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New Korg MS-20 Mini
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1951
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax ➑️
^ i came over the issue using HD-25 headphones plugged directly into the MS-20 mini.. no amp or anything. the noise is definitely there wether the osc are set to max or zero. again it isn't any kind of general noise floor as the hiss only appears when you press a key.. definitely something going on with the VCA
Yes, the noise is only present when opening the VCA.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1952
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
It is my understanding, as stated in a thread about a seller trying to return an SH-2 over "noise issues" that a headphone out is noisier than the line out. I don't have any facts or anything to back this up, but I do notice significantly less noise through my interface than I do on my headphones.

Then again, it could possibly be because headphones are direct into your ears where the monitors might not be as direct so maybe I'm just not hearing it as much. Anyway, when I'm playing the MS-20, I'm not sitting in the sweet spot generally since I just don't have room to move a synth into the sweet spot every time I want to jam.

Just throwing that out there.

Honestly, I don't think it's something you should worry about before hearing it in person. People have made amazing records using the MS-20 for decades and they sound great despite any noise issues that may be apparent. Don't let it discourage you, I'm sure the mini is going to be a killer synth. From what I hear in the audio example posted above (thank you for taking the time to actually provide some recording!) it sounds pretty much like how my rev 1 does. I'll do a more conclusive comparison when I can but when I heard the recording I didn't think it sounded like anything was wrong with the synth.

If you're going to get worked up over the differences, the ones that sold me were... the wiggle room in the knobs which is definitely not apparent in the original (they are pretty rock solid for being 30+ years old,) as Nick Batt demonstrated... and the slight filter variations, which if you're not super nitpicky like I can be, then it's not really a big deal. You could consider it a rev 3 model with a bit of a different build.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1953
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dexfx69 ➑️
Question; what level did you turn the triangle up to in this video?
First what you hear is only the VCA opening .
The triangle wave was at max value.

There is absolutely no problem with the recording chain.

What you hear is noise from the VCA.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1954
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🎧 10 years
Test du Korg MS20 Mini : Retour gagnant ! - Audiofanzine

Its in french but just listen to the audio example : for example Bass LPF

The review is mostly favorable but they complain about this issue as well (noise coming from the VCA).

Again it might be just like the original Ms 20.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1955
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🎧 5 years
I just plugged that review into Google translate and it didn't read like a complaint to me at all.

"The output level does not seem very high at a typical use without self-oscillation of the filter. Be amplified a lot to the table, but the background noise is very low. By cons, you immediately notice a breath after the VAC, regardless of the level of VCO, particularly audible when the filter will close the VCA remains open. All this feels the noise gate ... Test waveforms of the VCO shows a particular color, though in the MS line (we'll see why later)."

Then they go on to compare the original with the Mini and it isn't mentioned whatsoever. The closest thing to it is that they say the EQ on the original sounds darker...

"If there are small differences, MS20 character is right there on the MS20 Mini, there is the same color VCO, well trash high resonance filters (one HPF that produces impressive bass when you push the resonance to self-oscillation) and very close to the envelope behavior, a little loose. The difference between machines is often a less accurate tuning, a filter cutoff more open or a shorter time envelope. Overall, we find that the VCO MS20 wander a bit more than the MS20 Mini, most likely because new rights. They also tend to sound darker and less defined than the MS20 Mini, which gives a slightly deeper impression of bass. We offer our members a blind test based on three games (Mini MS20 / MS20) and truel (a duel three, what ...) those who are not afraid to take the plunge can post their response in comments from the test for four examples (like "duel 1: Vintage / Mini / Mini / Vintage")."
Old 10th May 2013
  #1956
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🎧 5 years
^ horrible translation lol... i'm fluent in french here is what they say:

"The output level does not seem very high during typical use without the filter self-oscillating. You need to really turn up the gain, but background noise is very low. However, we immediately notice hiss that follows the VCA, no matter the VCO level, and very noticeable when the filter is closing and the VCA remains open. This really smells like a noise issue..."
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1957
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Stevism's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Lol smells
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1958
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax ➑️
^ horrible translation lol... i'm fluent in french here is what they say:

"The output level does not seem very high during typical use without the filter self-oscillating. You need to really turn up the gain, but background noise is very low. However, we immediately notice hiss that follows the VCA, no matter the VCO level, and very noticeable when the filter is closing and the VCA remains open. This really smells like a noise issue..."
Yes, but then next sentence (according to Google translate) says this:

"Test waveforms of the VCO shows a particular color, though in the MS line (we'll see why later)."

Then they go and compare the two and don't bother mentioning how one is noisier or less so than the other. therefore it's not much of a complaint, it was merely pointing out a characteristic that seems common within the MS line. If you scroll back a couple of posts, others with the original MS-20 have already began to speak up about this saying theirs are noisy as well.

