Join us for a new synthesis class that will use of the Korg MS 20 as a tool to explain Analog Synthesis. Back in the day, educators used the MS 20 to teach synthesis in schools (see the educators version of the MS 20 pictured above). ROBOTSPEAk's Modular Synthesis teacher LX Rudis has created a scaled back synopsis that gets down and into the depths of understanding synthesis in this 3 hour class.
The MS 20 and its manual will be used as a general tool to help you understand synthesis. The ideas taught in this class will be universal concepts that will apply to analog synthesis regardless of what you are using.
VCO [Voltage Controlled Oscillators]:
demonstration of the VCOs pitch range and tones they can produce.
the following waveforms will be demonstrated and possible uses will be explained:
pulse wave [2 settings]
pulse width variable control [VCO2]
two additional modules are accessed via VCO controls. these will be demonstrated and explained:
white noise - used for wind and percussion sounds
ring modulator - used for some metallic and distortion effects.
demonstrate VCO modulation [pitch modulation]:
Envelope 1 modulation
brief explanation of external modulation input
demonstrate additional controls:
demonstrate complex tone shaping possible with 2 VCOs
brief discussion of external signal processing and how external signals are mixed into the ms20's signal flow.
VCF [Voltage Controlled Filters]:
demonstrate cutoff frequency for Low Pass filter
demonstrate cutoff frequency for High Pass filter
Resonance/Peak and how it affects both filters
brief explanation of harmonic series
demonstrate use of filters within context of harmonics
demonstrate Envelope 2 modulation
demonstrate LFO modulation
Brief description of External modulation of cutoff frequency
VCA [Voltage Controlled Amplifier]:
explain how EG2 controls VCA
briefly describe 'VCA2' on patch panel
EG1+2 [Envelope Generators]:
demonstrate time/level controls for both envelopes
demonstrate 'looping' trick for EG1
explain implementation of EG2-VCF hardwired patch
use MG, VCA2 and EG1 to create a 'delayed vibrato' effect.
MG [Modulation Generator or LFO]:
demonstrate frequency range of LFO
demonstrate variabe triangle waveshape
demonstrate variable duty cycle of pulse wave
briefly demonstrate Sample/Hold using LFO to clock noise for random effect.
explain unusual 'sample/drift' design of ms-20 S/H
revisit VCA2 and 'vibrato patch' above. discuss use of VCA to control modulation.
demonstrate Control Wheel with VCO and/or VCF
demonstrate Control Wheel used to lock VCA open.
briefly discuss other uses
demonstrate Momentary Button used to trigger synth
demonstrate Momentary Button used to control vibrato patch
briefly discuss other uses
ESP [External Signal Processor]:
demonstrate ESP controlling ms-20 pitch and envelopes.
demonstrate ESP being used to process drums or full mix.
remaining class time will be spent doing patching experiments with the ms-20 synths.