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Synth (Analogue / Subtractive) Plugin by Korg
MS-20 by Korg is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
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Released in 1978, the analog synthesizer MS-20 is undoubtedly one of the most famous and respected synthesizers of all time. This massive bestseller by KORG, with its fat and sticky sound, powerful self-oscillating filter, and freely adjustable patch section, is still popular with professionals and amateurs today.

While the MS-20 V2 in this KORG Collection has been based on the software-emulated MS-20 from 2004, it has been refined for modern production environments. In addition to the often-requested high-resolution and scalable interface, we have added two new multi-effects. All of the analog sounds and behaviors are realistically reproduced by CMT, KORG's proprietary electronic Circuit Modeling Technology, and this latest software gives you the powerful sound that only the MS-20 can deliver:

  • Faithful modelling of the MS-20 circuitry using KORG's Component Modeling Technology (CMT).
  • High-resolution interface for Retina and 4K.
  • Two newly added multi-effects.
  • 250 updated and new presets.
  • Free upgrade for owners of the previous KORG Collection MS-20.
  • A free demo version is also available.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.17 from 6 reviews

Reviewed By Trader One [all]
January 18th, 2022
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows

Very good MS 20 replica. This synth can make lot of different sounds and it's fun to work with because it have cables.

it fits into any electronic music genre. Usually used for basses but it is capable of distorted leads if you play with cables. I don't use it for basses, leads are much better. It's famous filters are often emulated in synths but original in this VST sound much better.

It's must have synth because it's sound is distinct.

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Reviewed By robohymn [all]
January 3rd, 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows

First of all, it only kind of sounds like an actual MS-20... but that isn't a problem, in my view. It's great on its own, in particular as an FX unit. I use the LPF as a wah effect on my guitar -- awesome, one of the best software wahs around. The filters in general are great, very good (if not actually spot-on) digital renditions of the old MS-20 filter sound. Love this plugin, but yeah, if you're looking for the authentic MS-20 sound, you may be a bit disappointed; appreciate it on its own merits, and it's a winner. (Edit: should also mention -- AWESOME, I mean truly, for bass sounds, especially if you follow them with a good tube saturation sim, Ferric TDS comes to mind among the free ones!)

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Reviewed By groovizm [all]
May 10th, 2011
Version reviewed: 1.2.2 on Mac

I bought MS20 because I was looking for a simple, cheap plug-in. Something with a lot of character to broaden my sonic palette. I found it!

User Interface
Korg's MS20 is looking great. It's much like the original, so it's pretty easy to get around. Features that weren't on the original are inplemented tastefully, I think. Readability could have been better, especially in the patchpanel, but the biggest drawback of the UI is the fact you have to scroll around the interface.

I don't know how close it sounds to the original, but I have to say I really like it. It has a very distinct, gritty character. It sounds "real".

I do not like the "one synth fits all" idea. To many developers cramp too much functionality in a single plug-in, IMHO. I like to pick a simple plug-in that fits the character I want and then create a patch from scratch. The MS20 is great for this.

The documentation is good. But I could not find a demo online, and I had some trouble with the registration.

There are enough to demonstrate what this thing can do. But I like, and it's easy, to create my own.

Customer Support
I did not contact customer support. There is e-mail support and an online FAQ. I hope I won't need it.

Value For Money
I picked this up for $50, -. I think that is good value for money. I'd prefer developers to create more simple, cheap synths that sounds as good as this.

I did not experience any crashes. I used it mainly as a VST in Ableton Live 8.
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Reviewed By benwalker [all]
May 7th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.1.8 on Windows

The MS20... how to write a review on this beast....

Well, for starters lets concentrate on the things it doesn't do. Arpeggiator, built in effects, it only has two oscillators, the envelopes are fairly limited and the *on-screen* gui is a pain to work with because korg seemed to think that we would all enjoy scrolling around a window instead of seeing all the controls in the same view...

oh well.

