MS-20EX Tutorial 1
Programming a String Sound
The
S
Exp tring
erim
ent
Material: KORG Kronos & MS-20EX Block Diagram.
Level: Beginner.
Time: approx. 15 min.
Goals: Program MS-20 with a string sound, add Kronos effects, swap effects.
This tutorial describes step by step how to program a string sound with the KORG Kronos MS-20EX Synth Engine.
This tutorial consists of four parts:
1. Setting up the Basic Sound.
If this is your first tutorial on programming a synth engine of
the KORG Kronos (X), you might consider to look at the
PolysixEX tutorials first.
Many concepts are explained in these tutorials, which are
also important for programming the MS-20EX.
2. Shape the Sound.
3. The Beauty Pass - Kronosification.
4. Summary Schema of all settings.
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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1. Setting up the Basic Sound
1. Select a free USER Program and set in the Common tab the EXi 1 Instrument Type to MS-20EX.
2. Select the EXi 1 tab and then the Osc & Filter tab, if not selected.
Reset
3. First “reset” the MS-20EX by setting:
VCO MIXER
VCO 1 LEVEL = 10
VCO 2 LEVEL = 0 VOLTAGE CONTROLLED LOWPASS FILTER CUTOFF FREQUENCY = 0
PEAK = 0
Leave the other values at their default settings.
CUTOFF FREQUENCY MODULATION
EG 2/EXT = 0
PEAK for the MS-20EX is called
RESONANCE for the PolysixEX.
We begin with only one VCO - Voltage Controlled Oscillator.
4. Now select the MG, EG, & Mod tab. We have to reset a few more values.
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
2
1. Setting up the Basic Sound
5. Continue to “reset” the MS-20EX by setting:
Reset
ENVELOPE GENERATOR 2
DECAY TIME = 0
SUSTAIN LEVEL = 0
RELEASE TIME = 0
Leave the other values at their default settings.
We end up with ... no sound. That’s okay for now. We clearly did reset the MS-20EX.
To create the new sound we start with the basic sound source - the VCO - Voltage Controlled Oscillator.
6. Select the Osc & Filter tab. As you can see, the WAVEFORM for VOLTAGE CONTROLLER OSCILLATOR
1 is set to saw. A saw waveform is good for string type sounds.
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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2. Shaping the Sound
Next we have to shape the sound, by determining which frequencies we want to cut off.
For this we look at the VCF - Voltage Controlled Filter.
7. To shape a string sound start by selecting the CUTOFF FREQUENCY of the VOLTAGE
CONTROLLED LOWPASS FILTER (VCLF from now on). Move the value slider till value 8.
VCLF...
Note that you can also enter the number 8 using the number buttons and then press ENTER.
8. Select PEAK on the Kronos’ screen and move the value slider. Notice that the sound becomes
sharper and thinner at higher values. For this tutorial set PEAK = 1.
Play some notes. The sound is a little ‘sharpish’. No way near a string sound yet.
Lets see if we can change this.
Remember, PEAK on the
MS-20EX is called RESONANCE
on the PolysixEX.
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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2. Shaping the Sound
We have to shape the sound even further.
This can be realized with the help of the EG - the Envelope Generator.
But, before an envelope can be generated, you have to create one.
This is done by the ADSR knobs or ATTACK, DECAY, SUSTAIN and RELEASE.
The A, D and R are time related and the S is level related.
Creatin
g an
Envelop
e
We want our strings to start softly and then increase.
To do this, increase the value of ATTACK - the time from the moment you press a
key on the keyboard (note-on) until the maximum level is reached.
9. Select the MG, EG, & Mod tab. Enter the following values by selecting the knobs on screen and entering
the numbers:
ATTACK TIME = 3
DECAY TIME = 7
See the PolysixEX Tutorial 2 Programming a Bass Sound
SUSTAIN LEVEL = 5
for more information about the ADSR and VCF.
RELEASE TIME = 5
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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2. Shaping the Sound
ADSR
& VCA
We don’t want the EG to shape the Voltage Controlled Filters.
Therefore, both EG 2/EXT knobs are set to 0. (CUTOFF FREQUENCY MODULATION at Osc & Filter tab)
As you can see in the MS-20EX Block Diagram (separate download), Envelope Generator 2 connects
directly with the VCA - Voltage Controlled Amplifier.
This means that the ADSR envelope shapes the sound signal as shown in figure 1.
Play some notes. A synth type string sound starts to appear.
But what if we want this sound to be a little, say fuller
sounding? Like the Ensemble effect of the PolysixEX (well,
sort of)
Attack
Sustain
Release
Key
down
Key
up
ADSR setting as 'template' to
shape the sound
Wider S
ound
10. Select the Osc & Filter tab, if not yet selected. Then of the
VCO MIXER set VCO 2 LEVEL = 10 to add the second
VCO to the scene, and play some notes. Wow, that makes
a difference.
Decay
EG - Envelope Generator
IN: Unshaped sound
Envelope used by the
EG to shape the sound
OUT: shaped sound
Figure 1. Shaping the sound
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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3. The Beauty Pass - Kronosification
Let’s add some nice effects to this basic string sound and make it Kronos worthy.
