Excerpt from archive magazine feature:
EVER SINCE THEY brought out the M1, Korg have been in no hurry to move into the sub-£1000 price bracket. While other companies concentrate on repackaging their innovations in ever-cheaper versions for the masses, Korg are, if anything, moving upmarket with their new T1, T2 and T3 synths. Until now the M1R (a rack-mount version of the M1) has been the cheapest option for anyone wanting the M1's particular angle on sound synthesis, but even that will be gradually replaced by the ExM1R, an M1R with twice the amount of onboard sample ROM, which will sell for around £1800 (existing M1R owners will be able to get their unit upgraded for a fee).
But now with the M3R, Korg have come up with a unit which looks set to please all those musicians who've been longing for a budget expander version of the M1. While forgoing the M1/M1R's onboard sequencing, the M3R retains most of its more expensive relatives' features. However, it has only one oscillator (and therefore one sound) per Program, compared to the M1/M1R's two, and 75% of the latter's onboard ROM sample memory. Furthermore, its sample memory can't be upgraded like that of the M1R and (provisionally) the M1. But the polyphony remains the same (16 voices), as does the number of parts (eight), and the M3R has the same digital effects capability as the M1/M1R (and consequently the same audio output arrangement). It's also compatible with the series of M1 PCM ROM Sample cards, so you're not confined to its onboard samples.
Coming in a 1U-high 19" rack-mounting casing, the M3R is operated from a set of eight buttons on the front panel, with a modest 2x16-character backlit LCD window taking care of the display facilities. Realising that this might not be to everyone's liking. Korg have also come up with a more user-friendly alternative in the form of the RE1 Remote Editor, a dedicated M3R hardware editor which connects to the M3R by means of a special ten-foot cable. The RE1 is an optional extra, with the combined price of an M3R and an RE1 coming to £1174.
As well as the aforementioned LCD window and eight editing buttons, the front panel contains a volume knob, stereo phones output jack, power on/off switch, and two card slots for PCM ROM data cards and Program/Combination data cards respectively. It's worth noting that the M3R cannot load M1 Program/Combination data cards, so Korg have been busy reprogramming their existing library specifically for the M3R.
Each of the eight edit buttons also has a red pinpoint LED which lights whenever a note is received on the corresponding Timbre's MIDI channel, resulting in quite a lightshow when you're running the M3R multitimbrally off a sequencer. On the rear panel, meanwhile, are MIDI In, Out and Thru sockets, the Remote socket for connection of the RE1, and four audio output jacks a stereo pair and two mono outs).
includes original owners manual.