However. What it does do in its most basic form, is bridge the gap between musical instrument and software. The fact that the MS20IC is a stricly one knob per control affair means that you have total hands on interactivity - something I don't think any other VSTi does. A lot of people have gone through it with spectrum analysers and so forth and done the "well its okay but there's this peak at 22.134Khz that the original does.." - which clearly indicates that these people need to get out more. I've never played the 'real' thing, but as far as i'm concerned this might as well be it. Hell it's the closest I'll get to an MS20 without risking ebay...

GUI, despite the annoyances from the screen version, has to get full marks for the MS20IC.

So how does it sound? Great - really good for basslines, odd weird effects and the filters are superb for running external noises through. I was playing around and before I could say 'homework' I was playing that riff from Da Funk... easily done. The band-pass trick with the High/Low filters is unusual and nice to play with, and the thing distorts to a resonant squeal with ease.

Features are dependent on what you're looking for. It's not Z3ta+ or Absynth, that's for sure, but if you want analogue leads, basslines and effects, look no further. Drop in a few effects from your chosen host for more silliness...

Korg do ship the original MS20 manual with it - can't get better than poorly translated chinese for authenticity - and the patching guide is a good introduction to using the patchbay. It does call for experimentation: which is probably the best way to get the most out of this synth.

Decent number of presets, but again the best thing to do is initialise the instrument from the controller and just play with it - the number of hours spent wondering "what happens if I plug a patch lead from there to there?" are far more fruitful than copying presets.

Customer support is good provided you look on the forums. I had a weird issue when I first got it, wherby the controller wasn't picked up as a midi device. Turned out that I had 10 midi devices installed since my old Edirol UA20 had been installed twice, and neither had been uninstalled since changing to my Firepod: Korg even provided a utility to ditch redundant midi devices so thumbs up to them.

VFM - this is the killer and will probably annoy a lot. I bought this in the UK from Absolute Music online for the grand total of 150GBP for the whole of the legacy collection including the MS20ic. That works out at 50GBP for the MS20+MS20ic - this thing is an absolute (npi) bargain!!

Stability is good so far. I'm about to move to a new DAW so we'll see how things go...
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Reviewed By kuniklo [all]
April 23rd, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.1.3 on Windows

This is the best sounding analog emulation available at the moment. Korg have really outdone themselves with the sound. It has a beautiful organic liquid smoothness even at it's grittiest and most ugly. I was skeptical of the hardware controller at first but it really does give the MS-20 a hands-on tactile feel that software alone can't match. It's not the most sonically versatile synth ever, but it does great basses & leads and simpler pads beautifully.

The software UI alone can be frustrating, with two views, one of which is way too small and one of which is so big that it requires a lot of unnecessary scrolling. This isn't such a big deal really, since you'll generally be using the controller to program it. CPU usage can be on the high side, but it's easily worth it for the sound quality.

It doesn't come with many presets, but it's easy enough to program that you'll be making your own right away. I hope Korg applies their analog modeling technology to a more flexible and versatile synth next time around but right now this is my go-to instrument.
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Comments & Discussion for Korg MS-20

Discussion: Active
27 November 2012 at 3:42pm

Please, for the love of god, release a 64-bit version of the Legacy collection and let us know that it's alive and well. I love this set of instruments. I hope they never vanish!

10 March 2013 at 12:06am

64-bit is out.

7 November 2013 at 5:17pm

My Bass Synth.


5 June 2016 at 5:04pm

The MS20 installer is Setup.exe. Run it.


31 January 2020 at 4:31pm

I love the ms20, but this VST version has been ignored for a LONG time. Since this was released, the ms20 mini, korg gadget, ims-20 and now the ms20 FS have all been released, and the GUI on the VST is ridiculously small on a 40" screen, and I STILL have to use a scrollbar to see the other side of the GUI, in 2020 !!!

Get the finger out Korg, and update this !!.

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