Korg MS-20

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Japanese Korg MS-20, appeared a little less than half a century ago, back in 1978 and immediately attracted the attention of the music community. This analogue synthesizer had several relatives, this is lightweight model MS-10, a program for recording and editing SQ-10, module MS-50 capable of handling all kinds of musical instruments and a speech synthesizer VC-10, they have given many opportunities for creativity. Several additions have been released for the to this series: MS-02 converting Korg interface standard to Roland and Moog standard, processor MS-03 with the ability to start external sound and track its pitch, two pedals controller MS-01 and MS-04 using an internal low frequency generator to generate two voltages at the output.

Soon, in 2013, Japanese manufacturers confirmed the well-known saying that everything new is long- forgotten old and launched the production of the updated Korg MS-20, only a smaller size. By releasing the Korg MS-20 Mini, the company has fueled interest in analog devices of previous years, leaving the model virtually unchanged, except for the size, new connectors and digital interface.

The Korg MS-20 is equipped with two VCO devices for continuous generation of periodic vibrations of a certain shape. Outputs VCO1 and VCO2 have different parameters for square, triangular, pulse, sawtooth waveforms different widths, ring modulation, as well as pink, white or low frequency noise. The oscillation frequency is modulated by the CV control signal, which is prone to variable characteristics that may depend on various factors such as mains voltage or premises temperature, but this is what makes the VCO sound so unique.

One of the distinctive features of the Korg MS-20 is its powerful VCF filters with resonance: low-frequency bipolar (12 dB/oct) and skipping filter for the high frequencies. Amplification of the resonance call the filter to self- excite and thus turned it into an independent generator with a recognizable and expressive sound, which many call simply inimitable. Previously used filters from the KORG-35 model were replaced with a more modern version based LM13600 OTA, this is software transconductance amplifier with excellent performance.

In the Korg MS-20 synthesizer, the low frequency generator (LFO) allows you to modulate the tonality or filter, control the speed and shape, and has 2 outputs (sloped and pulse). In the late '70s XX century these capabilities became an amazing discovery. LFO inaudible to the human ear, but it use control voltage and could manipulate other parameters with regular repetitive speeds. Triangular and sinusoidal LFOs at low frequencies can be used to create slow and subtle changes in timbre, whereas LFOs with a straight or square wave at high frequencies can create sharp and pronounced effects.

The Korg MS-20 synthesizer includes an input amplifier, envelope generators with sustain and delay, a pass-through band filter, and a frequency-voltage converter. Thanks to this and through a variety of connection options, you can control the Korg MS-20 synthesizer using an external sound source, such as a voice or other synthesizer, as well as create a huge palette of sounds, from "atmospheric" batches to staccato percussion.

Large set combinations of trigger and modulation inputs/outputs, as well as the capability of different generators, allow you to get vast variety sounds. By connecting the inputs and outputs with patch wires according to the information on the front panel, even a beginner can easily take advantage of modular synthesis. The possibilities are limited only by the musician's imagination , because the patch-wire system on the panel, on the right side, allows you to unbelievable, sonic colors, switching between different devices.