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MS20: Psychedelic, Farfisa-ish, Mellotron-ish Sounds
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dublave
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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MS20: Psychedelic, Farfisa-ish, Mellotron-ish Sounds

I think we must all accept that there will be an insane influx of MS20 posts. Let's deal with this, because here is another

Finding videos for this synth, 95% of what I hear are mostly techno-y acid sounds that do not really interest me at all. I'm more interested in the kind of psychedelic tones that bands like Broadcast, Stereolab, Portishead and Air have gotten out of this thing. More Mellotron flutish kinds of sounds, or monophonic Farfisa-ish sounds. The slightly primitive sounds that bring to mind the Radiophonic Workshop, or United States of America.

Can anyone share some basic tips for going towards this kind of sound? Photos of settings would be beyond ideal.

I've owned a Mopho, then a Tetra, then a Slim Phatty, none of which really satisfied this itch. The first synth I ever owned was a Realistic MG-1, which did this kind of thing pretty well and was the most fun I've ever had with an instrument. Unfortunately, it died, and I never want to buy another one fearing the same could happen again.

I'm really hoping the MS20 Mini will satisfy this itch. There has to be a reason why all of the above listed bands have kept one of these around. I'm sure once I get my hands on the thing, messing around and familiarizing myself with it will get me there soon enough. But, like I said, if anyone has any tips for getting all retro psychedelic with it, I'd very much appreciate it!
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#2
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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I second this. But on how to do it on the virus instead ^_^

I love portishead btw! One of the greatest!
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28th January 2013
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Set both VCOs to saw and patch something in to modulate them?
(Also interested in this, but couldnt resist.)
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28th January 2013
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I got bang on melotron sounds out of my an1x so anything flexible enough should do it.
synthesize a basic flute patch using a couple of slightly detuned pulse oscillators set to a pretty rounded pulse, nothing too sharp, you'll need a medium filter attack on your lowpass, a shortish decay (for the slight chiff) going into long sustain phase, you can set the VCA envelope decay and sustain to maximum as it's a pretty static sound thereafter. Set your low pass filter 3 quarters open with a teeny bit of resonance. Turn the release of your VCA envelope to zero, melotrons have no release time.

So you detuned two oscillators, Than what? You ask?

Add some noise to simulate tape hiss and then use your highpass filter to scoop out most of the bottom end and accentuate the mid and highs you have left, add resonance to taste.

Run the f##### through a tape delay/echo, real or simulation, whatever you have.

Once you have your effected sound, tweak it to taste, I'm saying all of this from memory so you'll have to experiment on the starting point I've given you.

That should get you to melotron town, for strings, you'll need a faster filter attack and a narrower pulse width
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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[QUOTE=dublave;8686246]I think we must all accept that there will be an insane influx of MS20 posts. Let's deal with this, because here is another
Finding videos for this synth, 95% of what I hear are mostly techno-y acid sounds that do not really interest me at all. I'm more interested in the kind of psychedelic tones that bands like Broadcast, Stereolab, Portishead and Air have gotten out of this thing. More Mellotron flutish kinds of sounds, or monophonic Farfisa-ish sounds. The slightly primitive sounds that bring to mind the Radiophonic Workshop, or United States of America.


Totally off the scale but you need a Rhodes Chroma , there is nothing else i found that can nail so many of these types of vintage sounds.

Most analogues dont do great flute / wind and vocal sounds .

The Chroma does mellotron like flute patches and synthetic vocals like no other synth on the planet and everything has this flavour of 70's radiophonic / psychedelic lounge music.

The ms20 is perfect for odd leads and tones and i think has a really old and worn sound about it but is also quite a quirky experimental synth at the same time , makes a good fx processor and its radiophonic without a doubt .
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28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dublave View Post
)

Finding videos for this synth, 95% of what I hear are mostly techno-y acid sounds that do not really interest me at all. I'm more interested in the kind of psychedelic tones that bands like Broadcast, Stereolab, Portishead and Air have gotten out of this thing. More Mellotron flutish kinds of sounds, or monophonic Farfisa-ish sounds. The slightly primitive sounds that bring to mind the Radiophonic Workshop, or United States of America.
Did it ever occur to you that they were actually using real mellotrons and farfisa/transistor organs? Lots of old mellotrons floating around the UK. Stereolab used the real farfisa so much they wrote a song named farfisa.

In all honesty, they probably used the ms-20 for the effect processing capability and maybe for bass and/or ringmod/lfo effects.... like everyone else :P
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28th January 2013
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Still it can be done, so i thought i'd help him out.

It's quite fun trying to synthesize esoteric sounds like that, but yeah, a good pack of melotron samples is all you really need nowadays, and every damned keyboard has a FarCheeza preset XD
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28th January 2013
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The akai ax80 had this amazing mellotron flute preset I miss so much and hate myself for not multisampling.
dublave
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28th January 2013
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Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware that most of those bands used real combo organs and Mellotrons here and there. But there are also many times when you can hear synthy, monophonic approximations of these instruments that I'm fairly certain is an MS20.

