Korg MS-20 mini  Monophonic Analog Keyboard Synthesizer  

MS-20 mini Monophonic Analog Synthesizer

The classic MS-20 –recreated in mini size!

An analog synthesizer featuring the original circuitry from 1978

Korg’s MS-20 monophonic synthesizer, first introduced in 1978, is still a coveted instrument to this day, thanks to its thick, robust sound, its powerful, iconic analog filter, and its versatile patching options. Over 300,000 people have enjoyed the distinct MS-20 sounds from the original, from Korg’s MS-20 plug-in synth, or the iMS-20 iPad app.

Today, the sounds of the MS-20 have been reborn in hardware, as the MS-20 Mini. The same engineers who developed the original MS-20 have perfectly reproduced its circuitry and fit into a body that’s been shrunk to 86% of the original size, yet retains the distinctive look of the original.

The MS-20 mini will amaze you with its absolutely authentic analog synth sound.

Comments from the developers

Fifty years have passed since Korg was founded, and we have once again put our hand to an analog synthesizer. We took particular care to deliver smooth parameter adjustments, which are a distinctive feature of analog synthesizers. We also took special care to completely reproduce the original specifications of the MS-20. The analog circuits we designed 35 years ago still deliver the same unbeatable, powerful sound, from the ultra-low to the ultra-high range.

Read the full interview with the original developers here!


    Overseen by the engineers of the original MS-20, a complete replication of the original analog circuitry

  • 2VCO / 2VCA / 2VCF / 2EG / 1LFO structure
  • Self-oscillating high-pass/low-pass filters with distinctive distortion
  • External signal processor (ESP)
  • Extremely flexible patching system
  • Miniature MS-20 that's 86% of the original size
  • MIDI IN and USB connector
  • Replicates every detail of the original, down to the package binding and the included manual

The MS-20 mini painstakingly replicates the original MS-20. A development team led by the original engineers themselves worked to recreate the original circuitry, and when it was necessary to substitute a part, these engineers made the decisions based on careful listening, in order to reproduce the original sound faithfully. In fact, the sound of the MS-20 mini has a somewhat bright and extreme quality to it because its sound is that of an original MS-20 in mint condition at the time it went on sale, before any of the components aged.

2VCO / 2VCF / 2VCA / 2EG / 1LFO structure

The MS-20 mini reproduces the distinctive synthesis of the MS-20; two oscillators with ring modulation, and envelope generators with hold and delay. The VCA maintains the basic design of the original, but it’s been modified to produce less noise than the original.

Self-oscillating high-pass/low-pass filters with distinctive distortion

One of the greatest characteristics of the MS-20 was its powerful filters, which provided resonance on both the high-pass and the low-pass. Maximizing the resonance would cause the filter to self-oscillate like an oscillator, producing a distinctive and dramatic tonal change that was acclaimed as inimitable, and was later used on the monotron and monotribe. The filter circuit was changed mid-way through the production lifecycle of the MS-20; the MS-20 mini uses the earlier filter, which was felt to be superior due to its more radical sound.

External signal processor (ESP) for processing an external signal

The ESP carries on the experimental spirit of MS-20; it allows you to use the pitch or volume of an external audio source to control the synthesizer. For example you can input an electric guitar and use the MS-20 mini as a guitar synthesizer, or input a mic and use it as a vocal synthesizer.

Extremely flexible patching system

The patching system provided to the right of the panel lets you create complex sounds by plugging-in cables to change the connections between the various units. The possibilities are limited only by the user's imagination; different combinations of the modulation input/output and trigger, sample and hold, and noise generator can produce an incredible variety of sounds. By patching according to the MS-20 flow chart that’s printed on the panel, even the beginner can start taking advantage of these possibilities right away.

MS-20’s design concept started by borrowing from the vertical layout found on larger and more expensive modular synths of its time, and then creating a more portable, inexpensive, and eaier to use version.

To make it even more approachable, the MS-20 mini has been shrunk to 86% of the size of the original MS-20. In spite of its smaller size, meticulous care has been taken to accurately reproduce the knob design and the printing. The patch cables have been changed from 1/4" phone plugs to mini-plugs, and the newly-designed keyboard is also 86% of the original size.

Replicates every details of the original

Our effort to remain faithful to the original is not limited to the unit itself. Even the package that contains the unit replicates the original as far as possible. Also included are the original MS-20 owner's manual and settings chart, explaining how to create sounds. Now you can experience the excitement of the MS20, just like it was during its original release in 1978.

The MS-20 mini provides a MIDI IN jack for receiving note messages, and a USB-MIDI connector that can transmit and receive note messages. You can even connect the MS20 mini to your computer and play it from a sequencer.


