Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

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Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by danbroad » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:58 pm

Hi there.. tomorrow I sell my Access Virus in favour of my Korg MS2000. One had to go, money's not the issue, and the decision wasn't that hard. It seems we're quick to recommend the 'humble' Korg to anyone looking to start out in synthesis, but we expect that it's a synth you 'grow out of', something you remember fondly then move on. I wondered hard about why I'm selling, and I've come to the conclusion that the MS is just a future classic. I wonder if any of you feel this is a topic worthy of discussion?

Firstly, and to be clear, the Virus is far and away the more capable synth - more oscillators, more Lfo's, better built, nicer key action, sturdier knobs, more modulation options. I know I'll miss it, but I have one constant, niggling doubt that it's just as competent as my software synths. I have no truck with 'hard vs.soft' or 'VA vs analog'; I judge all my equipment on its merits.

Here's why: the Korg has a definite sound - that gritty, not-analog-not-digital first generation VA sound. The very fact that engineers tried to emulate analog circuitry and didn't quite succeed created a sonic character all of its own. There's a select band of synths - including first generation VA's like the Nord Lead and the Virus A - that occupy a sonic character somewhere between the digital and analog domains, and subsequent refinements have removed some of that sonic sparkle in my eyes.

Plus, although it's not as well built as the Virus, it's sturdy enough, and the fact that so many ten-year old synths are sold in mint condition suggests that it will last a while. The knobs, though not anchored as well as the virus, seem to tolerate the necessary abuse.

And, while we're at it, those knobs - as a fairly limited architecture 2-osc, 2-lfo, 4x2 mod matrix synth, every function is right there, attached to a knob or toggle switch. With added features, synths forgot to add more knobs. Even the acknowledged stars of today have features way beyond their controller count. The 'humble' Korg is as instant as a Model D when it comes to sound design.

With only 128 presets, the impetus to build you own sound is stronger than synths with a multitude of banks. Add to that a proper, fully-knobbed step sequencer, the ability to drone by latching the arpeggiator, a split/stack function and a useful MIDI delay, and isn't it time we gave the Korg the 'cheap thrills' medal it deserves?
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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by Hair » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:03 pm

Chances are the MS2000 is going to be looked back upon as the knobbier older brother of the infamous MicroKorg

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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by mome rath » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:09 pm

danbroad wrote:Hi there.. tomorrow I sell my Access Virus in favour of my Korg MS2000.
we have a smiley for this:

#-o
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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by danbroad » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:12 pm

actually, that's how I initially felt - but in actual fact, it feels OK! I'm into Berlin-school electronica, and the need for a step sequencer is paramount. The Korg provides both a step sequencer and a delay - instant Tangerine Dream!
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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by Syn303 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:43 pm

danbroad wrote:The Korg provides both a step sequencer and a delay - instant Tangerine Dream!
As a berlin-school recording artist myself, my monomachine can do a far superior job than the MS-2000 ever can.
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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by RobotHeroes » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:59 pm

Syn303 wrote:my monomachine can do a far superior job than the MS-2000 ever can.
It has more bells and whistles but the MnM still sounds stainless steel without outside help.

There are lots of synths that "can do a far superior job" especially when they are out of each others price ranges.



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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by synthesizerist » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:02 pm

Weird, I had one and didn't care for it at all. But this statement:

"the Korg has a definite sound - that gritty, not-analog-not-digital first generation VA sound. The very fact that engineers tried to emulate analog circuitry and didn't quite succeed created a sonic character all of its own."

makes me want to play one again with this theory in mind. That never occured to me when I had it. Not enough to buy it again, but if I see one used in a music shop i'm fiddling...

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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:09 pm

I think I tend to agree.

However, I would go for the first edition which is made in Japan, rather than the 2nd version, which I believe is made in China.
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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by danbroad » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:17 pm

A TI keyboard!

I'm not saying I'll never buy another synth - but each time I audition another potential replacement, it somehow doesn't seem to grab me in the same way.
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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by synthesizerist » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:38 pm

danbroad wrote:I'm not saying I'll never buy another synth - but each time I audition another potential replacement, it somehow doesn't seem to grab me in the same way.
Yeah, that's what it all boils down to isn't it? And really the beauty of synthesizers over any other type of instrument. Each one is so unique and there have been so many completely different designs, that some just click with you and some don't and it's totally a personal thing.

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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by RobotHeroes » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:41 pm

danbroad wrote:A TI keyboard!
*drinks something just to spit it up in a mist*

FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU :lol:

I was expecting to read an older Virus synth model. I owned the MS2000 before. It was my second, or third, synth and I kind of liked it except for it being 4 voices. I liked it over the JP8000 I had at the same time.

I want to try a TI since they have a lot of sound possibilities. I haven't heard it enough to know if I really like the way it sounds though.
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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by THEODICY » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:01 pm

I seem to agree with the poster as well. The MS was my first synth and am really glad that it was. I used to love the sound a lot more though, especially the bass tones, until I got an analog mono but I love the MS for what it is good at. I love the mod sequencer and FX, they are always great fun. I even recently added the rack version to my setup. I hope they will become classic, it would be cool to give them to my kids one day (if I ever have a brat.)

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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by killanator » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:22 am

MS is my newest synth and my first VA, im not a big fan of the sound, but its still pretty good.. just the fact that its pretty cheap means it will probably somewhat go down as a classic(like the dx7)

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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by RobotHeroes » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:32 am

cheap != classic
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Re: Korg MS2000 - a classic in the making?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:10 am

The Microkorg will definitely be a classic in the future, and the MS2000 is like a Microkorg only better so draw your own conclusions. If the OP wants to sell the Ti and keep the MS then nobody can say that's wrong, they sound different and everyone has their own taste. I really like the gritty sound of the MS/MK too, I'd think about picking up an MS if I had a bit more space for things around here...

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