Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

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knolan
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Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by knolan » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:54 pm

Hi -

I wonder if there are any Korg MS2000R users out there who could shed some light on how good it is.

These seem to be going for quite good 2nd hand prices these days.

In particular I'd be interested in knowing:

1) Does is sound good ? (!)

2) Does its Filter self-resonate?

3) How does it compare to other VA's such as the AN1x, NL2 and Radias

4) How does it compare to the MonoPoly ?


and of course any other info will be appreciated.


Thanks,
Kevin.

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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by mute » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:25 pm

1) Yes
2) Yes, in different ways since there are 2 lp modes, a bp and a hp.
3) Tangled question
a. Radius also has an acclaimed VA engine and has way more options, but the MS2000 is narlier. Radius is like a VA workstation in the form factor of the MS2000. Costs way more.
b. NL2 has a silky sound to it, costs way more. 4 voices.
c. I think it sounds better than the AN1X (it has legions of fans that would disagree with me though), but the AN1x is also a 10 voice poly. Basically same price range used.
4) The MS2000 was an anniversary synth, and its feature set is derived from the following influences:
a. MS20 / SQ10 / VC10 ("sound", modular routing, sequencer, vocoder)
b. DW-8000 (waveforms/wave sequencing)
c. Mono/Poly (voicing)

.......that said, if someone came up to you with 10 MS2000's and 1 working Mono/Poly, you'd be a fool not to take the Mono/Poly.

I havent used mine in awhile, but I'm part of the MS2k cult. Gimpy microkorg be damned. Oh, thats another option for you.. the Microkorg (first version) is a trimmed down version of the MS2k and they made so many of them you can get them cheap cheap cheap.

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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by knolan » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:32 pm

Thanks for the very informative view - very helpful.

I own the AN1x and MonoPoly and like them both - but the MS2000R has always been of interest. I like its realtime control capabilities and the step sequencer looks interesting too.


Cheers!
Kevin

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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by Rokk » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:20 am

1) Does is sound good ? (!)
If buzzy but at the same time muffled, warm, plastic tone is what you're after, than yes, it sounds good. If you like your synth to have mid range presence, then no, it doesn't have it. I had to use exciter in order to make it cut through a mix. It has a tremendous low end, though. Really. In terms of it's EQ curve it reminds me a lot of Roland Alpha Juno.

2) Does its Filter self-resonate?
Yes, but the filter might not be for you (especially the 24db slope) if you want your sound to retain volume and low end when resonance is boosted. This filter thins out the sound considerably, but it does with with a certain character and dirt which can sound cool, though.

3) How does it compare to other VA's such as the AN1x, NL2 and Radias
It has a sound of its own. While AN1x can remind a bit of Prophets and CS range a bit and while NL2 is fuzzy, punchy and metallc and has sort of an acoustic quality to it, and while Radias sounds pretty much like a well featured modern softsynth, the MS2000 leans towards a darker, softer tone with still quite a bit of fuzz an dirt if that makes sense. It's step sequencer is great fun and DWGS waveforms really expand the range of sounds. I had NL2 and AN1x. AN1x had it's problems with that famous warm-up bug and NL2x had a modwheel bug (without touching it it would change values) and also the knobs were too sensitive and would sometimes edit parameters on their own. MS2000 was the only synth I had that I can say was bug free. I only experienced one freeze. I'm not sure why was that, but other than that it was solid and never exhibited any hickups. The interface is very nice also.

4) How does it compare to the MonoPoly ?
I've never played one, but from what I heard they are very different sounding.

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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by Synthacon » Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:55 am

MS2000 won't ever sync to Midi clock with is a massive main since they made a huge deal out of the sequencing side. It's not too shabby, but certainly you would be better off with an R3, not as nobby but more powerful and about the same price, or a Radias.
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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by knolan » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:12 pm

Synthacon wrote:MS2000 won't ever sync to Midi clock with is a massive main since they made a huge deal out of the sequencing side. It's not too shabby, but certainly you would be better off with an R3, not as nobby but more powerful and about the same price, or a Radias.

Synthacon - are you saying that the step sequencer and arpeggiator will not syn to other MIDI devices?

If the case, that's extraordinary, and reason enough not to buy one (and perhaps explains why they are selling so cheap these days?).

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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by Synthacon » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:15 am

Yep
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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by groy » Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:24 pm

knolan wrote: Synthacon - are you saying that the step sequencer and arpeggiator will not syn to other MIDI devices?

