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Manufacturer's ID: MS20MINI
What we say:
At A Glance:
The MS-20 Mini from Korg is a detailed recreation of the classic MS-20 synthesizer from the late 70s. Coming in at 86% of the original size, the MS-20 Mini is ideal for the modern setup where space is limited. That doesn’t mean Korg have skimped on any of the features or circuitry however. It features a complete replication of the original circuitry, so you still have those rich analogue tones, modulation options and patching system on board.
Features We Love:
Classic MS-20 Sound
The MS-20 Mini has been faithfully recreated by the same team that worked on the original back in the 1970s. They have gone to great lengths to replicate the circuitry of the original unit, including detailed listening to the sound of any replacement parts that are no longer in production.
Extensive Patching System
The patch bay on the MS-20 Mini allows you to manipulate the sound of the unit, and bend it beyond your imagination. You can use the included patch cables to route different sections of the synth to one another. The signal flow guide on the front panel will help you to route effectively and create some unique and interesting sounds.
Compact and Portable
The MS-20 Mini comes in at 86% of the size of the original unit, and weighs just 4.8kg! This makes it much easier to cart around to gigs, or fit neatly into a studio where space is tight.
- Faithful Recreation of the MS-20
- Compact and Portable design
- Extensive patching system
- Classic sound
- Plenty of modulation features
- USB and MIDI in connections
- MS-20 Mini
- AC adaptor (9V/1.7A)
- Patch Cord x 10
SpecificationKorg’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. Over 300,000 people have enjoyed the distinct MS-20 sounds from the original, from Korg’s MS-20 plug-in synth, and the iMS-20 iPad app.
Today, the sounds of the MS-20 have been reborn as the MS-20 Mini. The same engineers who developed the original MS-20 have perfectly reproduced its circuitry and fitted it into a body that’s been shrunk to 86% of the original size, yet retains the distinctive look of the original that remains unfaded despite the passage of time.
- 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
- Faithful recreation of the MS20 at 86% of the size
- MIDI IN and USB connector
- Replicates every detail of the original, down to the package binding and the included manual
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 distinctive 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) 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 MS-20 flow chart that’s printed on the panel, even the beginner can start taking advantage of these possibilities right away.
Faithful recreation of the MS20 at 86% of the 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 newly-designed keyboard is also 86% of the original size.
Replicates every details of the original
Our 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.
MIDI IN connector and USB connector
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.
What's In The Box
- Korg MS-20 Mini
- Power Supply
- 10x Patch Cable