Drum Synthesis with the Korg MS20

Lately I’ve been getting pretty deep into analog synthesizers. The current setup includes a Korg MS20 Mini, which I’ve quickly fallen in love with. It’s very quirky and fun, although some would probably replace the word quirky with incompatible with standard CV pitch signals and the word fun with frustrating.

The more time I spend with the MS20, the more I realize that this really is a musical instrument. The way it sounds depends completely on who is patching and playing it. For such a simple instrument, it’s incredibly deep. So in order to really master the MS20, I’m working on a series of videos to share some of the patches I’ve come up with. The idea is that in five to ten seconds, you can look at what I’ve done, hear the results, and then create the same sound on your own MS20 (or something in the ballpark–I know these machines have a lot of variation). Here’s the first one.

In this video, the MS20 is sequenced by the Korg SQ-1 analog step-sequencer. I’ve routed the CV signal to the TOTAL input, which is being used along with envelope generator 2 to control the lowpass filter. This allows me to get a sort of kick/snare depending on the CV at the time the gate signal is sent. But for the most part, I think the video speaks for itself.