01/W ROMs

rev: 2023Jan31a0948

- What's the latest ROM version number?
- How do I see what ROM version I have?
- Added features of ROM #62
--    ROM #62 bugs
- How To Get ROM Upgrades
- Making your own ROMs
- ROM Discussion
  - PCM ROMs
  - OS ROMs
- Installing ROM Upgrades

ROM (Read-Only Memory) is a memory integrated circuit programmed at the factory and cannot be erased.

Q: What is the latest ROM version number?

According to Korg's ProView magazine, issue #13 (Winter 1999), page 19, as of 1998 December 31, the latest ROM version for all 01/W Series is "62". This was the last time the 01/W ROM was mentioned in ProView.

Reported ROM versions are:

ROM Versions
#DateModel(s) #DateModel(s) #DateModel(s) #DateModel(s)
24Jul.04.1991fd 31Oct.12.1991non-fd 39Apr.22.1992fd, R/W 58Apr.01.1992pro, proX
25Aug.19.1991fd, non-fd 34Nov.11.1991 54Jan.16.1992pro, proX 59Apr.17.1992pro
27Sep.20.1991fd, R/W 35Nov.27.1991R/W 55Feb.04.1992pro 62Jun.01.1992all
28Oct.02.19??fd 38Mar.30.1992R/W 56Feb.27.1992pro 64?2002??

(revised: 2023 Jan 31)

If you know of additional releases, feel free to e-mail me. If you include the model of 01 (R/W, non-FD, FD, pro, proX), I'll add that information to the table and see what we learn.

ROM #64?

A Canadian user reported in 2002 that Korg Canada sent him version #64 ROMs. Korg Canada said the ROMs contained minor bug fixes, no new features. [02Mar24] No further information has been made available to me.

How To See Your ROM Version Number

To see what ROM version you have, follow these steps:

  1. Start with the power turned off.
  2. Press and hold the RESET button (on the front panel).
  3. Turn the power on.
  4. Continue pressing RESET while watching the display closely.

At first you will see the usual "Korg 01/W Music Workstation" ad. After 2 or 3 seconds, the ROM information will appear on the left edge of the display. You will see a date on one line and the ROM number beneath that. Read quickly because this appears for less than 2 seconds. The latest ROM will show:


Added Features of ROM #62.

Earlier ROM versions (lower numbers) may lack functions that are in later versions. ROM #58 is reported to have the Standard MIDI File (SMF) functions but not the expanded Compare function.

One user reported: "I own ROM #55 on my 01/W pro, and it has SMF ability".

Be aware that SMF capability is not the same as GM capability. SMF lets you transfer Standard MIDI files using floppy disk. For General MIDI capability you MUST load a set of GM Progs and a Drum kit into the 01.

PCM Sounds (Multi- and Drum) are not affected by ROM upgrades.

(The following is from a list posting by Mac McMurry circa 1996. If you know of other "added features" that are not listed here, please e-mail me.)
Summary of Added Features
Standard MIDI Files, including the addition of Disk Mode Page 4.
Expanded COMPARE key function
SEQ Mode
  Mute/Solo Switches
  Display of patterns in the event list
  Effects Bypass Switch
  NUM option for Program Change Filtering
  ROM Demo Sequence (01/W only, no FD)
General MIDI Bank support
Direct Entry (? This feature was in ROM #58, perhaps earlier. E-mail me if you know.)

Here are some of the changes that came with ROM #62, as reported by a user who quoted from a 13-page booklet ("01/Wfd-01/W Standard MIDI File") that came with the upgrade.

Standard MIDI Files (SMF)

You can read and write Standard MIDI Files from a 720K DOS-formatted disk. "This standard makes it possible to use sequence data from a floppy disk regardless of the source equipment or manufacturer. Files of sequence data made on equipment that conforms to this standard can be loaded and played back on the 01/Wfd. In addition, sequence data created on the 01/Wfd can be saved to disk as a Standard MIDI File, making it possible to load and play back this data on other equipment as well."

