[ms20 title]

[owners manual]


[front panel illustration]

1) Introduction
2) Connection with an Amplifier
3) Block Diagram and Signal Flow Chart
4) The Normal Setting
5) Features and Functions
6) About Patching
7) Expanding Your System
8) Using the External Signal Processor
9) Caution
10) Specifications
 - control section
 - external signal processor
 - patch panel section
11) Setting Charts

1) Introduction  ^

Congratulations on buying the Korg MS-20 Synthesizer.

This instrument has been engineered and manufactured using the most advanced techniques known today, and features the same unparalleled technology utilized in Korg's revolutionary Polyphonic Synthesizers, the PS-3100 and PS-3300.

With reasonable care, it will provide years of high quality and reliable use with unsurpassed stability, versatility and longevity.

Please read this manual carefully to get the most out of your MS-20.

2) Connection with an amplifier  ^

- connection with an amplifier

3) Block diagram and signal flow chart  ^

4) Normal Setting  ^

This diagram illustrates control positions for the Normal Setting. In this setting, all modulation functions are disconnected, producing a basic, unmodulated tone.

Since VCO-1 and VCO-2 sound together, adjust VCO-2's pitch to match VCO-1's by means of the Pitch control.

This Normal Setting is the foundation on which you will build when creating sounds with the MS-20. You will find it useful to be able to return to this setting whenever you start a new patch. Therefore, it is recommended that you memorize these control positions for greater efficiency of operation.

- normal setting

5) Features and Functions  ^

6) About Patching  ^

Setting up a patch is one way to control the MS-20 more effectively for synthesizing sounds. Patching involves using such outputs as the control wheel in a creative way to control various synthesizer functions, thus increasing the variety of sounds and effects possible.

When setting up a patch, follow these steps to be sure you get the effect you want:

(1) Where (VCA, VCF, VCO, etc.) do you want to create the effect and what kind of effect do you want?
(2) What kind of control signal will you need for that effect?
(3) Which section of the synthesizer will generate that kind of control signal?

If you don't put your thoughts into this order before you start connecting patch cords from one jack to another, you will not be able to synthesize the sound you want.

Even if you just use the internal patch without external patch cords, these same rules apply. When you want a certain sound, break it down into its elements of pitch (frequency), tone color or timbre (harmonic elements) and volume (envelope or amplitude change over time).
Then put these elements together by using the various sections of the synthesizer.

Remember that the keyboard generates both a control voltage and a trigger signal every time you play a key. In other words it acts as a control knob and a switch. Make maximum use of this and other less obvious possibilities for creating sounds. The more techniques you know, the more freely you'll be able to play the music you want.

7) Expanding Your System  ^

[asterisk] Here are two examples using the SQ-10 Korg Analog Sequencer.

(1) One simple idea is to set the SQ-10 to determine the pitch and tone color produced by the MS-20 at each step. Then if you use the internal clock of the SQ-10 to run through the steps, you will have automatic control of the MS-20.
- automatic control via the SQ-10

(2) For a live performance, another effective way of using the SQ-10 is to set up a patch so that the SQ-10 advances one step and changes the tone color every time you play a key on the MS-20.
- step control via the SQ-10

[asterisk] In this example the MS-10 is used with the MS-20 to increase the depth and richness of the sound.

Connect patch cords from the MS-20 KBD CV OUT and TRIG OUT jacks to the MS-10 VCO CV IN and TRIG IN jacks. With this arrangement, both synthesizers operate together when you play the keyboard of the MS-10. But if you try to play the MS-10 keyboard, nothing will happen because it has been disconnected by the patch cords in the VCO CV IN and TRIG IN jacks. So decide which keyboard you want to use before you set up the patch.

Try using separate amplifiers (or left and right stereo channels) for each synthesizer.

Setting both synthesizers to produce the same sound and then changing the pitch slightly on one of them will give you a phase effect or jet effect. This can be effectively used both on stage and for multi-track recording.

8) Using the External Signal Processor (E.S.P.)  ^

To use the ESP module, follow the steps listed below:
(1) Connect the external signal source (e.g., electric guitar, microphone, electric piano, etc.) to the ESP's SIGNAL IN jack.
(2) Adjust the Signal Level so that the Peak Level indicator only flickers slightly when the external signal input reaches maximum volume.
(3) Turn the Threshold Level control clockwise while watching the TRIG OUT light, until it lights when playing at medium to high voltage levels.
(4) Connect F (inf.) V CV OUT to VCO 1+2 CV IN (or VCO 2 CV IN); connect TRIG OUT (ESP) to the TRIGGER IN jack, and the ENV OUT jack to the VCA's INITIAL GAIN jack.
(5) To adjust the Bandpass Filtering section for proper operation first set the LOW CUT FREQ to "10" and HIGH CUT FREQ to "0". Play the highest note the ESP is to pick up, and slowly turn the HIGH CUT control clockwise until the desired pitch is picked up.
Next play the lowest note and turn the LOW CUT control counter clockwise until it is registered on the MS-20. This completes the Bandpass Filter adjustments.
(6) Adjust the CV ADJUST control until the MS-20's pitch matches that of the input instrument.
(7) If desired, the original sound of the instrument may be mixed with the synthesized sounds by patching the ESP's PRE-AMP OUT to the EXTERNAL SIGNAL IN jack.

Once the above steps have been completed, the MS-20 may be programmed for different sounds in the same manner as when the keyboard is utilized.

9) Caution  ^

(1) On the MS-20 there are removable covers on eight places. If you remove these covers, you will see semi-fixed volume controls. But never touch these controls. They have been adjusted at the factory to give optimum results. If you turn these knobs, performance will deteriorate and the synthesizer may be damaged. (For example, since the VCO is the heart of the synthesizer, if its balance is upset, everything else will go too.)
(2) Pay attention to the voltage indications (0~+5, -5V~+5V, 5Vp-p, GND, etc.) on the patching panel and their relationship with the block diagram and signal flow chart. Note that if you connect a -5~+5V control signal to a 0~+5V input jack, nothing will happen during the -5~0V portion of the control signal. It will only operate from 0V to +5V. So always consider both the characteristics of the output and the input, and whether the signal is analogue or digital when you set up a patch.

[that's it - voltage control]

10) Specifications  ^

11) Setting Charts  ^

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