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Korg iMS-20 iPad App Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £22.99

Arguably one of the most ambitious apps available for the iPad, the Korg iMS-20 seeks to replicate Korg’s classic MS-20 (plus a pair of Kaoss pads to boot) exactly. This knobs ‘n’ keys synthesiser was released way back in 1978, but remained popular long after because of its capacity for scrungy, dirty sounds. It’s better at creating dance music than Rick Wakeman-style keyboard tomfoolery.

In its arsenal is a drum machine, synth, mixer, virtual keyboard, Kaoss pad interface, effects board and a full sequencer. The only hole we can poke in its functionality list is that the synthesiser itself is monophonic, and so can only play one note at a time – but then so was the MS-20 so we can hardly blame the app for that. i-MS20

There are ways around this, though, as there’s fundamentally not that much difference between the synth line and each of the six drum machine parts. A little tinkering and creativity is required, but the Korg iMS-20 can be used to make much more complete and professional-sounding compositions than Apple’s Garageband.

Unlike Garageband, though, this app isn’t beginner-friendly. There’s a learning curve that will completely put off some users – the screenshot above is pretty much what you’re subjected to upon first booting-up. Not all that accessible, is it? The Korg iMS-20 is well worth giving up a few Angry Birds sessions for, though, as it’s a commendable achievement worth supporting – although at £22.99, you have a right to expect a fair bit from it.


At first it seems impenetrable, but give the Korg iMS-20 some of your time and you’ll find it’s one of the best iOS music-making apps there is. 

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