Connect A Korg MS-20 Mini To Modular Synthesizers

english-tear-harvestmanModular synth manufacturer The Harvestman has announced a new module that’s designed to make it easy to connect the new Korg MS-20 Mini to modular synthesizers.

Here’s the official announcement:

I announce with great satisfaction ENGLISH TEAR, the first in a line of small utility modules.

This module features the expected “voltage processor” attenuverter and big offset knobs, but also includes a full set of functions for interfacing to an MS-20. Easy conversion from exponential volt-per-octave to linear hertz-per-volt and back, as well as V-trigger to S-trigger conversion. Jack normalling fixes the voltage processors to these converter circuits, so you may scale the input voltages as desired. The log/expo converter circuits also have many other uses in your modular system beyond the conversion of pitched voltages.

Pricing and availability are to be determined.

via radiokoala, The Harvestman

30 thoughts on “Connect A Korg MS-20 Mini To Modular Synthesizers

            1. Both MS10 and MS20 where Hz/Volt AND Volt/Oct, it all depends which connector you use. If you use OSC FREQ it’s Hz/volt, BUT if you use OSC FREQ MOD it’s 1Volt/oct. Remember it’s semimodular, so open your minds 🙂

    1. Go with the Elektron A4 first. It’ll control the miniMS20, add some much needed effects processing, more filter craziness, and then when you start euro, (and you should!) you’ll be able to get more out of a smaller system and be able to take more time figuring out what the right modules are for you.

  1. I asked them at the Korg booth about this very subject and was told that the mini is V/oct. Which is just good sense. Makes it a great addition if you already have Euro stuff (or an EMW 200/300!).

  2. Title of this article is wrong. This unit is for connecting an original MS-20 (or MS-10) into a V/oct environment, not for connecting the new MS-20mini, which already works on V/oct.

  3. Making things compatible with a revitalized MS-20 is a no-brainer, because they’re going to sprout in rigs like mushrooms. It strikes a perfect balance between a MiniMoog and a modular, so people from both camps will take to it. I expect it to catch fire and start another sub-industry, as when Propellerheads released enough code for third-parties to create Racks for Reason. From now on, you’ll need an MS-20mini to keep up with the In crowd.

  4. The MS-20 has always been overrated. Sure it broke some ground with the whole semimodular, but people praising it’s filters need their ears examined; it is cold and sterile. It’s nice this unit is out, but if your comparing an MS-20 to even a moderate eurorack, you will be pretty much be up against a wall. Then the shitty sounding bullets will start flying.

    Honestly, Korg is a Japanese company, so the name should be Japanese Tear.

    1. Each thing to its own place. I owned a MonoPoly at one time and it had rather razory, thin-ish filters to my ear, after owning a MiniMoog. Its definitely not the first place to look for serious analog beef. Same with my friend who owned an MS-20, one of their expanders and their analog sequencer.

      My fix was to run the MonoPoly through a Boss Pitch Shifter and a graphic EQ. I characterize Korg filters as mid-range-y, so by using those units as part of the chain, I got a much fuller tone with a fairly passive fix.

      My MS-20 pal had a nice mixer and a high-end Ibanez rack reverb, so as I did, he reshaped the tone at its root, causing all of the useful goodies downstream to really sit up and bark. We turned them into heftier-sounding tools by synthesizing our way there. After all, I bought these Busy Boxes for the express purpose of fiddling, so don’t grouse. Just plug them together in new ways until you find the sweet spot for the job. Its usually in there somewhere.

      I also expect to see them release an MS-50mini expander at some point. That was the one-oscillator module with a mass of patch points. The kids are gonna want three apiece.

  5. I’ve already got a Minimoog and a modular. I want this thing because I need a mono that’s more harsh than the mini, and more keys than the brute. The modular is great for all out randomness, where this will be for controllable chaos. Plus the ESP has me pretty pumped, so many ideas for it.

  6. Just found out my MS-mini has finally shipped I I’ll’ be-triggering it with midi so I don’t expect to be needing this as long as I can use the patch points w my moog cp251’s To bad there are no separate outputs for the oscillators and the ringmod I always assumed the original had that but it doesn’t – So If I ever mod it that will be a good place to start I

  7. This text is from Sonic State Website

    The CV/GATE of MS-20 Mini Again, it’s like the original – it talks in Hz/Volt – not what most Eurorack equipment needs for Control Voltage of oscillators. This means no it wont interface with your Doepfer gear – but it will talk to an an MS20 (see the video).
    Shame really, but as the internal synth operates this way, changing that would have meant it wasn’t an MS20 I guess. Someone needs to make a cheap format convertor sharpish. Harvestman have the English Tear, and I believe Doepfer do something too.

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