MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

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MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby madmarkmagee » Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:28 am

Hello everyone. Pulling my hair out over which one I should buy. Some pro's and con's of each I have come up with.

Pittsburgh

Pros

About 100 bucks cheaper were I live in Australia then the MS - 20 mini.

Real VCO (don't actually have anything with one of them).

Eurorack (very expandable/easy to made more flexible).

Smaller size factor then MS 20 mini, no space wasted with keyboard. Very important to me at least.

Signal Spliter (very useful I understand ;) )

Cons

Limited out of box(1 vco 1 12db filter etc)


MS 20

Pros

Much more out of the box features (2 OSC/multifilter/ 2 EG's etc)

MS 20 Filter ;)

Cons

Not sure if it has true VCO's (Does Digitally stabilized just mean DCO or something else?) (Oscillators sound very tuned and I guess "flat", not that this is bad but everything I have is like this lol) (DSI went to the trouble of putting a "analog" function in their keyboards lol)

Can't properly interface with anything else (Hz octave V per octave thingy).

Thoughts very much appreciated (:
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby Jabberwalky » Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:51 am

I interface my Ms20 mini with my Paid9700s modular all the time. The PGH would be good if you have other gear to send CV to. Also, the Ms20 mini definitely has full VCOs. Whatever they meant by digitally stabilized, it doesn't effect the overall tone. (I'm guessing thats a way to say that the Tempco on the VCO is digitally controlled or something)
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:09 am

The MS-20 Mini's oscillators are definitely VCOs; the oscillator is quite stable once warmed up, but there's a noticeable if minor drift during the first fifteen minutes or so of powering on, and it sounds nothing like a DCO synth.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby madmarkmagee » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:45 am

Jabberwalky wrote: (I'm guessing thats a way to say that the Tempco on the VCO is digitally controlled or something)


commodorejohn wrote:The MS-20 Mini's oscillators are definitely VCOs; the oscillator is quite stable once warmed up, but there's a noticeable if minor drift during the first fifteen minutes or so of powering on, and it sounds nothing like a DCO synth.


ok thanks, was wondering about that.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby Stab Frenzy » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:24 am

I'd get the Pittsburgh if you want to get into euro, otherwise the ms-20. If you buy the Pittsburgh you're gonna end up spending more to expand it, just wait and see. :) That's a positive by the way.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby GuyaGuy » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:44 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:I'd get the Pittsburgh if you want to get into euro, otherwise the ms-20. If you buy the Pittsburgh you're gonna end up spending more to expand it, just wait and see. :) That's a positive by the way.

And you can always expand by getting an MS-20-style filter if you want that sound.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby analoglsd » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:37 am

I've only played the MS-20mini once for about 15 minutes, but it sounded very similar to my vintage MS-20 , which is one of my all-time favorite synths.
Honestly, IMO,the MS-20mini wipes the floor with the Pittsburgh System 1. It can just do way more, and has more sonic character than the Pittsburgh stuff. (I've owned a few Pitts modules) h**l, the patching options would be more interesting on the MS-20.(sample and hold, reverse envelopes, ect...)
Plus, all of the actual 'synthesizer' functions are jammed into one module on the System 1. From what I've read, that module has some audio bleed issues, and I've read numerous threads with people having troubles with the MIDI2 module as well.(FYI:for all I know these issues have been ironed out, and this is all 2nd hand Internet info...)
Also, if you're leaning towards the eurorack format, and you end up getting into it, chances are, you'll probably end up selling the entire System 1, with the exception of the Outs module.
As far as the Hz/V issue goes, there is a euro module made by The Harvestman called the English Tear which will convert Hz/V to V/Oct.
If you had the System 1 and the MSmini, you could replace the MIDI2 module with the English Tear and have clear communication between the two, which is obviously the ideal situation here. ;)

I'm a total eurorack enthusiast, and that's where I spend most of my time when making music, but my vote is for the MS-20mini in this situation.

BTW: last weekend I was recording my girlfriend, and we broke out with the old MS-20 to track a bass line. It hadn't been turned on in a couple weeks, and was dead-on in tune, right when we plugged it in.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby zaphod betamax » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:16 pm

Even better is the Ms-20 kt keyboard. Both filter styles and Fullsized keys,
Plus I know I am amongst 1300 lucky owners of this re-issue!
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby nuketifromorbit » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:38 pm

Just a word of warning, both the pitts synth box and block have an issue with the lfo bleeding into the signal path even at lower frequencies.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby Stab Frenzy » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:50 pm

Does the Box as well? I knew the Block did (I have four of them) but I thought they fixed it for the Box. :/
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby nuketifromorbit » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:12 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Does the Box as well? I knew the Block did (I have four of them) but I thought they fixed it for the Box. :/


I owned a synth box briefly (the euro module not the cell version) and can confirm that the lfo still bleed into the audio. Another fellow over at muffwiggler experienced the same issue.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby Stab Frenzy » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:11 pm

Oh that's a bummer.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby pflosi » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:25 pm

So how's that 4-voice coming along, Stabby? :)
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby garranimal » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:16 pm

I would save the extra cash and get the System 10+. There's virtually no expansion space in the 48u case. The MIDI2 module limited functions compared to the MIDI3 module. The Block does not have the LPG with snappy Ping mode that the Box has, nor does it have the supremely cool Blade Wave.
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Re: MS 20 MINI vs Pittsburgh Modular System 1 Cell 48

Postby Stab Frenzy » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:05 am

pflosi wrote:So how's that 4-voice coming along, Stabby? :)

Well when I got to the keyboard scanning circuit I realised I needed to learn a little bit more about programming so I started doing a programming course online through edX, which led to me going back to Uni to do an Electronic Engineering degree (with honours) which I'm now just over a quarter of the way through. I'm beginning to understand why Tom hasn't got the SoFV on the shelves yet, and that thing didn't even have a keyboard!

I had a scaled-down (keyboardless) version of my 4-voice working for a while, but it wasn't as much fun playing it over midi and it sounded pretty wonky as the intonation went in and out due to things not tracking perfectly. The keyboard scanner I'm designing will track the frequency of each voice and update the LUT for the CV for each key to keep things in much better tune.

The positive side to this is I'm working on a range of modules as well now, with the mid/side one out and some more on the way. None of that would have happened if I didn't bite off more than I could chew with the 4-voice. :thumbleft:
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