MS-series origins (was: Re: Equipment prob...)

From dacc
Sent Fri, Feb 13th 1998, 12:57

At 01:32 -0500 2/13/98, Zahir Manek wrote:

>p.s. what was korg thinking when they made the ms series, such a strange
>looking and weird sounding bunch of units. i love them, but i have no idea
>why they released those instruments at the time they did, in the form they
>did, with the features they did.

That's actually a damned good question. When you look at the MS-series
gear, arriving around 1978-80-ish...they really don't make a lot of sense.
All the US manufacturers were moving toward frequently-simple
performance-oriented monosynths, such as the Sequential Pro-One, Moog
Prodigy, Oberheim OB-1 and so on. However, both Korg and Roland persisted
at making lines of patchable synths until up into the early 80s. The one
stray Japanese manufacturer here is Yamaha...who never seems to have made
anything of the sort and instead followed the US party line with the
monophonic second-generation CS synths. Looking at the MS line, also, it
seems rather anachronistic for the time...a patchable monosynth, in two
versions, with an expansion unit, a matching analog sequencer, several
processor units, and a matching vocoder. And this all in addition to the
_very strange_ PS series, with its divide-down-but-still-modular
architecture. Even Roland, who around this time made both the System 100M
and 700 modulars, never made anything this off the wall.
	But then...this is a _very weird_ period in synth development.
Between 1978 and 1983 or so...really only a span of about 5 1/2 years...we
saw what essentially was the death (for the time) of the monosynth, the
emergence of true analog polysynths, CPU control in synths, the arrival of
the big, expensive digital synths followed later by the little, affordable
digital synths, the arrival of the affordable sampler, the final
manufacturing (again, for a while) throes of the modular synths, and the
beginning of the collapse of US manufacturers such as Moog, ARP,
Sequential, and Oberheim. Note that these were the same ones touting the
'modular is dead/performance synths are go' line, also...as opposed to Korg
and Roland, both of whom are thriving nicely. There's probably a moral
there somewhere...





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