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New Korg MS-20 Mini
Old 10th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2551
Gear Addict
 
apropos of noth's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
So, received my Mini-MS, Friday.

After so much smoke and sparks about the hiss/thump issue on the forum, I was a little apprehensive.

Now, on turning it on, with the knobs set however it was from the factory, after connecting power and audio, I hit a knob and heard: thump! hissssss....

Oh no! Oh NO!

Well, surveying the state of the knobs, not a very useful patch. What if we say, turn those oscillator levels up and pull the main volume way back? Oh wait, that sounds lovely.

So, having played with it for the next couple days in a fair amount of permutations, I haven't gotten back to being able to get thump/hiss. I suspect I could achieve thump-hiss, with some effort, but in terms of patches one might actually make and use? No.

As I have previously observed, the MS-20 has a wildly variable internal gain structure. You abuse that gain structure, and sure hiss. (just like any abused analog gain structure.) Correctly structure your gain, and nice fat signal.


Have about 12-14 patch cords in it right now. Between the Doepfer MIDI-to-CV converter, the sequencer/arpeggiator off of a Micron, the Music From Outer Space semi-modular, the Moog ring mod and lowpass and the MS-20, I'm finding I have the bulk of the functionality in an 2600. Okay, its not a 2600, but the features are there.

Yeah, I'm loving this synth. Haters gonna hate. I've got a bassist I don't need to feed.
Old 10th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2552
Lives for gear
 
riddimshakk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos of noth ➑️
So, received my Mini-MS, Friday.

After so much smoke and sparks about the hiss/thump issue on the forum, I was a little apprehensive.

Now, on turning it on, with the knobs set however it was from the factory, after connecting power and audio, I hit a knob and heard: thump! hissssss....

Oh no! Oh NO!

Well, surveying the state of the knobs, not a very useful patch. What if we say, turn those oscillator levels up and pull the main volume way back? Oh wait, that sounds lovely.

So, having played with it for the next couple days in a fair amount of permutations, I haven't gotten back to being able to get thump/hiss. I suspect I could achieve thump-hiss, with some effort, but in terms of patches one might actually make and use? No.

As I have previously observed, the MS-20 has a wildly variable internal gain structure. You abuse that gain structure, and sure hiss. (just like any abused analog gain structure.) Correctly structure your gain, and nice fat signal.


Have about 12-14 patch cords in it right now. Between the Doepfer MIDI-to-CV converter, the sequencer/arpeggiator off of a Micron, the Music From Outer Space semi-modular, the Moog ring mod and lowpass and the MS-20, I'm finding I have the bulk of the functionality in an 2600. Okay, its not a 2600, but the features are there.

Yeah, I'm loving this synth. Haters gonna hate. I've got a bassist I don't need to feed.
That's the spirit dude, right there. It's a wicked little unit.Full of character !
Old 10th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2553
Lives for gear
 
R3Member's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler477 ➑️
Please link me the example of the mk1 with a similar hissing noise.

I linked to a video directly comparing the mk1 and new mini and the noise issue was not congruent. Have you linked to examples? Or are you a new MS-20 mini owner trying to justify your new purchase?
With the video you've linked, the noise thing isn't even directly compared or brought up. The slightest difference in knob positioning could make a world's difference in tone. A true test was already done on this thread a few weeks back by a user named shell whom owns the original, then another named sovietpop who has the Mini. They both recorded and posted sound clips of their own with matching parameters (pics were even posted of the original) and concluded that the original sounded the same. The biggest difference seemed to be that the Mini has a hotter volume output.

Here's a link to that whole discussion, but unfortunately, the sound examples that shell posted have been removed:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...0-mini-67.html

Looking back at it all, xanax was actually the skeptical one, initially thinking the Mini was defected. So the fact that he's been won over by actually having a Mini in front of him really says a lot.
Old 10th June 2013
  #2554
Here for the gear
 
ChancexlanD's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
They gotta be here soon!!! Ahhhhhhh
Old 10th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2555
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3Member ➑️
With the video you've linked, the noise thing isn't even directly compared or brought up. The slightest difference in knob positioning could make a world's difference in tone. A true test was already done on this thread a few weeks back by a user named of shell whom owns the original, then another named sovietpop who has the Mini. They both posted a sound clips of their own with matching parameters (pics where posted of the original) and concluded that the original sounded the same. The biggest difference seemed to be that the Mini has a hotter volume output.

