Synth Site: Korg: MS20 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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Mark S a hobbyist user from Nieuwegein, Holland writes:
20 years ago i was forced to sell off my first MS-20. Last week i finally replaced it. Now i'm in heaven once again, the beast is much better than i remembered. This baby screams and squeals like a pig if you want it to but is also very good at creating weird f/x, sweeps and more. The Sample & Hold section and the External Signal Processor alone are reason enough to get one fast!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-11-2000 at 05:39
the.fatman a part-time user from Canada writes:
This is the business. I've got a couple of virtual analogues (AN1x, EA1), a couple of DCO analogues (MKS70, MKS50) and a couple of FMs and Romplers too, but this is my favourite piece. In the two weeks since I got it (traded a near minter for a Jx8p) I've learned more about sound design than I ever did with my other machines. This is just so intuitive and hands on. It's taught me how to build sounds on my other modules more efficiently.

It's a fairly straightforward two VCO/VCF/VCA with a (i think) 24db/oct low pass and 12db high pass, both fairly resonant - Moog this ain't. It's hard to get a nice clean sound out of this, but that's what the newer VAs are for. This is old school. The patchable modulations make the sonic palette that much more expressive. The external signal processing is also a plus - I frequently use it to FUBAR my bass guitar.

The downside goes with the genre. No MIDI, no patch memory, no aftertouch. It is monophonic too, but I consider that a plus. I think polyphony on this would sound nasty. Build quality is pretty good (mine was abused in a basement for fifteen years before I got it and it is still in tune, believe it or not. I've never had major tuning drift problems with this so far, but then I've never used it for more than a few hours in a session and my room is climate controlled.

If you can find one, it's definitely worth a look.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Apr-20-2000 at 08:35
il_budha a hobbyist user from The Netherlands writes:
The MS-20 has a very cutting sound, very cold but not brittle. One session led to the exact slushy sound in the break of 'Relax' (Frankie Goes To Hollywood, remember them?). Great for experiments. But then I only paid $75 for one (ten years ago). Now, for the $500 on average asking price, go buy a Clavia Micro Modular, it beats the MS-20 on all but one aspect: it's fantastic space-age look.

Another overpriced classic.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-14-2000 at 07:38
David Morley a professional user from Germany writes:
Just picked an MS20 up and must say really like the percussive sounds you can get. Haven't tried the processing side of it (external signal processor), but I reckon it'll be good. As a synth for straight sounds I find it a bit weak sonically. The lopass filter is not particularly powerful, but being able to combine it with the highpass filter makes it interesting. Easy to use and well built. Not in the ARP/Moog league but a good second place!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jan-05-2000 at 15:04
Erik IRM Jarl a part-time user from Sweden writes:
Great for industrial sounds, especially for those harch noise sounds and heavy metalic bom,bom sounds. Very good as a vocaleffect, or play vibrato guitar through. Can make very ugly and dirty sounds. I offen conect it to the MS-10. And yes, the MS-10 and MS-20 is the weapon of Genocide organ and also IRM.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-24-1999 at 11:33
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