Here is the introduction to a series of videos which demonstrate the sound and functionality of the new Korg MS-20 Mini.
All non-drum sounds in the theme were created by the MS-20 Mini
KORG MS20 SN#141344 with original IC35 Filter Chip is extremely sensible at input distortion; it can produce really wild sounds when both VCOs are driven high in the Mixer (especially with a lot of Peak on both HPF and LPF). On this video, the MIAMI Drum Machine is severely distorted with Electro Harmonix MetalMuff. Just for fun, just for shaking neighborhood.
KORG MS-20 with IC35 under Doepfer Dark Time Step Sequencer Control; with a little effort, is it possible to set VCOs under exponential control from sequencer; the difference between Doepfer Gate and KORG Trig can be overriden – in a very rough way – narrowing at maximum the Doepfer Gate Pulse Width. On this video, some experiments with CV/Gate control on Pitch, on Cutoff, on re-triggering of envelope.
Background description (Googlish from Japanese):
Involved in the production of such iMS-20 and KORG DS-10, has been revived in modern times for different platforms MS series electromagnetic Mr. Sano (DETUNE Inc.). What do you see electromagnetic Mr. Sano, the MS-20 mini was revived as a real analog synthesizers finally?
Take a look at the new MS-20 Mini! Overseen by the engineers who brought us the original MS-20 back in 1978, MS-20 Mini features the exact true-analog signal path. The incredibly powerful dual filters with peak/resonance, CV functionality, external signal processing, and unique hands-on patching system are all here – with 5-pin and USB MIDI to boot — and all at 86% of the original size.
For more info, check out:
Modular synth manufacturer The Harvestman has announced a new module that’s designed to make it easy to connect the new Korg MS-20 Mini to modular synthesizers.
Here’s the official announcement:
I announce with great satisfaction ENGLISH TEAR, the first in a line of small utility modules.
This module features the expected “voltage processor” attenuverter and big offset knobs, but also includes a full set of functions for interfacing to an MS-20. Easy conversion from exponential volt-per-octave to linear hertz-per-volt and back, as well as V-trigger to S-trigger conversion. Jack normalling fixes the voltage processors to these converter circuits, so you may scale the input voltages as desired. The log/expo converter circuits also have many other uses in your modular system beyond the conversion of pitched voltages.
Pricing and availability are to be determined.
Korg product manager Rich Formidoni demonstrates the new Korg MS-20 mini Monophonic Synthesizer at the 2013 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.
The same engineers who developed the original MS-20 have reproduced its circuitry and fit into a body that’s been shrunk to 86% of the original size, yet retains the distinctive look of the original.
- Overseen by the engineers of the original MS-20, a complete replication of the original analog circuitry
- 2VCO / 2VCA / 2VCF / 2EG / 1LFO structure
- Self-oscillating high-pass/low-pass filters with distinctive distortion
- External signal processor (ESP)
- Extremely flexible patching system
- Miniature MS-20 that’s 86% of the original size
- MIDI IN and USB connector
- Replicates every detail of the original, down to the package binding and the included manual
The Korg MS-20 Mini will be available April 2013 for a U.S. Street price of $599.00.
Korg is celebrating their 50th company anniversary this year, the MS-20 turns 35. This suggest paying homage to this cult synth. And indeed, on NAMM 2013 Korg presents a “real”, fully analog MS-20, just as we know and love it.
Called Mini-MS-20, it is ca. 15% smaller than the original, and sports a MIDI In and a USB MIDI port. This isn’t using surplus Legacy cases as some have speculated (which were 20% smaller) but instead individually designed cases, equipped with a specifically developed keybed. The main PCB is more or less euqivalent to the original, including the components selected to be as close to the original as possible. It is not yet known which filter variant has been chosen, although it may be assumed that, just with the Monotron, it will be equivalent to the Korg35 chip, with slight modifications.
BTW, project management were the same engineers who did the originals. As a consequence, the instruments include the original manual, including patch sheets. You don’t have to be a seer to expect a golden future for the Mini MS-20. With a suggested price of 600 Euros, this will find many friends, and will make all those happy who couldn’t afford a ‘real’ MS-20 due to their exorbitant 2nd hand prices
The MS-20 is reborn! 1978 original circuits come to life
Presented in 1978, the MS-20 monophonic synthesizer, thanks to its rich, robust sound, his powerful, iconic analog filters and flexible patching options to be popular today. The typical sounds of the original MS-20, the Korg MS-20 synthesizer plug-in the Legacy Collection and the iMS-20 app for the iPad, now attracting more than 300,000 users.
Now the sounds of the MS-20, MS-20 are in the mini wakes to new life. The same engineers who developed the 1978 MS-20, today’s circuits reproduced faithfully and its physical size reduced to 86% of the original size, without changing the traditional and timeless look of the model or to waive details!
