I am looking to buy a KORG ms20 and was wondering what external modules to pair with it. I want to give the ms20 more texture and just overall effects. I am open to any suggestions.

To start with, this: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/the-harvestman-english-tear or something similar. Otherwise you're going to be driven insane by all of the mistracking, reverse triggering, etc. Neither the Korg MS series (original or the MS-20 Mini reissue...and, rather tellingly, Behringer's MS-clone) or Yamaha's vintage CS monosynths are set up for 1V/8va tracking or positive trigger/gates.

Thank you didn’t even know that Korg Ms20 worked on a different voltage scale

There are converters that you can get too. But it is just important to be aware of the different voltages on some systems like the MS-20 when connecting with most of e EuroRack modules. Also, I think the MS-20 uses a different triggering standard as well. Korg and Yamaha were famous for nit using the voltages and triggers that Moog, ARP and Oberheim were using.

Actually, Korg and Yamaha did use a gate/trigger system that was compatible with Moog, since they also used a negative-going trigger.

The following are non-standard synth manufacturers and models, plus why:

Moog (thru Micromoog), Yamaha (CS-series monosynths), Korg (everything up thru the MS-series), Crumar (some): negative triggering
Yamaha, Korg (both same as above): Hz/V scaling
EML: 1.2 V/8va scaling
Buchla: no actual scaling standard (100 series)

...and of course, faithful copies retain these traits. The Korg and Behringer reissues of the MS-20 behave the same as the original, and the EMW 200/300 both use EML's old 1/10th volt scaling.

Hi Wubifi,

If I am not mistaken this Eurorack module of ReBach might help you out:


Of course there might be other modules too that can help you out, just couldn't find them that quickly. Searching here at ModularGrid under the modules might help you out.

Kind regards, Garfield Modular.

Edit: typo correction.

The Behringer clone, the K-2, also works on the old MS-20 standard. So if you're buying a new retro module, you'll want to get a conversion module/box for it too.

Hi Ronin1973,

Thanks a lot for confirming that, I was just wondering about that (K-2). How about Model D (Behringer) then? Same issue since it's based on the MiniMoog?

Thanks a lot and kind regards, Garfield.

That's a good question about the Behringer Model D. I own one. I haven't noticed the issue when plugging it in to Eurorack. I did a search on the internet and also cracked the manual.

The filter doesn't track exactly to 1v/Octave. In the manual, it states that the oscillators track to 1v/Octave (Eurorack standard).

The ARP's circuitry might have influenced Behringer's decision to go with 1V/Hertz versus 1v/Octave. I'd assume that converting it over to 1V/Octave probably changed the performance or the sound of the synth... so they went with the original specs.

Hi Ronin,

Hmm, to be honest I am a slightly bit confused. One on hand you mention you haven't noticed any issues when you plugged your Model D into your Eurorack on the other hand at the end you are stating that they went with the original specs and that would be 1V/Hertz, isn't it? But wouldn't that cause some issues within the Eurorack?

I am asking so detailed because I consider for the (near) future a Model D too. I got, like you do, already a Neutron and that fits quite well in my Eurorack and does most of the times what it should do :-) So I was hoping the Model D could be similar like the Neutron (regarding being used with Eurorack).

Thanks a lot in advance and kind regards, Garfield.

Hi Ronin,

Hmm, to be honest I am a slightly bit confused. One on hand you mention you haven't noticed any issues when you plugged your Model D into your Eurorack on the other hand at the end you are stating that they went with the original specs and that would be 1V/Hertz, isn't it? But wouldn't that cause some issues within the Eurorack?

-- GarfieldModular

In the very last paragraph I referred to the "ARP." Sorry about that. I meant the MS20 and was referring back to the Behringer K2 and its design. Sorry about that. The last paragraph was exclusively about the Behringer K2.

I don't think you should worry about the Model D being Eurorack compatible. Here's a little video of a Korg SQ1, driving a Model D via CV. (it's not my video)

Oh and DivKid, doing his thing with the Model D via CV... I think he'd mention an issue.

In the “early days”, or back when synthesizers where first being manufactured, different companies used different standards for controlling the synths.

As Lucia mentioned above in an earlier reply, how different companies early on used different system interfaces...

These incompatibilities lead Dave Smith Of Sequential to basically draft the specifications for MIDI (Musical Instument Digital Interface), that was eventually adopted by all the synth manufacturers.

Back to the old days...

Different manufacturers (typically in the USA) used the 1 volt/octave interfaces and trigger signals, usually Moog, ARP, Sequential, and Oberheim, as well as others like PAIA and Antares. However, some used “S” or Switch triggers, while others used “V” or Voltage triggers.

Most of the Japanese companies like Yamaha and Korg where using hertz/octave for tuning, but at this point (it has been a few decades), I do not remember for certain, but I suspect they used the the opposite of what Moog were using. At one point I had a tiny interface a friend made that allowed me to tack trigger signals from my Moog Source and Moog Multimoog synths and interface with my original Korg MS-20.

The best thing to do for a bit of history is to read through this article on Wikipedia - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog_synthesizer

I have the Behringer Model D and the Neutron, but only got them recently, so I have not done any interfacing with anything else at the moment. The Model D was hard to not grab for $300-$329 being a clone of a Moog, and the same price for the Neutron after I found out I could get and use alternate faceplates. Which I got the Wave 2.3 faceplate. The Neutron’s red faceplate is just not my thing. The blue 2.3 is, and it’s retro looking like a PPG Wave 2.3. :)

Here is the original faceplate shipped with a Neutron:

And here is the blue 2.3 faceplate I got:

Hi Ronin and Buzz_R,

Ronin: No problem and thanks a lot for the clarification and those video-links. Looks like I don't need to worry and the Model D can be used within the Eurorack "environment" :-)

Buzz_R: Thanks a lot for the background information! Yeah... I also feel interested in the Model D, then again, I feel interested in a lot of (Eurorack) modules too, so I need to make choices but one day I hope to get the Model D too :-)

Kind regards, Garfield.

