Korg MS-20 Mini
The Korg MS-20 has been on the market for decades.
Korg introduced it to audio enthusiasts in 1978.
It has since been replaced by the MS-20 Mini which offers many of the same attributes as its predecessors plus a few new ones.
But there are people who are so loyal to the MS-20 that they have refused to make the leap to the MS20 Mini.
The sound of the inimitable MS-20 is now available to all with the new MS-20 Mini. The same engineers who developed the original MS-20 have perfectly reproduced its circuitry and fit it into a body 86% of the original size. The MS-20 mini will amaze with its absolutely authentic, analog synth sound.
+Korg MS20 Review
Despite all the attention the MS-20 Mini is getting today, the original MS-20 put Korg on the map in the 1970s by becoming one of the company’s biggest portable analog synths.
1). Master Tune
3). 2 ENVs (ADSR Plus Hold Function, AR Plus Extra Delay)
4). External Signal processor
5). Trigger Button
6). VCA 1 Plus External CV input
7). VCO Mixer
8). Triangle, Saw, and Pulse LFO
9). ENV 1/2 Reverse Output
10). VCA 2 Plus External CV Input
11). S/H Generator with external clock input
The MS-20 is a 2-oscillator monophonic lead and bass synth that was often compared to the ARP 2600.
In fact, quite a few people took to calling it the ‘poor man’s ARP’.
It has a panel with 38 knobs, 37 keys, and 35 patch connections.
The device is hardwired but you can overcome the hard wiring with patch-cords.
There is a momentary switch button on the left side that triggers synthesis functions on the main panel for modulation purposes.
There are 2 oscillators, VC01 & VC02, whose output can be set to triangle, sawtooth, white noise and sawtooth, square, rectangle respectively.
You get a highpass VCF and a lowpass VCF. They both have resonance and individual CV inputs.
You can go ahead and combine the filter results in BandPass.
The consequences won’t disappoint.
You can trigger sounds from external sources using the Pitch-CV Converter.
Additional features include a noise generator, sample and hold, a pair of VCAs, and an assignable mod-wheel.
Some people might be surprised by the number of jacks on offer.
These will help you interconnect the different sections of the device.
If you have the skill, the jacks will also let you override some internal connections.
The Korg MS-20 will permit you to produce sounds that are very reminiscent of those from larger modular synths by making complex patch-cord connections.
It will also allow you to use subtractive synthesis to make sounds.
The MS-20’s unique tone can be attributed to the fact that you can add resonance to the highpass filter and the lowpass filter (which is just a 2-pole 12dB/octave) and you can modulate them with anything.
From fat round bass to percussive bass, and noise effects, the MS20 is compatible with most types of analog synth sound.
1). This is a decent learning synth that is quite intuitive and straightforward to operate.
2). A lot of people find the dirty sounds it generates appealing.
3). It works for any type of analog synth sound you might have in mind.
1). The MS20 is a little difficult to use live on a stage.
2). It takes a bit of time to change patches
The MS-20 Mini maintains many of the design attributes of the MS-20.
This goes to show you that the MS-20 is still relevant today.
The device isn’t as solidly built as the latest version.
It is much larger and more expensive.
But the synthesizer is very intuitive. It will teach you so much about signal flow and synthesis.
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