Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler for Vintage Drums

Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler
Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler

Today I found a mint condition Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler at the local used Music shop here in Nagano-city, JAPAN. It came with the original box, 64MB memory card, adapter, and manual. This particular sampler was something I new I wanted to pick up. I posted a video below from a Youtube user called “harlemnightsmusic” who stuffed a Korg ES-1 MKII Sampler with 80s Linn Drum sounds and started recreating some fantastic classic 80’s disco and pop rhythms. I have quite a few LinnDrum samples among a ton of other drum machine samples and thought this would work perfectly for me. I love the 32kHz “Lo-Fi” sound of the ES-1 MKII very much. There’s only 95 seconds of memory if correct, but that should be plenty for making a few kits for playback.

I primarily intend to use Korg ES-1 MKII as a pattern based drum sequencer for me to play along with using the keys. I feel the Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler will be very easy to program drum patterns which could then be easily transferred to other devices if necessary as well. On a side note, I tested the formatting ability on a 128MB smartmedia card and as expected it gave me an error message. Indeed I will only be able to use up to 64MB Smartmedia cards, however, I likely won’t even come close to using that much since the internal memory can only load 95 seconds worth of samples. Currently I am using a 16MB card and that seems just fine for my purposes. Plus I don’t see myself using this for anything other than a drum machine with retro vintage samples in it. For that it’s absolutely awesome and great fun!!

There are quite a few people making great use out of this wonderful sampler on Youtube. I know there are newer updated versions of the Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII, but for the cheap price I bought this for, I’m more than happy with the results.


7 thoughts on “Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler for Vintage Drums

  1. Korg Electribe ES1 – SmartNamer 0.8 beta


    – Copying samples from your PC to SmartMedia while renaming them to 00.wav till 99.wav which the ES-1 recognises.
    – Remembering the original sample names. (In the ‘names.txt’ file on SmartMedia).
    – Copying and naming bank files (.es1) the same way as samples.
    – Renaming and deleting samples and bankfiles.
    – Audition samples when they are doubleclicked.

    Korg ES-1 Electribe Editor


  2. Tips from around the net.

    To have the ES-1 recognize the samples they must:
    o be either 8 or 16 bit
    o have the sampling rate of 32000 Hz (use the resample command in your sound editor to do resampling without changing the pitch)
    o be either in .wav or in .aif format (if two samples have the same name but different format, .wav will take priority over .aif)
    o be copied to the root directory of the SmartMedia card (e.g. f:\)
    o must be named sequentially as follows: 00.wav (or .aif), 01.wav, 02,wav, …, 99.wav.
    * Note that you cannot have more than 100 sample files at the root directory because three digit file names are not recognized by the Es-1.
    * Note that 8 bit files will be internally converted to 16 bit so you cannot save space by reducing the dynamiccs. However, the ES-1 does not do sample rate conversions automatically.

    1. Poison

      Would it be possible to change the sampling frequency from 32Khz to 44.1Khz? Or, is it possible to make the ES1 recognise samples up to 44.1Khz?

      Thanks in advance!

  3. I had a lot of fun with my Korg Electribe ES-1. (I posted some of my stuff with ES-1 on YouTube.) I believe that ES1 and ES-1 MK2 share exactly the same motherboards, because you can actually flash ES1’s firmware (OS image) to load MK2’s OS image (I can confirm it, I did it for mine.) The OS image is available on Yahoo Electrbe newsgroup’s file page, which only members can access (anyone can register for free, so it is available for free.)
    ES1 (first version) is made in Japan, and ES1 MK2 is made in China.

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