Korg MS-20 Mini Analog Monophonic Synthesizer Keyboard, 37-Key

Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Black
Shipping Weight: 13.5 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 12 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): MS20MINI
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 631-390-6800

Korg MS 20 Mini Analog Synthesizer

Korg's MS-20 monophonic synthesizer, first introduced in 1978, is still a coveted instrument to this day, thanks to its thick, robust sound, its powerful, iconic analog filter, and its versatile patching options. Today, the sounds of the MS-20 have been reborn in hardware, as the MS-20 Mini. The same engineers who developed the original MS-20 have perfectly reproduced its circuitry and fit into a body that's been shrunk to 86% of the original size, yet retains the distinctive look of the original. The MS-20 mini will amaze you with its absolutely authentic analog synth sound.

The MS-20 analog synth -- recreated in mini size!

MS-20's design concept started by borrowing from the vertical layout found on larger and more expensive modular synths of its time, and then creating a more portable, inexpensive, and easier-to-use version. To make it even more approachable, the MS-20 mini has been shrunk to 86% 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" phone plugs to mini-plugs, and the keyboard is also 86% of the original size.

Replicates every detail of the original

The MS-20 mini painstakingly replicates the original MS-20. A development team led by the original engineers themselves worked to recreate the original circuitry, and when it was necessary to substitute a part, these engineers made the decisions based on careful listening, in order to reproduce the original sound faithfully. In fact, the sound of the MS-20 mini has a somewhat bright and extreme quality to it because its sound is that of an original MS-20 in mint condition at the time it went on sale, before any of the components aged.

2VCO / 2VCF / 2VCA / 2EG / 1LFO structure

The MS-20 mini reproduces the distinctive synthesis of the 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 distortion

One of the greatest characteristics of the MS-20 was 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 uses the earlier filter, which was felt to be superior due to its more radical sound.

External signal processor (ESP)

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 MS-20 flow chart that's printed on the panel, even the beginner can start taking advantage of these possibilities right away.

5-pin DIN MIDI IN and USB MIDI

The MS-20 mini 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.

Original Korg MS-20 Manual Included

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.

Features:

- 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% of the original size
- MIDI IN and USB connector
- Replicates every detail of the original, down to the package binding and the included manual
- Includes power supply and 10 patch cables
(2 ratings)
Submitted October 11, 2016 by Craig S in Richmond , VA
" For enthusiasts and singer songwriters a like"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
first off, this is my first analog synthesizer, I wanted to be able to learn without getting into something overly convoluted and felt this was the best place to start and let me tell you, I was right. Out the box this thing really sets the tone. (No pun intended) as many of you know the MS20 mini is a re-issue (thus the mini part) but this has no effect on the sound nor the way it plays. Quite frankly I could write a pretty lengthy review but being that I'm typing this from a cell phone I'll keep it short. The MS20 will pull you away from the computer, and not in bad way. Although the MS20 can receive midi data from your computer (there's no velocity available in the MS 20 so all the notes are set to maximum) you'll have to do all the modulation by hand, and that's where the fun kicks in. And yes there is a clear difference between analog and digital. I must say adding the MS20 to my mix gave me more "umpf" that my virtual synths where lacking. If you're on the fence on getting one let me say this, I consider myself more of a singer/song writer then a "producer" and although this has a steep learning curve I feel I've been able to write better music with the MS20 then without it. And lastly, My hats off to zZounds. Seriously, these guys make it possible for some of us to keep current without breaking the bank. Their financing options are extremely flexible and fair. I honestly believe that most of their employees are musicians and generally care about the products they sell and the read more service they provide. High fives all around!

Musical Background:
Playing for 20 years, semi-professional

Musical Style:
Hip hop, rap, indie, r&b
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