Cherry Audio Releases The PS-20 Polyphonic Synthesizer

Cherry Audio Releases The PS-20 Polyphonic Synthesizer

Post date:

Fri, 05/21/2021 - 08:24


Naomi Bolton

Cherry Audio continues to expand its lineup of software synthesizers with the release of PS-20. According to Cherry Audio, PS-20 is an ultra-realistic, polyphonic, hot-rodded tribute to the renowned MS-20 by Korg. The MS-20 was released back in 1978 as an affordable alternative to synths such as the ARP Odyssey and Moog Minimoog. It was an era when synth design was still a hotbed for experimentation, and some facets of the MS-20 could be quirky, to say the least.

PS-20 is able to accurately recreate the famous MS-20 sound using dual highpass/lowpass filters. However, the MS-20 was known for more than just its squelchy, screaming sounds. It also has a modular-style patch panel, which Cherry Audio was able to reconfigure by adding many in and out patch points desired by fans of the instrument. In addition, Cherry Audio corrected some of the confusing terminology that plagued the original and threw in a few extras to expand the usability of the PS-20.

Cherry Audio made sure to soup up every part of the instrument by adding plenty of killer new features. These include 16-note polyphony and a unique three-layer, eight-step sequencer with flexible CV outs. The PS-20 also includes beastly distortion, modulation echo with stereo spread, and a lush digital reverb. Cherry Audio has stated that the latter has fantastic spring and plate emulations.

In their announcement, Cherry Audio describes the PS-20 as one of the most quirky and unique instruments that they have ever released. This is thanks to its sometimes unpredictable filter behavior and the tremendous flexibility offered by its patch panel and sequencer. Although the MS-20 failed to find a market initially, by the 90s, it garnered a lot more attention. Madonna's "Ray of Light" record featuring the MS-20 as played by William Orbit also did a lot to make the synth more popular. Korg eventually reissued the MS-20 in miniaturized format, followed later by full-size editions. Check out the video below to see and hear the PS-20 in action and let us know in the comments or on the forum if it can compare to the original hardware.