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Five Classic Korg Synths

Published: Wed July 02, 2014  News Feed

The Greatest Korg Synth Sounds

By Hugh McKenna

We've been saying it for a while now but analogue really is back in a big way. Now you can get your hand on a huge range of vintage styled analogue hardware or weird all analog monsters that signal the future. If you're more into the past we can highly recommend reading up on the history of some of Korg's famous (and not so famous) synths here.

MS20 Relatives And Predecessors
Korg MS50 Korg PS3100 Korg MS20 Development Docs

One of the holy grails for synthesisers is a big bottom, phat bass, trouser flapping, however you want to put it every producer and beat programmer loves low end. We've got the top 5 ways to get it from Korg's amazing array of analogue classics. We don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water though, so we've included their digital synths too.

1. El Classico

The original and many consider best is the MS-20, Korg have recreated it in all it's full size glory with the MS-20 Kit. No soldering required simply plug and play. Hard to say if that synth line is pure MS-20 but Zia McCabe of the Dandy Warhols used it on a whole load of their records. And hey, if you look cool you sound cool right? We've got just the job for carrying to the gig, our MS20 Mini now comes with a free soft carry case!

 2. El Menor

It might only be little but the MS-20 Mini still has all the features of both the Kit and original vintage model. Plus it does MIDI over USB to fit right into your digital setup, nifty. One of the lesser known tricks with an MS-20 is to feed an analogue signal into the External Signal Processor. Used to great effect by Goldfrapp and fully explained here.

 3. Digital Love

Computer music fan? Got carpal tunnel from mouse abuse? Bad eye sight from staring at a monitor and don't want to face contact with the outside world to try out analogue hardware? Don't worry. Korg are offering their spot on plugin recreation for free with the MicroKey 61.

Sound On Sound said " MS20 software polyphonic has really raised its game and it stands up well alongside some of the classic analogue polysynths..."

It's easy to layer and add your own FX, grab a talkbox VST and recreate the bassline on Airs Sexy Boy!

4. The Modern Way

It's not just PC/Mac that gets a digital recreation of the MS-20, there's versions for iOS devices and even Nintendo's gaming devices!

5. The Other Modern Way

While a pure digital setup is all well and good the really cutting edge thing all the kids are doing is blending hardware and software. Simply add a Volca for more synth sounds, analogue beats or grab some effects pedals and play away for hours with delayed bleeps and distorted bass. A world of invention awaits, as Grammy winning producer Steve Levine ably demonstrates.

From The Archives

Still wondering what tracks feature the MS20? Or what makes it sound so great well here's Vince Clarke of Depeche Mode and the Wirral's own OMD to demonstrate.


For a limited time only we are giving away free padded cases to help you keep your brand new MS20 all shiny for years to come. 

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