Korg NuTekt NTS-1 Digital Synthesizer Kit
Overview by GAK
The Korg NuTekt NTS-1 is an incredibly powerful and fully featured monophonic digital synthesiser. Its power-to-size ratio is enormous, you can easily fit one in your pocket (though we wouldn’t recommend storing yours in that manner).
The NTS-1 is a kit synth, which means you have to build it before you play it! Don’t worry about heating up the soldering iron though, it’s easy to do, only requires a Phillips screwdriver to put together and is a pretty fun process. Some users have even gone so far as to make custom wooden end cheeks for theirs so the potential for personalisation is high.
Once you’ve constructed the synth (and finished off any customisations), you can start to play with and personalise its unique sound.
Its versatile oscillator can produce both traditional analog-style waveforms (Sawtooth, Triangle, Square) and VPM waves, this means that it’s compatible with custom oscillators that were created for the Minilogue XD/XD Module and Prologue. This oscillator’s voice can then be shaped by:
One envelope generator.
One analogue-modelled filter with a wide variety of modes (Low-pass 2/4-pole, High-pass 2/4-pole, Band-pass 2/4-pole and OPEN mode, all with resonance).
As if you weren’t already presented with enough sound sculpting possibilities for a synth of this size and price, the Korg NuTekt NTS-1 also features a high-quality stereo effects engine (Modulation, Delay, Reverb) inspired by the Minilogue XD/XD Module and Prologue. An added bonus is the 3.5mm stereo input, which means that you can use the NTS-1 as a customisable, standalone effects unit too!
Using Korg’s free software, you can create your own custom oscillator types and effects. However, there are a plethora of programmers out there that have already created some fantastic algorithms for you to download and explore.
The built-in ribbon controller is handy for demoing sounds and using the Korg NTS-1 with its super flexible arpeggiator (which features several patterns). You also have the option to control and synchronise the NTS-1 with external hardware, thanks to its SYNC IN, SYNC OUT, MIDI IN and USB ports. This means you can play the NTS-1 with full-size keys or link it up with something like the Volca Beats/Drum/Sample/Keys/FM to create a cool portable rig.
Thanks to the NTS-1’s ability to be powered via USB bus power, you can run it from a standard power bank - true portability!
The Korg NuTekt NTS-1 a brilliant offering from Korg, there aren’t many synths that are this complete at this price point. The ability to use the effects section to process external audio justifies its cost but you’re also getting a cracking mono synth that has a superb digital oscillator - the possibilities are endless!
Overview by Korg
Korg is always creating new ways to experience hands-on, fun music-making.
Now, you can too.
The Nu:Tekt NTS-1 digital KIT is a unique, flexible, and easy DIY synthesizer that you can easily assemble yourself (tool included), without any soldering.
The first of its kind from KORG’s DIY-focused Nu:Tekt brand, NTS-1 packs a powerful synth and multi-effects engine into a compact and highly portable form factor. Its DIY nature means it’s also very customizable. Explore the possibilities!
NTS-1 is also completely compatible with the logue-SDK*, making it possible to create custom oscillators and effects or upload any of the content available for minilogue xd and prologue.
When using 3rd party plugins on the NTS-1 please consult with the developer first as the content may sound differently than with minilogue xd or prologue based on polyphony.
A wide range of sonic possibilities
Belying its size, the Nu:Tekt NTS-1 features a digital oscillator inspired by the MULTI engine as found on the acclaimed prologue and minilogue xd, along with an extremely capable arpeggiator including multiple ranges, scales, and modes, plus dedicated spatial, modulation, and delay sections, each with multiple settings to explore.
With a single monophonic digital oscillator, one multimode filter, on EG, three LFOs, three stereo effect processors, and full arpeggiator, the NTS-1 is a very powerful, flexible, fun-to-explore synth.
The main oscillator can produce Sawtooth, Triangle, Square and VPM waveforms, and can load custom oscillators created from Korg’s logue SDK, which means it’s compatible with content created for prologue and minilogue xd. These waveforms can be easily re-shaped and adjusted just by simply turning a couple of knobs.
A wide selection of filters (Low pass 2/4-pole, High pass 2/4-pole, Band pass 2/4-pole and OPEN mode, all with resonance) give you serious control over the overall tone of the oscillator.
The three onboard effects units are inspired by those on KORG’s minilogue xd, which itself took onboard effects to a whole new level. Numerous reverbs, modulation effects, and delays are available to blend and edit at will, to really finish out your sound creations.
NTS-1 also offers a fun and practical arpeggiator with several patterns available. Scales and numerous note orders including a Random mode are also available to create new and original ideas on the fly. The pattern length can be adjusted (from 1 to 24 steps) and, when synced externally, the step duration can also be adjusted (16th to 64th notes)
Thanks to its ribbon controller, simple interface and display, the NTS-1 can be played and enjoyed very intuitively. Deeper parameter changes are also possible with several combinations of buttons / knobs, furthering the possibilities. Don’t let its size fool you; NTS-1 goes deep but keeps it all easily accessible.
- Keyboard: Ribbon keyboard
- Sound Generation: 1 Digital Oscillator, 1 Multimode filter, 1 EG, 3 LFOs
- Effects: MOD (CHORUS, ENSEMBLE, PHASER, FLANGER), DELAY, REVERB
- Input/output jacks: Headphone jack (3.5mm stereo mini phone jack), AUDIO IN jack (3.5mm stereo mini-phone jack), SYNC IN jack (3.5 mm stereo mini-phone jack, 20V maximum input level), SYNC OUT jack (3.5 mm stereo mini-phone jack, 5V output level), MIDI IN connector (3.5 mm stereo mini-phone jack) connector, USB port (micro B type)
- Power supply: USB bus power mode, Current consumption: 500 mA or less
- Dimensions: (W x D x H)129 mm x 78 mm x 39 mm / 5.08” x 3.07” x 1.54”
- Weight: 124 g / 4.37 oz
- Included items: USB cable, Owner’s manual, Screwdriver
No upgrades available
For the price this is an amazing synth, the affects are worth the price alone especially as you can run audio from another synth through it. The downsides are that you can't save your settings to a computer without using a third party software package, and it doesn't have a separate audio out socket, if you want to record you have to use the headphone socket.
Good sound but there is room for improvement to the specification
A nice little beast!
The more I've been using the NTS-1, the more interesting it gets!
Fantastic DIY synth. The effects alone make it a must buy with the ability to load custom oscillators and effects. Wow.