...and so begins the journey down the rabbit hole of EuroRack... ROTFLMAO!

You might want to explore getting a Roland System-1m. I love my System-1 Keyboard, and got a few of the rack mount versions the System-1m to mix with my EuroRack stuff.

Actually, I started with the System-1m with the intent to build my EuroRack system as it is perfect as a stand alone MIDI synth, but also provides jacks for most of the synth functions to connect to all sorts of EuroRack modules.

Also the System-1/1m synths allow you to get a software plug-in of several other vintage Roland synths (SH-101, SH-02, ProMars and System-100, along with the System-1 plugin). I like the System-100 plugin sound. I think it has a bit warmer, or heavier bass sound to it. Each plugin sounds as close as you will get to the sound and tone of the original synths they emulate.

When you buy a Roland plugin for the System 1/1m synths you install it on your Mac or PC and can load it into the synth, but also use these plugins with a software sequencer like Logic and most others.

FYI, I found some Roland System-1m modules on eBay for around $300-$400 each. Great deal for the price when you consider just a EuroRack synth oscillator can easily cost $100-$300 or more. With the input and output jacks on the System-1m you can use the parts you want, or the whole synth with tons of other EuroRack modules. Great way to get a synth, with MIDI to CV built-in, and add more stuff later. :).

Such a deal!

G-Storm Electro just announced and released this $125 "KVP" voltage processor. Convert cv/gate from eurorack (v/o) to Korg (hz/v) and vice versa. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/g-storm-electro-kvp

Hi Buzz_R and Catwavez,

Catwavez: Thanks a lot for that module link. The module looks just what we need here! :-) Pity I don't know this brand and I can't find a closeby (European) dealer that sells this brand.

Buzz_R: Hmm yeah Roland System 1m, I had a look at it then I liked it. I actually own a Roland synth (before I started with and went into Eurorack) and I really like it, so I have from that point of view nothing against Roland. I am just saying this, so you don't get me wrong here :-)

I love the specifications of that System 1m, and I had several looks on the Internet about this one and I was kind of ready to buy this thing because indeed it looks very interesting. So I went to my dealer and had it tested and somehow (and I don't mind to put the blame here full at myself) I just couldn't get nice sounds out of that thing. That made me feel a bit disappointing because whatever I read about it was positive but I just couldn't get nice sounds out of it and I admit that might be just my non-skills of just not knowing how to use it but it made me a bit careful about this item and decided not to buy it for the moment.

However now reading your comments makes me feel that I should perhaps give it a second chance and try to test it again at my dealer; so I will reconsider that System 1m again then :-)

By the way, I also tested the Roland Eurorack modules but they were even worse than that System 1m, their modules can't give me any appetite at all to buy and use them. I don't know exactly why just that I don't feel they are very "exciting" to use. The sound I felt was a bit boring. For me a module must invite me to start patching it, to feel happy, to feel exciting to use it, but no sir, not with the Roland Eurorack modules... pity because I love their synthesizers...

Kind regards, Garfield.

Hi Buzz_R and Catwavez,

Catwavez: Thanks a lot for that module link. The module looks just what we need here! :-) Pity I don't know this brand and I can't find a closeby (European) dealer that sells this brand.

You might be better off ordering directly from G-Storm; they're located in Oklahoma (if I remember right) and are a relatively small operation. Their recreations of classic ARP and Roland filters, though...those are quite accurate and nicely-implemented. No reason to think their MS-20 converter wouldn't be of the same calibre.

Hi Lugia,

Okay thanks a lot for the background information on G-Storm, so that, indeed, sounds very good. Just a little "but" here ;-) I live in Europe and yes I can order from USA or anywhere else I want but as soon as I order from outside the EU, I have to pay import tax on it (starting from a value of Euro 20 or 25 somewhere around that), depending on the items, it's at least the VAT level (which is 19% in Germany) and if you have bad luck yet another kind of tax. I am not sure but on synthesizers it might be just that 19%. So having a dealer here in Europe takes that headache for you away so to speak.

Still will keep it in mind though and if I can't find anything via European dealers available, I still might go that road, its because of the stupid EU import tax (for private persons too), an unpleasant road to go though. Paper work, tax payments, long queues at the custom's office, etcetera.

Ridiculous right? It's 2019 and still this stupidity matters... but hey that's how it currently is (and I don't see this changing soon).

Kind regards, Garfield.

Stupid exists, yep. But one other thing that's perhaps not so stupid are duty limits. I know that from Germany to the USA, anything electronic music-wise entering US Customs with a value of less than $800 is duty-free. You might check and see if a similar duty-free limit exists from the USA to your own locale.

And if that works, then I'd suggest also looking at G-Storm's VCFs. Not only are they spot-on (I have a Jupe-6 at present, and the 2600 is something I know all too well across about 40 years), they also have the smart addition of a 2-in mixer for audio. And they do a kickin' ARP 4012 clone-job...

Hi Lugia,

Sorry no, maximum is Euro 20 or 25, forget which one but somehwere in that region, that's why I am saying it's stupid, if it would be Euro 500 or something like that, I wouldn't have complained ;-)

Kind regards, Garfield.

Hey guys. Just saw an alternative to the "English Tear" come up in the modules section. G-Storm Electro KVP.