Sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of choice when it comes to music-making kit. From the rare classics through to the latest toys, there’s always something to turn your head and demand your attention. But no matter what comes along, everyone has their own favourite – an essential tool, a go-to piece, something they just couldn’t do without. Me and My… is a celebration of these tools. Here we speak to SM mainstay Sami Liuski about his Korg MS-10.
SM: Sami, you’ve picked a bit of a classic in the MS-10, but for those not familiar with it can you tell us a bit about it?
Sami: The MS-10 was released by Korg in 1978. It’s a single-VCO synthesiser that’s made a bit more flexible than your ordinary analogue mono synth by the semi-modular design.
SM: What do you love about it and what sounds do you use it for?
I love its sheer raw power and the resonance sounds nasty! It sounds very thick for a single oscillator synth. The oscillators are really warm so you can get nice and round bass tones really easily. I would even say that it sounds dirtier and warmer than its bigger sister, the Korg MS-20.
But what I really like and what I use it for most in my sample collections is the filter input. I use this to process external sounds, running all kinds of stuff through it from the computer (or other synths and samplers) and recording them back in. Most, if not all, of my sample collections feature this part of the MS-10 in some way or another. Be it filtering and fattening up bass riffs from a sterile soft synth or giving that extra bite to percussive sounds I go back to MS-10 again and again when designing sounds. You’ll hear this technique on many releases like Terrace House, French House and Nu Disco.
I also use it for FX sounds. You can get lots of crazy sounds of it thanks to its flexible modulation generator. Its continually variable wave shapes and multitude of patching capabilities means the range of FX sounds you can coax out of it are huge – one minute you’ve got ambulance sirens then next it’s the sound of sizzling bacon! I used it a lot for the FX, builds and fills in EDM.
SM: Looking at the photos, yours doesn’t look like your standard MS-10…
Sami: It’s a bit of special edition with the wooden mahogany side panels. It doesn’t affect the sound (I think!) but makes the whole thing rather nice to look at in the studio!
You can check out more of Sami’s packs in the Sample Magic store.