I don't doubt that it is noisy, that I can hear, but I do take issue to the fact that people are starting to say it's a problem and that is Korg is pushing out faulty units when others whom actually own the original are saying the opposite. It's making those of us with pre-orders confused or worried, not to mention starting a potential rumor that could spread in a very bad way.

Honestly, all of this can finally be put to rest if someone with an original MS-20 just followed a picture of the same patch parameters as someone with a Mini for a direct comparison and put sound files for all of us to hear. This way we all have visual proof of ownership plus audio to back up the claim. I suggested this earlier, yet no one has jumped on it yet.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1959
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🎧 10 years
I am pretty sure the original Ms 20 is noisy as well.
I am not sure when but i will test the VCA on a original Ms20 of a friend of mine.
I will let you know when its done.

I decided to keep the mini ms20 because :

1- Its cheap
2- I am sure every ms 20 mini have the same noisy VCA
3- The original ms20 is probably the same or maybe worse.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1960
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3Member ➑️
Yes, but then next sentence (according to Google translate) says this:

"Test waveforms of the VCO shows a particular color, though in the MS line (we'll see why later)."

Then they go and compare the two and don't bother mentioning how one is noisier or less so than the other. therefore it's not much of a complaint, it was merely pointing out a characteristic that seems common within the MS line. If you scroll back a couple of posts, others with the original MS-20 have already began to speak up about this saying theirs are noisy as well.
..i don't know man i read the previous sentence as "we've noticed the mini has a noise issue.." more likely if it were the same as the ms-20 they would specify the issue is similar or at least common.. no ??

Quote:
I don't doubt that it is noisy, that I can hear, but I do take issue to the fact that people are starting to say it's a problem and that is Korg is pushing out faulty units when others whom actually own the original are saying the opposite. It's making those of us with pre-orders confused or worried, not to mention starting a potential rumor that could spread in a very bad way.
listen i don't claim to have absolute authority on this issue, i am merely raising concern based on my experience on a MS-20 mini and not noticing this issue on original MS-20 videos i've watched.. i also find it quite strange Korg advertise the mini as being less noisy when it significantly is imo.. i'm not trying to spread rumors or panic but i think it is something worth investigating as this concern has been raised by a few others who've actually played a mini as well..

Quote:
Honestly, all of this can finally be put to rest if someone with an original MS-20 just followed a picture of the same patch parameters as someone with a Mini for a direct comparison and put sound files for all of us to hear. This way we all have visual proof of ownership plus audio to back up the claim. I suggested this earlier, yet no one has jumped on it yet.
there are Mini vs OG comparitive videos out there.. i didn't notice the noise on the OG models.. i have no doubt some OG models are noisy, but after +30 years that could be due to a number of other issues.. i was just shocked to find such a loud hiss under the 5 mark on the mini i tried.. but hey if someone can prove this is totally normal behavior i'm all ears..
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1961
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3Member ➑️
Honestly, all of this can finally be put to rest if someone with an original MS-20 just followed a picture of the same patch parameters as someone with a Mini for a direct comparison and put sound files for all of us to hear. This way we all have visual proof of ownership plus audio to back up the claim. I suggested this earlier, yet no one has jumped on it yet.
Somebody with a mini want to do this? If you post up a soundbite with a picture of your patch panel, I will match it on mine. Or, I can go first and somebody with a mini can copy my settings. When I get around to doing it if nobody has posted, I'll be the first, but in the meantime if somebody wants to post, I'll match it if I haven't posted mine yet. Might make more sense for the mini to post up first though since that's the one in question so you can get it as noisy as you like and we'll see how it goes. Not sure if I can tonight, but maybe. If not tonight, then definitely this weekend.

Let's do it!
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1962
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shell ➑️
Let's do it!
This is going to be like CSI: Gearslutz Edition, haha. Glad you're stepping up to crack the case. Those of us with pre-orders have been hearing about this for awhile now, so it will be a lot of help to ease up any doubts we've been having.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1963
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shell ➑️
Somebody with a mini want to do this? If you post up a soundbite with a picture of your patch panel, I will match it on mine. Or, I can go first and somebody with a mini can copy my settings. When I get around to doing it if nobody has posted, I'll be the first, but in the meantime if somebody wants to post, I'll match it if I haven't posted mine yet. Might make more sense for the mini to post up first though since that's the one in question so you can get it as noisy as you like and we'll see how it goes. Not sure if I can tonight, but maybe. If not tonight, then definitely this weekend.

Let's do it!
Hi,
I'll try to do some example this weekend for sure.