NOTE: There appears to be a bug that can cause the 01 top panel buttons to stop working while using "Event Edit" on a SMF you just loaded. Click here to see details.

Disk Mode, Page 4 adds these functions:

*Load Std MIDI File* into a specific Song location (Song0-Song9). You can scroll through a list of SMFs on the disk in the drive.

*Set Date for Save* - specify a date between Jan-1-1980 and Dec-31-2079 to be stamped onto a saved MIDI file, which will appear as the DOS time stamp for that file in a disk directory.

*Save Std MIDI File*, selecting a Song location (Song0-Song9) to save, a DOS-compatible name (eight alphanumeric characters and the .MID extension), and the type of SMF, either Type 0 (single track) or Type 1 (multi-track).

*Format Disk* - formats a disk using the 720K MS-DOS format.

Loading a SMF: "you need to set track setting individually after the song name and performance data are loaded from the disk", meaning that your volumes and programs will not be set unless you have volume controller data and/or program changes saved in the SMF.

Saving a SMF: "Patterns are opened before they are saved. Because of this, a large portion of the disk's memory is used when saving a Song that uses several Patterns. This may make it difficult to re-load this data to the 01/Wfd."

"Follow P2-4 if you want to carry out the 01/W series formatting procedure". I've been burnt by this before. "Format Disk" is on line 4 on both the SAVE page (2) and the STD MIDI FILE page (4). You need to be sure which one you're doing before you do it, or you'll be frustrated when you can't get the disk you just formatted to Save All Data....

If you have a Macintosh, you can read and write 720K MS-DOS disks using the Apple File Exchange, the PC Exchange Control Panel, or a number of other things like that.

Expanded COMPARE key function

If the COMPARE key is pressed while in PROG Mode or COMBI Mode, the edit recall function will call up values last set in EDIT PROGRAM mode or EDIT COMBINATION. Same thing works for Combinations. Pretty cool, and if you use it, you can save LOTS of editing time by not losing your work.

Example: You edit Prog B31 into something you like, but you want to keep the original B31. You can press PROG and check Progs until you find one you don't mind losing (like B99). You then press COMPARE to retrieve your edited B31, then press REC/WRITE to save the edited B31 into B99.

Mute/Solo Switches

Used in SEQ Mode, after recording something: Highlight the bar under a Prog number. Press and hold the A-H button below the highlighted track. Pressing a numeric button will do the following things:

 0 - The track will be set to "PLAY"
 1 - The track will be set to "MUTE"
 2 - All tracks will be set to "PLAY", regardless of the letter key held.
 3 - All tracks except the selected track will be set to "MUTE". This is called "solo" since you will hear only the selected track.

The cursor must be on the Mute/Rec/Play bars underneath the desired track for this to work, or you'll change the program number. Click here for more details.

Display of patterns in the event list

In SEQ Mode: "If the piece contains a pattern which consist of two or more measures, (H) is displayed in the first measure of that pattern." This may just be errata and not a new feature.

Effects Bypass Switch

Global mode Page 0 Line 1. Has an added ON/OFF parameter called "Effect SW". When it's set to OFF, all effects are disabled.

NUM option for Program Change Filtering

Global mode Page 0 Line 5. In addition to DIS, ENA, and PRG, the Program Change filter has a NUM option: "Select NUM if you do not want to change the Bank using MIDI Bank Change."

ROM Demo Sequence (01/W only, no FD)

Global Mode Page 7 Line 1. (PRELOAD) has a command for "Load Demo Sequence". This will replace any data in the SEQ mode, and the ROM programs should also be loaded, since the demo uses them.

General MIDI Bank support

From page 2 of the installation instructions:

"P.125  Add the following sentence in the right hand column under the display for the pitch bend and aftertouch events.

* The "GM" and "GMD (GMDrum)" parameters in the bank are provided to control an external GM or other sound source. The voice and drum set used for GM are selected with the sound source corresponding to the GM sound source to which the data is sent.

