I posted this on a forum in response to somebody with a Korg MS-20 and plans to add more modular stuff. I think it is a good quick primer. I’ll update this with more information when I get some time …
Be aware the MS-20 doesn’t play particularly nice with a lot of modular stuff, at least not without some coaxing.
The MS-20 uses S-triggers (closures) for gates, while the Eurorack world generally uses V-triggers (+5V). It is super easy to go from v-trig to s-trig using a simple adaptor, but going the other way requires a more costly conversion.
Also, the pitch CV output from the MS-20 is Hz/V (linear) while Eurorack is 1V/oct (exponential). This means that notes you play on the MS-20 will not translate to the same intervals on Eurorack. You can bring Eurorack V/oct into the MS-20’s modulation input and adjust the modulation amount and tuning – it will track quite well, but musically controlling Eurorack oscillators from the MS-20 again requires conversion.
There are modules that do all of these conversions quite well. But you need to know this stuff if you want to hook up your MS to anything else, including 0-coast.
Finally: the MS’s envelopes and LFO will work to modulate Eurorack stuff with no trouble.
So you have the incredible Dave Smith / Tom Oberheim OB-6 synthesizer, but you are having trouble keeping track of patch storage. You don’t want to overwrite your favourite factory patches, but it’s hard to remember what’s stored where!
There is a patch list on the Sequential site, but it is only available as a PDF. You might want to open it in a spreadsheet so you can manipulate / edit it, so here it is as a text file, which can easily be imported into almost any word processor or spreadsheet app. (Due to the stucture of the PDF on Sequential’s site I found it impossible to extract the text efficiently, so I manually re-typed the entire thing.)
Back in 2016 I was playing around in the studio, noodling on synths with rhythmic support from my Boss DR-110 “Dr. Rhythm”, a very simple drum machine from 1980. After about 5 minutes of riffing on a simple little syncopated 4/4 pattern I had programmed, I had to hit “STOP” when I realized my beat was almost exactly the same as Fade to Grey by Visage. This inevitable moment, when you realize the riff you’ve been working on is actually something from someone else’s song, is something that happens periodically in every songwriter/producer’s life. When it happens to me, I usually just try to remain cool and start over from a clean slate, or delete the stuff that sounds like the other song and keep exploring.
But in this case I started thinking about that lovely, ghostly melancholy of Fade to Grey, and instead of erasing my work, I decided to trudge onward and see if I could make an instrumental version of the song that would sound great as part of my modern techno set. Within a few hours I had largely recreated the original tune, without vocals, but it took just a few more days of sporadic work before it took on the Steve Coen fairy dust. Continue reading →