Korg M3: Updating your custom sounds to OS 2.0


You have updated to OS 2.0. You have loaded some sounds (combis, programs) that you or someone else created with v1.x of the M3 Operating System. Now they seem to play completely wrong.


Korg completely changed the order of several things with M3 XPanded v2.0:

  1. Program order completely changed to have all programs arranged by category (formerly known as "Producer Set" or "Producer Order".)
  2. Drum Track Program settings in Programs
  3. Drum Patterns
  4. MultiSounds in the Oscillators
  5. Multisounds in Tone Adjust

#3 and #4 are automatically handled when loading v1.x data. Unfortunately, there is no conversion available for #1, #2 or #5 in the M3 (or the M3 Editor), so this means that when loading data created with v1.x, you either have to manually reassign certain things to restore your data, or use the Korg M3 Editor (PC/Mac) to do the conversions.

01-Nov-2008 Korg: Korg has released the M3 Editor v2.1.0. You can download it HERE. This editor has a conversion feature that will fix your data for you. Please see this new article that explains how to use it:
Converting v1 data to v2 using the M3 Editor

If you cannot use the M3 Editor for some reason, the following information can be used to "manually" fix your data.

Fixing Combis

1. The Programs

This can be done with the v2.0 Voice Name List - see the "Program Comparison Chart" on page 144.

However, a few points to be aware of:

When you select a program, certain parameters may get reset by the "Auto Load Program EQ" and "Auto Load Tone Adjust" settings. These settings automatically load the default EQ and Tone Adjust settings of the program when you select it.

The state of a Combi created with 1.x when first loaded into OS 2.0 is that the EQ and Tone adjust settings are set the way you stored them, but the Program Location is wrong. However, if you just reselect the new program, you may be resetting the timbre's EQ and Tone Adjust to the settings stored with the Program, which may not be how you have them set in the Combi.

On Page 2 EQ/Options in Combi Mode, there is an "Auto Load Program EQ" checkbox for each timbre. Before loading any Programs, you should turn all of these off to keep the EQ exactly as you have it set.

Secondly, there is a similar situation with Tone Adjust. On Page 0-8 Control Surface, Tone Adjust Mode, there is a single "Auto Load" checkbox that should be turned off before reselecting any Programs.

2. Tone Adjusted MultiSounds

If you have any timbres where Tone Adjust is being used to select a different MultiSound for any oscillator, it will be wrong. The MultiSound list/order has changed and you must manually assign the correct value.

You can access/download a list showing the old/new multisound locations here:
Korg M3: V1 to V2 MultiSound List

Fixing Drum Track Settings in Programs

Apparently, the selected Drum Program for all Drum Track settings in Program Mode will revert to the first valid Drum Program (A018 Studio Standard Kit). This is because only Programs in the Drum Category can be selected for the Drum Track setting, and most of the v1.x Drum Kit Program locations now hold Programs that are not Drum Programs.

At this time, barring any further information from Korg, it appears that the only way to restore these settings to the previous Drum Program is to somehow "know" what the setting was before. One way would be to have written down the Program assignments before updating to 2.0 - but who knows to do that?

Thankfully, there is an easier way - if you use the M3 Editor software, you can load your old files and the old Preload, and use it to locate the correct Drum Track Programs. Simply reference the old data in the M3 Editor, while having the new data in your M3 XPanded.

  1. Open the M3 Editor V1 (not connect to M3).
  2. Import your v 1.x PCG.
  3. You can see what Program number is used for the DT in the editor.

Alternately (this has not been tested by the author, but seems logical), if you were to load the entire set of v1.x Preload Data into the M3, it would still have the Drum Programs in the v1.x locations, so you could check through a bank of custom Program data and notate which Drum Kit locations were being used, before then reloading the v2.0 Preload Data.

Fixing Songs

The procedure for fixing songs starts with the procedure for fixing Combis above. A Song has an "initial program" setting for each track, on Page 0-1 and 0-2, and these need to be changed to the new location the same was as specified above, also taking into account the Auto Load EQ and Auto Load Tone Adjust settings.

However, songs have the additional issue that, if you have changed any Programs inside the tracks during the song, to select a different instrument, you will need to go into Event Edit and locate any Program Change messages, and fix them as well.

This can be done on the Track Edit Page, using the Menu Command button in the upper right and selecting "Event Edit".

  1. Go to Page 6 Track Edit.
  2. Set the Track Select parameter under the song title to the track that you wish to search and fix.
  3. Touch the Menu Command button in the upper right and select "Event Edit".
  4. De-select everything except Program Change and touch OK.
  5. You will now be able to see just program changes that may be in the track.
  6. If you locate any, you can set the bank and program number to the new location.
  7. Repeat for each track in the song.

Note that if you are using Program Changes inside the song, after resetting you initial track program choices according to the combi instructions above, you will probably want to return the Auto Load EQ and Auto Load Tone Adjust settings to however they were stored in your song, since your song may be counting on those features to load the EQ and tone adjust of the programs that are changed while it is playing.


Do not be tempted to re-load an older operating system (v1.x) to 'see' how things were arranged previously. In doing so, you will almost certainly cause a system fault (the M3 will no longer boot up), for which there is not currently an official solution. Once v2.x is installed, do not try and reload v1.x.

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