Here's a link to that whole discussion, but unfortunately, the sound examples that shell posted have been removed:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...0-mini-67.html

Looking back at it all, xanax was actually the skeptical one, initially thinking the Mini was defected. So the fact that he's been won over by actually having a Mini in front of him really says a lot.
Haha, how ironic. I just removed them last night because I felt nobody was using them anymore. They weren't getting much, if any, new plays and the conversation seems to have started over again despite what I posted.

I would be happy to post them up again, but I would put them under another Soundcloud account other than my personal one this time. If people want it, I'll do it again. Otherwise, carry on.
Old 10th June 2013
  #2556
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
anyone know of a good forum/thread//place where people chat about their MS-20 patches?

One of the fun things I found out last night is that if you route the EG1 out to the EG1 trigger and use the EG1/EXT knob to FM the oscillators, EG1 starts looping against itself similar to an LFO - in tandem with the MG modulating the filters this can sound very cool!
Old 10th June 2013
  #2557
Lives for gear
 
pinkerton's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Never use the overdrive on a cheap amp if the ms20 noise bugs you. Your head *might* explode.
Old 10th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2558
Lives for gear
 
anigbrowl's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler477 ➑️
The Original mk1 MS-20= no Hiss
MS-20 mini = Hiss.
I have used original ones that struck me as quite noisy. Also, there seems to be some variation in minis insofar as some people have ones that are very noisy, others don't (and have posted audio of their clean-sounding units). So it seems to be a maintenance/quality assurance issue rather than an inherent characteristic.

Have you considered taking/sending yours back and asking for a replacement? I quite understand your being pissed off by the unit that you have now, but feel you are overstating your conclusions a bit based on only 1 data point for each model.
Old 10th June 2013
  #2559
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
can anyone help me recreate this patch?

KORG MS-20 (1) girl vocal sound! My MS20 sings... - YouTube

video is a bit grainy but I think the EG1 OUT is going to the Initial Gain and the EG2 REV OUT is going to the LPF. Been having a go at recreating this but haven't gotten very close yet. cheers

oh, I've also created a new subreddit specifically for the ms20...

reddit.com/r/ms20
Old 10th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2560
Lives for gear
 
R3Member's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by anigbrowl ➑️
there seems to be some variation in minis insofar as some people have ones that are very noisy, others don't (and have posted audio of their clean-sounding units).
I'm pretty sure that all Minis function the same way since they are being mass produced and whatever variation we are hearing is more likely due to how people have their patches set up. On the unit I've played on, I was able to replicate the noise characteristic easily, but as someone already pointed out above, "the MS-20 has a wildly variable internal gain structure" and just like with his unit, the moment I cranked up the knobs in the Osc Mixer section then lowered the main volume, it made a huge difference in how it was bleeding through.
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2561
Gear Nut
 
colthawker's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by willsanquil ➑️
anyone know of a good forum/thread//place where people chat about their MS-20 patches?

One of the fun things I found out last night is that if you route the EG1 out to the EG1 trigger and use the EG1/EXT knob to FM the oscillators, EG1 starts looping against itself similar to an LFO - in tandem with the MG modulating the filters this can sound very cool!
There's a couple of interesting settings here with sound examples: Korg MS Monophonic Synthesizers - Users Tips and Techniques
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2562
Lives for gear
 
riddimshakk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Uk supplier selling one here...Can't see a pre-order statement. Looks like it's in stock. Heard of this shop too. Might be o.k.

New Korg MS-20 MiniKORG MS 20 MINI - ALL ANALOG SYTH | eBay

Just seen another too. Different seller.

New Korg MS-20 Minihttp://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Korg-MS-20...item232bbeb241

Last edited by riddimshakk; 11th June 2013 at 12:13 AM.. Reason: saw another.
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2563
Lives for gear
 
riddimshakk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3Member ➑️
The way I see it is that if they are being mass produced, they are following a specific schematic and using the same source components for each unit. As for calibration issues, that could be a possibility, but there is such a thing as quality control. It's not like they are producing a cheap pair of socks to throw in gift shop bargain bin, this is a reputable company producing an instrument where if quality control wasn't a priority, would do more harm to the company than consumer. The consumer could always return the product, get their money back and walk away happy, whereas the company has to take the loss if quality control isn't put in place.
It's very likely (& this is just my guess based on working in mass production environments) That there is a standardized & efficient/quick procedure at the pre-packaging stage.
It would either be a diagnostic plug in devise which reads measurements from specified in/outputs with + & - tolerances followed by a checked box to say it has been passed...Or (& this is less likely)...A guy who has a quick look & say's "Yeah,that'll do (In Chinese) box it!"

