Korg has introduced the Legacy Collection, a virtual instrument/effects pack that offers software synthesizer versions of classic hardware synthesizers. It includes virtual analog versions of the popular MS-20 and Polysix analog synthesizers, and the Wavestation advanced vector synthesizer. The coolest feature, though, may be the special-edition MS-20 Hardware Controller.
Korg’s CMT (Component Modeling Technology) models the characteristics of the electronic circuits themselves (transistors, condensers, resistors, etc.), allowing the Legacy Collection to perfectly reproduce the complex sound and deliver all the power and subtlety that up until now only true analog synthesis could provide.
The dual-oscillator, monophonic MS-20 (first released in 1978) is known for its thick sound, aggressive analog filters, and unlimited, creative patching potential. It’s popular to this day with musicians like, William Orbit, that like the flexibility that it offers.
The MS-20 software synth delivers all that power, and adds modern advantages such as 32-note polyphony, up to 16-voice unison, advanced modulation settings, and MIDI clock synchronization.
Special MS-20 Controller
The Legacy Collection includes a commemorative, fully-functional USB-MIDI controller (MS-20iC) for use with the MS-20 soft synth. It’s a 3/4-scale reproduction of the MS-20 that includes a velocity sensitive keyboard and signal-patching capability.
It’s too bad this couldn’t be full-size, but it’s still one of the most exciting controllers we’ve seen. By combining a dedicated hardware controller with a semi-modular virtual synth, this should make it easy to use, extremely flexible, and offer great real-time control.
The Polysix six-voice analog synthesizer was popular for its full-sounding voice structure, chorus/phase/ensemble effects, chord memory, and arpeggiator. In addition to faithfully replicating the sound of the original, the Polysix software synthesizer also adds the same modern enhancements as the software-based MS-20.
The Wavestation synthesizer, with its “advanced vector synthesis system,” enabled users to mix or morph between four oscillators, and introduced Wave Sequencing for creating evolving patterns. The Wavestation software synthesizer provides all original waveforms (including the jam-packed SR model) and effects plus the digital oscillators, filters, envelope generators, and LFOs that perfectly replicate the signature three-dimensional WAVESTATION sound. All factory preset programs, 550 performances, and 385 patches are included. The user can also import any WAVESTATION series data that has been stored in .SYX format.
Korg’s proprietary Legacy Cell™ is the world’s first software-based “combination structure” that allows the combination of synths (MS-20 + Polysix, 2 MS-20, 2 Polysix, 1 MS-20, or 1 Polysix) with two insert and two master effects into a single instrument that delivers new sounds and textures (19 effect algorithms are available for the insert and master effects). Users can easily set key and velocity splits or layers, choose velocity curves to switch between the synths, as well as map controllers to any synth or effect parameter. The Cell can then be used as a normal VST or Audio Units plug-in by any compatible host application, or as a stand-alone synthesizer.
Legacy Cell provides 256 rich-sounding programs complete with all controller assignments. It also has built-in native support for the separately sold Korg microKONTROL MIDI Studio Controller.
Effects and More
The MS-20FX enables the MS-20 to be used as an effect processor, running audio through its filter and modulation parameters. MDE-X makes the 19 Legacy Cell effects available as effects plug-ins. Both of these can be used as VST/Audio Units effects plug-ins within compatible host programs.
Compatibility and Pricing
The Legacy Collection synths can be used on Macintosh OSX/Windows XP in stand-alone form or as VST/Audio Units plug-in instruments within a compatible host application.*
The Korg Legacy Collection has an MSRP of $499.00, and will be available in the first quarter of 2004.