Meanwhile you can always try this if you want:

Both osc level to 0
Sustain and decay set to good values and see if you can hear anything when triggering a note to open the amp.

1 osc : triangle wave set to max level , lp filter at around 4 hp filter not used.


The examples i have posted before use approximately those settings.
The noise is coming from the VCA.

Thanks.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1964
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3Member ➑️
This is going to be like CSI: Gearslutz Edition, haha. Glad you're stepping up to crack the case. Those of us with pre-orders have been hearing about this for awhile now, so it will be a lot of help to ease up any doubts we've been having for the past few months.
Haha yup! No doubt man, I'm curious myself. Like I said, I preordered my mini very early, like that day after I heard about it. It was just a matter of a particular opportunity popping up that I ended up cancelling and grabbing an original. I feel pretty invested in this thread at this point, I've read every single post. Let's get to the bottom of it.

I know somebody with another original who might match it too, just to confirm any concerns that mine is faulty or something. (which I am 99.9% positive it is not) Don't wanna speak for them too early so don't hold your breath on that but I'll make contact and see if they'd be down as well.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1965
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sovietpop ➑️
Hi,
I'll try to do some example this weekend for sure.

Meanwhile you can always try this if you want:

Both osc level to 0
Sustain and decay set to good values and see if you can hear anything when triggering a note to open the amp.

1 osc : triangle wave set to max level , lp filter at around 4 hp filter not used.


The examples i have posted before use approximately those settings.
The noise is coming from the VCA.

Thanks.
Cool, yeah I'll make a recording but I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about and I do believe you will hear the same thing in my recording. I'll do that ASAP though and post it up with a pic for you guys. More to come...

Cheers.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1966
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years








Sorry for the ****ty and big camera phone pics, I wish I had a tripod. And yes, I realized after doing this that I have cutoff modulation on the LP filter. I really don't think that changes anything though. But if somebody wants me to redo it, I'll do it again in a bit with that off. I just got home from work and this is the first thing I did, I'm about to go eat.

I played with volume on each clip just so you could get a sense of what I mean about gain staging, but really osc 1 doesn't need to be turned to maximum for most uses, I don't see the point. But I followed what you said. You can hear that at volume 10 (the loudest it gets in my clips) the noise is much more apparent. But when I kept it low at volume 4 it wasn't as much of a big deal. Now imagine how it would be in a mix.

There's definitely noise in both clips and you can see in the one where the oscs are turned off that when I hit a key it definitely lets some noise pass. Again, my SH-101 is quite similar, and in the case of the 101 it is NOT a PSU issue, before anybody suggests that. I know this because I DID have a noisy PSU but replaced it with a Boss PSU and the noise is ONLY there when a key is triggered since swapping, but it is the same kind of filtered white noise sound behind the tone. With proper gain staging it is not an issue at all.

If anybody has any criticisms or suggestions, I will welcome them.

Hopefully some of you find this helpful.

Cheers.
Old 10th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1967
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shell ➑️

If anybody has any criticisms or suggestions, I will welcome them.

Cheers.
Take the massive fecking pictures down.
Old 11th May 2013
  #1968
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🎧 5 years
what's going on in the first sound clip with the oscs at zero? the noise seems to be modulated or something?? please explain this could be interesting..
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1969
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogberto ➑️
Take the massive fecking pictures down.


No.

I'm not going to resize the pics for you. Thanks for the attitude, makes me feel great about taking my time to do this. Especially after I apologized already for the size.
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1970
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🎧 10 years
I'm glad you guys are putting this stuff up. Not to discount anyone's opinions, but it's nice to have some hard evidence to go over. I think we can all safely say that noise is a part of this machine old and new. Thanks!
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1971
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax ➑️
what's going on in the first sound clip with the oscs at zero? the noise seems to be modulated or something?? please explain this could be interesting..
Don't think the modulation should be affecting it, but just in case, here it is with the cutoff modulation all the way at zero this time. This one is only at max volume the whole time. (10) If you're referring to the volume changes in the last one, I was turning the volume knob to demonstrate how it is at different levels.



Not gonna post pics this time... I hope you can believe me though.

Edit: Here's the tri one with no cutoff mod just to be absolutely clear. VCO 1 on tri, max volume on both VCO and master, LP cutoff at 4, no HP. Same ADSR.



