The original M1, definitely larger than a DS. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Kevin Phillips.

Having made their own DS-10 instrument, Korg and DS developer AQ Interactive yesterday presented something new for the handheld Nintendo. This time, they’re revisiting one of the all-time greatest hits of digital synthesis, the Korg M1 workstation.

Markus Schroeder tips us off that the M1 will be the next release for the DS. An iOS (iPhone/iPad) version may follow, as with Korg’s recent mobile rendition of the ElecTribe.

Markus is also kind enough to translate the Japanese contents of the presentation:

Features are (subject to change / error):

  • 300 original M1 PCM Sounds
  • 8x multi timbral
  • 8 track 16 step sequencer 1 sequence max 64 pattern, max polyphonic sound 12
  • master reverb, delay effect
  • track overview, sound browser, sequence edit, mixer, keyboard. Simple and functional display
  • notes/chords,/drum input mode by touch control
  • data exchange by wireless transmit
  • drag & drop transpose
  • sustained notes

Release Date is set to 31st 12. 2010 over at

(With past experience as a guide, delivery outside Japan may happen later – and it’s a shame this won’t happen by the holidays, huh?)

GearJunkies has a couple of screen shots.

None other than Nobuyoshi Sano does the demonstration, the veteran Namco Bandai composer who contributed to legendary scores for Ridge Racer and the Tekken series, and was the producer of the KORG DS-10 application.

And so it continues: whereas once, only analog synths could be classics or inspire nostalgia, the digital instrument has clearly arrived. The digital follow-up to KORG’s own Legacy Collection tried a similar revival of the M1, but there’s something about having it in a $150 handheld, let alone one that can also swap over to Zelda. Hey, maybe a lap of kart racing will wind up giving you a musical idea.

Check out Markus’ YouTube account for more.

  • Polite

    I have to admit that as much as it appeals to me, i just don't seem to be drawn to composing on a handheld. It makes me a little sad. I do love my DS-10 though, so i might still buy this on a whim.

  • Love the Korg DS-10, and I am sure this will be even better.

    I just hope that they do get around to that European release sooner rather than later… and sort out a Euro release of the DS-10+ too!

  • I think that this is great, but it does make me wonder about Korg's involvement in all this. The DS-10 in 2008, the iElectribe and Monotron in 2010 and now the M01. It seems strange not to pursue more tablet based releases of classic hardware.

  • I really hope that this is going to be released for the western market too!

    Although I have to admit that creating whole songs on a handheld console is not that interesting, it is still a really great way to create and save ideas for songs that can be later produced in a more professional environment. I think of my current DS-10 as something like a pocket notepad for music.

    I am really happy that they continue this concept of handheld console synthesizers!

  • love the zelda sounds he plays in the beginning 😉

  • Brian

    AWESOME! But i just sold my DS…. COCK!

  • @ PalmSounds – I thought exactly that when I saw this story. Which is why I'm so pleased! I assumed that Korg would focus on the iPad now. I'm so glad they are sticking with the DS too.

    Maybe it's because the DS is cheaper and more people have them?

    Two DS's, one with this and one with the DS-10, a mixer, some effects pedals, and an iPod chucking out field recordings. That's the live rig I'm looking forward to using!

  • I hope the LIVE aspects of DS-10 have not been forgotten.

  • I've heard you can save a whopping 10 SONGS…. come on Nintendo give developers some space….

  • Here's some discussion as well:…

  • Charlie Lesoine

    Still waiting for the iPad chaos pad…I have the ds-10 and iElectribe. They would be like 4 times a useful if they had some sort of midi sync capability.

  • Low Resolution Sunse

    I just hope it syncs with the DS-10. It probably won't, but I'll buy it anyway.

  • Evan Schneider

    the M1(I had one back in the day) is super lame sounding and has no filters, why would korg bring that back? Somebody make a DS program with good sounding drums please!

  • Evan Schneider

    correction the M1 does have a filter it does not have resonance, that make the filter kinda flacid and lame, KORG M1's suck donkey shit!!