It's an interesting point you make though. In busy industrial factories when there is a mass order & time is money, targets to be met, bar charts to print & all that, the workers are put under extra pressure & naturally the more that the pressure is turned up, the more likely it is that minor errors are made. I've seen it in other production environments.
In a dodgy financial climate where many businesses struggle, these guys have cornered a market & are enjoying a short boom based on one product.
Odds are that Korg set up a big operation solely for this unit alone, as in, a complete new production line with massive investment in machinery & premises along with recruitment costs & all the legalities & complications that come with it.
Some discrepancies are always to be expected when associated with a rush of orders of this magnitude.
For the consumer it's pot luck which unit they end up with (No two being 100% the same) & inevitably some users will receive the odd bum unit.
What they need to identify is if the synth is displaying typical quirks & characteristics of its good self & design OR, is it the one in every say couple of hundred or so (Number guessing) that is below standard & has slipped through the quality net ? They will exist but i wager that most electronic issues would be easily factory rectified with those correct calibration tools. The pcb & fixing look very stable to me (If fixed to standard) Twitchy sounding units might simply need a tweak here & there unless they received a faulty transistor or resistor or even a simple random short circuit.
Keeping it in context like !

Last edited by riddimshakk; 11th June 2013 at 01:18 AM.. Reason: Had more to say for no good reason.
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2564
Lives for gear
 
riddimshakk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
It's not because it's China. It's just automated mass production.Could be any country really.

'Mass production,scourge of the earth or backbone of the industrial revolution??...Bringing new & exiting products to millions in their homes everywhere ! Today's useful products & tomorrows landfill...'

Oh well, should last a few years before it buggered !
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2565
Lives for gear
 
slujj vohaul's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms ➑️
Mass produced isn't exactly synonymous with first rate QC.
Point taken. So, given your examples, these will surely have variances between them, just like anything else that is mass produced.

Case closed - some MS20's are noisier than others. Glad that we can put this one to bed.

Just buy one already and return it if you don't like it - that's all that matters right? You know, if you enjoy it or not?

What other cool stuff are people doing with their MS-20's? Anyone got any demos of playing this thing with a bass or guitar?
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2566
Lives for gear
 
riddimshakk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I'm glued to my chair. Look forward to the conclusion !


"Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.Humans are the only witty sacastic lowlife's"
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2567
Lives for gear
 
Ben F's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3Member ➑️
You should also provide pictures with matching parameters as well, indicating that they are indeed two different units. Shell (whom owns an original with the KORG-35 filter) already popped in a few posts back saying he could provide more sound samples for us well, so if you do indeed come to the conclusion that one Mini is somehow noisier than another and have pictures and notes on the recording procedures you've use to capture the sound, the noisiest Mini could also be matched with an original. I agree, no more speculation.
Bit tricky when pots are generally no better than 20% tolerance.

Quite a margin of error there.
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2568
Lives for gear
 
R3Member's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F ➑️
Bit tricky when pots are generally no better than 20% tolerance.

Quite a margin of error there.
Which would also explain why some could seem noisier than others, especially when you see all those original vs. Mini comparison videos that don't even zoom in to show the parameters. If we can't conclude that one Mini is noisier than another, then the best answer is still that the Mini is at the very least as noisy as the mk1 MS-20 based on the comparison test that Shell and sovietpop made a month ago.
Old 11th June 2013
  #2569
Lives for gear
 
volumetrik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I hope Korg is aware of this issue (if you can call it that) and address it fast, it does bother some people and they have returned their units even though they really liked to get one. So it's better if Korg did a revision fast so all thoes people can get it again.
Old 11th June 2013
  #2570
Gear Nut
 
coverup0204's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
With the original, you can replace non-surface mounted capacitors and other parts fairly easily, and "recapping" is a commonly proposed solution to all sorts of ills. I read another post about an original MS-20 having the same issues and someone recommended having a tech recap the synth to fix the issue.

Here is the thread from 2010: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...20-owners.html

I have pm'ed the original poster to see if he was able to fix the issue with his tech and I will report back here when I hear something.

