Korg NTS-1

125

Digital DIY Synthesizer

  • Complete assembly kit can be easily assembled without soldering
  • Monophonic sound engine
  • The same multi engine as found in Prologue and Minilogue XD synths with VPM waveforms
  • Freely-programmable user oscillator
  • Multimode filter (low pass, high pass, band pass)
  • Digital effects from Prologue and Minilogue XD synths
  • Arpeggiator
  • 3 LFOs
  • 1 Envelope Generator
  • USB powered
  • Integrated speaker
  • Ribbon keyboard
  • Stereo headphone output: 3.5 mm Jack
  • AUX input: 3.5 mm Jack
  • Sync input/output: 3.5 mm Jack
  • MIDI input: 3.5 mm Jack
  • Micro USB port
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 129 x 78 x 39 mm
  • Weight: 124 g
Available since February 2020
Item number 473592
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Number Of Keys 18
Touch-Sensitive No
Aftertouch No
Split Zones No
Modulation Wheel No
Number of simultaneous Voices 1
Sound Engine Digital
MIDI interface 1x In
Storage Medium None
USB-port Yes
Effects Multieffect processor
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 1
Digital Output No
Display Yes
Pedal Connections None
Dimensions 129 x 78 x 39 mm
Weight 0,1 kg
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$79
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125 Customer ratings

4.6 / 5

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85 Reviews

T
Little monster!!
T.o.m.m.nano 23.06.2020
It’s a special synth. Within a tiny box I obtained many things I couldn’t be able to get out of a bigger one. I mostly use it in arpeggiation mode as the ribbon keyboard is not really responsive and sensitive (for playing notes and some melodies) and you may find yourself pressing many times the same key before a sound comes out. I don’t have an external MIDI controller for it, and I prefer the way it is, really really little space occupied for great features. The arpeggiation mode is truly complex and the best of the synth comes out when you explore it deeply.

Furthermore, the effects are amazing. All of them, but I do love the reverb ones, my favourite is the submarine and it’s marvellous.
Delays are sick as well; I love the ping pong.

I found 2 cons:
- it’s digital, but of course we wouldn’t get as many things if it wasn’t
- ribbon keyboard isn’t quite responsive (pity).
the pros may be:
- high quality effects
- many waveforms, many sounds
- complex arpeggiator
- possibility to download other effects and sounds from internet
- very, very small for what it offers

Lastly, for me it's worth the price.
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S
Korg nts-1 is superb value for money
Sander1973 07.01.2023
For 100 euro you cannot find a better synth and effectsunit. Only the reverb is worth the money. I have some minor issues with the unit. It has some noise issues but that is easily fixed with a ground loop isolator in the audio in and out. That you can’t save presets in the unit is another issue. Only system settings can be saved. Also i don’t like the knobs on this unit but that is also easily fixed with some chroma caps. You can also install third party plugins free and paid on the korg nts-1. A no brainer in my opinion.
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Z
Box of Wonders
ZZloop 25.12.2023
- I'm a guitarist and this was my first synth.
- I'm always looking for low budget stuff with great value.
- I have a MIDI keyboard to control the NTS-1.

This synth was a revelation. It was also my introduction to synths in general. At the time of review It's 6+ months since I bought it.

You can get a wide range of different sounds. I don't think of monophonic as a downside.

This box has a very good and versatile Arpeggiator - you can set number of notes, scale in which it plays, type of note change UP,Down,Cont,Random etc. You can really get great lines just by using the arpeggiator.

This box has a very good effects processor. Oh my ... this is a whole different story altogether. There are separate MOD, Delay and Reverb modules and you can run all 3 together. The effects are really good and usable, some combinations sound great together. Like Chorus + Space reverb = instant blade runner :). I would like to mention the "riser" reverb which makes this box capable of making ambient pads and continuous noises - it's not easy to do but work with it - ensemble mod + riser reverb + arpegiattor + VCO cutoff and resonance really low.
The effects can also be used by another device! Just plug another synth in the NTS-1 input and add NTS-1 effects to your other synth. The great thing about this is that you can still play NTS-1 even if you have another synth patched through. So the NTS-1 can process effects for another synth and also adds the same effects to its own notes and you can still play its keyboard (or play it with a MIDI controller). This makes it a companion synth and FX box for any instrument - even guitar!.
And this pairs exceptionally well with Volca Bass.

Downsides. Well for me there are no downsides. There are compromises.
Compromises:
- There is a limited amount of knobs so every control shares a knob with other controls. I learned the controls pretty fast and I would say the combinations are intuitive. When you set one control with the knob and change to another control the knob remains in the same spot so the other control will jump to the value that the knob is physically set to. This means you will change the value of the control each time you switch back to it. This also means that you won't be able to have the controls at the exact place you had them before and every setting you make will be unique. This leads to the next point..
- Settings can't be saved.
- The display is small. Once you get used to it it's enough. It only has 3 (or 4?) characters. It would be nice if every control would have a number from 1-100 displayed when you turn the knob. This way you could write down the exact position for all settings.
- The volume knob is a joke. It's just a small wheel on the side and I think it's linear. You can only set volume roughly. It's hard to balance volume. If you have another synth plugged into it this small wheel becomes your main volume.
- There is some noise always present

The knobs are good and work well.
The keyboard is ok but it's hard to hit the right key and be consistent at it. Sometimes you don't press well enough and it doesn't engage. I use a pencil with a rubber eraser to press the keys. I recommend a MIDI controller. You will need a 3.5 trs to MIDI cable and it has to be Type A cable. Look up on youtube for connection instructions.

Everything works after 6 months and I use it a lot. I don't carry it around and I have it on a board together with other mini synths.

I recommend using a power bank to power it. Make a board with the NTS-1 and a power bank. I also have a mini stereo mixer with 4 inputs and a Volca Bass and Volca Sample. This setup rocks.
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T
Small and powerfull
Tsia 16.12.2021
Although size is like Korg Monotron it has much more features from bigger models, waveforms, great filter, 3 LFO-s, effects.
It comes in kit, so it takes 30 minutes do complete assembly, but it is very easy to do it.

With external MIDI controller or sequencer it becomes serious device.

For MIDI input uses Type A mini connector, details on correct pinout
can be checked here:
provides all details needed for custom modifications and tweaking.
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