[ms10 title]

[owner's manual]





Connecting the VC-10 to an amplifier




Block Diagram


Special Precautions and Usage Notes


Using the VC-10


1. Basic Operation


2. Control Functions


3. Use of External Sound Sources and Control Signals


4. Advanced Applications



[bullet] The MC-01 microphone

1) Introduction  ^

Congratulations on purchasing the Korg VC-10 Vocoder. This instrument is one of the most exciting additions to the outstanding Korg line of keyboard instruments and accessories, and opens creative possibilities heretofore available only to a handful of musicians in studio-type applications. Now, the Korg VC-10 makes possible for all musicians to make their music appear to "speak"!

Although Vocoders have existed for many years, their application to music, particularly in "live performance" situations, has been severely limited, due to their prohibitively high cost and complex operation.

In contrast, the new Korg VC-10 is greatly simplified in operation, is the first and only self-contained unit, with a built-in polyphonic keyboard sound source, and is priced at a level every musician can afford.

2) Connecting the VC-10 to an amplifier  ^

- connecting the VC-10 to an amplifier

3) Features  ^

- features

4) Block Diagram  ^

- Block Diagram

5) Special Precautions and Usage Notes  ^

a. Selecting an amplifier

As with any musical application, the Korg VC-10 will perform at its optimum best when used in conjunction with a high quality, wide range amplification system. Recommended are PA systems, "Keyboard" amplifiers, studio-type mixing boards, and other such high fidelity systems.

b. Choosing a microphone

The choice of the microphone is highly important to the "Vocoding" effect. We recommended the use of a high quality, dynamic, directional microphone, which will allow "close" miking techniques with a high degree of isolation.

For optimum results, Korg offers an optional MC-01 "Hyper Cardioid" microphone. This highly directional microphone is fitted with an integral "gooseneck" body and plug, and mounts directly onto the VC-10's top mounted "BTS" connector, thereby eliminating the need for external mic stands, cables or plugs. Plus, its "hyper cardioid" directional characteristics provide optimum isolation from external sound sources, a highly important feature.

Note: If another microphone is plugged into the regular front panel MIC input jack, the MC-01 is automatically disconnected. (The MIC IN jack has priority).

c. Microphone placement

As with any PA application, care must be taken in placing the VC-10's microphone so as to avoid acoustical feedback between it and the amplifier speakers. It is recommended that the microphone be placed level with or in back of the speaker or speakers being used. Additionally, the microphone should be pointing away from the speaker(s) so as to increase isolation as much as possible.

- the Korg MC-01 microphone


Since the VC-10, as with any Vocoder, is "triggered" by its microphone, extreme care must be exercised in placing the microphone in relationship to other sound sources. The following recommendations are made:


A microphone should be selected with as much directionality as possible (see 5b. above). Korg's MC-01 "Hyper-Cardioid" microphone is the most recommended.


The microphone should be placed so that it is as isolated as much as possible from other sound sources on stage (e.g. drums, PA, other amplifiers, etc.). Remember that every sound picked up by the VC-10's microphone will affect the Vocoding output. It is often useful to place the VC-10 to one side of the stage, with the performer's body partially "shielding" other sounds from the mic.


"Close" miking techniques should be used to improve external sound isolation.


6) Using the VC-10  ^

1. Basic Operation  ^

- basic operation

Plug a microphone into the MIC INPUT (or "BTS") jack, and connect the supplied audio cable from the FINAL OUT jack to the amp input. Turn up the POWER / FINAL VOLUME knob clockwise: the meter lamp should light.

Push the METER SELECT switch to the right (MIC) and sing or speak into the microphone in a normal tone of voice. Adjust the MIC LEVEL knob so that at highest volume levels the meter needle does not go beyond 0dB. (If the needle goes beyond 0dB, the output will probably be distorted). After adjusting the mike level, turn the output balance knob all the way clockwise. While speaking into the microphone, turn up the POWER / FINAL VOLUME control until your voice is heard through the amp. Keep the amp volume low enough to prevent feedback (as in any PA application). Adjust amp tone controls to suit your voice.

Push the METER SELECT switch to the left and turn the INPUT SIG BAL control counter clockwise to KBD (keyboard); now when the keyboard is played, the meter needle should move. Turn the OUTPUT / BALANCE control all the way counter clockwise (to SIMULATOR). If the keyboard is played without speaking into the mike, no sound will be heard.

Now, try singing or talking into the microphone while playing the keyboard. The sound produced should have the same tonal characteristics and accent as your voice, but not the same pitch.

Next, try singing a song while accompanying yourself with chords or a melody line on the keyboard. Note that the pitch depends on which keys you play, but the sound quality is always determined by the characteristics of your voice. Even if you speak rather than sing the words of a song, the sound produced when you play the keyboard will make your voice sound as if you were singing.

Note: If you play the keys after you speak or sing, the effect will be unclear. Since the human voice exhibits its most prominent characteristics at the beginning of each word, best results will be obtained by paying a split-second before singing or speaking into the microphone. So practice your timing!

2. Control Functions  ^


The pitch range covered by the VC-10 keyboard is shown on the chart below. If you switch the OCTAVE switch to UP, the whole range will be raised by one octave.

[vc10 octave switch]


To adjust the balance between the unprocessed mike signal (natural voice) and the "synthesized" sound produced by the Vocoder.

c. TUNE (tuning):

The keyboard is tuned to A=440Hz when this control is at the center position. Use this knob to adjust the pitch of the VC-10 to match other instruments. (Sing or speak into the mike while tuning).


