One of the most anticipated synthesizers of this year’s NAMM show is the Korg MS-20 Mini. And here it is:
This is basically a classic MS-20, including the analog circuitry, but in a modern replica of the case that is 86% of the original size. It also has MIDI and USB for external control. But of course it is really about the analog synthesis, and especially the filters. After getting my bearings on the device, I shut off the VCOs and set up both the hi-pass and low-pass filters to self-oscillate. This us the signature sound of the original instrument, and while it’s difficult to tune self-oscillating filters they did seem playable for arpeggios or lines.
The street price appears to by $599, although it is not shipping yet. Korg has been good at reintroducing its classic technologies at affordable prices. And it is certainly a lower price tag than the other covetable instruments I reviewed yesterday.
“Mr. Hand demos a synthesizers.com patch utilizing a CatGirl Synth Sub Octave Divider module. The sequence is a facsimile of Suicide’s song Ghost Rider done with a Synthesizers.com Q119 Sequential Controller. It’s not the complete riff since Marty Rev’s riff is poly-rhythmic and I could only use 8 steps of the analog sequencer. The organ-like tonality is from the CGS Sub-Octave module which can function similarly to the divide down technology used in electric organs.”
Look for a black cat early in the video, and also the sounds with the CatGirl Synth module.
The virtual analog synthesizer is largely preset in live use but quite programmable with the computer thanks to familiar GUI. I just play sounds from the ARP Odyssey model and a smaller riff from the tonewheel organ model. My cat sits on the patio table listening, purring, and sometimes getting in the way.