A random handful more of MS20 tips:
1).I find the key to muddying up the sound of the MS-20 and making the most
of that noisy VCA, is the ESP (External Signal Processor).
I've currently got the output of my XP-50, playing a patch of an already
grungey hip-hop drumloop, patched into the input of the ESP. Playing my
drumloop through the MS20 does some wild stuff to my loops sometimes -
whack up that filter resonance! I cut out the original loop sound on my
mixer, and am left with a strange, analogue imitation of the original.
Works well with a 'plain' synth patch, too (and the MS20 will track
vibrato, pitch bends, etc). Or try yelling into it (but plug a microphone
in first.. ;-)
Plug up your external source into the ESP input. Take the
frequency-to-voltage convertor output (second from the right), and patch it
into the VCO 1&2 cv input. Patch the ESP trigger output into the synth
trigger input. Patch the ESP envelope output into the VCA initial gain
input. (All these patch points are tattooed on the patch panel, so enough
describing where they are..).
Bring up the signal level of the ESP until the peak led starts to flash. If
you play the keyboard of the instrument patched into the ESP input, you
should start to get the MS20 to track it. You will probably need to adjust
the cv adjust knob on the ESP to tune the MS to the external instrument.
Fiddle away with the hi & low freq cut knobs, and of course, overload the
input if you're felling reckless/just got paid etc :)
2) Don't forget that second VCA! One idea is to use it on a second noise
Patch the pink noise output into the ESP input. Patch the output of the ESP
Band Pass Filter into the VCA2 input. Patch the output of VCA2 into the ext
signal input of the synth. Fiddle with the lo and hi cut controls to shape
the pink noise. You can actually run both noise sources at once, so if you
have a multiple somewhere, you could combine both the filtered pink noise
and the unfiltered white noise into the ext signal input. This, plus 2
pitched VCO sources!
3) Patch the phones output back into the external signal input for
4) Patch the kbd cv out into the cutoff freq of the HP or LPF will cause
the filter to open the higher up the keyboard you play (you must raise the
EG2/EXT (i.e. EXT in this case) knob for this to have an effect). Patch the
kbd cv out into the VCA Initial gain for volume changes up & down the
5) The delayed vibrato patch:
Modulation generator (triangle) output) to VCA 2 input VCA2 output to Total
EG1 output to VCA2 control input (optional - see below)
Raise the level of FMod EG/T.Ext knob (under the VCO mixer). The higher you
raise it, the greater the pitch modulation). 1 or 2 is fine for vibrato.
Adjust EG1 delay time, attack and release knob, and LFO rate to taste. With
delay and attack at 3, playing a note will cause the vib effect to fade in
fairly rapidly after a second or 2. With release raised, vbib will fade
away again as you sustain the note (very nice). Patching the reverse out of
EG1 to the control input of VCA2 will cause the opposite effect to the
above, and make the attack and release knobs work 'backwards'.
My MS pages (with manuals for the entire MS range) are on their way to be
finished. Wait for me to complete them, and find I haven't got enough
webspace to put them up :) I'll hopefully be including some (ex)-samples of
grungey MS20/SQ10 stuff I did recently, in mpeg format. It could happen...