MIDI message - GM: Bn, 00, 38, 20, 00
              GMD: Bn, 00, 3E, 20, 00

Also, if "---" is entered, the bank change will no longer be output in MIDI format."

The sequencer lets you define banks A, B, 2-127, GM, GMD, and ---. This lets you send General MIDI and General MIDI Drum bank select messages to an external GM sound source. "---" means "the bank change will no longer be output in MIDI format."

There are corrections to the MIDI Implementation charts. One updates the Device Inquiry chart to reflect the new ROM #, and the other two incorporate the fact that changes made in Program and/or Combination mode with Performance Edits (changing the attack, etc.) are valid in Edit Program and/or Edit Combination mode.

ROM #62 Bug: Buttons stop working

It's possible for one or more (even ALL) the buttons on the 01's top panel to stop working. If the EDIT PROG button still works, pressing that may solve the problem. If none of the buttons work, the only way to recover is to turn off power to the 01.

The problem appears when ROM#62 reads a SMF (Disk Mode, Page 4) that has multiple tracks on the same MIDI channel (a Type 1 SMF). While merging these tracks into one track, something causes one of the tracks to be shifted one measure earlier than it is on the floppy. If you try to look at the damaged measure in SEQ Mode [Page 5: Event Edit] you can cause certain buttons to stop working. In one instance, using the CURSOR UP button locked out the entire 01 top panel.

The cause seems to be when two tracks are on the same MIDI channel AND the last event on one track is in the measure immediately before the first event on the second track. The 01 appears to combine the last measure of the first track with the first measure of the second instead of keeping them separate.

The only solution is to merge the tracks yourself before saving the SMF to the floppy.

How To Get ROM Upgrades

You can have your local Korg service center ("The Shop")do it, you can maybe do it yourself (check below), or you can split the task with the center, depending on how helpful your local service center is. Your options are:

ROM Installation Options
Option ROMS bought by ROMs installed by
1 Shop Shop
2 Shop You
3 You Shop
4 You You


1. The Shop gets and installs the ROMs: Free Upgrade

A free upgrade is when The Shop orders and installs the ROMs for free. The most recent report of this happening was in January, 2001, in Louisiana, USA. The entire process took five days (four days to get the ROMs, one day to install). This is absolutely the best way to go if your local Korg service center will do it.

The procedure is:

  1. Make sure you don't already have the latest ROMs. Click here instructions.
  2. Call Korg service at (516) 333-8737 and politely ask them how you can get the ROM upgrade and how much it will cost. This does two things: It confirms the upgrades are still available and free, and prepares Korg for the call they are about to get in Step 3...
  3. Go to your local Korg repair/service shop and ask them if you can get the free ROM upgrade. They will probably look bewildered ("Free?"). Give them the Korg phone number you called in Step 2, where they can call and get all the details.
  4. Once The Shop calls Korg, the ROMs should ship within a few days. Once The Shop gets them, it should take one day for the installation (unless the shop is backed up with other work.)

You pay

You can pay The Shop to obtain and install the ROMs. They may charge you for the ROMs plus a separate charge for installation. Combined charges range from about $50 to $150. The advantage of this route is that you are paying the center to install good ROMs. If they accidentally damage anything in the process, they must fix it. In the end, you should get an upgraded, perfectly working 01 for your money. Reported cost: $150 for a proX (July, 2000)

2. The Shop gets the ROMs, you install them

You may be able to have The Shop order the ROMs from Korg. In some cases, The Shop has been nice enough to do this free of charge. In other cases, they charge a fee.

3. You get the ROMs, The Shop installs them

You get the ROMs for free, then pay for installation.

You could get the ROMs free from Korg, then take them to The Shop for installation (reported cost range $50-$100). The risk here is if The Shop accidentally damages the ROMs, they may tell you the ROMs were bad to begin with (you can't prove them wrong). You will then have lost both the ROMs, the installation charges, AND you could have a non-working 01.