< Control Section >

Keyboard: C - C 37-notes (3 octaves), mini keyboard designed specifically for the MS-20 mini 

Voltage Controlled Oscillator 1 (VCO 1):  Scale (32', 16', 8', 4') (6 octaves, +cent, -cent)  Wave form (Triangle, Sawtooth, PW-Square, White Noise) (4 modes) Pulse width adjust 1:1 - 1:infinity 

Voltage Controlled Oscillator 2 (VCO 2): Scale (16', 8', 4', 2') (6 octaves, +cent, -cent) Wave form (Sawtooth, Square, Pulse, Ring modulator) (4 modes) Pitch (± 1 octave) 

VCO Master control: Master tune (± 100cent): Portamento (max. 10sec) Frequency modulation intensity by MG/T.EXT (-5V - +5V) Frequency modulation intensity by EG1/EXT (-5V - 0V) 

VCO Mixer:  VCO 1 Level, VCO 2 Level

Voltage Controlled High Pass Filter (VCF HPF): Cutoff frequency (50Hz - 15,000Hz) Peak (flat - self OSC)  Cutoff frequency modulation intensity by MG/T.EXT (-5V - +5V) Cutoff frequency modulation intensity by EG2/EXT (-5V - +5V) 

Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter (VCF LPF): Cutoff frequency (50Hz - 15,000Hz) Peak (flat - self OSC) Cutoff frequency modulation intensity by MG/T.EXT (-5V - +5V) Cutoff frequency modulation intensity by EG2/EXT (-5V - +5V) 

Envelope Generator 1: Delay time (10sec) Attack time (10sec) Release time (10sec) 

Envelope Generator 2: Hold time (20sec)  Attack time (10sec)  Decay time (10sec)  Sustain level (0V - 5V) Release time (10sec)

Modulation Generator (LFO): Wave form (Positive Sawtooth - Triangle - Negative Sawtooth, Wide Pulse - Square - Narrow Pulse) Frequency (0.1Hz - 20Hz) 

Manual controller: Control wheel (center click)  Momentary switch -->GND 

Power switch and Volume: Volume 

Indicator: LED (KBD trigger, Modulation Generator rate, Power ON ) < External Signal Processor >

Control section: Input signal level Low cut frequency (50Hz - 2,500Hz) High cut frequency (100Hz - 5,000Hz) CV adjust Threshold level 

Input and Output: Signal In, Amplifier Out,  Band pass filter Out CV Out (0 - +8.4V)  ENV Out (0 - +5V) Trig Out (+5V-->GND) 

Indicator (LED): Peak indicator Trigger indicator < Patch Panel >

Keyboard: Keyboard control voltage output (Exponential) (0 - +8V) Keyboard trigger output (+5V-->GND) VCO-1 + VCO-2 control voltage input (Linear response)(0 - +8V) VCO-2 control voltage input (Linear response) (0 - +8V) 

VCO:  VCO-1 + VCO-2 external frequency control input (OCT/V) (-5V - +5V) 

VCF: External signal input (3Vp-p max.)  External High pass filter cutoff frequency control input (2OCT/V) (-5V - +5V) External Low pass filter cutoff frequency control input (2OCT/V) (-5V - +5V) 

VCO + VCF: Total external modulation input (T.EXT)(-5V - +5V) 

VCA:  External initial gain control input (0 - +5V) 

EG: EG 1 envelope signal normal output (-5V - 0V)  EG 1 envelope signal reverse output (+5V - 0V) EG 1 + EG 2 trigger input (-->GND) EG 1 trigger input (-->GND)  EG 2 envelope signal reverse output (+5V - 0V) 

MG: Triangle output (Positive Sawtooth - Triangle - Negative Sawtooth) (5Vp-p) Rectangle output (Wide Pulse - Square - Narrow Pulse)(0 - +5V) 

Noise Generator: Pink noise output (5Vp-p)  White noise output (5Vp-p) 

Sample and Hold: Clock trigger input (-->GND) Sample signal input (5Vp-p max.) S/H output (5Vp-p max.) 

Modulation VCA: Control voltage input (0 - +5V)  Signal input (-5V - +5V) Signal output (-5V - +5V) 

Manual controller: Control wheel output (-5V<--0V-->+5V)  Momentary switch output (-->GND) 

Signal out:. Signal output (mono 1/8" mini phone jack, 2Vp-p output impedance 3.5k ?) 

Head phones:  Head phones output (Stereo 1/8" mini phone jack, 33 ? 48mW) 

USB: Type B, USB-MIDI Input/Output 

* Only note messages (velocity is not used) can be transmitted and received.

MIDI:  MIDI Input 

*Only note messages (velocity is not used) can be transmitted and received.

Power Consumption: 9W 

Power Supply: DC9V 

Dimensions (W x D x H): 493 ×257 ×208 mm / 19.41 x 10.12 x 8.19 inches 

Weight: 4.8 kg / 10.58 lbs. 

Accessories: AC adaptor (9V/1.7A), Patch Cord x 10 

ConditionBrand New (New)
Brand New items are sold by an authorized dealer or original builder and include all original packaging.Learn more
  • MS-20 Mini Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer
Keyboard Action
  • Synth Action
  • MIDI Input
Key Size
  • Mini
Analog / Digital
  • Analog
  • 1 Voice
Number of Keys
  • 37 Keys

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Haight Ashbury Music Center

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Joined Reverb:2017

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