Monophonic Synthesizer MS a synthesizer family born just after the famous PS Polyphonic Synthesizer production.
Snubbed for years, today re-appreciated for its harsh unpredictable characters.
KEYBOARD (weight: 8 Kg) 37 keys, no velocity.
Main panel features 38 precise knobs, 35 patch connections with some hardwired sections.
On the left side a modulation wheel generating +/-5 voltage and a button switch for trigger or re-triggering some synthesis functions (generally modulation) on main patch panel.
VOICE subtractive synthesis generates 1 voice.
A voice in composed by 2 oscillators named VCO1 and VCO2 that can be mixed to another white noise generator (must be patched)
OSCILLATORS let's deep the VCOs:
32' 16' 8' 4
16' 8 ' 4' 2'
tri /saw / noise / pulse
saw/ sqr / 25 % pulse / ring mod
FILTER multimode VCF with 2 serial filters:
- highpass 2-pole slopes
lowpass 2-pole slopes
Both VCF offers independent resonance emphasis peak that reach self-oscillation with a resulting sinusoidal, in addition, filter cutoff can be also driven by patching CV section with CV IN VCF LP and CV IN VCF HP or Envelope 2 (EG2).
TECH: There are 2 filter hardware versions, depending on the production series: the first one is IC 35 filters and second one has a smaller board with custom integrated chips.
EXTERNAL PROCESS the ESP External Signal Processor processes external signal inputs can be filtered through the filter to a dedicated section complete with an envelope follower function (same featured in the Ms-03) and a pitch-to voltage tracker generator.
ENVELOPE there are 2 EGs in total:
- EG1: 3 stages ADR
- EG2: 5 stages ADSHR - Hold keeps sustain before release segment
ADSHR is also default EG for VCA (both OSC) amplitude, but you can also patch VCA initial gain with apposite CV patch and EG2 define also EG for both VCF Cutoff.
LFO single modulator MG with progressive waveform from rectangular to triangular.
LFO outputs 2 CV tensions with separate LFO triangle and rectangular sharing same frequency, in addition is possible to use an external one with TOTAL IN CV, but REMEMBER: to activate use MG T/EXT and not EG/EXT.
LFO modulates 3 destinations at the same time:
VCF LP cutoff
VCF HP cutoff
VCO1 & VCO2 pitch
Special SAMPLE and HOLD section for random or stepped modulations: you have to patch it for yourself, usually plug white noise IN and do not forget S/H clock frequency or it will not work! LFO square clock CV out usually does the job.
PERFORMANCE some handy functions:
- mastetune affects both VCO
- portamento speed with variable time
CV GATE many parameters can be controlled by external tensions (at Hz/V scale) including pitch VCO1-2 and filter1-2 cutoff.
MS-50: basically a Ms10 with totally open structure with a LOT of patching routing Input/output.
SQ-10: dedicated MS sequencer, 12 steps, really on the fly pots.
VC-10: a vocoder with some CV interaction with MS family. Sounds like a big juicy frog!
MINI Ms-20 : a 2013 SMD remake from 2013, did not tried it yet.
SPECIAL MS-20 BLACKBOARD EDITION: a special huge Ms20 version for synthesis learning purposes, it is almost impossible find (it seems to be around 40 produced) but it has the same specs.
Only worth only if you are a rich collector because it is pretty awkward to use.
VST MS20 PLUGIN the Ms20 has been released has a virtual plugin the in the KORG LEGACY collection along with M1 - Polisyx - Monopoly - Wavestation
This virtual MS20 features 32 voices and same routing system.
VIDEO CLIP SELECTION
The MS filter has been cloned many times, in particular in a wonderful filter box called Frostwave Resonator
all snapshots*, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci
*mini- ms20 pictures from Korg website, custom ms20 from craiglist, ms20 merchandising from ebay, monkey island is a LucasFilm Games
frostwave resonator picture from ebay auction
korg ms204.5 out of 5 based on 17 ratings.