Korg MS-Series

KORG Analog Synthesizer Section
MS Series – Monophonic
„semi modular“ Synthesizer
MS20 , Korg MS10, Korg MS50, Korg SQ10, VC10 vocoder

Keio Organs Lab – Keio Lab
most PICs : click image to enlarge!! here:
this is a Korg SQ10 analogue sequencer (12 steps!) with Korg MS50 synthesizer expander
Korg MS20 semi modular synthesizer
manual? check this..first pic: the original MS20 and SQ10 sequencer, the ones below are not standard ;)
Korg MS10 semi modular synthesizer
(scroll down)
put together in a Rack for live gigin‘ :- btw: the Voltmeter on the MS-50 is not digital! Here it is..
MS-50 Voltmeter ist normalerweise nicht digital / the digital meter is analgoue in the original:..
enlarge this image? vergrössern?

this is the original, atm it’s price went up the price when it was new! strange world!! very unique sound of the filters! (industrial.)
the analogue solutions vostok has
MS 20 filters too, like the „filtered coffee“ module..Das Original mit SQ10.. the original MS-20 and SQ-10

the MS10 sounds a bit „fatter“ but it has only one VCO. anyway the MS20’s sound is much more versatile and it’s filters are very special. technically they are maqybe the most worse filters ever made in a synth (priced about 750Euro when it was new) but it sounds so sick / industrial and dirty. DAF and lots of other german wave bands used this synth on their first records and it’s special sound has more friends now FOR IT’s SOUND! so it’s an instrument with charisma! the sequencer is 12 step and very easy to use.. the best and worst is the hpf and lpf filters with resonance (called peak here)!! the vostok by analogue solutions has the same filters inside. so you might get the popularity of this synth.. maybe you should call this synth „brtitish“,too.. ;) rough and very interesting.

who doesn’t know this synth?..

it is a semi-modular synthesizer, that has hardwired pre-routed patches inside, but can be manually patched,too.. as the arp 2600 this is a semi modular synthesizer.

the most important trick maybe this one:

if you want to remote control this synth without having to use a midi interface take a sinewave osc from any of your synths and use an individual out: put this into either the OSC in or the pitch to voltage in (slower!) and use another one for gate (or split it up).. this is enough to control the MS20 from another non-CV-synth with no cost. if you want to midify it: use the same inputs but note that Korg has Volt/Hertz Characteristics! (not like roland or moog). the gate is s-trgger.. anyway it’s mostly satisfied with a normal v-trig-one like roland etc.. (gate is used to trigger the envelopes, CV is for the OSCs/keyboard/notes).
whats inside the MS50? a ringmodulator, 2 ADSR eg’s, vca, integrator, inverter, sample & hold, noise gen., and fixed voltage & meter, VCO with PWM, „adding amp“ (small mixer) , another MG = modulation generator (=LFO), a low pass filter

and/or the analogue solutions „filtered coffee“.. imagine ,what this is ;)

the vc10 vocoder another interesting model of the MS series – a simple 8 band vocoder. of course it wasn’t the best but reasonable price those times! and it sounded special.. listen to cabaret voltaire „seconds too late“ for impression

some MS-20 related links
manuals/more on korg MS20?
some stripped MS20 pics can be found here (navigate yourself, please..)

the sound is much like the PS series (ms = monophonic synthesizer, ps = polyphonic synthesizer – s can be read as series,too)
korg ms20 synthesizer + sq10 sequencer
MS20,MS10 etc. have Hz/Oct. CV and S-Trigger.
korg ms synthesizer system

There are two Versions of the MS-20 Filter: the LM13600 OTA which is located on a doughterboear and can be seen by just removing one side panel. dismantling the MS20 is a horror, so you may only do it if needed. The earlier Korg IC35 is a double Transistor that Korg unveilled for non-commercial users. This is the normal Version with no Daughterboard attached..

large MS20 pic here
my modded MS20 has extra outs and ext. ringmod ins
why the MS20 is semimodular? it has no chance to re-organize the audio path!!.. no FM without MOD…(click on image to get larger pics..)
Korg MS20 modification
korg ms20 semimodular synthesizer
korg ms synthesizer system
korg ms synthesizer system
korg ms synthesizer system
want the patch panel of the MS20 as a poster?
click here on the image: Korg MS20 patchpanel
KORG MS20 patch panel
MS10 – little brother of ms20.. but strangly it has a bit fatter sound..
Korg MS10 Synthesizer Semimodular
image thanks to Monty Rock
Korg MS10 Synthesizer Semimodular
image thanks to Monty Rock
Korg MS10 Synthesizer Semimodular back side
THE VOLTAGE TO SWITCHED TRIGGER CONVERTER, (for all OLD ms20’s) to talk to the others..
take a transistor 2N3904, connect its basis to the normal trigger (voltage trigger) jack (6mm) (tip) with a 10KOhm resistor and a diode IN4148 (points to basis) and the emitter should be connected to the ground of the normal trigger jack.
the collector of the transistor should be the smaller prong of the switched trigger jones plug, the other one is connected to the emitter , ground & diode (blocking).you can use the ms20 also with V/okt. : use the pitch follower as a „trick“ or try the pitch in, but NOT the KB CV, thats still Hz/octave.
Korg MS50the real modular mswell the ms20 and MS10 are both not modular since you cannot repatch the signal flow, on the MS50 you can!korg ms50
VC10 Vocoderwell, same design as the synths, here is the well known vocoder. more on vocoders..korg vc10 vocoder
korg guitar synth
looks very ms – like – the guitar synth from korg..its not that much a synth compared to the ms20 but well..
korg guitar synth
KORG LEGACY – the new MS20??
Korgs new approach – the MS20 as a controller (usb) keyboard with patchcords emulates the MS20’s surface, the sound comes from a win xp pc or os x mac then.. but you get a korg polysix and korg wavestation and some fx.. all for about us$490
one may not be able to use the patchcords for audio patching from outside, but as long as you only use the ms20’s internal patch-jacks it works ;)
related: MS20 (to the left!) – PolysixWavestation
is an emulation of
click image –>>

any of the 3 is an EXTRA app. there is also one app for ms20 and poly6 sounds and another „standalone“ wavestation. it is quite similar to the original with „a big display“.. ok but I could image more like own samples and better visual control, but it is ok.. not that „innovative“ but good for WS fans anyway.. the quality of the ms20 and poly6 is about that of arturia moog and the like.. it is still not exactly the same but as long as you do not have the original it is ok so far.. the WS is the „best“ on here, sounds the same.. more close than ms20.. no, it is not a BAD ms20 emu,but it is indeed an emulation. i did not manage to run the WS and other apps at the same time, maybe it was due to its beta status.. or performance issues on the demo pcs.. so watch out for this..

korg legacy ms20 controller
legacy patchcords ms20
KorgKorg Synth overview..

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