If the case, that's extraordinary, and reason enough not to buy one (and perhaps explains why they are selling so cheap these days?).
To clarify, the appregiator and step sequencer will not transmit MIDI out, but the appregiator, step sequencer, and lfos *will* synch with a MIDI clock in. However, some owners report timing/drift issues with clock in. Never noticed it on mine, but maybe that's why all my music sounds shitty :lol: Not sure if the source of that issue was the operation system or something else.

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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by Walter Ego » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:34 pm

I just started using one that I have had for some time now. I'm really starting to get into it--very flexible and many good qualities. They seem to still be dropping in price, perhaps due to the new crop of synths that have come out in the last couple years. Lots of hands-on control; not as great for multiple timbres/misleading pot positions, but that would be an issue with a bona-fide analog poly also. It has a great sound. The only real sound qualm I have with it is the filter resonance response. Cranking up the resonance just cancels out the signal. But other than that, it's a great sounding digital filter. As noted, it's great for bass duties--very easy to make a great sounding bass very quickly. PWM bass is especially nice and metallic.
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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by madtheory » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:16 pm

The MS2000 a great sounding synth, and the step sequencer is interesting. It was on my shortlist a few years ago along with Access Virus B, NL2 and Novation KS Rack. Picked the Novation (these are also very cheap). Why? Best sound of those on my shortlist in my opinion, great UI, three oscillators. Well NL2 is good sounding too. Virus totally over rated IMO. Was able to get all of my fave Yamaha CS10 sounds on the KS, with ease (great UI). It has the same kind of DWGS waveforms the MS2000 has. The delay and reverb are a bit rubbish, but distortion is good.

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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by Walter Ego » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:48 pm

I'll chime in a bit on the sound of the MS-2000 again, as it relates to the Virus...

From what I understand, basically all of VNV Nation's record Empires was recorded with a Virus (I think B). That was in 1999, before the MS-2000 came out. Later, the MicroKorg came out, using the exact same engine and with most of the features of the 2K, but with compressed user interface. Same sound. Anyway, a couple years ago I got a MicroKorg, which I still very much like. What I found is that basic detuned saw leads and basslines sound pretty much indistinguishable to my ears from the Virus. In other words, most of Empires probably could have been done on a MicroKorg, with enough time and patience. Now the MK/MS-2K lacks the polyphony and effects of the Virus, but it's cheaper. Other features I can't comment on--I've never had a Virus. But if you want that Empires-era VNV sound, the MS/MK will do. I know that's a narrow need/interest, but take it for what it's worth.
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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by Synthacon » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:20 pm

I think the MS/MicroKorg engine is not bad really, the DWGS waves really give it a massive amount of timbres. Just know that the sync issue on the 2000's is a problem, cured on the Micro however.
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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by madtheory » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:34 pm

Synthacon wrote:the DWGS waves really give it a massive amount of timbres.
Ya, that's one of its cool features. The Novation KS has a similarly wide range of digitally generated tones, including drum sounds that loop in a nicely strange way :)

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Re: Thoughts on the Korg MS2000R ?

Post by Pro5 » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:26 pm

MS2000 is an acquired taste. I did OK with my MS2000 (non rack) but for sure the lack of polyphony DID get annoying and it's sound could not in any imaginable fashion compare to the quality of the AN1x.

I had an AN1x and sold it years ago, bought an MS2k and enjoyed it for 3? months then bought another AN1x and played them next to each other, turned to my wife and said "Looks like the MS2k has to go" it was night and day on sound quality, seriously. AN1x is one of the best synths ever made, not just VA and can be made to sound extremely analog and always very very classy. MS2k has it's uses too but if I could only have one it would be (and is) An1x. As you have an AN1x I honestly don't see what you have to gain by going to a thinner, colder, poly limited board that doesn't even particularly sound analog (in the sense of depth and warmth) compared to the AN1x.

I did like it's arp and some of it's MOJO though, it was a cool vibey synth that inspired one of my best songs (Ironically based on a pad patch I made that only sounded as it did due to the 4 note chords being cut off due to the low poly - and that sound was what made the song) but overall I do not miss it, even if I had no AN1x I'd not rebuy the MS2k. I actually much prefer the prophecy's sound to the MS2k's even though it's only mono it's far more lively, beefy and 'analog' (but again isn't much next to the AN1x).

Also I thought the interface was ok but never felt as good as you'd imagine looking at it. The knobs are a touch too small (and loose feeling) and seem to have a tiny radius resolution so they are not too accurate. I didn't like the way it deals with LFOs etc just a bit backwards vs traditional synths (or AN1x) but it definitely was fun to sit down with and enjoy, I just don't think it's sound quality was quite there overall but only vs the AN1x (again). I guess you need to try it for yourself and give it a few months post honeymoon then judge it against what you have.

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