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Korg Ms20

 

 

korg Ms20
audio demo trend price : 1200€
manual   schematic demo video comments

Korg Ms-20 (1978)


Monophonic Synthesizer MS a synthesizer family born just after the famous PS Polyphonic Synthesizer production.

Snubbed for years, today re-appreciated by young people for its harsh unpredictable characters.

korg synthesizer

patch bay

info KEYBOARD (8 Kg weight ) compact and portable about featuring a 37 C-C keys with no action Velocity. The synth is well-built with 38 precise knobs precise and reliable in time; relative main panel features 35 patch connections like a modular to interrupt the pre-routed signal, however it is not really modular!so it is often called (wrongly) half-modular... let's says it' s just a synthesizer with some external routing signal, even if some synthesis section are path-fixed "hardwired". On the left side a modulation wheel generating +/-5 Voltage and a nearby button switch for trigger or re-triggering some synthesis functions on main patch panel.
All functions are organized with different drawn sections with some strange captions and may soon results in synthesis term confusion.

ac Power supply is internal.

edit VOICE Subtractive monophonic synthesis duel analog Oscillators VCO (no sync between) with variable octave heights and indipendet volume mix. Mastertune potentiometer affects both VCO pitch while and Portamento speed adjusts the note Legato play. Now let's deep the Oscillators:
- VCO1 octave range from 32' to 4' has 4 Waveforms Triangle, Saw, White Noise amd Pulse with variable Width.
- VCO2 has higher octave range from 16' to 2' but has less waveform options Saw, Square, Ring modulator and a fixed 25% pulse (lacks width) + a Pitch detune +/-5 semitone range.

waveforms

filter FILTER multimode VCF with 2 serial filters: single voltage-controlled highpass featuring 2-pole slopes + one lowpass one with same slope. Both VCF have independent resonance emphasis potentiometer Peak that reach self-oscillation with a nice resulting sinusoidal and they can be combined to obtain the famous Screaming filter with BandPass or notch-reject. The filter CUTOFF can be also driven by patching CV section with CV IN VCF LP and CV IN VCF HP or Envelope 2 (EG2).
VCF is the most interesting aspect of the synthesizer and results perfect for electro music and various noise creations, even if sometimes you never know precisely what you will obtain turning the knobs! 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.
The MS filter has been cloned many times, in particular in a wonderful filter box called Frostwave Resonator with many CV controls.

fx EXTERNAL PROCESS another interesting VCF feature is that signal inputs can be filtered through the double filter in a dedicated section ESP External Signal Processor complete with an Envelope Follower function (same featured in the Ms-03) and a pitch-to voltage tracker- generator.
original scan

adsr ENVELOPE two in total:
EG1 : 3 stages ADSR Attack-Delay-Release while
EG2 : 5 stages
ADSHR Attack-Decay-Sustain-Hold (keeps Sustain before Release segment)-Release.
ADSHR is also default EG for VCA (both OSC) Amplitude, but you can also patch VCA initial gain with apposite CV patch and EG2 that define also Envelope for both VCF Cutoff.synthesis
lfo LFO a single modulator MG with progressive variable waveform from rectangular to triangular (LFO outputs 2 CV with separate LFO triangle and rectangular at same frequency) or use an external one with TOTAL IN CV. ->REMEMBER<- to activate MG T/EXT NOT EG/EXT.
SAMPLE and HOLD section for some random or stepped modulations and you have to patch it for yourself: usually white noise IN (better pink) and do not forget S/H clock frequency or it will not work (LFO Square clock CV out usually does the job).
LFO modulates at the same time: VCF LP CUTOFF- VCF HP CUTOFF -VCO1 VCO2 pitch with internal frequency.

memroy RELATED MS20 FAMILY :

MS-10: the little brother: Just one single VCO, but still sounds good and it has some extra gimmicks like the PWM CV IN not featured on Ms20.

MS-50: basically a Ms10 with totally open structure with a LOT of patching routing Input/output. Quite hard to find, maybe the rarest of the bunch after the blackboard.

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 remake from 2013, did not tried it yet. Buzz indicates it seems to be vastely different to original model. original scan

ms20 family with ms10

korg ms20 blackboard educational version
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.

korg ms20 and nice cat

 

AUDIO DEMO

VIDEO CLIP SELECTION

KORG MS-20 ESP DEMO Sounds of the Korg MS-20 Korg MS-20 01
KORG MS-20 ESP DEMO Sounds of the Korg MS-20 Korg MS-20 01


 

 

 

korg ms-series

 

korg ms20 flyer

 

korg ms20 scan


korg ms20 brochure

 

korg ms20


original scan


Korg ms20 VST
FUN! Korg ms20 VST



Monkey Island Ms20
Monkey Island Ms20



memroy
weird mod!
weird mod!
custom wood Ms20 :))


 

 

behind side close up


manual

- filter(s)!
- patching flexibility
-Signal processor

manual

- expensive
- Osc not so fat
-panel not so obvious.


comment
CULT

OPINION
"Harsh machine, a cornucopia of electronic sounds and effects. It is essential to deepen patch bay capacity to open a brand new world. "

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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

korg ms20 4.5 out of 5 based on 16 ratings. price €1200