You can get a more realistic chorus effect by adding vibrato. Use the two controls to adjust the SPEED and DEPTH of the Vibrato. Everyone's vibrato is a little different; for the best effect, adjust the vibrato to your own style.

e. INPUT SIGNAL LEVEL (Input signal balance):

The VC-10 has two inherent sound sources: the keyboard and a noise generator. By adding a little noise you can get more realistic sibilant sounds, (e.g. "S", "Z", "SH", "CH" and "J"). If you turn this knob all the way clockwise, you will have noise as your only sound source; this gives a eerie "crowdlike" effect.


Turning on ENSEMBLE switch produces a "chorus" effect. Playing additional keys adds even more voices. (This effect is added to the final output signal after it has been affected by the OUTPUT BALANCE control.


This control adds a slight pitch wavering effect so that the sound produced is more like a human voice. Turn clockwise for a stronger effect.


An extremely creative device. The center detent makes it easy to return quickly to normal pitch. Rotate toward the control panel to raise the pitch by a fifth; rotate towards you to lower the pitch by a fifth.

3. Use of External Sound Sources and Control Signals  ^

a. Voice simulation with an external signal:

In addition to the keyboard and noise generator, external sound signals (e.g. electric guitar, organ, tape recorder, etc.) may be used as the basis for voice simulation.

- using an electric guitar

b. Example: Electric Guitar

Connect a guitar to external signal input. Adjust MIC LEVEL as described in section 6) 1. Then switch METER SELECT to the left and play the guitar. Adjust EXT SIG LEVEL control so that the meter does not exceed 0dB when the guitar is played at maximum playing level. (Keep the guitar tone and / or treble controls fully on.)

Turn the INPUT SIG LEVEL control to KBD. Play a melody on the guitar while singing or speaking into the microphone. With this setting you can add noise or the ENSEMBLE effect, but VIBRATO and ACCENT will not be added to the guitar sound since the keyboard is not being used. (This same setting can be used for other external signals).

Certain special effects devices, such as Compressors and "Fuzz" boxes, are useful for extending the sustaining and tonal characteristics of guitars, thereby improving the "Vocoding" effect.

- using an external voltage source

c. Using an external voltage signal to vary pitch:

In addition to using the vibrato, tuning and pitch wheels controls, an external voltage (-3V ~ + 3V) control signal can be used to vary the VC-10 keyboard pitch.

The figure above shows the setting for using the Korg MS-01 foot control pedal to vary keyboard pitch.

Set ACC BEND to "0",, vibrato SPEED and DEPTH to "0", turn off the ENSEMBLE switch, and set the MANUAL PITCH CONTROL WHEELS to the center click-stop position; then note the pitch of your voice and the keyboard.

Connect the MS-01 "0 ~ +4V" output to the VC-10 EXT PITCH CONTROL input jack. Press down on the pedal all the way and turn up the EXT PITCH CONTROL knob to the point where you want maximum pitch change. Now, as you depress the foot pedal, the pitch will vary continuously upward from normal to the pitch you have chosen. If you use the MS-01 "0 ~ -4V' output, the pitch will not be as obvious if vibrato and other effects are used along with it.

In addition, other control voltage generating units, such as the Korg MS-10, MS-20 and PS-3100, 3300 synthesizers, may also be used to control the VC-10 pitch.

4. Advanced Applications  ^

Using the VC-10 with the Korg MS-20 synthesizer

By setting up a patch between the VC-10 and the MS-20 as shown in the chart, you can use your voice, via the VC-10, to cause extreme changes in tone color by controlling the MS-20 filters.


Connect microphone to MS-20 EXTERNAL SIGNAL PROCESSOR input.


Adjust SIGNAL LEVEL and connect output to VC-10 MIC INPUT.


Adjust VC-10 controls and use VC-10 keyboard as usual.


Connect VC-10 output to MS-20 EXTERNAL SIGNAL INPUT.




Connect the ESP CV OUT to the VCHPF EXT Fc CONTROL input and connect the ENV OUT to the VCA INITIAL GAIN CONTROL input.

With this setting, the MS-20 converts the microphone signal into control voltage signals, and the output signal from the VC-10 is processed by the filters and other sections of the MS-20.

This is but one example of the endless possibilities your own experimentation will produce.

- controlling the MS-20 filters via the VC-10

7. Specifications  ^





32 keys F ~ C
Octave range: normal 16' / up 8'
Tuning = +/- 100 cents
Accent bend
Vibrato speed
Vibrato depth
External pitch control
Pitch control wheel (+ 1/2 octave)


Signal mixers

Input signal balance (keyboard / noise)
External signal level


Frequency response

Microphone level



VU meter


Final controls

Power switch / final volume
Output balance (simulator / mike)
Headphone level





Mike inputs

BTS connector input
2P phone jack input


Signal inputs

Signal input 3V p-p MAX
Pitch control input (1/3-oct / volt)
-3V ~ +3V






Final out



Headphone out


Power consumption



499(W) x 309(D) x 249(H)


7 kg


3m Connection cord with adapter


Korg microphone MC-01


The MC-01 microphone  ^

[mc01 microphone]
The optional MC-01 mounted on top of the VC-10

"The microphone you use greatly effects the sounds quality you get from the VC-10. The MC-01 is a supercardioid microphone designed to suppress ambient noise while picking up your voice clearly. Dynamic configuration gives crisp sound quality and long lasting reliability. Besides the MC-01, close vocal mikes (Shure SM-10, for example) can also be used with good results."

[see also: "Choosing a microphone"]

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