The MS-20 mini fascinated today with absolutely authentic analog synthesizer sounds of his ancestors.
The 50-year anniversary KORG we again engaged in an analogue synth and this effort to create flowing parameter settings that characterize analog synthesizer especially. The original specifications of the MS-20 should remain intact. The developed by us 35 years ago, analog circuits still deliver the same unbeatable, powerful sound, from the lowest bass to the extreme heights. To experience the depth of the MS-20 mini, you have to play it yourself!
The MS-20 mini was realized by the engineers of the first MS-20 and used a complete reproduction of the original analog circuit
2VCO / 2VCA / 2VCF / 2EG / 1LFO structure
Self-oscillating high pass / low pass filter with a unique distortion
External signal processor (ESP)
Extremely flexible patching system
Reproduction of the MS20 at 86% of its physical size
Reproduces every detail of the original, down to the packaging, the manual in the original style, the template for the patch panels and patch cables
MIDI IN and USB port”
Update 3: some additional specs:
“Keyboard – control voltage output (exponential) (0 – +8 V)
Keyboard – trigger output (+5 V -> GND)
VCO-2-1 + VCO control voltage input (linear response) (0 – +8 V)
VCO-2 control voltage input (linear response) (0 – +8 V)
VCO-1 + VCO-2 external frequency control input (OCT / V) (-5 V – +5 V)
External signal input (max 3 Vp-p.)
External control input for the cutoff frequency of the high-pass filter (2oct / V) (-5 V – +5 V)
External control input for the cutoff frequency of the lowpass filter (2oct / V) (-5 V – +5 V)
4th VCO + VCF:
Total external modulation input (T.EXT) (-5 V – +5 V)
External control input of the initial gain (0 – +5 V)
EC 1 envelope – Normal output (-5 V – 0 V)
EC 1 envelope – turned output (+5 V – 0 V)
EC EC 1 + 2 trigger input (-> GND)
EC 1 trigger input (-> GND)
EC 2 envelope – turned output (+5 V – 0 V)
Delta output (sawtooth positive – Triangle – Sawtooth inverted) (5 Vp-p)
Square-wave output (pulse width – rectangle – narrow pulse) (0 – +5 V)
8th Noise Generator:
Pink noise output (5 Vp-p)
White Noise output (5 Vp-p)
9th Sample and Hold:
Clock trigger input (-> GND)
Sample signal input (5 Vp-p max.)
S / H output (5 Vp-p max.)
10th Modulation VCA:
Control voltage input (0 – +5 V)
Signal input (-5 V – +5 V)
Signal output (-5 V – +5 V)
11th Game Help Manual:
Control Wheel-output (-5 V <-0 v=””> +5 V)
Non-locking switch output (-> GND)
The news has just came in from winter NAMM 2013. Korg are officially reissuing in the MS-20 in a smaller, more compact size. It will be using mini-jacks (1/8″ instead of 1/4″) and have USB-MIDI as well as regular MIDI… all this while of course being fully analogue.
Price is a very reasonable €600 and will be shipping in late february 2013.
Let’s hope it sounds as good as the original!
NAMM is soon upon us again and just as always rumors are beginning to flourish. The first comes from KORG regarding two new products from Korg, the King Korg and the MINI MS-20.
The MINI MS-20 is rumored to be a new version of their analog classic, the MS-20 in a smaller chassis and with mini keys. The picture looks at first glance like the MS-20ic controller that came with the Korg Legacy collections, but some subtle details such as screw and LED locations appear to be different. Will it be an actual analog synth, or just a repackaged, self-contained version of the Korg Legacy version? The other rumor is about the King Korg, which some believe to be a 3-oscillator analog synth. But is it real analog or just another virtual analog?
Soon we will know, but it seems that after the success of the Monotron series, this could be a logical direction Korg might take. On the other hand, a higher price point would likely make these more niche products that would do smaller numbers than a company the size of Korg might bother with.
OK. This is not a song.
I had my friends MS-20 visiting mine for a brief moment. One of them is missing that legendary screw. You might have heard about this.
There’s two different filters in the MS-20. The Korg35 is in every unit which is lacking that screw in the VCA section, in the middle of the synth’s panel.
Rumours has it that the Korg35 filter makes the MS-20 sound more harsch.
You be the judge, but I for one can’t tell the difference.
Since I only had my friends MS-20 next to mine for a an hour or two, I wanted to take the opportunity to try them side by side.
I was only noodling and tweaking nothing but the filters or the parameters affecting the filters (envelope and LFO).
To make things more complicated, there’s MS-20 units with screws but still with the Korg35 filter inside.
I’ve had my MS-20 for about 18 years but never opened it up to see which filter it has.