Book Recommendation: PATCH & TWEAK with KORG (by Kim Bjørn)

Kim Björn is to be admired. His series of books is growing (and growing). Each individual book contains an impressive array of interviews, selected information, specialist’s knowledge, synth documentation, great pictures and much more. In addition, one clearly notices that Kim Björn is a connoisseur of the subject, that he’s a skilled graphic designer and that lots of people were involved in the finalization of such a comprehensive book. Many of the particularly excellent vintage synth pictures are from Peter M. Mahr, for example.

However, the cover of PATCH & TWEAK with KORG may be a bit irritating at first. Volca, MS-20 Mini, ARP 2600M … all new instruments? A promotional book for Korg? Well, maybe, but it’s much more than that. This Oevre includes an incredible number of instruments, it spans a large historical arc – from vintage ARP and Korg instruments to the successful digital era (M1 etc.), from later Oasys superlatives to current prologue / minilogue instruments, to the Volca series, the MS-20 Mini and the ARP (Korg) Odyssey / 2600 / 2600M.

There’s also the Triton, the Radias, those Electribes, the Legacy software … practically all Korg instruments are listed, making perfectly clear how innovative the Japanese/American company was (and still is). Then there are many interviews, tips, side notes, musical suggestions. And the foreword by Kitaro (busy musician with a special faible for the Korg 700 mono synthesizer) is just as worth reading as the history of KORG. Also included: A chapter about vintage ARP synths, so that the arc from the original 2600 or Odyssey to current Korg replicas is just as coherent as the rest of the book.

Incidentally, Kim Björn understood how to address the Korg PS series in the correct chronological order. In literature, these instruments are usually named according to their number – PS-3100/PS-3200/PS-3300 – in ascending order, although the chronological sequence is different and, above all, a major technical turning point in synth history (the upcoming programmable poly synthesizers such as the Korg PS-3200) does not come into its own. Even if there are minimal “whoops” in the book (as with any printed work), one can congratulate Kim Björn on his conscientious journalistic work.

Absolutely worth reading!


… is an in-depth look at Korg’s diverse collection of patchable synthesizers – the MS-20 mini, ARP 2600 M, and volca modular, as well as the SQ-1 and SQ-64 sequencers and the NTS-2 Oscilloscope.

  • Packed with patching tips, and synthesis tricks
  • 25+ interviews with artists and engineers
  • Foreword by legendary composer and musician Kitaro
  • 216 colorful pages printed on high-quality certified-ecofriendly paper

Explore the principles of semi-modular synthesis, and supercharge your creativity with dozens of tips, techniques, and patches. Synth novices, experienced professionals, Korg enthusiasts, and ARP lovers alike will find this book an essential resource.

25+ interviews with artists and engineers
Unlock the creativity and techniques of Pete Townshend, Jean-Michel Jarre, Richard Devine, Andrew Huang, Panic Girl, Legowelt, Red Means Recording, Maude Vôs, Kabuki, Moe Shop, Kristin Hsiao, TALsounds, Robby Stambler, ALOO, ChrisLody, Olga Prudey, On High Mountains, and Loopop. Meet the creative minds of Korg’s great history, from Fumio Mieda and Junichi Ikeuchi to Tatsuya Takahashi and the new generation of Korg engineers, as well as the keepers of the ARP legacy: Dina Pearlman, David Friend, and David Mash.


Filed under 2022, Books, General

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman,, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP,, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.

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