Korg EMX-1 Opinions

How do you feel about the EMX-1 and the new direction of Korg electribes?

1 Like

Very different machines.
Similar concept though.

I had the EMX-1 and ESX-1 . Those were both monster. Very deep and capable machines. Do lend them selves to a certain area of sound though. And if you’re into that sound, then they can take you far.

The new electribes, are more flexible on one hand, more tracks (kinda), and you can load what ever you want on to a track (unlike the EMX-1 which had fixed drum tracks, and 5 synth parts). But the new ones dont have the cool 3 part FX send with its routing options, which I enjoyed a lot.

And of course, the E2 has polyphony. If thats important to you.

Build quality is excellent on both machines. One is smaller and battery powered. Both can be used to make full tracks, both can be used to play live. Id say the E2 is a bit more refined maybe? Choosing one over the other is tough, they both have pros and cons.

Ultimately though I’ll always have a soft spot for the EMX-1. It sounded massive , seriously,
If youve not heard one over a big system, you dont understand how much air those things can move. But I wouldn’t get one again. Ive gone deep into the elektron sequencing way and I have no plans on leaving.


The Korg ESX is the first sampler I ever owned. Would love to have one again but not for the prices I usually see them for. I’ve owned most of the other Electribes as well.

I tried the new sampler twice and the other one once. I didn’t care for them. On paper they seem to offer a lot but the FXs aren’t great. The filter types are nothing to write home about. I like the clean, modern sound of the synth engine in the new one but would rather just have it as a proper synth and not a groove box. The new sampler was just meh to me for some reason—basically if offered few inspiring sound shaping options, but if you just want to sequence one shots and loops w/o doing anything to them it’s fine.

1 Like

Both are great.
I still use both, E2 and EMX, although not every day.
Can’t go wrong with either, if you want to build grooves that make people dance.


Does the EMX-1 have a place in a mostly Elektron gear production setup?

2nd hand peices getting steep again, but I recently got fascinated by this vintage piece. Especially with the sound and its tube compression. Also sequencer seems nice.

What do you think?


I had an EMX1 that I used with OT and TR09.
Totally banging sound and I regret selling it.

The EMX1 sounds MASSIVE

Haven’t found anything else that can move air like that thing.


The EMX-1 is a beast with surprising range (for electronic music). It’s also possible to upgrade the tubes pretty easily to achieve a slightly more refined sound. If you find one for a good price you should go for it…

1 Like

Definitely has a place. Both of the x series units are great machines. 128 step sequences still make them more capable than most modern gear for certain tasks like melodic work and they’re good for sequencing external gear. Great sound, motion sequencing of parameters, crazy fast workflow. I love them!


I started out with an ESX-1 when I felt the need for a hardware sampler - I oliked it so much that the EMX-1 seemed the obvious next step, and it just blew my mind how much could be done with it.

I thought that the Analog 4 would be a nice analogue variation on the same theme (there are some EMX-1 sounds that are a bit too digital on occasion), which it sort of was but mostly wasn’t - so the EMX-1 has stayed ever since. Sequencing external devices - including with motion capture and sending CCs - and the separate 3+4 outputs are particularly useful and open to all sorts of creative abuses, and the FX are pretty good.


In my opinion there is no such thing as a bad electribe (even the EA1 is ok) and I’d happily (and have) use any of them on records, as many others do also. I think it is fair to say they all have their quirks and limitations so be prepared for these, but overall bang for buck and getting stuff done, for certain styles of music they are excellent instruments.

My faves are EMX-1, E2S, E2, ER1, ES1, there are some custom 3rd party firmwares for some of them.


EMX-1 is dope! It was the piece of hardware that got me back into making music after many years away. Loved the 128 step sequencer and they’re built like a tank. The reverb on it wasn’t the best but everything else was solid! Wish I wouldn’t have let it go.


I love my EMX1. It did develop knob jitter on the main encoder. Anyone here know where to find a replacement encoder/pot??

Ebay has lots of spare parts for electribes.

1 Like

In addition to the above, I’ll mention I’m always shocked at the embarrassment of tracks the EMX-1 offers compared to modern grooveboxes. Nine drum tracks + five synths? I get a beat going and then look around, see so much space, and feel like I can stretch out my arms and do some weird stuff.


and 128 step patterns. The E2 is 64 steps maximum. I have absolutely no idea what Korg was thinking when they released the E2/E2S. Simplicity of the EMX1? Flushed down the toilets with that menu diving hell that is the E2.


Any hope of a new set of electribes in the future?

My first electilribe was the ESX-1. I always wanted to get an EMX-1 for a long time after being blown away by the ESX. It never came to fruition unfortunately. I did grab an ER1 about 8 years ago, that’s one was great as well. I ended up sampling it and sending it on its way eventually but something about electribes I always loved. I had the original E2S but I didn’t give it the love I probably should have bc I was focused on learning Machinedrum those days.

I saw a jam Cenk did not too long ago with an EMX-1 in his setup and that sparked some interest in why the choice for that to be included but just sounds so good and is very easy to get going.

I remember the tube mod being a big deal back when I religiously watched terikith jam on them. I never got around to doing that to experience the difference.

Maybe one day korg will do a righteous hardware followup, not likely, but wishful.

The Electribe 2 was released 10 years ago, 10 years after the Electribe EMX-1 so maybe. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up for the next iteration, look at the Drumlogue, it doesn’t feel very fun to use…

1 Like

I don’t share this contempt for the E2.

Like darenager, I’ve owned most of the Electribes, over the years, and the EMX-1 and the E2 are my favourites, by far. They are both equally a joy to use. I still own the E2, and I use it all the time.

Workflow wise, they both have their shortcomings. Ultimately, however, I find the E2 slightly less frustrating, because every track has the same architecture, which can be whatever you want it to be (i.e. drum or synth, mono or poly). Each track also has its own independent insert effect; as apposed to sharing 3 send effects (the configuration of which you had to commit to ahead of time), like on the EMX-1.

Anyway, to the OP… Yes, in my opinion, the EMX-1 is still worth it.