Tag Archive | control voltage

Korg MS-04 Modulation Pedal

The Korg MS-04 accessory was contemporary with the MS-series analogue monosynths in the late ’70s and early ’80s. It looks like a standard volume pedal, and weighs in around 1kg owing to its sturdy metal construction. Essentially it’s a bender pedal that provides a variable voltage to control your synthesizer. It also provides an LFO with triangle and positive-only square waveforms, and a random output that is sampled at the LFO rate. The range of the LFO goes from around 1s/cycle at the slow end to 70ms/cycle at the fast end (around 1Hz to 14Hz). It adds a glissando feature, which puts the bender pedal through the sample-and-hold instead. It has two outputs, which can be switched on and off, and which can output either the LFO alone, the pedal voltage alone, or a mix of both. One output runs at ±1.2V peak, the other at about ±5V. An LED indicates the LFO rate. It is powered by two 9V PP3-style batteries.

Inside, there is a small PCB with a few dozen components on, and a whole lot of wiring connecting the panel-mounted pots, switches, and jacks. Some components are soldered directly to the panel parts, and there are multiple wires of the same colour that don’t always run to the same points, so trouble-shooting is slightly messy. Luckily, it’s a simple enough circuit, and the spaghetti wiring is the only thing that need cause any headaches here.

Inside the Korg MS-04 modulation pedal. So many wires!

Inside the Korg MS-04 modulation pedal. So many wires!

The only schematic I could find online was blurry and hard to read, and lacks component numbering. I did my best to clear it up, and added the missing information. Unfortunately, half way through, my software crashed and my only saved file was of lower quality than I would have liked – hence the soft text over about half the image. I’d already put plenty of time in by this point, so it’ll have to do!

My additions are self-explanatory, I think. Parts that are not numbered are soldered directly onto panel hardware. The only missing values are the diodes – D2 to D5 are plain old signal diodes, D1 is a zener that I failed to make note of during repair. Sorry.

There seems to have been a change in some component values during production. These are labelled with ‘1’ and ‘2’ in black squares. The unit I took my details from had the lower value resistors and larger capacitor at points ‘2’.

There is no protection against only one battery being installed. The unit is switched on by the insertion of a cable into either output jack, so it is advised to remove the connections before fitting/replacing the batteries.

Korg MS-04 schematic, enhanced with component designations

Korg MS-04 schematic, enhanced with component designations (JPG)

Here’s the Korg MS-04 schematic as PDF download.

And here’s a quick video of it working:

Moog Werkstatt: adding a proper Gate input

Note: I make reference to the Moog Werkstatt schematics throughout. Copyright prevents me reposting them here; they can be found on Moog’s website.

In its original form, the Werkstatt’s own keyboard generates the Gate signal to trigger the envelope, and there is no obvious ‘Gate Input’ on the header. The existing Gate Out can be (ab?)used as a Gate In, but it’s not ideal, because as with most of these header points, anything coming in here isn’t buffered from the internal signal.

Adding a proper Gate In to the Werkstatt is straightforward enough, though a little more involved than the CV input; my approach doesn’t require the cutting of any traces, the only hack-work being the hole in the enclosure for a jack socket. It does require the end of one wire to be soldered to rather small SMT (surface-mount) components though, so you’ll need a suitably fine tip for your iron and a steady hand.

Werkstatt gate mod schematic

Werkstatt Gate Input mod schematic


How it Works

The Werkstatt’s keyboard scanner outputs a logic high at U19 pin 3 when it detects a key press. As well as stopping the scan and loading the current key value into a latch (which feeds the VCO CV), this signal is buffered to provide a Gate, and differentiated to provide a Trigger. The Key On signal is buffered inversely by the Schmitt trigger of U14-F before being flipped back positive by U14-D. In order to add our external gate without affecting any other part of the keyboard circuit, we only need to bring the input of U14-D low. In this way, we can use both the Werkstatt’s own keyboard and an external Gate without having to switch between control sources.

The solution is to use a simple NPN in saturation to take U14 pin 9 to ground when its base is taken high. In other words, a positive external Gate will take the gate inverter input low, just as does the keyboard gate detector. Because there is a diode in the way (D14), our added transistor is isolated from the keyboard scanner clock and data-bus, so there won’t be any accidental mis-readings of the keyboard CV.

Another advantage of this solution is that the Werkstatt’s own envelope retains its Gate/Trigger operating modes, as our external Gate also gets differentiated; we are activating the Werkstatt’s envelope, not over-riding it.

The modification takes just four components and a socket, and fits easily on the PCB. The hardest part is soldering the wire from the collector of the transistor to the appropriate point on the Werkstatt’s circuit – I chose to solder it across the connection between R89 and C64, as the two solder points make a convenient place to lay a thin wire and give it a firmer purchase.

I presume you’ll be doing both CV and Gate input mods; the socket ground can be wired to the CV In socket ground, which I wired to a solder tag around the nearby PCB mounting screw (see also the CV Input page).

Werkstatt gate input mod smt solder point

Werkstatt Gate Input mod SMT solder point


Werkstatt gate mod extra components highlighted

Werkstatt Gate Input mod extra components highlighted (PCB top)


Werkstatt gate mod PCB rear highlighted

Werkstatt Gate Input mod extra components highlighted (PCB rear)


Parts Used:

33k 1/4W 1% MF resistor
100k 1/4W 1% MF resistor
1N4148 signal diode
BC549C NPN transistor
1/8” panel mount socket

These parts are what I had handy. Pretty much any NPN with reasonable gain can be used here, and the signal diode is a generic one.