By the way, these signals are boosted in Ableton to be audible. They aren't audible at my default settings. They are going into channel 1 on a Fireface 800 set to +4 dBu. The noise is barely audible without boosting it with a Utility.
Old 11th May 2013
  #1972
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🎧 5 years
actually i found it interesting that the cutoff modulation was affecting the noise, as it does not do so on the mini which is what i find makes the issue particularly annoying...
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1973
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3Member ➑️
I just plugged that review into Google translate and it didn't read like a complaint to me at all.
Read the summary at the bottom under Weakness: VCA a bit noisy (breath). Another pretty consistent difference between the orig and Mini is the oscs are very undrifty in the Mini whereas the originals vcos drift independently (slightly), causing a nice rich effect.
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1974
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax ➑️
actually i found it interesting that the cutoff modulation was affecting the noise, as it does not do so on the mini which is what i find makes the issue particularly annoying...
Honestly, I'm not convinced it does. But of course if you hear a difference, I wouldn't take that away from you. Hearing can certainly be a subjective thing.

I guess I just don't see why it would make sense. The modulation that is on is affecting the LP but with the oscs turned off I don't think anything should be running through the LP. I think it's just letting noise through when you open the gate via note on. I'm no expert though and I'm ready to be proven wrong.
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1975
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🎧 5 years
i am referring to this clip:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shell ➑️
it's not a subjective thing, you can clearly hear and see the waveform changes quite drastically..


Quote:
Originally Posted by dexfx69 ➑️
Read the summary at the bottom under Weakness: VCA a bit noisy (breath).
nice catch..indeed they list the noise issue as a negative in the end summary (and it translates "hiss" not "breath" )
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1976
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax ➑️
it's not a subjective thing, you can clearly hear and see the waveform changes quite drastically..
That's not because of me. It's just the way it comes out. I have no modulation options on except for the envelope which is 0 10 10 0.
Old 11th May 2013
  #1977
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🎧 5 years
that's weird.. so the noise drops in and out randomly?! if that's the case i think it's most likely due to your MS's age/condition rather then on purpose design... case remains open..
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1978
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax ➑️
that's weird.. so the noise drops in and out randomly?! if that's the case i think it's most likely due to your MS's age/condition rather then on purpose design... case remains open..
Could be. I don't know. But check out soviet's clip on page 66. His isn't just a brick of sound either, and that's a mini. It does look different from mine though, but his also has a strong attack that tapers off.
Old 11th May 2013
  #1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shell ➑️
Regarding the noise "issue..." I recently got a great deal on an original MS-20 rev 1 in excellent condition, thanks to the market crashing from these Minis.

The noise is there. Around below the 5 mark on cutoff it is most certainly there. It's workable though. In fact, my SH-101 has quite similar noise behind it at high volume levels (and no, it's not a PSU issue.) But really, there's NO reason to record that high, gain staging is a must here because you can easily eliminate most if not all the noise by using the right levels. I would take it to be part of the MS-20 sound. Here's some tips to reduce the noise if it's driving you nuts...

Turn your master volume down, around 3 is pretty good. Turn your VCOs down, they don't need to be maxed out. You'll still probably get a bit of it but it's not as bad. Also, you may notice the resonance can add a bit of hiss at high levels. Remember to make good use of your gain staging, this is definitely important here. Personally, I really like the screaming wild sound of the MS-20 so I'm not using the cutoff that low mostly, seems like another synth would fill that role a little better.

It's funny because I had a mini on preorder since Feb. 1, I was 4th in line, but I was getting concerned with the noise issue and I heard some differences in the filter (very subtle but I'm a nitpicker) and I just sort of decided to bite the bullet and go with the rev 1 I had the chance to get. Turns out, the noise is totally normal. I haven't heard a mini in person but it could well be quieter than the original.

It's really not even that bad, but I could imagine for certain uses it would get in the way, especially if you plan on compressing some bassier sounds, though I have yet to really experiment with that. This synth has character in spades though. ****, I thought my SH-101 had character (and it has a ton) but the MS-20 is a screaming wild beast. It might be talking and screaming at you one moment, but then you turn the filter just a hair and suddenly you find another little crevice in the filter with totally new sounds. Completely unlike any other filter I've played with, extremely wild and colorful.

I'm at work right now but if I get some time tonight or tomorrow when I get home I'll try to record some stuff for you just so you know I'm not making this up haha.

Also, it's definitely more noticeable through the Phones output. The line output sounds cleaner to my ears. Basically I have been running line output into a Fireface 800 input 1 (preamp) and I do feel there is less noise this way.

It would be interesting to hear from some other MS-20 owners since I'm still pretty new to this synth. If I can get my hands on a mini I'd love to do a comparison, we'll see how that goes, but I cancelled my preorder. Anyway, I'll see what I can pull together when I have some time.

Cheers.
Market crashing ..... Right.
Old 11th May 2013 | Show parent
  #1980
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🎧 10 years
FYI; 1 MS20 Mini just showed up in Edmonton, Alberta Canada at the Long & McQuade Edmonton store. A preorder. Next shipment is supposed to be in June.
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