Essential trick with iMS20/Memphis

If you own Moog's Model D app you'll know that the feedback circuit is essential for many of the timbres it's most famous for.

The iMS20/Memphis has a similar trick up it's sleeve but it's not quite so obvious. Having said that, it's capable of so much more.

As you can see, you can feed the virtual headphone jack to the external signal processor before feeding it back into VCO mixer pre the filter. This is actually a lot more powerful than Moogs feedback circuit as you can process the signal before feeding it back into the VCO mixer. For bass sounds I like to filter the bottom end out first so all the saturation goodness is occurring on the higher harmonics one it its the main filters (keeping out of the way of the lower fundamental frequencies).

One word of warning, the signal level on the External Signal Processor starts clipping at a value of 1.00 (out of 10.00), as the headphone output is far hotter than general audio rate signals in the modular section of iMS20, so less is more unless you want a gnarly clipping mess (all good if that was your goal). This feedback trick completely changes the character of the iMS20 in a very good way.

This how I've used it in a typical bass patch.

You'll find that everything responds differently once you feed the headphone socket signal into the filter inclusive of the envelopes so you'll often want to exaggerate settings from their previous state. You can get some really lovely timbres by exaggerating the high-pass filter (especially the resonance/peak) before hitting the low-pass.

Apologies for not sharing an instant gratification patch. It's intentional, as you only get a feel for iMS20 when you start tweaking away. Much like Odyssei it can go through massive timbral shifts with what seems to be minor tweaks, but you get a feel for it pretty quickly.

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Comments

  • Nice one, thanks.

  • This is the best secret patch, and KORG did an admirable job emulating the insanity

  • @jrjulius not only secret, but damn simple too! ;)

  • How close can the iMS-20 come to getting the sound in this YouTube video (which I think is the technique being described, no)? I don't have iMS-20.


    tx

  • iMS20 can give a reasonable facsimile of the recent MS20 hardware clones but its not as ‘unruly’ as an original MS20. Odyssei is a far closer facimile to the real Odyssey.

    That’s not to take away from iMS20/Memphis, the headphone feedback trick is just one of many that its semi modular nature makes possible. I think the more valuable quetion to ask is whether it provides a range of unique (and musically useful) timbres that are unique on iOS and the answer is a definite yes. I just wished they updated the emulation engine to the modern day standards of their Odyssey emulation.

    The bundled presets are a very poor illustration of what it’s capable of, but if you disable the FX (which have tendency to drown out the base timbre and consequently make it sound weedy in comparison to Odessei), the presets can be vey useful starting points for experimentation. The real beauty of iMS20 is that it’s a really easy modular design to get into. Far easier than Moog’s Model 15, which can be really intimidating if you’ve never used a modular before (however Model 15 is far more powerful and has a far better VA emulation).

    To get Memphis sounding closer to an old school MS20 (or a modded modern day clone), experement with the new iFX Saturation effect. That’s the standout new edition for me. It can go from subtle warming to screaming banshee, whilst giving you lots of tonal control. And for me, an MS20 sounds at its best when its screaming the house down! :)

  • I seem to recall somebody claimed the ESP section doesn't work in iMS-20. I'd test it myself except I'm not familiar with how to do it either.

  • edited March 2

    iMS20 gadget has been the best part of the update, so worth buying the app for it.

    im still on the fence with polysix...is it really much different than MonoPoly?

  • One ’thing’ I wish Korg would have added to iMS-20 and the Gadget would have been CV in for PWM. I mean it’s a digital re-creation so surely that is doable :)

  • Cool tip, I'll have to try that out. iMS20 in Gadget certainly seems to open up a whole lot of new possibilities.

    I wonder if this kind of stuff is possible with the external audio in?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJsI4_OLvcU

  • edited March 2

    @sysexual said:
    iMS20 gadget has been the best part of the update, so worth buying the app for it.

    Absolutely

    TBH at this stage I’m quite happy with Phoenix. Sure it would be nice to have options but I imagine all those poly synths will draw a lot of CPU especially when using more instances. I’m content with Phoenix and IOdyssei for now.

  • @sysexual said:
    iMS20 gadget has been the best part of the update, so worth buying the app for it.
    im still on the fence with polysix...is it really much different than MonoPoly?

    iPolysix has some beautiful sound characteristics, so it‘s a nice synth to have. Gadget just resurrected it for me after I had it sleeping on my iPad for years now. And it‘s on sale, right?

    On the other hand, iMonoPoly feels a bit like Polysix on steroids, and has much more, err...knobs, so if you you know how to tweak a synth, it might provide you almost anything that IPolysix does, and much more.

  • Yeah for me the iMs20 has re-vitalised Gadget for me, feels the most alive synth in there. Both that and iPolysix being included has now justified me buying them originally and not using the standalones much (although I recommend iMs20 standalone over iPolysix).

