The Korg MS-20 Mini’s filter being overdriven is a monster

July 11, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized 

Within the last year a new generation of analog mono-synths have appeared on the market from larger manufacturers like Korg, Moog, Novation, Arturia, etc. This is indication that people are re-discovering the beauties of crafting sounds via analog subtractive synthesis in the 21st century.

These recent designs retain the quality of a pure analog signal path but control voltage elements (EG, LFO, Keyboard, Midi to CV) are reaping the modern benefits of advanced micro-controllers and smaller components. One design feature that has been included within almost every synth within this new wave of monosynth is some form of overdrive to give the sound an extra aggressive, growly, shrieking distortion. The Arturia Minibrute has the “Brute Factor”, Moog Sub Phatty has the “Multi-Drive”, the Novation Bass Station II has onboard filter distortion, and so on.

Trends in music shape the features of musical electronics and vice versa, but we wanted to highlight a quality of the new Korg MS-20 Mini that is inherent in the original as well. The sound of the MS-20 filters being overdriven is legendary and thus many clones in various formats have been spawned. This is especially heard in techno, IDM, dubstep, noise, and experimental music.

This demo shows off just how the MS-20 mini growls, shrieks, hisses, gets nasty, and is the real thing. The patch we have setup is audio from the headphone jack being fed back into the signal processer section and the routed to the total control up top. Having the flexibility of a resonant high pass and low pass filter allows you to fine tune the grit and sputtering distortion this synth is capable of and always was. These are certainly not the only sounds it can make, but a finer point worth mentioning.

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