iM1 Brings Classic M1 Workstation To iPad

  1. Awesome that you can use iM1 as a sound module within Gadget. I really wish they update iMS-20 and iPolysix to use inside Gadget some day.

    Sadly it requires IOS8. I’ve been holding up updating my Ipad Air 1 because I keep reading about degradation in performance. Anyone here has an Air 1 with IOS8? How is it?

    1. Can’t say about Air 1, but on iPad 2 iOS 8 is lagging indeed compared to iOS 7. also be careful to backup everything when upgrading. I forgot to backup and when upgrade went wrong I lost everything I stored locally.

    2. Oh that’s what did it? F. Yeah suddenly gadget can’t handle some of my Kiev pads. Sigh. Gotta get a proper music computer.

    3. I would say it is a tad slower, like when opening an app is a little bit slower, just a fraction of a second slower, visually you can see a little hesitation, not a big deal for me. Overall my iPad 1 is pretty fast. I hear iOS 9 will focus on speed and stability, so I’m looking forward for that update.

    4. Absolute nonsense you’ve been told. I have an iPad 4 16gb wifi and have no issues with any of my music apps. Your AIR is faster than my iPad 4. Only the very latest BIAS FX guitar FX software can have performance issues with some presets but none of my synths (including Korg Gadget or any other synth or workstation) have issues. Furthermore I am able to use multiple apps with Audiobus 2 and no latency or stutter issues.

  2. so many people asked for this. very cool.
    now if they could actually allow us to choose the effin midi channel on the ios apps they might be really useful.
    but we cant have everything i suppose.

  3. The updated gadget crashes on startup on ios 7 ipad2 . Why can’t the arseoles at apple test the apps on older units . Mind you korg should have got it right in the first place

    1. Probably because Apple doesn’t allows beta testing on old iOS, beta testers are required to upgrade to the latest os

    2. Seriously? That’s like running windows XP and complaining because programs crash. I have an iPad 4 with IOS 8 and none of my music apps crash. No latency issues. So you’re running an outdated OS because??

    1. Having played around with the iM1 last night… it’s the biggest sounding synth I’ve used on ipad. I used to own a real M1 and had forgotten how big the sounds were. The presets are good for contemporary music too.

    1. I used to own the wavestation module. The LCD backlight had faded but amazingly I was able to take the machine apart and dissect the LCD panel and slide in a new type of LED backlight I was given by fiberoptic company in the US. Would be nice to see Wavestation on IOS.

  4. Awesome app! Korg has the ipad nailed, just brilliant apps. Korg Gadget is the must have mobile music studio to own, it is awesome, so much power. Keep up the great work Korg with the ipad apps.

    1. yeah, Korg is killin it, Im suprised Roland hasnt stepped up to the plate, the Sound Canvas for IOS is for Ipad2 only ( which I dont have ). They have sooooo many great synths they could bring to IOS but havent for dome reason.

  5. This thing sounds fantastic. The interface of the original is mainly what always kept me away from the M1. Hilarious to think by the time an interactive display was conceived for it the entire functionality and logic of the instrument could be contained in the display. We live in the future.

  6. I got this app today – it is terrific!

    In my case, I had the KLC plug-ins on my MacBook. This iOS app looks very similar to the OS-X plug-in, so the workflow is virtually identical. But this new app has more under-the-hood (bonnet to some of you) than the plug-in.

    The only hiccup was needing a bit of patience to get Midimux control to work with this app (i.e.: rebooting both devices to get them to play nicely together). Curiously, Audiomux worked just fine, “as is”.

    This is well worth the $20.

  7. It’s so funny. 2 days ago I was thinking, “Korg is probably going to do an M1 app soon. Then I got my update notification for gadget, and there it was ! Pretty cool. As an M3 owner it amazes me how consistent that “Korg Sound” is.

  8. If they add similar updates to Polysix and MS-20, then I’ll definitely buy this. Gadget is more or less the only DAW-like app on iOS I get along with, to see it expanded like this is great. Would be cool to have some basic recording/slicing on Bilbao, improvement to the channel faders…hell, I could do a lot with that.

    Nonetheless awesome.

  9. If you think your not having enough fun with the fantastic Korg iM1 software, try using it with Jam Origins Midi Guitar program. Your guitar has a new language to express itself with. It is tremendious fun and totally amazing. Bring your guitar with you into the space age. My iPad has become a whole new music studio.

  10. I must be getting old and grumpy. Having been an original purchaser of the M1 synth, this didn’t excite me in the least. Guess probably since I had to produce so many tracks within just the M1. just so jaded over it. Funny though, I love the Karma and the M3 – still use them all the time.

  11. I’m tempted to get this. But am still holding out for an editable sampler/synth a la K2xxx or Kontakt. Something with basic synthesis, multi-velocity range keymaps, snappy envelopes & ability to load samples (even through iTunes file exchange). The IK stuff might be kind of close, but no edits.

  12. I’ve downloaded the Korg iM1 yesterday and started using it with the Gadgets. I’ve been a Korg guy since 1992 when I purchased my first “real” synth which was actually the Korg M1. After I sold it, I regretted it because I wasn’t able to find the sounds until KLC was released. So now, I’ve got my original music composition workstation on the run with me almost anywhere! The sounds and controls are as awesome as they get, given the fact that I’ve worked on the original M1.
    I’ve got the whole Korg collection on my iPad Air 2. It is running seamlessly. The only thing – for now at least – is that the iM1 expansion cards (in-app purchases) do not appear in Gadgets. I hope Korg will solve this issue soon…

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