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Korg MS-20

 

 

 

korg Ms20

  audio demo trend price : 1200-1500€
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, the Ms20 has been re-appreciated for its harsh unpredictable characters.

korg synthesizer

patch bay

info 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
- button switch for trigger or re-triggering some synthesis functions (generally modulation) on main patch panel




edit 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)


synthesis


edit
OSCILLATORS let's deep the oscillators VCOs:


  VCO1 VCO2
Volume gain yes yes
Detune no +/-5
Octaves 32' 16' 8' 4 16' 8 ' 4' 2'
Waveforms tri /saw / noise / pulse saw/ sqr / 25 % pulse / ring mod
Pulse width yes no


waveforms

waveforms


filter 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). 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.



fx 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.

 

adsr 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.


waves


lfo 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.



filter
PERFORMANCE some handy functions:
- mastertune affects both VCOs
- portamento speed with variable time



filter
CV GATE many parameters can be controlled by external tensions (at Hz/V scale) including pitch VCO1-2 and filter1-2 cutoff.

memroy RELATED MS20 FAMILY :

foot controller

PEDALS for MS series:

MS-01: simple voltage controller with lag
VIDEO

MS-04: like MS-01 but with more functions and modulation LFO
VIDEO

 

ms interface

INTERFACES for MS series:

MS-02: converts between V/oct and HZ/V

MS-03: external signal processor
VIDEO

Korg Ms10

Ms-10

Little brother with 1 VCO but neat CV control on pulse width
VIDEO

MS-50 MS-50


basically a Ms10 with totally open structure with a LOT of patching routing Input/output.
VIDEO
SQ-10

SQ-10

dedicated MS sequencer: 3 X 12 steps.
VIDEO

An economic remake has been made in 2015: the SQ1
VIDEO

VC-10

VC-10

a vocoder with some CV interaction with MS family. Sounds like a big juicy frog!
VIDEO

MINI MS-20

MINI MS-20
a 2013 SMD remake from 2013, did not tried it yet. It is scaled compared to the original, but there is also a special 1:1 version

MS20 VS MINI MS20
COMPARISON TEST

ms20 blackboard

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.

usb legacy controller USB LEGACY CONTROLLER
an usb controller for vst legacy plugin, it does not generate any sounds



effet
VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION there are some free and commercial samples set:

  name price link demo
KORG LEGACY KORG LEGACY collection virtual VST plugin, along with:
-M1

-Polisyx
-Monopoly
-Wavestation

Commercial VST

KORG LEGACY KORG LEGACY demo
audioanimals audioanimals Free sample pack
(requires registration)
effet N/A
sample from ms20 Liveschool Free sample pack
(requires registration)
effet N/A
banks universal soundbank free sample pack effet N/A


demoAUDIO DEMO

korg ms20 and nice cat
demo 1 - All M20 (overdub)
demo 2 - peak
demo 3 - Sample and Hold
demo 4 - LFO
demo 5 - LFo 2
demo 6 - Ring mod
demo 7 - song demo (thanks to andy matic )


effet Soundcloud Ms-20


track1 3 tracks track3

videoVIDEO CLIP SELECTION

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

korg ms-20




manual
KORG MS20 MANUAL

 

 

foot controller
SERVICE MANUAL

 

 

original scan

 

 

 

korg ms-series

 

 

korg ms20 flyer

 

 

korg ms20 scan

 


korg ms20 brochure

 


frostwaveThe MS filter has been cloned many times, in particular in a wonderful filter box
Frostwave Resonator

 

 

korg ms20


original scan

 



original scan




Monkey Island Ms20
Monkey Island Ms20


 

weird mod!
weird mod!



AUDIO TEST

MS-20M kit with SQ1
MS20 VS MINI MS20
COMPARISON


 

 

behind side close up


manual

- filter(s)!
- patching flexibility
-classic

manual

- expensive
- Osc not so fat

-panel not so obvious.


comment


REVIEW :"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
frostwave resonator picture from ebay auction

korg ms20 4.5 out of 5 based on 17 ratings. price €1200