4. You get the ROMs and install them yourself

Once you have the ROMs, they must be carefully installed (see Installing ROM Upgrades below). You can easily damage the ROMs and/or your 01 if you are not very careful. However, 01 owners have successfully done it.

- - - - - - - - - -

Getting ROMS

Korg USA apparently sends free ROMs to directly owners who ask, although you may have to be persistent. (It took one owner a year.) Some owners were told ROMs are sent only to the original owner, but one owner got a free upgrade (ROMs and installation) for a used 01fd he just bought.

One user wrote (99May09): "I just called Korg at (516) 333-8737 regarding upgrade. I was told that any dealer will give you the Rom 62 upgrade free of charge." (That number is Korg USA Customer Service.) You can try visiting Korg at http://www.korg.com and see if you can get information or an e-mail address to ask them questions. The upgrade kit is reportedly called "VUK-01W".

Making Your Own ROMs


Technically you don't make ROMs (which are integrated circuits permanently programmed at the factory). You get EPROMs (Erasable Programmable ROMs) that are blank and put a program into them. The process of putting a program into an EPROM is usually called "programming" or "burning" an EPROM. EPROMs are erased using ultraviolet light using a special UV lamp (although leaving unprotected EPROMs in sunlight or even under fluorescent light can erase them if you wait long enough).

A term which is technically incorrect is to "flash" the memory. This refers to a programming a newer programmable memory called Flash memory, which is electrically erasable (no special lamp needed).

It is possible for you to program EPROMs to replace the existing ROMs. To do this, you would need:

  1. Blank EPROMs that are speed and voltage compatible with the old ROMs,
  2. data to program into the EPROMs, and
  3. a way to program the EPROMS (access to EPROM an programmer and know how to use it).

Which Blank EPROM?

Korg service specified that a blank EPROM (part number "27C201-15") would be programmed to be "Version 912162" for the 01/W, 01/Wfd, 01/Wpro, and 01/WproX. [99Dec11] One user reported using a 27C020-15. [01Oct12clw]

(I bet the "62" at the end of the EPROM Version number corresponds to the "ROM:#62" message we see in the display.) The thing to notice is all four 01 models use the same EPROMs.

Blank EPROMs are commonly available from electroinc parts stores, typically mail-order places.

Where to get EPROM Data

EPROM data may be available at www.korg01w-list.com/get-downloads/ (used to be at www.vienxu.com/korg0). File names for ROM #62 are reported to be 912162 and 912262, each 754,701 bytes big.

Programming EPROMs

  1. Users who have electronic technician abilities and equipment have reported success at programming their own ROMs.
  2. If you don't have the knowledge or equipment to program EPROMs, check with local computer hardware hobbyists, or ask a technician at a computer repair store for advice.
  3. A few members of the korg 01 mail list have offered to program EPROMs for other list members. Those offering to do the programming live in many different countries. The list below may be outdated. Join the 01mail list and post a request to see who is currently offering their services.

Clayton L. Workman, cworkman@bandgap.net, www.bandgap.net. [01Oct12]

Europe: Frederic Hardouin (frederic.hardouin@telemate.fr)

"A quick-and-dirty estimation is (in euros): cost of two chips (in between 28 and 38) + flashing (9) + shipping (dunno at all, around 15??). I'm mainly interested in people living in Europe, who could send bank checks in euros. [00Jan28]

India: "Roymario" <roymario@poboxes.com

Installing ROM Upgrades

In most cases the ROMs are in sockets, making them easily replaceable (once you go through the pain of getting to them).

However, some ROMs were soldered into the PC board. ROMs can be desoldered, but you must be experienced at this to avoid damaging the PC board. If you have your ROMs unsoldered, I highly recommend you have the technician install high-quality IC sockets for holding the new EPROMs. Sockets will protect the new EPROMs from being damaged during soldering, Sockets will also make any future EPROM replacement much easier (and cheaper).

