Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Legend Returns: The Korg Mini MS-20

We've all been dying for the moment-- Korg steps up, and releases something full fledged and analog, after the efforts of the Monotron and Monotribe.  Finally, the day has come, and not just in the form of a Monotron XL, or Monotribe + keyboard.

A full on recreation of the original Korg MS-20, redesigned at 85% of its original size.

Although it was taken down, an official German Korg page listed the Mini MS-20 as a product, complete with full specs.  85% of the original size, all analog, parts chosen to reflect the original MS-20, USB and MIDI, and the design is supposedly made by the designers of the original.  It is also set to come with throw-back style packaging and patch diagrams, just like the original.

The best part?  Estimated price is somewhere between $600-800.  Listed at 600 euros, the current exchange rate puts this at $800 but we could see it fall a bit as the European prices are often higher than the US's.

I don't know what else to say, besides the fact that this thing is a surefire hit if it manages to stick in that price.  The MS-20 is beloved to this day, and most customers aren't willing to pony up $1500 for one.  Watch out for more details and sounds from NAMM this weekend!

Some notes via Matrixsynth, who copied and traslated what was on the German page:
"The MS-20 is reborn! 1978 original circuits come to life

Presented in 1978, the MS-20 monophonic synthesizer, thanks to its rich, robust sound, his powerful, iconic analog filters and flexible patching options to be popular today. The typical sounds of the original MS-20, the Korg MS-20 synthesizer plug-in the Legacy Collection and the iMS-20 app for the iPad, now attracting more than 300,000 users.

Now the sounds of the MS-20, MS-20 are in the mini wakes to new life. The same engineers who developed the 1978 MS-20, today's circuits reproduced faithfully and its physical size reduced to 86% of the original size, without changing the traditional and timeless look of the model or to waive details!

The MS-20 mini fascinated today with absolutely authentic analog synthesizer sounds of his ancestors.

Developer comments

The 50-year anniversary KORG we again engaged in an analogue synth and this effort to create flowing parameter settings that characterize analog synthesizer especially. The original specifications of the MS-20 should remain intact. The developed by us 35 years ago, analog circuits still deliver the same unbeatable, powerful sound, from the lowest bass to the extreme heights. To experience the depth of the MS-20 mini, you have to play it yourself!


The MS-20 mini was realized by the engineers of the first MS-20 and used a complete reproduction of the original analog circuit

2VCO / 2VCA / 2VCF / 2EG / 1LFO structure
Self-oscillating high pass / low pass filter with a unique distortion
External signal processor (ESP)
Extremely flexible patching system
Reproduction of the MS20 at 86% of its physical size
Reproduces every detail of the original, down to the packaging, the manual in the original style, the template for the patch panels and patch cables
MIDI IN and USB port

"Keyboard - control voltage output (exponential) (0 - +8 V)
Keyboard - trigger output (+5 V -> GND)
VCO-2-1 + VCO control voltage input (linear response) (0 - +8 V)
VCO-2 control voltage input (linear response) (0 - +8 V)
Second VCO:
VCO-1 + VCO-2 external frequency control input (OCT / V) (-5 V - +5 V)
Third VCF:
External signal input (max 3 Vp-p.)
External control input for the cutoff frequency of the high-pass filter (2oct / V) (-5 V - +5 V)
External control input for the cutoff frequency of the lowpass filter (2oct / V) (-5 V - +5 V)
4th VCO + VCF:
Total external modulation input (T.EXT) (-5 V - +5 V)
5th VCA:
External control input of the initial gain (0 - +5 V)
6th EC:
EC 1 envelope - Normal output (-5 V - 0 V)
EC 1 envelope - turned output (+5 V - 0 V)
EC EC 1 + 2 trigger input (-> GND)
EC 1 trigger input (-> GND)
EC 2 envelope - turned output (+5 V - 0 V)
7th MG:
Delta output (sawtooth positive - Triangle - Sawtooth inverted) (5 Vp-p)
Square-wave output (pulse width - rectangle - narrow pulse) (0 - +5 V)
8th Noise Generator:
Pink noise output (5 Vp-p)
White Noise output (5 Vp-p)
9th Sample and Hold:
Clock trigger input (-> GND)
Sample signal input (5 Vp-p max.)
S / H output (5 Vp-p max.)
10th Modulation VCA:
Control voltage input (0 - +5 V)
Signal input (-5 V - +5 V)
Signal output (-5 V - +5 V)
11th Game Help Manual:
Control Wheel-output (-5 V <-0 v=""> +5 V)
Non-locking switch output (-> GND)"