Korg MS-20 FS Monophonic Synthesizer

The Full-Sized Korg MS-20 Is Back!

Originally released in the late ’70s, the original MS-20 is a classic semi-modular monosynth, prized for its distinctive, aggressive-sounding filters and external audio processing capabilities. The MS-20 was originally revived by Korg in 2013, in the form of the three quarter-sized MS-20 mini, and while two full-sized versions did follow – in full and desktop module forms – both were released as DIY kits produced in limited numbers.

Korg has announced another production run of the full-sized MS-20, and this time in pre-built, rather than kit format. And what is more there are four limited-edition color variations to choose from. These include the standard black design along with new green, white and blue versions, each of which Korg says will be produced in limited numbers.

The full-sized 37-note keyboard’s design remains the same as the original including two filter types, Except for the addition of MIDI and USB MIDI control – just pitch and note on/off. The two filter allow users to switch between earlier and later designs of the original filter.

The Korg MS-20 FS  Monophonic Synthesizer  is expected to be available in April. Pricing has yet to be announced.


Nord WAVE 2 Synthesizer Keyboard


The Nord Wave 2 is akin to four synths in one. And when you look at the specifications, it is one of the most versatile synth as Clavia has include all kinds of things into its latest red keyboard.

The Nord Wave 2 comes with a 61-note after-touch keyboard, with performance features including an arpeggiator, a gate for rhythmic effects, and morphing facilities. There is also a Unison mode for super fat sounds.

The Wave 2 is a 4-part synth with dedicated volume/pan faders for each part. You can use sample-based, virtual analogue, wavetable and FM synthesis, and you get 48 notes of polyphony. There are OLED displays for both the Program and Oscillator sections, plus 1GB of memory that can be filled up with sounds from the Nord Sample Library 3.0.

Modulation options include an LFO with five waveforms, flexible syncing and routing and an AD/AR envelope, and there is also an ADSR amp envelope. You can choose from six filter types – this section also has its own ADSR envelope – while effects include a modulation FX suite, EQ and drive, delay and reverb.

The Wave 2 is perfect for the stage and studio.

The Nord Wave 2 is expected to be available in March.


Korg KROSS-2 88 MB Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard


Korg Kross 2 88-Key Synthesizer Workstation

Korg has expanded the Kross 2 workstation keyboard calling it a “supercharged” version, the Kross2-88 MB.

The Kross2-88 MB features KORG’s Natural Weighted (NH4) Hammer Action keybed, offering a realistic and comfortable approach to playing. The 88-note model comes with new sounds and has a rubberised matte black finish. An enhanced acoustic piano heads up the new sound expansion, which also includes drum kits and synths, new EP’s and increases the total number of included presets to more than 1,000. 27 drum track pat-terns have also been added to this model.

The NH4 also helps to keep the instrument’s overall weight down, aiding portability.

The Korg Kross2-88 MB is available from October.

Novation LaunchKey Mini MK3 Midi Keyboard


Novation Launchkey Mini (MK3) 25-Key MIDI Keyboard

Novation has come up with a new and improved version of the LaunchKey Mini. The Launchkey Mini Mk3 is designed to be a portable controller for Ableton Live and the Mk3 reworking brings it line with the style of their SL Mk3 super-controller.

The Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 has a sleek design that is similar to its predecessor, the Mini MK2. As well as its 25 mini keys – which Novation says are its best, most responsive yet – this sports new pitch and modulation touchstrips, a sustain pedal input, and new RGB backlighting for the 16 pads. The LaunchKey Mini Mk3 has an arpeggiator. It can run up to 4 octaves in multiple directions and rhythms with swing and adjustable gate time. It has a Mutate mode which brings in interesting variations and a Deviate rhythm to explore a bit of unexpected movement. There is more, though, with the Fixed Chord mode and arpeggiator enabling you to trigger chords with a single note and turn held chords into riffs, melodies and sequences. The Fixed Chord enables you to store any chord you play and then play that same chord on any key you press and the chord stays in memory until you hit the button again.

LaunchKey Mini is designed for controlling Ableton Live 10 and there is a free “Lite” copy in the box to get you started. You can trigger Live 10’s Capture MIDI feature with a dedicated button, operate the transport and mixer, and tweak Device Macros with the eight included rotary controllers. This feature would enable you to cut down on your mouse and keyboard time.

The Novation LaunchKey Mini Mk3 comes with mapping templates for other DAWs, too, while a MIDI Out means that it can be used with hardware synths as well. The supplied software bundle includes virtual instruments and plugin effects from AAS, Softube, Spitfire Audio, XLN Audio and Klevgrand.

The Novation LaunchKey Mini Mk3 is available now.

Arturia MICROLAB Midi Controller Keyboard


Arturia’s latest MIDI keyboard controller, the MicroLab. A super portable, 25-key velocity-sensitive MIDI keyboard, this promises several features that set it apart from the rest of the mini ketboard.

What is so unique about the Arturia MicroLab?

Let us look at the keys, the velocity-sensitive keys are of the same slim design as those on Arturia’s KeyStep controller, and given their size, is reasonably playable. A Hold button can be used to add sus-tain, while a push of the Shift key takes you into Chord mode. This enables you to program a chord and then play it back with a single finger.The Modulation and pitchbend are covered by dedicated touch strips which can also be used to browse and select presets, and you can switch MIDI channels using the dedicated knob and numbered keys.

The features – There is a rubberised shell to protect the MicroLab from bumps and scrapes, to ensure that the keyboard does not slip about when you are using it on a plane or train tray table and the keys are slightly recessed into the body so that nothing sticks out beyond the case. This would enable it easier to pack the Arturia MicroLab away in a backpack.

In addition, there is a recess that can store the supplied USB cable, and since this does not stick out when it is plugged in, you can push the MicroLab right up against other gear. The Arturia MicroLab includes  3 software titles for free, too: Analog Lab Lite, which contains 600 classic synth, organ and pi-ano presets; the UVI Grand Piano Model D, a sampled Steinway instrument; and an 8-track version of Bitwig.

The MicroLab comes is three colour options – Black, Blue and Orange, and is now available at $79/€79. It could end up being a big seller.