Korg iMS-20 app for Apple iPad (Updated 25/3/11)

Listen.  If you own an iPad and DON’T buy this, I will personally come round and de-bone your dog.

Holy.  Crap.

I don’t own an iPad (yet), and it was only late this afternoon that I discovered this new app from Korg.  It was more exciting than finding a packet of Iced Gems you forgot you had.

Right now, it’s at iTunes for a bargain price of £9.49.  It WILL go up at the end of January, believe me.  (They said so).

Korg describe it as an “analogue synth studio – a complete recreation of the Korg MS-2o analogue synthesizer, an analogue sequencer, a drum machine, a mixer and even Korg’s Kaoss Pad technology.”

It’s a complete recreation of the MS-20, which was produced between 1978 and 1983.  Good quality original models still fetch between £300 and £700.  I had the cheaper MS-10, which I dropped down the stairs in 1996 (along with a Yamaha CS-01 and Novation BassStation rack).  Only the CS-01 survived.

  • A complete recreation of the legendary Korg MS-20 analog synth
  • Built-in 16-step analog sequencers to control the sound
  • Music production studio with the MS-20 mono synth, a six-part drum machine, and a mixer
  • Kaoss Pad function allows intuitive performance and control
  • Publish and share your KORG iMS-20 songs online with the SoundCloud audio platform


MS-20 monophonic synthesizer: 1 unit
Analog sequencer: 1 unit
6-part drum machine: 1 unit
Mixer: 1 unit
Song/Pattern composer: 1 unit

MS-20 monophonic synthesizer:
Analog modeling synthesizer (MS-20 modeled by “CMT” Component Modeling Technology)
2VCO / 2VCF / 1VCA / 2EG / Patch Panel

Additional functions: Modulation Key/Tempo Sync
Insert effect (selectable from 14 effect types as below)

Analog sequencer:
16-step analog sequencer
Control notes, volume, pan, parameters, and voltages via knobs
Configurable steps (1-16) and sequence mode (6 types)
Trigger out per channel or step position

6-part drum machine:
6-part/16-step drum machine
Create sounds by sampling a single note from a built-in MS-20
Controllable notes, volume and pan by knobs
Configurable steps (1-16) and sequence mode (6 types) per a part

7-channel mixer
Double needle meter indicates VU level
Master effect (selectable from 14 effect types as below)

Song/Pattern composer:
Compose a song or select a pattern, built-in mixer
16 patterns and 256 bars per a song
Tempo setting (20 – 300 BPM) and Swing function

Effect type:
14 types: Short Delay, BPM Sync Delay, Reverb 1, Reverb 2, Chorus/Flanger, Equalizer, Compressor, Tube Simulator (Valve Force), Low-Pass Filter, High-Pass Filter, Band-Pass Filter, Talking Modulator, Decimator, Grain Shifter

Keyboard: Recording function, Variable width (22, 26, or 29 keys)

Kaoss Pad: 2 units, Recording function
Performance pad: Key/Scale (31 types) settings
Parameter control pad: X-Y axis parameter settings

Audio export function (Bouncing a song or pattern, and Real-time recording a performance: 16-bit/44.1 kHz stereo WAV format)
Publish and share songs online with the SoundCloud music distribution site .
Various template patterns by music genre are included.
Various template sounds by sound category are included.

Click on any image for larger version

The latest version (1.1.0) can now be played by external MIDI devices (via the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit).  It’s also now compatible with iOS 4.2, and there are some other minor improvements.  The user reviews I’ve read so far are all very complimentary.  If you’ve used a piece of vintage Korg equipment before, it would help.  Those patchbays and cables can be a little intimidating for the uninitiated, but you’ll soon be beeping and squealing with the rest of them!

iMS-20 is available from iTunes HERE for £9.49 (until 31/1/11)

I’d request you give this a look too:

Update 6/1/11

Another video, this time of the iPad connected to the MS-20 USB Controller:

*UPDATE 25/3/11*

iMS-20 has just been updated with the following features:


One thought on “Korg iMS-20 app for Apple iPad (Updated 25/3/11)

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