The sounds of the legendary MS-20 have been reborn in the Korg MS-20 Mini Monophonic Analog Synthesizer. The same engineers who developed the original MS-20 synth have perfectly reproduced its circuitry and fit it into a compact design that has the same look but is 86 percent of the original size. The Korg MS-20 Mini is a completely analog synth with the size and modern features for today’s synth enthusiast!
Comments from the developers
Korg took particular care to deliver smooth parameter adjustments, which are a distinctive feature of analog synthesizers. They also took special care to completely reproduce the original specifications of the MS-20 synth keyboard. The analog circuits Korg designed 35 years ago still deliver the same unbeatable, powerful sound, from the ultra-low to the ultra-high range.
Korg MS-20 Mini Monophonic Analog Synthesizer Features
2VCO / 2VCF / 2VCA / 2EG / 1LFO structure
- 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 percent of the original size
- MIDI IN and USB connector
- Input a guitar and use the MS-20 Mini as a guitar synth, or input a mic and use it as a vocal synth
- Replicates every detail of the original, down to the package binding and the included manual
The MS-20 Mini reproduces the distinctive synthesis of the Korg MS-20; two oscillators with ring modulation, and envelope generators with hold and delay. The VCA maintains the basic design of the original, but it’s been modified to produce less noise than the original.
Self-oscillating high-pass/low-pass filters with distinctive distortion
The original MS-20 was known for its powerful filters, which provided resonance on both the high-pass and the low-pass. Maximizing the resonance would cause the filter to self-oscillate like an oscillator, producing a distinctive and dramatic tonal change that was acclaimed as inimitable, and was later used on the monotron and monotribe. The filter circuit was changed mid-way through the production lifecycle of the MS-20; the MS-20 Mini analog synth uses the earlier filter, which was felt to be superior due to its more radical sound.
External signal processor (ESP) for processing an external signal
The ESP carries on the experimental spirit of MS-20; it allows you to use the pitch or volume of an external audio source to control the synthesizer. For example you can input an electric guitar and use the MS-20 Mini as a guitar synthesizer, or input a mic and use it as a vocal synthesizer.
Extremely flexible patching system
The patching system provided to the right of the panel lets you create complex sounds by plugging-in cables to change the connections between the various units. The possibilities are limited only by the user's imagination; different combinations of the modulation input/output and trigger, sample and hold, and noise generator can produce an incredible variety of sounds. By patching according to the flow chart that’s printed on the panel, even beginners can take advantage of these possibilities right away.
To make it even more approachable, the Korg MS-20 Mini has been shrunk to 86 percent of the size of the original MS-20. In spite of its smaller size, meticulous care has been taken to accurately reproduce the knob design and the printing. The patch cables have been changed from 1/4 inch phone plugs to mini-plugs, and the newly-designed keyboard is also 86 percent of the original size.
Replicates every details of the original
Korg’s effort to remain faithful to the original is not limited to the unit itself. Even the package that contains the unit replicates the original as far as possible. Also included are the original MS-20 owner's manual and settings chart, explaining how to create sounds. Now you can experience the excitement of the MS20, just like it was during its original release in 1978.
The Korg MS-20 Mini synth provides a MIDI IN jack for receiving note messages, and a USB-MIDI connector that can transmit and receive note messages. You can even connect the MS20 Mini to your computer and play it from a sequencer.