sq-1

Australia’s Turra Music have leaked a new analog Korg synth product. But it’s the product that goes with it that has us excited.

Following up on the MS-20 kit – the build-it-yourself limited-run full-sized MS-20 remake Korg did – the company now has a module. That’s brilliant: the full-sized MS-20 sounds amazing (with both MS-20 filter models) and feels and looks beautifully authentic, but it isn’t the easiest thing to tote.

But packed in the kit is a new SQ-1 Step Sequencer.

That’s pre-assembled, which makes me think we’ll see this as a separate product. This is obviously a no-brainer for existing MS-20 owners, and the sync outputs could also work with stuff like the volca series. Welcome back to analog folks.

Also interesting: it appears there’s a connection for littleBits gear – presumably simply providing the correct analog output for that hardware.

It appears there’s no MIDI on the step sequencer; having both would be nice. CDM will attempt to get more details from Korg. In the meantime, check the video.

Also, specs:

The MS-20M Kit lets you create a real, full-sized MS-20M monophonic synthesizer module.

Desktop module version of Korg’s MS-20 Mini, but this time in build it yourself kit form and with a few new bells and whistles including the new SQ-1 Step Sequencer (included pre-assembled in box).

Key features:
Desktop modular version of the MS-20 Mini
2VCO / 2VCA / 2VCF / 2EG / 1LFO structure
Self-oscillating high-pass/low-pass filters with distinctive distortion
Toggle switches for VCO 1 to 2 sync / VCO 1 to 2 FM /
Toggle to switch between rev 1 and rev 2 filter designs
Adds junction patching bay for integration with SQ-1 Step Sequencer (included)
External signal processor (ESP)
Extremely flexible patching system
MIDI IN and USB connector

  • redgreenblue

    Seriously, when is someone going to make an affordable 16 step sequencer with midi that syncs properly? It cannot be that hard. I love Beat Step as a controller, but as a sequencer it has been a let down.

    • ordevaks

      BCR Zaquencer

      • redgreenblue

        Has anyone used this, can they report how tight the timing is?

        • ordevaks

          No problem with timing at all. Its far better then Beatstep (BCR can be put as a slave or master), totally standalone, 4 tracks + many more… We have 2 in the studio.

          • redgreenblue

            Cool, good to know.

      • Interesting! Thanks for info – here’s a link btw: https://zaqaudio.com/product/zaquencer-license

    • Para-Jazz

      I’ve not used the beatstep but interested to hear why it’s a “let down” as i was thinking of getting one

      • OK hers the Quick Low down- If you are planning on using with a PC then you are probably going to less Disappointed. If you want to use it as a Stand alone Step Sequencer with External MIDI then you have this to contend with (not exhaustive just the Low-lights):
        MIDI Out Only
        No external MIDI Sync ( Add a Kenton USB HOST to MIDI converter for about 150.00 USD)
        No Visual Display of BPM (Since it has to be the master Clock) Note slave devices wont show you either since their displays go blank (at least Mine do Except the M-Audio Venom but I can’t monitor ins Realtime)
        No Visual display for Note Value Data
        Individual Note length Data not Changeable (only globally)

        Now despite these faults I actually like the Beat step Sequencer, it Defaults to 120 BPM and I’m getting the hang of how far to turn the knob to get to a “close enough” BPM. (i’t’s not consistent) so I’m depending on my ear and how well I know my own material. So in that respect (timing) it’s making me a better musician when I improvise.

        So Lemons, Lemonade all that. for 100 (or less) it’s a lot of fun and depending on your style of Electronic music theres is a lot of fun and creativity to be had when working within in limits. Sure I want Cirklon or an octarack but I never have that much change in my couch.

        • I’m going to add that for 100 more you could get an AKAI Rhythm Wolf which has also had a better step sequencer – now it only works on Midi Channels 1 (for the Bass Synth) and 10 but it has a BPM counter and both Realt time and step entry options there’s another thread on CDM a few weeks ago bout budget gear https://disqus.com/home/discussion/cdmu/watch_how_much_hardware_you_can_jam_with_on_a_budget/

        • rgb

          What he said. Plus the sync isn’t reliable and you can’t transpose the sequence in real time.
          But I do use it a lot as a controller, it seems very well make and the pads generate poly aftertouch data which is tremendously useful to me. I would love to see proper knobs instead of endless rotaries. It is a good device and maybe I’ll play with the sequencer more. I just need things to work with a minimum of hassle. The limited time I have to make music with is not well spent trying to get things to sync or otherwise do something that shouldn’t be hard to implement.

          • Will

            Just to be clear, you can’t transpose the sequence in real time without going through a computer (->USB->Beatstep). For standalone, this is sad face making. It’s also very hard to tell how much (or if, at all) you’ve transposed. Seems like they could pull some light shenanigans to provide the user with feedback.

            I’ve had good luck with the sync but totally agree on knobs vs rotaries.

