Synth Site: Korg: MS-2000: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Rutger de Vos a professional user from the netherlands writes:
The MS2000r is the last physical modeling synthesizer i bought. I also own a Korg Z1 and a Virus Rack. I bought the ms-2000 because of it's great sound quality and easy tweaking of the sounds. I think it sounds better than my virus. The only big drawback on this synth is the little display, although this isn't a great miss, because there are a lot of knobs, and the lack of polyphony. You have to keep in mind that it is a solo synth.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-15-2002 at 08:37
knz a hobbyist user from SF writes:
Think I wrote a very positive review for this machine a year ago when I first got it. Glad to say it is extreemly solid and although the knobs feel a little tacky they are very much quality and won't give out on you. Unfortunately while it does sound great, it all sounds the same, and the filter is kind of weedy. I have to say I am now thoroughly bord of it....

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Friday-Nov-30-2001 at 19:49
matia a hobbyist user from San Francisco, USA writes:
It's been a long while since I've had my MS2000 (about a year) and I feel I can give a more indepth review of what you can expect. First and foremost there is the issue of the price. I bought the MS2000 since I needed a synth and didn't want to go overboard on the price. I paid 943 for it and felt I had gotten somewhat of a good deal since I bought it around the time that it came out (ie it was pretty new on the market). I had been using software before and it was a pleasure to have a real synth in my hands. Having said that compared to other new VA's, if price is the main issue you can't go wrong with the MS2000. However obviously there are other factors involved beyond money and my other main concern was the sound. I do early industrial and new wave type stuff and wanted a synth that could do these kinds of sounds. I feel that with the MS2000 I found that synth for a couple of reasons. Firstly the synth is modeled after early korg synths (it looks like a monopoly, the filter mimics the dw8000 filter and the vocoder sounds very classic and very good) and I have always like the tones of early korg stuff (i also have an EX800 which is a very underated synth). So people complain about tweaking the resonance knob and the volume dropping and they say that this isn't what real VCF's do, but they obviously heavnt played the EX800 or the DW8000 since this is exactly what happens on those korgs. I actually like the filter and you get a two lowpass filters, a band pass, and a highpass. These alone give you a variety of different sounds from moog like bass to digital and crunchy electronic blasts. Secondly the synth itself has a ton of features that others offer for a higher price. There is a mod sequencer which is actually three sequencers per timber that allow you to modulate pretty much anything in 16 steps. The first option being the pitch thus giving you a nice little pattern. Couple that with two other modulating sequncers and you can come up with some very interesing results. Also I like modulation and while this synth does not have a modulation matrix it has something which i like a lot more since it is very easy to use and see. There is a section on the synth titled virtual patch and what this is is a section where you can patch several modulation sources to modulate certain parts like the cutoff, the amp, the pan and so on. There are four of these each one with a corresponding knob to set how much each source will modulate the other. This makes the synth very good for experimenting with sounds on a live situation or late night jams.

One very important aspect of the MS2000 is that essentially every single function and parameter that you need to edit has a kob. This is not a synth that requiers paging through menues and though there are maybe two extra parameters that are menu only, you will use them very very very few times. This is a synth where all the knobs are there and for your tweaking pleasure.

The arpeggator is a classic on with up, down, two alt, a random function, and a trigger. The octaves go from 1 to 4 and there is a very handy hold function. People have problems with the arp having a lag when being triggered by midi but honestly I heavn't done enough sequencing to notice this problem quiet yet. Most of the stuff i have recorded was done without any midi so I heavn't noticed this problem. I have been able to sinc the synth to cubase quiet easily though.

The two lfo's offered are great with a sample and hold feature on both that is very nice. The envelopes are good and there are two, one for the filter and one for the amp, but you can also set the evelopes to modulate other sources in addition to the filter and amp throught the virtual patch section.

