M1 (House) Piano processing


Guys, I have been all over YouTube etc. for this one and not yet found any process described to be convincing when I try it back [!!lack of skill alert!!]. I have the Korg M1 VST with the M1 Piano (Piano 16 in combi mode). What is the difference between it dry from the VST and the lush sound on a lot of early 90’s dance?

Is it processing (mixing/mastering) or chord type (composition) etc? I haven’t tried it again since being introduced to saturation, so it may be I now have the tools, just wondering if anyone uses the House/M1 piano sound and has any advice, even if it is settings for the VST itself??

Also, what about the same then for more hardcore style of M1 (early Scooter for example)?


My friend did an amazing remix a while back ago using the exact presset you mention in the M1 plugin and added a reverb. I thought the sound he got was amazing if want to I can check what reverb and setting he used.



That would be really cool. I have heard reverb, low cutting, chord choice (use minor 7th’s), phaser/chorus, you name it! Even using another piano with it, but surely that wasn’t what they did in the day? My 2 nemesis’s seem to be getting the M1 right and the fat bouncy, punchy kick. I’m getting there, bit by bit…


The original M1 sounds different from the plug-in. This is due to the good old quintessential dirty and noisy cheap 90s D/A converters. The hardware M1 also has a high frequency filter I think it is 16 KHz to prevent aliasing, whereas the software does not. I believe the samples are 8-Bit as well not sure if these are a direct port. Interestingly the hardware sounds brighter and more alive.

I would certainly try some sample rate and bit depth reduction to get closer to the original hardware, a lot of dance producer from this time used Mackie desks that sounded crunchy when pushed and typically a trashy sounding reverb. EQ probably would have been from the desk but I think any EQ will work to be honest.

BTW I love this forum, power went off in middle of this post and it saved my post, woop!


As always @Paul, you are a technical genius!! Nowhere have I seen the suggestions you have put forward before. Just a lot of ‘add this, do that’ and then at the end even I can tell the difference. So, if I put a low pass at 16Khz and bit reduction even before the channel strip then to emulate what the desk would have been receiving from the synth. Interestingly, I wonder whether the X5DR would sound the same as the M1? Ideally I am trying to be in the box, but I could always dust it off!

Loving the way this forum works too. I have left a post mid writing before and it was there when I returned…


This is an interesting clip on the VST vs Hardware. Listen at 07.55 for the piano

Interestingly, I had been using Piano 16’ not 8’. I am going to setup a little project and pull in Ride on Time as the reference track. Even grab the Midi so match like for like…