Stereo
Parame
tric 4E
11. Select the Common tab.
Q
12. Then the IFX tab, and then the Insert FX subtab.
13. Set IFX1 = On, and select for the effect: 011: Stereo Parametric 4EQ, a stereo 4‐band parametric equalizer.
14. Select the IFX 1-12 subtab and then IFX1 (if not selected).
15. Enter the following settings:
More information on the Stereo
Parametric 4EQ can be found on page
902 of the Kronos Parameter Guide.
PARAMETRIC EQ
Trim = 50
Band1 Type = Shelving-Low
Band4 Type = Peaking
Band1 Fc [Hz]: 20
Q: Band2 Fc [Hz]: 300
Q: 1.1
Band3 Fc [Hz]: 4.1
Q: 8.8
Band4 Fc [Hz]: 11.2
Q: 2.5
Gain [dB]: -9.5
Gain [dB]: 6
Gain [dB]: -11
Gain [dB]: 9.5
GAIN MOD
Band2 Source: Off
Leave the other values at their default settings.
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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3. The Beauty Pass - Kronosification
16. Select the Routing subtab.
17. In the Bus Select (IFX/Indiv.Out Assign) section set EXi 1&2 to: IFX1.
18. Play some chords, notes...
Let’s add another effect.
Stereo
19. Select the Insert FX subtab.
20. Set IFX2 = On, and select for the effect: 040: Stereo Chorus.
Chorus
21. Also select the little square under Chain of IFX1. The sound now travels through IFX1 to IFX2 and out.
22. Select subtab IFX 1-12 and side tab (left) IFX2 (if not selected).
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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3. The Beauty Pass - Kronosification
23. Enter the following settings for the Stereo Chorus:... on second though we leave all values at their default
setting.
The Stereo Chorus effect adds thickness and warmth to the sound by
modulating the delay time of the input signal.
More information on the Stereo Chorus can be found on page 927 of the Kronos
Parameter Guide.
Play the following Chords (smoothly and slowly):
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Swap i
t..
.
Oh dear ... wouldn’t it be better if the sound first travels
through Stereo Chorus and then through the EQ?
Do I have to re-type all values again?
Nope, Select the Common tab, then the IFX tab and then the
Insert FX tab.
Select IFX1 (top left), and then on the Insert FX menu (top
right marked by ∨ ) select Swap Insert Effect.
Set Source2: IFX2 and select OK. Done!
Eb (G3-Bb3-Eb4)
Gm (G3-Bb3-D4)
F sus4 (F3-Bb3-C4)
F (F3-A3-C4)
Dm (D3-F3-A3)
C (C3-E3-G3)
F (A2-C3-F3)
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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2. Shaping the Sound
Oops, we’re back at Shaping the Sound ... what happened?
Well, maybe we can change the sound further, make it more massive as it were.
Lets try the following:
A mass
ive
sound
24. Select the EXi 1 tab and then select the Osc & Filter tab. Then of VCO 2 set SCALE = 16’
to lower it one octave.
25. To make it not too heavy, of the VCO MIXER set VCO 2 LEVEL = 8 and play some chords
to hear the difference.
Hmm, a bit sharp still. Soften it, might do the trick. But, how to do that?
Sharp sound means that the cutoff frequency has a high value, i.e. high frequencies come through.
To soften the sound, we should lower the cutoff frequency of the VCLF in our case.
26. Try the following: of the VCLF (see slide 4) set CUTOFF FREQUENCY = 7. Play some
chords. Nice, isn’t?
A softe
r
sound
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
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4. Summary Schema
String Sound
Settings for the different modules of the MS-20EX in
this tutorial.
In case you want to quickly program the sound again.
KBD
VCO 2
WAVEFORM = saw
PITCH = 0
SCALE = 16'
VCO 1
WAVEFORM = saw
PW = 0
SCALE = 8'
VCO MIXER
VCO 1 LEVEL = 10
VCO 2 LEVEL = 8
VCLPF
CUTOFF FREQUENCY = 7
PEAK = 1
Assignment
Say, you want to add a Polysix Ensemble effect (047)
between IFX1 and IFX2 for even better sound.
That is, move IFX2 to IFX3 and insert the Polysix Ensemble
effect.
Make sure you do not loose the settings of the Stereo
Parametric 4EQ effect!
VCA
EG 2
(Envelope Generator)
HOLD TIME = 0
ATTACK TIME = 3
DECAY TIME = 7
SUSTAIN LEVEL = 5
RELEASE LEVEL = 5
KRONOS
011: Stereo Parametric 4EQ
PARAMETRIC EQ
Trim = 50
Band1 Type = Shelving-Low
Band4 Type = Peaking
Band1 Fc [Hz]: 20 Q:
Gain [dB]: -9.5
Band2 Fc [Hz]: 300 Q: 1.1 Gain [dB]: 6
Band3 Fc [Hz]: 4.1 Q: 8.8 Gain [dB]: -11
Band4 Fc [Hz]: 11.2 Q: 2.5 Gain [dB]: 9.5
IFX1
040: Stereo Chorus
Default values.
IFX2
GAIN MOD
Band2 Source: Off
By dongfang (Kris Oosting) - November 2012
11