The following are suggestions for replacing the ROMs (submitted by Denis O'Connor of Australia):

"The existing chips are located in the upper centre area of the keyboard. When you remove the back (17 screws) you'll be staring at them. They are the only two visible the same size any-way.

The chips are situated one above the other and they are labelled with a series of letters or numbers (or both) advancing by one. Take careful note where each one is and which way the notch goes in case they need to go back."

{Note from Ken: There is a small notch or indentation at one end of the ROM identifying where pin-1 is on the ROM. When the notch is on your left, and the pins are pointing down so you are looking at the top of the ROM, pin-1 is on the bottom row, far left. You must install the ROM properly, so that pin-1 goes where it is supposed to go, or the ROM may be destroyed.)

"The new chips must also follow a similar order. e.g.:

old chip (a) - 9032154 replaced by new chip (a) Korg 01ROM #1
old chip (b) - 9032155 replaced by new chip (b) Korg 01ROM #2

Great care must be taken when removing these ROMs so as not to damage anything. Gently lever them out a little at a time going from one end to the other using something like a jeweller's screwdriver."

WARNING: The pins on theROMs are very fragile and can easily break if you bend them too far or too often.

Before installing the new ROMs, set them over the holes in the socket to see how well the pins line up with the holes. If the pins fit exactly in the holes, gently push the ROM straight in. Typically the pins are all bent slightly outward from the holes. In this case, hold the ROM with two hands, thumb and index finger on top and bottom, and set the ROM on a hard surface (table top) to all the pins on one side are against the table. Gently, but firmly, rotate the ROM so all the pins bend together inward. Do this just a very little to each row of pins until they line up exactly with the holes in the socket. Then gently push the ROM in.

ROM Discussion

There are two types of Read Only Memory (ROM) in the 01: Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) and Operating System (OS). The PCM ROMs contain Sound generation waveforms and cannot be changed. The OS ROMs control overall operation of the 01, and these ROMs can be upgraded.

When you upgrade ROMs in your 01, you are replacing the OS ROMs. You will not be changing the PCM Sounds in any way.


The PCM ROMs contain all the waveforms (samples) used to create Multi-Sounds and Drum Sounds. PCM ROMs are factory-installed internally. Additional PCM ROMs are contained in PCM Cards that are plugged into the 01 through the PCM DATA slot in the back.

The 01 internal PCM data is contained in five mask ROMs (a sixth socket is empty). Each ROM is 1M x 16 (16 Megabits). The ROMs are identified as:

ROM Identification Codes
IC# Enabled by Part Number Part Code
5 CS0- LH5375 NB 320013040
6 CS1- LH5375 ND 320013041
7 CS2- LH5375 NE 320013042
8 CS3- LH5375 NH 320013043
9 CS4- LH5375 NJ 320013044
10 CS5- (not used) -

These ROMs appear to have the option of outputting bytes or words depending on a BYTE- signal on pin 33. This pin is tied high, which would confirm word (16-bit) data being output with each access.

ROM outputs are enabled by a low level on the Chip Enable (CE-) line. The Output Enable (OE-) lines are all tied to ground.

There is an additional "Table ROM", IC14: part #LH531AP6, part code 324013001. This ROM apparently is used to help access the PCM ROMs.


The 01 is controlled by a microprocessor that gets its instructions out of OS ROM. These instructions tell the microprocessor how to detect when you push a button or key, how to display data on the LCD, how to read and write data to the floppy disk (if one is installed), and so on.

The OS ROMs for ROM version #62 are:

OS ROMs for ROM version #62
IC# Enabled by Blank Part # Blank Part Code Programmed Part #
25 ROMU- M5M27C201K-15 320011141 9121XX
26 ROML- M5M27C201K-15 320011141 9122XX

Copyright ©1998-2003, 2008-09, 2018, 2021 by Ken Westover at Cliff Canyon Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
This material may not be distributed without the written permission of the author.
E-mail questions or comments to cliffcan@indra.com.