Korg MS2000BR: Raw Meat

 

A whole bunch of people talk as if the Radias and the MS2000 are ‘old’ and ‘new’ versions of the same thing. But the two KORGs don’t sound the same, or even invite the same use. The Radias has a similar appearance, that's all.

 

I can sum it up in one point. When you initialise the MS2000 you get a raw unflinching saw wave. When you initialise a Radias that wave is phasing away ‘richly’ and ‘lushly’ and damn if you can get it to sit still. The Radias starts from milk chocolate. The MS is raw to start with, and from there you have a long, long walk to sugarland.

 

The MS2000 is kindred to the MS20. I can hear people howling already but this really does work like the MS20 - you don’t save patches because there’s always one more corner to turn. The impulse that might lead me to patch up the MS20 is not far off one that says, hang on, the MS2000 might be better.

 

Question is - do I want the formant ow bandpass of the MS20's two filters? Or do I want the more solid sound of the MS2000's four oscillators and filter? They compare.

 

Sensible!

 

Four voices is an uneasy number. It's not enough to play piano, it's too many to be a monosynth. I tend to play simple melodies that have 2, maybe 3 lines, because the last note is being stolen quickly. You might think of the four voice MonoPoly, but that's really a constant variation on unison. This guy can be that - but it's not as easy to set up. You first  have to divide the voices into two, giving you an upper/lower composite.

 

Now given that the Radias is a nominally a super-set of the MS and they have very similar layout, it is honestly hard to explain why the MS is more fun to use. It’s partly because there’s less complexity, and results come quickly. And there’s not the feeling that you should be making clever use of all the features – have I used the third oscillator? Have I made the right LFO assignments? The Radias can be an exam. I’d actually be happy to do all my patches on the MS and then pass them to the Radius for extra French dressing. Example – for some reason it’s much easier to get a good burbling sequence going on the MS even though both are based on the exact same “SQ-10” system. But then the Radias can make sounds that are louder, taller, more evil.

 

You want both. You expected that didn't you?

 

There's not really any Roland that compares. Maybe the System-1.

THIS TOY IS EASY TO USE

 

IT MAKES RAW BLEEPY & SMOOTH WARM SOUNDS

THE SOUND QUALITY IS GOOD

IT WAS NOT EXPENSIVE AND IS COMMON

 

ITS RATING IS GREAT FOR OLD SCHOOL

It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.