Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-1 A DIY Synth Based On Multi-Engine

Korg has officially announced Nu:Tekt, a new brand with focus on DIY instruments, effects and utilities.

The first offering is the NTS-1 synthesizer. The NTS-1 features a digital oscillator inspired by the Multi Engine found on the prologue and minilogue xd, along with a capable arpeggiator. There’s also a multimode filter, one EG, three LFOs, and three effects processors (reverb, delay, and modulation).

The NTS-1 was originally introduced at Superbooth 2019, as a sort of Monotron on steroids:

NTS-1 is compatible with logue-SDK, the strategic developer kit made for the KORG minilogue xd and prologue synthesizers. This compatibility allows the user the ability to run any custom oscillator and effect content available for these products, or for the user to create their own.

The Nu:Tekt NTS-1 Digital Synthesizer offers a unique approach to synthesizer creation, allowing for an easy way to assemble a synth without the need of soldering. The package includes the essential tools needed to build, right down to the screwdriver.

“[Nu:Tekt] NTS-1 is a very capable, yet easy to grasp, digital instrument that’s simply loads of fun to play with, ” states James Sajeva, Director of Music Tech Brands for Korg USA, Inc. “With its DIY design, full-featured synth engine, Logue-SDK compatibility, and connectivity –all at a very approachable sub-$100 price point -there’s a lot to be excited about.”

Here’s a demo of building the NTS-1:

Audio Demos:

Nu:Tekt NTS-1 Synthesizer In Depth Demo:

Here’s an in-depth demo and review of the NTS-1, via loopop:

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
0:30 Building NTS-1
1:10 Hardware overview
3:40 Oscillator
6:00 Osc parameters
7:10 Filters
8:15 Env generator
9:45 Mod effects
10:35 Delays
11:20 Reverbs
12:30 Arpeggiator
14:25 Audio in
15:20 Pros & cons

Pricing and Availability

The Nu:Tekt NTS-1 synth will be available November 2019 for $99.99.  For more information, visit www.korg.com.

26 thoughts on “Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-1 A DIY Synth Based On Multi-Engine

  1. Love the fact that they made the user programmable oscillator available in a separate (and cheap) unit!

    However I must add that I dislike the recent lets-cut-costs-on-assembly-and-market-it-as-DIY movement.

  2. Instead of the useless build-in speaker and the unplayable micro-touchstrip they should have given it a small OLED-Display (like in the other Korgs).

    1. Nice idea though it would probably push up the cost and complexity quite a bit.

      The membrane keyboard can be semi playable if it has a pitch lock feature.

  3. This seems a really interesting development, because it makes it super cheap to develop and test for this platform, but it also creates a cheap mainstream platform for programmable synths. I’d be surprised if the Mutable Instruments modules don’t show up on this pretty quickly, for example.

    I’d be a lot more interested in getting this, though, if it was in the Volca form factor, which to me is about as small a synth as I want to work with. Smaller than that and you get into tweezers territory.

    1. The Mutable Instruments oscillators are already available for Prologue. Same codebase, but it needs to be built separately for each platform (Prologue, XD, and I assume this).

    1. Hi Mike. Not a stupid question at all. I would imagine that Korg will release an app for iOS and Android that’ll also manage patch storage. Alternatively because they’re also releasing an SDK, developers will get the chance to write software for it.

  4. I think this system is intended for development n improvisation for up n coming developers/musicians…we can all stay tuned on if it can save patches…it does have memory! Just by the facts that it has audio in n has great effects…n one can use it to test new oscillator types….this beast is worth the price!

  5. So-
    * Is this a Minilogue-XD minus the keyboard & front panel knobs? – I guess it is the same mother-board without all the extra peripheral hardware.
    * Is it monophonic or … ?
    * What DSP’s does it use?
    * Is the SDK GUI / module based, or code (C,C++,Swift …) based ?

    1. The processor is an STM32F446ZET6, which is an ARM Cortex M4 chip with floating point DSP instructions that runs at 180 MHz, with a 8MByte ISSI SDRAM chip (for effects).

      So, yeah. Monophonic.

    2. “is this a Minilogue-XD minus the keyboard & front panel knobs? – I guess it is the same mother-board without all the extra peripheral hardware.”

      No.

  6. You gotta love that the $2000 USD Prologue has exactly one LFO that can control exactly one parameter at a time, and this $99 micro-synth has three LFOs…

    1. This is running the digital Multi Engine – so is there any reason why you couldn’t put three LFOs on an oscillator running in the Multi Engine on the Prologue?

      1. @acl2ck you got it. There are a few custom/3rd-party “logue” oscillators that include additional LFOs.

        Also, the $2000 Prologue actually includes 16 LFOs, not one.

      1. For real for real.

        Roland: the specs on this device are guaranteed to make you popular and attractive, just like this pseudo-celebrity demonstrator. Just look at all those colors. Buy this and you will be a real musician, promise.

        Korg: Hey we made another bleep blorp thing and it’s cheap too we hope you like it thank you for listening.

  7. 100 bucks for a mini-synth with the Multi Engine? That sounds like a lot of fun for experimenting and trying out new oscillator designs.

      1. I’m 100% positive this is derived from the Prologue SDK development board. People asked for that SDK board as a standalone product and here it is, with some updates to appeal to the DIY crowd.

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