            Not to make this a bitchfest. Maybe the best $100 you can spend on electronic music gear right now, particularly considering you get MIDI->CV in the package. I’d rather spend $150 though and get the other goodies (though some oft requested stuff may make it more like $250, I dunno)

          • rgb

            I do like the device and it does some things very well. Others could be better. Oh, and I really wish it could do 14 bit NRPN, and put the rotaries to good use. Then I could use it to program the step sequencer in my MoPho. THAT would be handy.

    • I would, uh, stick around this week. πŸ˜‰

      • wetterberg

        hehe, I bet. This week is going to be fucking nuts, to put it mildly.

      • rgb

        I eagerly await the news. This has been a big old gaping hole in new gear for a while now.

    • Joshua Storm Becker

      Why was the beatstep a let down exactly?

  • redgreenblue

    Seriously, when is someone going to make an affordable 16 step sequencer with midi that syncs properly? It cannot be that hard. I love Beat Step as a controller, but as a sequencer it has been a let down.

    • ordevaks

      BCR Zaquencer

      • redgreenblue

        Has anyone used this, can they report how tight the timing is?

        • ordevaks

          No problem with timing at all. Its far better then Beatstep (BCR can be put as a slave or master), totally standalone, 4 tracks + many more… We have 2 in the studio.

          • redgreenblue

            Cool, good to know.

      • Interesting! Thanks for info – here’s a link btw: https://zaqaudio.com/product/zaquencer-license

    • Para-Jazz

      I’ve not used the beatstep but interested to hear why it’s a “let down” as i was thinking of getting one

      • OK here’s the Quick Low down- on the BeatStep, If you are planning on using with a PC then you are probably going to less disappointed. If you want to use it as a Stand alone Step Sequencer with External MIDI then you have this to contend with (not exhaustive just the Low-lights):
        MIDI Out Only
        No external MIDI Sync ( Add a Kenton USB HOST to MIDI converter for about 150.00 USD)
        No Visual Display of BPM (Since it has to be the master Clock due to no hardware MIDI-INI) Note many slave devices wont show you either (TR-8 I’m looking at you) since their displays go blank (at least Mine do, except the M-Audio Venom but I can’t monitor it in Realtime)
        No Visual display for Note Value Data (Guess the pitches – But hey you CAN change the Scales to things like Dorian, Minor Etc so you can work around that)
        Individual Note length Data not Changeable (only globally)

        Now despite these faults I actually like the Beat step Sequencer, it Defaults to 120 BPM and I’m getting the hang of how far to turn the knob to get to a “close enough” BPM. (i’t’s not consistent) so I’m depending on my ear and how well I know my own material. So in that respect (timing) it’s making me a better musician when I improvise.

        So Lemons, Lemonade all that. for 100 (or less) it’s a lot of fun and depending on your style of Electronic music there’s is a lot of fun and creativity to be had when working within it’s limits and (IMHO) quite often it’s the limits of our gear that push our creativity as opposed to having everything* Sure I want Cirklon or an octarack but I never have that much change in my couch.

        *otherwise we wouldn’t be using hardware amirite? OK theres the sound and all the physical knob twiddling BUT I mean realistically PCs give us unlimited choice’s and that brings us a whole ‘nuther set of issues.

        • I’m going to add that for 100 more you could get an AKAI Rhythm Wolf which has also had a better step sequencer – now it only works on Midi Channels 1 (for the Bass Synth) and 10 but it has a BPM counter and both Realt time and step entry options there’s another thread on CDM a few weeks ago bout budget gear https://disqus.com/home/discussion/cdmu/watch_how_much_hardware_you_can_jam_with_on_a_budget/

        • rgb

          What he said. Plus the sync isn’t reliable and you can’t transpose the sequence in real time.
          But I do use it a lot as a controller, it seems very well make and the pads generate poly aftertouch data which is tremendously useful to me. I would love to see proper knobs instead of endless rotaries. It is a good device and maybe I’ll play with the sequencer more. I just need things to work with a minimum of hassle. The limited time I have to make music with is not well spent trying to get things to sync or otherwise do something that shouldn’t be hard to implement.

          • Will

            Just to be clear, you can’t transpose the sequence in real time without going through a computer (->USB->Beatstep). For standalone, this is sad face making. It’s also very hard to tell how much (or if, at all) you’ve transposed. Seems like they could pull some light shenanigans to provide the user with feedback.

            I’ve had good luck with the sync but totally agree on knobs vs rotaries.

            Not to make this a bitchfest. Maybe the best $100 you can spend on electronic music gear right now, particularly considering you get MIDI->CV in the package. I’d rather spend $150 though and get the other goodies (though some oft requested stuff may make it more like $250, I dunno)

          • rgb

            I do like the device and it does some things very well. Others could be better. Oh, and I really wish it could do 14 bit NRPN, and put the rotaries to good use. Then I could use it to program the step sequencer in my MoPho. THAT would be handy.