Also, Don Solaris said in this thread that he has serviced a bunch of MS-20s, so I have pm'ed him as well for insight.
Old 11th June 2013
  #2571
Gear Nut
 
coverup0204's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Old 11th June 2013
  #2572
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
lol
Old 11th June 2013
  #2573
Gear Nut
 
coverup0204's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Slujj, have I ever told you how much I admire your music? I know this isn't the time or place, but I'm really impressed by your sonic explorations. I definitely hear Trent Reznor's influence but I think that you have really surpassed him in a lot of ways with creative and aggressive production methods. Good stuff mate!

Sent from my SC-03E
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2574
Lives for gear
 
volumetrik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by coverup0204 ➑️
Slujj, have I ever told you how much I admire your music? I know this isn't the time or place, but I'm really impressed by your sonic explorations. I definitely hear Trent Reznor's influence but I think that you have really surpassed him in a lot of ways with creative and aggressive production methods. Good stuff mate!

Sent from my SC-03E
Where can you hear it?
Old 11th June 2013
  #2575
Lives for gear
 
lu77's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Just checking to see if this thread has gotten any better.

But no it's still a bunch of whining, bitching and insulting people.

And *certain* people ego-tripping and insisting on replying to every single post then complaining when the post is not about the ONE thing they want to hear about.

I call this thread hi-jacked. I won't be back, even with my recordings of an MS20 ver 1 side by side with a mini, which I'm going to do this weekend.
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2576
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Finally had a chance to plug my mini in to my proper monitor setup. And I must say that the noise issue is much less obvious than with headphones (which isn't a suprise, really). So there's white noise bleeding through on some settings, but on the point of making it unusable ... not really! On most settings you would want to use it for it's not apparent at all.

So will stick with it and explore it properly. If I find the noise to be an issue later on, well, the good thing about a new unit compared to a vintage one, is it comes with a warranty ...

That idea about patching the EG1 into itself for making it cycle is brilliant. Took me right into radiophonic EMS-esque territory. Feel like re-scoring The Sea Devils now! Found a bit more tips and tricks here, if it hasn't been mentioned before: Korg MS Monophonic Synthesizers - Users Tips and Techniques
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2577
Gear Nut
 
coverup0204's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
<snip for continuation>

lu77, if I apologize on behalf of everyone will you come back with awesome recordings? I know you're still reading this, babe... I know you can't live without us and we DO want your sounds and precise analysis!

Last edited by coverup0204; 11th June 2013 at 09:47 AM.. Reason: Forgot there might be female slutz too, made pronoun gender neutral
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2578
Lives for gear
 
xanax's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms ➑️
Mass produced isn't exactly synonymous with first rate QC.
you are absolutely right but if you want first rate QC, there is also a price to pay... take Moog.. the Voyager is made in USA.. hand assembled & calibrated.. and each unit goes through 7 passes of QC... starting price: $3295... same thing if you look at a Made in USA fender guitar vs Made in Mexico vs Made in China.. with quality comes a price... and the whole point of this re-issue imo is that it's affordable.. that's not giving Korg a free pass on the issue though, just explaining the economics at play..


Quote:
Originally Posted by coverup0204 ➑️
I read another post about an original MS-20 having the same issues and someone recommended having a tech recap the synth to fix the issue.

Here is the thread from 2010: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...20-owners.html

I have pm'ed the original poster to see if he was able to fix the issue with his tech and I will report back here when I hear something.

Also, Don Solaris said in this thread that he has serviced a bunch of MS-20s, so I have pm'ed him as well for insight.
that thread is pretty interesting as several original MS-20 owners are displaying the EXACT same noise symptoms we are having with the mini.. the issue may very well be an inherent flaw from the original rev1 design.. i suggest everyone concerned about the issue listen to the mp3 files posted by the OP: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/5495904-post1.html
Old 11th June 2013
  #2579
Lives for gear
 
xanax's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
i got your PM dude... i just think it's a waste of time tbh... see my previous comment on how the issue might just turn out to be a flaw from the original.. i would start there rather then attempting to test out every single mini out there (which up to now all seem to display the same issue)

btw, i recommend new balance sneakers (made in uk/usa )
Old 11th June 2013 | Show parent
  #2580
Gear Nut
 
coverup0204's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax ➑️
see my previous comment on how the issue might just turn out to be a flaw from the original.. i would start there
I agree, I admire the curiosity about variations in build quality, but I haven't heard much variation in the Minis, just lots of different patches and scenarios that show the issue more or less. I personally don't think that comparing minis will get us very far at this point.

More interested in learning whether MK1s exhibiting the issue were repairable or not.
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