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Korg MS-20

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The big hit - "A wall on your desktop"

One of the development themes for the PS-3100 that went on sale the preceding year was how to pack “big synth” circuitry into a limited space. It had been a struggle to make the circuitry as compact as possible in order to avoid lowering the specs. The circuitry developed for the comparably behemoth PS-3100 was utilized in the MS-20 to create a monophonic synthesizer which had two sets of VCO, VCF, VCA, and EG, as well as a patch panel and a module for external audio input and CV conversion. In keeping with its philosophy of being a synthesizer with as broad an appeal as possible, it was designed under rigorous cost management, and the dimensions of its sheet metal body were also chosen for reasons of economy. In particular, the powerful sound of its filter became a distinctive characteristic of the MS-20, making it representative of "the Korg sound."

The Korg MS-20 is a patchable semi-modular monophonic analog synthesizer which Korg released in 1978 and which was in production until 1983. It was part of Korg's MS series of instruments, which also included the single oscillator MS-10, the keyboardless MS-50 module, the SQ-10 sequencer, and the VC-10 Vocoder. Additional devices included the MS-01 Foot Controller, MS-02 Interface, MS-03 Signal Processor, and MS-04 Modulation Pedal.

Although the MS-20 follows a conventional subtractive synthesis architecture of oscillators/filter/vca, its patch panel allows some rerouting of both audio and modulation, and it includes an external signal processor. This flexibility led to its resurgence during the analog revival of the late 1990s.


Technical Specifications
Type: Analog
Synthesis: Subtractive
Oscillators: 2
Waveforms: Pink Noise, Pulse, Saw Up, Square, Triangle, White Noise
Osc Modulation: Envelope, Input, Keyboard, LFO, Mod Wheel, Ring Modulation
Envelopes: 2
Evelope Paramerters: Delay, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Filters: 2
Types: 6dB Slope, 12dB Slope (2-pole), High Pass, Low Pass, Resonance
Filter Modulation: Envelope, Knob, LFO
LFO: 1
LFO Parameters: Saw Up, Square, Triangle
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 1
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Mono
Patches RAM: 1
Case: Keyboard
Keyboard: 37 keys
Controls: Modulation - Audio Input, Knobs, Mod - Wheel
Dimensions (WxDxH): 569 x 309 x 249 mm
Weight: 7.7 kg
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out, Mono Headphone
Audio Output Count: 2
Inputs: 1 1/4" input
CV Ports: CV IN, CV OUT, Gate In, Gate Out, Trigger In, Trigger Out
Power: 10 w
Year Released: 1978
Year Discontinued: 1983
Used By
William Ørbit, Aphex Twin, Hardfloor, Air, SkyLab, Stereolab, Vince Clarke, Astral Projection, Biosphere, Apollo 440, Mr. Oizo, Jimi Tenor, The Prodigy, OMD, Freddy Fresh, Luke Vibert, Einstuerzende Neubauten, Add N to (X), Daft Punk, Coldcut, Die Krupps, Skinny Puppy, Electronic Dream Planet, Jimmy Edgar, Front 242, Front Line Assembly, The Legendary Pink Dots, KMFDM, Severed Heads, Royksopp, The Faint, The Shamen, Jean-Michel Jarre, Soulwax and Portishead.
Manuals & Documents

Product Links
Company Product Sites:
[+] www.korg.com

Virtual Software
Used Price: $899-$1299 - convert
References & Sources

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