    • I would, uh, stick around this week. πŸ˜‰

      • wetterberg

        hehe, I bet. This week is going to be fucking nuts, to put it mildly.

      • rgb

        I eagerly await the news. This has been a big old gaping hole in new gear for a while now.

    • Joshua Storm Becker

      Why was the beatstep a let down exactly?

  • Bram

    The sequencer has MIDI, though only MIDI OUT via a 1/8″ jack.

    • fierywater

      Was just about to point this out. That logo next to the littleBits out is definitely MIDI.

      • redgreenblue

        Right, but to be useful (at least to me) it needs MIDI in and out. Mini jacks is fine, as long as I can sync it with Logic.

  • Bram

    The sequencer has MIDI, though only MIDI OUT via a 1/8″ jack.

    • fierywater

      Was just about to point this out. That logo next to the littleBits out is definitely MIDI.

      • redgreenblue

        Right, but to be useful (at least to me) it needs MIDI in and out. Mini jacks is fine, as long as I can sync it with Logic.

  • Andreas

    Hold the phone!!!! That ms-20 could just be a ms-20 with its keys hacked! The ms series keys are prone to transport damage so procedures to remove whole keyboards that have been stomped on are not that uncommon! My guess is that the sequencer is the news and the synth was just there…..

    • Matthieu RochΓ©

      Don’t think so… If you stop the movie, you see that this MS-20 has a few hacks and that these hacks have labels whose fonts are consistent with the rest of the synth. Namely it has a PWM input (really cool, the old MS 20 does not have it standard!) and the trig button is on the right of the panel, with its jack next to it. There is a switch next to the filter, and the junctions seem to be multis. That would be a assive hack if something, and done very professionally…

  • Andreas

    Hold the phone!!!! That ms-20 could just be a ms-20 with its keys hacked! The ms series keys are prone to transport damage so procedures to remove whole keyboards that have been stomped on are not that uncommon! My guess is that the sequencer is the news and the synth was just there…..

    • Matthieu RochΓ©

      Don’t think so… If you stop the movie, you see that this MS-20 has a few hacks and that these hacks have labels whose fonts are consistent with the rest of the synth. Namely it has a PWM input (really cool, the old MS 20 does not have it standard!) and the trig button is on the right of the panel, with its jack next to it. There is a switch next to the filter, and the junctions seem to be multis. That would be a assive hack if something, and done very professionally…

  • J_

    there are new little bits coming from korg with midi, usb midi + audio, and cv i/o + hz/1v conversion. think it was mentioned on this site even.

    http://littlebits.cc/bits/newsynthmodules

  • J_

    there are new little bits coming from korg with midi, usb midi + audio, and cv i/o + hz/1v conversion. think it was mentioned on this site even.

    http://littlebits.cc/bits/newsynthmodules

  • colectivo triangular

    Although it sounds great I would really want the module version in a mini format for a better Eurorack-integration.

  • colectivo triangular

    Although it sounds great I would really want the module version in a mini format for a better Eurorack-integration.

  • D Mullins

    If you have a volca, it could be your midi bridge. Midi in to volca, sync out to the analog sequencer?

  • D Mullins

    If you have a volca, it could be your midi bridge. Midi in to volca, sync out to the analog sequencer?

  • Will

    Video is now marked as private. πŸ™

  • Will

    Video is now marked as private. πŸ™

  • aaron

    sq1. omgs they made it. stop taking my money korg.

  • aaron

    sq1. omgs they made it. stop taking my money korg.

  • Kevin Kennedy

    OH. MY. GOD!!!!! TOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYSSSSSS!!!!!! (runs off screaming and throwing money in Korg’s direction-again)

  • Kevin Kennedy

    OH. MY. GOD!!!!! TOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYSSSSSS!!!!!! (runs off screaming and throwing money in Korg’s direction-again)

  • aaron

    possible the sq-1 wasn’t the more interesting part of this announcement – the more i look @ that MS-20M the more awesome I realize it is. They have both Hz/V and V/Oct inputs now for the oscillators (!), the filter is switchable from front panel, the additional junctions, VCO1->2 sync, PWM modulation input and who knows what else.
    Asking for new updates to old gear instead of just re-issues? Well here you go. This is basically the MS-20-v2..addressing several old wants and complaints while adding new functionality.
    My mini may go up for sale soon.

  • aaron

    possible the sq-1 wasn’t the more interesting part of this announcement – the more i look @ that MS-20M the more awesome I realize it is. They have both Hz/V and V/Oct inputs now for the oscillators (!), the filter is switchable from front panel, the additional junctions, VCO1->2 sync, VCO1->VCO2 FM(!), PWM modulation input and who knows what else.
    Asking for new updates to old gear instead of just re-issues? Well here you go. This is basically the MS-20-v2..addressing several old wants and complaints while adding new functionality.
    My mini may go up for sale soon.

  • Sumsun
  • Sumsun
  • Steef
  • Steef