  • i LOVE the Korg/DS programs, but if this doesn't have MIDI input it'll be a complete and utter travesty.

  • Stuart

    @ Evan

    If you don't like it don't buy it. It's funny though. For something that sucks donkey shit Korg sure sold an awful lot of them.

    What I'm wondering about though is if there will be any kind of patch editing abilities. The demo and screen shots leave me with the impression that it'll be more of a preset machine. Not that it'll stop me from picking one up but I'd be happier if I could mess with the sounds.

  • newmiracle

    Also, was there some kind of limitation on the DS-10 if you used a Phatty (original) DS vs. the DS Lite? I remember it not being a huge deal, but a difference none the less.

    I'm assuming there'd be something similar with this. Can anyone confirm?

  • What's with people always nagging about MIDI support. The software has specifically been designed to fuction WITHOUT any MIDI, that's the cool thing! And Nintendo doesn't allow cool things like MIDI, so you could have smelled this from a long distance.

  • newmiracle; only on the DS-10+ version. with the DS-10+ and a DSi or DSXL, you basically get double everything, dual sequencer, and a few more things…

    the DS-10+ on the Lite (or phatty, but who even owns one of those anymore?) is basically the same thing as the original DS-10, but the live editing/recording/sequencing has been improved over the old version — basically, you can switch in and out of the song editor without stopping playback, and you can record automation during song mode instead of just pattern mode (a simple thing, but makes it so much more powerful than before).

  • strunkdts

    The only thing I want Korg to do is combine the SX and MX and Kaos Pad into one beast, with a couple gig of memory, 8 pair stereo outs and USB.

  • Charlie Lesoine

    @DS-10 Dominator: that is not the cool thing. The cool thing is it's a synth/sequencer on a touchscreen, which would be really cool for a lot of musicians to perform live with. The problem is a lot of people who would find it usefull for live performance want to be able to use the DS-10 in conjunction with the rest of their gear midi gear…not having midi just isolates everything you do on the DS. you can't take your ideas out of the DS and that turns people off to it. .

  • Awesome. I always wanted an M1 back in the day, and now I'll be able to carry one in my pocket for $40 or so.

    I imported the Japanese version of DS-10, along with Electroplankton — and everything in the actual software was in English anyway. The same will probably be true of the M1.

  • Mr. Carrington

    I still have the originals MS20+SQ10, Polysix & M1… DS-10 is really funny. M1 demo promise to be a top and I've work with i-Electribe but I think how to sync the rest of my gear? DS consoles are a must for the show but impossible to sync… Some DS BIG controller, please!

  • in my humble opinion, that's the perfect complement to the korg ds-10. yeah, midi import/export would be nice but how is that gonna happen? Where are the files gonna be stored? I'd be very happy with just midi export but I realize that it's very unlikely to happen…unless the sav files can be extracted from the cart and then deciphered. Just like on the DS-10. Too bad.

  • I have a good time with the original DS-10, but does anyone know if this will work on an original DS or will i have to finally upgrade to a DSi to get full poly like they did with the update of the DS-10?

    M1 is a huge accomplishment if they managed to get all the functionality of the real deal in a DS in any case.

  • it's for both DS and DSi. To be out in December in Japan. The question I have right now is whether or not the presets can be modified. The other question I have is whether or not it can be synced with the DS-10. That would be boss. I am not sure there's enough interest for the syncing thing though. Also, i would not be surprised if a M01+ version is to be coming later for the DSi only.

  • newmiracle

    I have an original phatty! Admittedly, it's just collecting dust in th closet, but it'd be nice to get some use out of it.

    When the DS-10 was officially coming to the US, I tried talking to the people at Gamestop about "trading up" to a DS Lite. They said that they don't buy phatties anymore. Now, with the 3DS coming out… it'll just be even worse. The poor old thing isn't even worth selling!

  • bresk


    hell yeeeha man !!!

  • Plieuw

    cool a rompler with a soundset from more than 10 years ago….(innovative? no, fun? yes)

    but will it be region locked (like ds10+)?

  • It will work on old DS (lite), so no regio lock I guess :).