  • @GovernorSilver said:
    I seem to recall somebody claimed the ESP section doesn't work in iMS-20. I'd test it myself except I'm not familiar with how to do it either.

    The External Signal Processor section in iMS20 can't process audio from outside of the app itself but can process the audio signal from within itself. The headphone trick as just one example of this self-processing in action.

    However as has been pointed out elsewhere, Memphis can process other Gadget tracks. This alone makes the 'gadgetised' version of iMS20 a powerful addition to Gadget 2.0.

    Ref iMS-20 vs iPolySix I still say that on balance that iPolySix is more flexible as a solus purchase at the sale price (particularly if you don't already own iMonoPoly). This is based on flexibility alone. iMS20 has far more character, but it's a monophonic synth.

  • Worth noting that the standalone ims20 and ipolysix also include ‘analogue’ drum machines which are nice to have.

    I’d love Korg to gadgetise the drum machines too as separate gadgets.

  • @klownshed said:
    Worth noting that the standalone ims20 and ipolysix also include ‘analogue’ drum machines which are nice to have.

    I’d love Korg to gadgetise the drum machines too as separate gadgets.

    To be a little more accurate, iMS20 is 7 part multi-timbral. The drum sounds are synthesized by multi-timbral iMS20 instances, and there's nothing stopping the user from using the 'drum' slots in the mixer for other synth sounds. :)

    The demo song SyNc is a great example of this in action.

    For obvious reasons, this feature is only in iMS20 not Memphis.

  • I wonder if this kind of stuff is possible with the external audio in?

    Indeed you can Richard. If you click on the 'Signal In' jack in Memphis it allows you to choose another Gadget Track for processing.

    I must admit I missed that one myself as I'd assumed it would follow the precedent set by iMS20 of only being able to process itself. But another keen-eyed artist here on the AB forum spied that particular beauty. Apologies, I forget the username in question (but props to you none-the-less). :)

  • IPolysix and iMS20 stand-alone both have drum machines built in. If you like analog drum machines it’s nice to have extra tones. > @jonmoore said:

    @klownshed said:
    Worth noting that the standalone ims20 and ipolysix also include ‘analogue’ drum machines which are nice to have.

    I’d love Korg to gadgetise the drum machines too as separate gadgets.

    To be a little more accurate, iMS20 is 7 part multi-timbral. The drum sounds are synthesized by multi-timbral iMS20 instances, and there's nothing stopping the user from using the 'drum' slots in the mixer for other synth sounds. :)

    The demo song SyNc is a great example of this in action.

    For obvious reasons, this feature is only in iMS20 not Memphis.

    That’s just saying what I did with more words ;-)

    By ‘extra tones’ I was referring to ipolysix having different sounds to ims20. I’m full aware of how they use the same sound engine for the drums as for the synths. Which is awesome.

    With both ims20 and ipolysix you have a wider range of analogue drum machine tones. I’m a sucker for analogue drum machine sounds so this is a good thing.

    The gadgetised versions don’t include preset drum sounds so you’d have to export some from the standalone versions to use in gadget or program them from scratch.

    It’s also nice having the full 6 part xoxo drum machines in the standalone apps. I don’t think i could be bothered to sequence drums by having multiple instances within gadget.

    I don’t mind doing that kind of thing with auv3s in a nicer sequencer but gadget is fiddly and unrewarding as a sequencer for me.

    I won’t complain about them not being auv3 as I bought them long before auv3s existed but I doubt I’d buy them today. I’ve not bought any more Korg apps since (even though iOdyssy is very tempting) as I am much more productive with auv3 than I am with iAA or standalone apps. Or gadget.

  • That’s just saying what I did with more words ;-)

    Guilty as charged, I'm nothing if not wordy, as @richardyot can attest to! ;)

    But I think it's also worth stating that iMS20/Memphis can't touch the Bram Bos apps for percussion synthesis. That's not to say you can't get good percussive tones with iMS20, I just wouldn't purchase iMS20 on the strength of that ability alone.

    iMS20 is a brilliant learning tool with minimal DSP overhead and that's reason enough to purchase it at $14.99 in my book.

  • @jonmoore said:

    That’s just saying what I did with more words ;-)

    Guilty as charged, I'm nothing if not wordy, as @richardyot can attest to! ;)

    :-)

    But I think it's also worth stating that iMS20/Memphis can't touch the Bram Bos apps for percussion synthesis. That's not to say you can't get good percussive tones with iMS20, I just wouldn't purchase iMS20 on the strength of that ability alone.

