The Korg MS20 Mini Analog Synthesizer is obviously not in the same class as many of the other synthesizers we’ve reviewed, like the Yamaha or the Roland, though it was still good enough for us to review, and good enough to make the list of top rated synthesizers in 2018. Is it a worthy workstation? You can certainly make the claim, and at a cheaper price, this is a model a lot of people should take a look at if they’re in the market for a less intense instrument and they don’t have huge expectations and demands, like someone who plays professionally might. In my time with it, I’ve found it to be a pretty neat little product that actually does more than a lot of its competitors, so that is always a big bonus. Check out the Korg MS20 Mini today!Check Price On Amazon
The UI is not bad, but if you look at something like the Krome and the kind of interface it has, you realize that clean and clutter-free are not really the words you would use to describe the MS20 and the layout it brings. You can’t hate on it, but its flaws do have to be mentioned – for its size and capabilities (or lack thereof), there are far too many knobs and buttons. It clearly is not a flattop synthesizer board which is fine, but Korg tried to do too much with its design. The layout has its flaws and I’m not a huge fan of these types of synths (in reference to the bulky, non-flattop style). There have also been discussions of this board not being very durable, and the knobs being loose. This hasn’t been the case with my MS20 Mini, but if others are having this issue, then it is something potential customers should know about. To touch on style again, you can also get this synthesizer in a white variation which doesn’t look bad, though I’d assume that most who purchase this product will opt for the classic black.
The biggest strength of the MS20 is the same as the biggest strength of the Teenage Engineering OP-1 – it’s relatively lightweight and portable. It isn’t quite on the same level as the OP-1 in terms of portability because of its slight bulkiness, but it sure is a lot more portable than the 88 or 61 key synthesizer board. You can take this item almost anywhere, and you should theoretically be able to perform musically anywhere in the world with the Korg MS20 Mini synthesizer.
Whether or not you consider the sound variation and quality of the MS20 to be good or not essentially comes down to what you’re comparing it with and what you are used to playing. If you’re an advanced player and a synthesizer veteran, this instrument clearly will not live up to your standards. The filter variation is actually quite great and running out of sounds to play with will not be an issue you will face when using the MS20 Mini Synthesizer. The sound quality stands its ground and is quite exceptional for the price range. It’s a very good instrument to use if you prefer playing with dirty, gritty and possibly dark sound functions. Most people who have experienced the MS20 Mini live would likely not describe the sounds as elegant, but rather raw, or funky. It’s not good at everything, but what it can do well, it does very well. For most beginner or intermediate-level synthesizer players, the sound quality will be sufficient but again, if you’re in need of a real top-dog synth, this probably will not be enough to satisfy your desires. It’s certainly good, but it does not cross the line of greatness and we shouldn’t expect it to at its price.
This mini synth is not totally packed with features, but it stands its ground. It has: a self-oscillating high-pass/low-pass filters with distinctive distortion, an external signal processor, a flexible patching system, and a USB MIDI plus 5-pin MIDI to go along with a few other things. When looking at many of the other options available, it’s tough to choose the MS20 over one of the higher class products if you’re looking for that. It all depends on what you’ll be using your workstation for and what you intend to get out of it. For example, if you’re looking for something for more performance and mobility/portability doesn’t matter as much to you, then there are a ton of better synthesizers you can go with, as opposed to the MS20 Mini Synthesizer.
I like this synthesizer keyboard, but I’m not crazy about it. If you look at it from a very broad perspective, then this keyboard unfortunately will not be enough for most people in the market for a new synth. The truth is that yes, it is a nice little keyboard for its size and it actually is pretty impressive in terms of its output and sound quality, but there just aren’t enough functions and capabilities, and while I am saying that the sound quality is good overall, it won’t blow you out of the water. The Roland JUNO DS88 is far better in terms of how nice the sounds are, and the OP-1 is clearly superior in the department of features and what it can do. Of course these options are quite a bit more expensive, but we’re looking at it from the perspective of which synthesizers are the best regardless of price. The Korg MS20 mini synthesizer is a neat little instrument and probably worth the price, but you shouldn’t shell out on the extra money if you’re looking for the best in regards to performance, sound quality, and durability.