For example, check out this video of Broadcast playing live (very sadly from the tour that Trish passed away on, coincidentally). You can see James playing the arpeggiated part on the left, which sounds to me very combo organ-esque:



Or at 1:18 of this video, you can hear it pretty well:



Sorry the audio isn't great in either case, but these are some of the only examples I can think of where I absolutely know it's MS20 because you can actually see James playing it.

And thanks to the advice so far, particularly xanderbeanz!
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28th January 2013
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You should take a square wave and modulate it with white noise. That'll give you mellotronish flute thingy.
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28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dublave View Post
Finding videos for this synth, 95% of what I hear are mostly techno-y acid sounds that do not really interest me at all.
The MS-20 is not a preset instrument and contains no patch storage, so it is what you want it to be. If all the videos you are finding sound this way, it's because the people making these videos are programming these types of sounds and/or playing this type of music. If you are unfamiliar with synthesis programming, I certainly see it as a good introduction to experiment and learn on. In fact, if you do choose to buy one, you're gonna have to learn how to program your own sounds. There's no if, and or buts about it, haha.

I know I'm most certainly getting one myself.
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28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R3Member View Post
The MS-20 is not a preset instrument and contains no patch storage, so it is what you want it to be. If all the videos you are finding sound this way, it's because the people making these videos are programming these types of sounds and/or playing this type of music. If you are unfamiliar with synthesis programming, I certainly see it as a good introduction to experiment and learn on. In fact, if you do choose to buy one, you're gonna have to learn how to program your own sounds. There's no if, and or buts about it, haha.

I know I'm most certainly getting one myself.
I know, like I said, I used to have an MG-1. Most fun I've ever had with an instrument, just tweaking away, finding new sounds, forgetting, rediscovering, than turning them into new sounds. I'm just looking for some tips to help me in my discovering though.

Let's say this to be more specific: Can anyone help me in getting the combo organ-esque sound that you can hear James Cargill playing in the above Broadcast videos? Thanks!
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28th January 2013
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Home Page | GFORCE SOFTWARE

M-Tron Pro + Virtual String Machine.

Simply awesome, get creative with effects and you're golden.
Short of the real thing, these are the closest and very inspiring, imo.
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28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dublave View Post
Let's say this to be more specific: Can anyone help me in getting the combo organ-esque sound that you can hear James Cargill playing in the above Broadcast videos? Thanks!
It sounds like a sine-wave to me, but since the MS-20 doesn't have that, it's probably the triangle. To my ears, it sounds like it's programmed with a short attack and long release on the amp envelope, then there's a little bit of LFO vibrato going on in the pitch.
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Psychedelic Sounds = Eat some mushrooms and then start twiddling knobs. Works every time.
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29th January 2013
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You guys using square, rectangle or triangles to get flutes and strings on your synths must have some strange units. I had a small modular kit-based guy - still do, but it's pretty much shot, and the square wave was all out of calibration. So bad, PWM sounded like distorted waveshaped sawtooth. I used that for solo violins for a while. Triangle sounded like a square wave, I later found out. I finally got a decent polysynth one day and found out how pulse waves were supposed to sound. And that saw was the go-to wave for strings and flutes. Of course, strokes for folks and all that.
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29th January 2013
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Stereolab used the Moog Opus 3 quite a bit which will of course put you in combo organ territory, pretty sure Broadcast used it early on as well.
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29th January 2013
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I saw them during this tour in the states and they used a lot of samples. Trish and James were using either Roland SP-303s or 404s. It's possible he's feeding samples through the MS-20 on stage. I would suggest you check out some of the still photos of their setup from this tour on Flickr for a more detailed gear analysis.

http://flic.kr/p/78QBp3
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29th January 2013
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You could probably get the type of lo-fi flute sounds you want with a $10 penny whistle. Then run the recording back through a cheap analog guitar pedal if you want effects. I don't think you need to spend a ton of money on a synth just for a cheap flute sound. Just buy a cheap flute, lol.

This flute costs about 10 bucks and a 9 yr old could learn how to play it.
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29th January 2013
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Just want to be clear, I do really appreciate all the advice offered so far, but I am specifically looking for advice concerning the MS20.

I've played with the M-Tron Pro and have tons of different cheap flutes. Both are awesome solutions. I wish I could afford a combo organ in good shape, or that Rhodes that was suggested, but neither are likely for me right now. And of course these aren't the only reasons I want an MS20, I'm looking forward to using it for all kinds of synth-y special effects, leads and basses, as well as using it's external input for processing all kinds of audio. But what I was asking for was starting points for getting these particular sounds out of it, that make sense? Sorry if that wasn't clear before, thanks!
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29th January 2013
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I heard the Mini is going to come with the original "setting examples" manual, which would be a great starting point for those patches.

There's an online version here with settings like "Hammond Organ" and "Flute": Korg MS-20 Synthesizer - Setting Examples
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29th January 2013
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For the win! Thanks, colthawker!
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