    Agreed. I have Ruismaker fm and noir and they’re both excellent. Will probably pickup the original Ruismaker too at some point. But I do quite like the drum machines in the Korg app. Just thought it was worth pointing out as they’re not in the gadgets.

    iMS20 is a brilliant learning tool with minimal DSP overhead and that's reason enough to purchase it at $14.99 in my book.

    Yeah. It’s a lot of fun and has that nice analogue sequencer that can help you make different patterns than you would with other methods.

    I have recently been rescuing some old kit from the loft and have been rebuilding my outboard rack. As part of my plans I will be using my iPad as an external midi synth (using cables!) sequenced from my Mac and running it through my outboard gear (compressor, valve pre&eq, etc) so iMS20 and iPolysix will get a new lease of life.

    It will be very different to how I use the apps on my iPad in mobile-mode. For which auv3 is now king.

  • I am having definite problems with Memphis freezing and becoming unresponsive at times- anyone else?

  • @robosardine said:
    I am having definite problems with Memphis freezing and becoming unresponsive at times- anyone else?

    What iOS device are you using? I've been reading a few reports ref the iPhone version being more resource heavy, and older iPads too. I get the impression that it's the usual dot zero release shenanigans and something that will be optimized in upcoming updates. One of Gadget's strengths has always been its DSP efficiency.

  • Cool. It really does change the character. Very nice indeed.

  • @jonmoore said:

    @robosardine said:
    I am having definite problems with Memphis freezing and becoming unresponsive at times- anyone else?

    What iOS device are you using? I've been reading a few reports ref the iPhone version being more resource heavy, and older iPads too. I get the impression that it's the usual dot zero release shenanigans and something that will be optimized in upcoming updates. One of Gadget's strengths has always been its DSP efficiency.

    It’s an Air 2 with os 12.0.

  • @robosardine said:

    It’s an Air 2 with os 12.0.

    On paper that should be fine. Is it working well as iMS20?

  • How much can you muck with the sound output of other gadgets using this method? Like say routing a Marseille synth patch thru ms-20 ... can it make something mediocre sound that much better? Just curious - as on the fence about picking ms20 up.

  • @jonmoore said:

    @robosardine said:

    It’s an Air 2 with os 12.0.

    On paper that should be fine. Is it working well as iMS20?

    Yes it seems fine with iMS20.
    I think it may have been caused by going back and forward to this forum to copy the knob positions suggested in various threads?

  • edited March 2

    @halftone - It's a great toolset that provides a lot of freedom for wrangling the source material to something completely new. Whilst on one hand, you can think of it as a reasonable quality array of filters, it's also a brilliant envelope follower.

    Apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs here. An envelope follower allows you to create control voltages to control other other aspects of a synth engine. In Memphis, you'll see three jacks that allow you to send the input signal in different ways. 1.) The F-V converter Out, which analyses incoming frequency content and turns it into control voltages. 2.) The Envelope Out, which creates an attack-sustain-release type control voltage. 3.) And lastly, a trigger signal which is great if you want to create percussive sounds that follow a source track in Gadget.

    But you can of course, run the signal post the Bandpass filter circuitry as I did with the headphone socket trick, or even post the Signal Level attenuverter without any pre-processing to other input jacks in Memphis (these potential input jack sockets highlight to let you know which ones you can link to).

    As I've mentioned before, Memphis doesn't simulate a hardware MS20 as well as Odyssei models a hardware Odyssey, but it's reasonably close. And when you overdrive it, in combination with the iFX Saturator, it can make some really cool sounds out of the source material. That cliché about imagination being the most critical aspect of one's creativity springs to mind. ;)

  • @jonmoore said:
    @halftone - It's a great toolset that provides a lot of freedom for wrangling the source material to something completely new. Whilst on one hand, you can think of it as a reasonable quality array of filters, it's also a brilliant envelope follower.

    Apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs here. An envelope follower allows you to create control voltages to control other other aspects of a synth engine. In Memphis, you'll see three jacks that allow you to send the input signal in different ways. 1.) The F-V converter Out, which analyses incoming frequency content and turns it into control voltages. 2.) The Envelope Out, which creates an attack-sustain-release type control voltage. 3.) And lastly, a trigger signal which is great if you want to create percussive sounds that follow a source track in Gadget.

    But you can of course, run the signal post the Bandpass filter circuitry as I did with the headphone socket trick, or even post the Signal Level attenuverter without any pre-processing to other input jacks in Memphis (these potential input jack sockets highlight to let you know which ones you can link to).

    As I've mentioned before, Memphis doesn't simulate a hardware MS20 as well as Odyssei models a hardware Odyssey, but it's reasonably close. And when you overdrive it, in combination with the iFX Saturator, it can make some really cool sounds out of the source material. That cliché about imagination being the most critical aspect of one's creativity springs to mind. ;)

    Thanks!! And great explanation.. Sold- I'll probably pick it up today.

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