The oscilator section is very good in that the first oscilator gives you more than just the standard saw, square (with PWM), and sine wave. Those are present but there is also a VOX wave which models the frequency of the human voice, a noise option, and the DGWS. The DGWS is a collection of digital waveforms from the DW8000 and they add a complete other sound to the synth. You can achieve very digital bass and other kinds of pads and strings with the use of the DGWS waveforms thus giving the MS2000 another different sound than most VA's. The second oscilator features the standard saw, square, triangle combo and the options to sinc and ring modulate (or both at the same time) the oscilators. The amp section for the oscilators provides a noise knob as well as knobs to control the amplituted of the oscilators.

The sound of the synth is pretty distinct in that there is this nice certain bass sound that you can often pick out but the synth can creat all kinds of tones. In my experience it exels at bass, strings, and noises. If you are after realistic sounds this is not a rompler and you are not going to get it with the MS2000. If you want to learn subtractive synthesis and have a synth that will stay with you as your set up grows this is the synth to get. There are 128 spaces to save patches to and are very quickly accesible through the many white buttons on the front pannel of the synth.

In conclusion all I can say is that the MS2000 covers a lot of ground. It is bitimbral (two different sounds can be played at the same time) and has a mod sequencer for each timber and virtual patch for each as well. Some complain that the four voices isn't enough but for the music that i do it is not an issue. There are options to switch into mono mode which makes the synth sound more like a monosynth, a very nice unision mode, as well as the regular poly mode. Personally I have no problems with the polyphony. Give it a try and if you like the tone there is always overdubbing. Often people complain about how a synth isn't timbral enough but i feel that sometimes this forces people to actually PLAY the synth isntead of straight up sequencing everything. and you can also mute midi tracks in any sequnecer, set up another sequence for a different sound and record that and so I really see no need to bitch about the polyphony. For a synth that offers a vocoder, a mod sequencer, and great sounds the price is amazing.

matia

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-15-2001 at 15:04
SynthDude a professional user from SA writes:
Well I think most of the people don't really know what they are talking about. First of all I have stripped my MS2K and fitted a kettle power jack on the rear panel with the ac adapter on the inside.I then had the chance to look at everything, and I must say the construstion is'nt too bad. Those side panels are REAL WOOD!! The front and rear panels are REAL STEEL, use a magnet and see for yourself. The reason why the knobs feel crappy is because they are not bolted to the front panel- they are PCB mounting. About the Analog vs Virtual Analog, well everybody goes on about it not sounding like a JP6, JP8 or MiniMoog etc, I think it sounds very smooth and warm and it can be made to sound lush. . I've played around with the Ms2000 AND I have come up with excellent sounds. And you can make decent Moog type basses too. Remember the MiniMoog was monphonic and so is the new Moog Voyager and they cost over $2000. Jupiter8 also isn't all its cracked up to be, no velocity, no midi, and weighs a ton ,also spares are hard to find, it gets so hot you don't need central heating in winter. I have also compared the MS2000 with some software (PPG wave, ModelE) synths, they come off sounding thin and digital.I paid $500. No contest!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-04-2001 at 04:55
SynthGeek a hobbyist user from Cincinnati writes:
Oh my naughty little blue machine! I have the MS2000 linked together with my Roland Jupiter 6 and my Roland TR-606. It makes a nice addition to the vintage analog tanks.

Okay, yes, the MS2000 knobs are cheap (many comments on this and they are true)

And the four voices limitation can be bothersome at times (many more comments on this and they are true)

But...

There is something very strangely addictive about this little beast. Korg even admitted that they cut corners on this unit to save cost (see the memo Korg released regarding the midi-lag on timing) but for the money this is a cool little box. It sits next to the Jupiter 6 in my music-room and thus far the Jupiter 6 hasn't complained. Heehee

For fun, boys and girls, try routing in other gear to the Audio In on the MS2000 and setting Oscillator 1 to Audio In. I signaled in the TR-606 and filtered through Vocoder settings. The MS2000 has some pretty cool stuff in there.

Anyway, here is the scoop: it makes a nice addition to your arsenal of power. No, it is not really like the vintage analog gear of yester-year (and the Jupiter 6 reminds me of that everytime I push a key!!) BUT it makes a nice addition to the studio.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-28-2001 at 19:37
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