Build a Classic Synth, Reissued: Hands-on with KORG’s MS-20 Kit [Gallery]

Call it the MS-20 “Biggie.” A year after remaking their classic 1978 MS-20 synthesizer in a hugely-popular “mini” version, KORG surprised everyone by unveiling a second reissue this year, the limited-edition MS-20 Kit. Its innards are entirely identical to the MS-20 mini; component-by-component, the sound circuitry is the same. And since the MS-20 was a fairly convincing replica of the original, inaccurate mostly in that it can’t reproduce the aged components we’re now used to, that’s a good start. Now I’ve had the experience of assembling and playing the kit, following up our debut with the mini last year, and …

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KORG MS-20 Kit: Analog Classic Remake Now Full Size, Assembled Yourself

This one is just for the superfan. KORG’s MS-20 mini, a circuit-for-circuit analog re-release of the original MS-20, stole the show last year. But apart from adding a MIDI input, there was one glaring change that would distinguish the mini from the original – the whole thing was shrunk down. Not so this year’s MS-20 Kit, announced today and released as a limited edition this spring. Call it the MS-20 Full-Sized, if you like. The MS-20, like the mini, recreates the analog signal path of the original. And like the mini, it cheats a little to give you MIDI input …

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Ableton Goodies: Free MS-20 Simpler Instruments, Full of Filter Goodness

Our inbox is full of fun stuff Ableton lovers can download, so we’re pronouncing it “Ableton Goodies” day. Enjoy! And this one has audio samples you can adapt to other software, too. Like taking a photo or painting a picture, somehow you can transform the way you see a synth by sampling it. And one person who can really get his head inside a synth is Francis Prève. As a veteran of sound design and documentation, production and music journalism, DJing and the dance music scene, he can be uniquely dedicated to detail and attention. Whereas commenters (cough, here) complain …

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Summer Studio: Portable Music BBQ, in the Finnish Countryside [MS-20, Maschine]

There just isn’t a season of the year where music making can’t entertain you. But once upon a time, music technology woefully confined its producers to windowless, underground lairs established as dusty academic laboratories. No more. Now you can toss everything in a backpack, head to the Finnish countryside, and put on a barbecue while you jam. (Just don’t forget to check the grill, lest you burn something.) And that’s what Helsinki-based artist Riku Annala – Recue – has done. The sounds of the grill crackling sharply in the background, a lazy, golden Northern Hemisphere sunlight bathing the black hulls …

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Web-Connected Analog: Synths Render Sound From Your Browser, Remotely

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog. But they just might know you’re an MS-20. Hector Urtubia – aka Mr. Book – has connected his synths to the Web and set them up for the world. Submit a music pattern, and send it off to the synths to be rendered to sound. It’s like Kinko’s, if they did analog synths instead of printers. Hector explains more: I created a web app (http://analogalacarte.com) which allows you to create a synth pattern, submit it and it will get rendered live in hardware on one of my synths at home. I …

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If the iPhone unnerves you and you want something a bit more ... nostalgic ... here's the MS-20 mini cozying up to long-time Japanese Korg rival Roland. Ebony and ivor... erm, gray. Photo by Deceptikon.

Deceptikon Pairs MS-20 mini, iPhone Arpeggionome – And Chooses Favorite Remixes

It’s all Deceptikon, in the remix – gear and tracks. First, 1978, meet 2013. The re-released Korg MS-20 mini here teams up with the lovely iPhone sequencer app Arpeggionome, courtesy the wonders of MIDI. (See our recent feature on the app.) As Arpeggionome’s clever developer Alexandernaut describes it: My friend Deceptikon (http://deceptikon.net) tries Arpeggionome for iPhone for the first time, connecting it to his MS-20 mini. Levels, drums, and effects with [M-Audio-made] Evolution U-Control controlling Ableton Live. Yes, Midiman acquired Evolution and continued to make the controller here. Shame the UC-33e hasn’t seen a successor, actually. And the whole rig …

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Tested: MS-20 Mini versus Original MS-20, in the Studio [Discussion, Audio, Photos]

MS-20 mini, on the left, next to the original, on the right. Photos: Peter Kirn and Benjamin Weiss for CDM and DE:BUG. It’s the news collectors of vintage synths on eBay probably didn’t want to hear. For $599, Korg has made a new MS-20 that the company says has “perfectly reproduced its circuitry” for an “authentic” sound. You can read our full review of the MS-20 mini, and watch a video, whether or not you’ve ever used the original. But if you are curious how a new MS-20 mini stacks up against the vintage MS-20, we hauled both into the …

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Hands-on with Korg MS-20 Mini: Exclusive Review, Q&A, Images, Video

Even as technology rolls forward, sometimes the old is more cherished than the new. Perhaps this should come as no surprise in music. Musical relationships span many years – the records you love, the hours you spend practicing and producing. And so it is that we’ve heard a common refrain from electronic musicians: with many makers of the 70s and 80s still producing today, why not re-release the classics? Korg has done just that with the MS-20 mini, in a way many rivals have not. Due soon for $599 in the USA and elsewhere in the world thereafter, it’s also …

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Korg MS-20 Mini, Up Close: Gallery, By Candlelight

Korgs by candlelight… If you’ve been up close and personal with an original Korg MS-20 (or own one yourself), this gallery may actually be redundant. But we have some stills from our upcoming video short on the MS-20 Mini to prove what Korg’s reissue of the 1978 original looks like. There is something unreal about seeing the same instrument, shrunken. And yes, because it’s Berlin in winter, and we were in the basement of Mindpirates, we broke out some candles. It’s a great way to unwind on a January night. Stay tuned for our upcoming series, The Phantom of the …

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Korg MS-20 Mini: Analog Classic Reissued, $599; First Hands-on Impressions, Sounds, 1978 Manual Pics

It’s 1978 all over again. Only 35 years have made it lighter and more compact – not a bad way to age. And the result: a $599 analog synth with its original manual and circuitry that’s a pleasure to own. Speaking as a product of 1978 myself (yes, I share the same birthday as the MS-20), I’d say ’78 is holding up just fine in 2013. The Korg MS-20 synth needs little introduction. Combining a versatile set of sound sources with accessible front-panel controls and patch cable options, it is even today one of the loveliest ways to create sounds …

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