Moog Werkstatt: adding a proper CV input

Note: I make reference to the Moog Werkstatt schematics throughout. Copyright prevents me reposting them here; they can be found on Moog’s website.

The existing header on the Werkstatt allows for a VCO pitch CV to be patched in. Although the pitch can already be modulated by either the LFO or the EG (selected using a panel switch), the patch header input means you can use both modulation sources simultaneously – or an external CV, if you can cable it up.

When you start wanting to connect control sources to the Werkstatt, one problem is pretty obvious: the patch pin header provides a signal path, but there’s no ground. The user manual suggests hacking cables together, taking a ground from the cable to a screw on the case (or the ground on the audio output jack), but this isn’t a very neat solution. Better to add a proper CV input jack so you can directly and simply hook up your external CV source using standard cables.

Moog themselves (at the time of writing) do sell an add-on jack board, which provides both a row of minijacks and a signal ground, but I decided against buying it for two reasons: 1) it still doesn’t offer a true Gate input, which I felt necessary; 2) the jack board replaces the patch pin header – adding mods like mine means you can use them and the patch pins simultaneously, giving more possibilities.

How it Works

The circuit is very simple. Looking at p.2 of the official schematic, we can see the existing header CV input is mixed in via a resistor R46 and trimmer VR5. This trimmer can be carefully adjusted to give a 1V/octave response for your external CV.

It would be super-easy to simply wire a jack to the CV point on the header, but this has the disadvantage that inputs are not isolated from each other. Better (and still easy) is to replicate the two passive components and route them to the same mix point.

Here are my additions to the circuit:

Werkstatt CV modification schematic

Werkstatt CV modification schematic

Here is the mod in situ:

Werkstatt CV input mod (top)

Werkstatt CV input mod (top)

Werkstatt CV input mod, rear

Werkstatt CV input mod (rear)

The handiest solder points for connecting the extra components to the existing circuit are TP14 and TP10. Either will do:

Werkstatt CV input mod routing

Werkstatt CV input mod routing

The jack is wired to be brought to the side panel beneath the header. In this photo the Gate mod jack is also in place. The jack grounds are wired together, and then to a solder tag that connects to the nearby screw post. The existing screw is long enough to accommodate a washer or two:

Werkstatt mod ground point

Werkstatt mod ground point

Drilling the hole in the case is simple and quick, and a label finishes the job:

Werkstatt with CV and Gate mods

Werkstatt with CV and Gate mods

The accompanying Gate Input mod is also detailed on this site.


Parts Used

68k 1/4W 1% MF resistor
100k trimmer
1/8” panel mount socket
3mm solder tag
3mm washers (x2)

Moog Rogue: adding a Filter CV input

The Rogue in its original form includes keyboard CV and Gate inputs and outputs. It’s a slightly odd arrangement of TRS (stereo) jacks – one for the CV, with the input on one terminal and the output on another, plus signal ground, while the Gate connector has an even more awkward arrangement of short-to-ground on one terminal and positive trigger on another, either of which can act as input or output. It’s not great. But it does work, providing you have the right cables.

Rather than split these into separate jacks, which would be a handy mod, I just use custom made cables for my interconnects between CV devices. However, the Rogue lacks a CV input for the filter, which I thought might make a useful addition. It’s a simple enough job.

I decided to use a 3.5mm minijack for the sake of convenience. Pick a spot on the rear panel and drill a suitable hole:

photo showing a newly drilled hole for the Moog Rogue filter CV input modification

Freshly drilled hole for the Filter CV input jack


photo showing a newly drilled hole for the Moog Rogue filter CV input modification (inner)

Inner shot of the Filter CV input jack hole

I had a switched 3.5mm mono socket to hand, so used that:

photo showing the Moog Rogue Filter CV input jack (inner)

New Filter CV input jack (inner)


photo showing the Moog Rogue Filter CV input jack (outer)

The new Filter CV input jack from outside

Solder a ground wire from the appropriate jack terminal to the Rogue’s jack PCB. Its large solder plane is suitable and easy to work with:

photo showing the ground wire of the new Moog Rogue Filter CV input jack

Grounding the Filter CV input jack

The filter CV input requires a 45k3 resistor to give the same scaling as the keyboard. As presented here, there is no onboard scaling, so if you want to run the input as anything other than 100% follow, use an external amplifier/attentuator. It would also be possible to build such a circuit into the Rogue, but I chose not to for simplicity.

photo showing a resistor soldered to the Moog Rogue Filter CV input jack

Solder a 45k3 resistor to the Filter CV input jack

The other end of that blue wire goes to the filter CV node on the main PCB. Rather than outline it on the schematic, I’ll just show you where that is on the board. This is the point where various filter CV inputs are summed. It’s an easy job to solder a wire at the top of this area:

photo showing the Moog Rogue Filter CV summing node

Filter CV summing node

Here’s a wider shot. Note the longer black wire is a previous bodge and not related to these mods and repairs:

photo showing the Moog Rogue Filter CV summing node and input mod wiring

Filter CV summing node and input jack wiring

I used a Dymo labeller to add the finishing touch to the back panel:

photo showing Moog Rogue Filter CV input jack mod

Filter CV input jack mod, finished!

Hey presto! A filter CV input scaled at the same degree as the keyboard. I use a Kenton MIDI-CV interface, which has an auxiliary output for filter CVs, amongst other things, so this little mod should come in quite handy.

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