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Korg Poly-61

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When buying one, watch out for: leaked battery resulting in erratic behavior of the synth.


This was one of my first synths, but that's not the reason why I favor it so much. This is one of my favorites among the cheap boards because it has an animal trapped in it. The P-61 tone is so weird and gritty and lo-fi. The filter is so unique that it can fool you into thinking that the sounds are coming out of a vocoder. It will enable you to create extremely cool and rarely-to-be-found growling basses and groans, like an old lazy mutant grumpy cat or hungry bear.

The Poly-61 gives us quite basic sound possibilities, features and quality expected in a vintage synth. What it represents - the aforementioned sounds + features + quality bundle - is right above the level of total disappointment, and just below another price range. Of course it's a risky business on my side to set the boundaries like that, because if we set the Korg Polysix / Roland Juno standard as the basic standard (or the middle ground, if you like) then the Poly-61 is bound to be a disappointment for many. The horrible interface plus the noticeably rigid overall tone (and maybe the kitschy silvery design) might be some of the explanations for its much diminished price on the market. It's not a versatile or a comfortable instrument, but its small area of effectiveness is so exceptional that it's enough to give it a try. In some areas of sound (as mentioned above) it is really inimitable and one-of-a-kind.



Watch the video demo:



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