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Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-2

Korg NTS-2

An oscilloscope can be very handy when working with synths and CV signals — but most aren’t designed with music‑makers in mind. The NTS-2 is.

Modular synthesizers are fashionable and pleasingly affordable, and many conventional synths now include control voltage (CV) and gate connections for interoperability with modular hardware, drum machines, and even effects devices. When connecting these things together, it’s often helpful if you can view the control voltage and gate signals to check whether they are actually doing what is expected, and it’s often handy to view oscillator waveforms too. The device needed to do this is called an oscilloscope.

Traditional analogue oscilloscopes with cathode ray display tubes tend to be large, heavy, expensive and quite technical to configure and use, and they aren’t equipped with audio‑friendly connectors. Modern digital ’scopes aren’t much better either. Added to which, an oscilloscope usually only does the one thing — it displays the waveform from one or two varying input signals.

Korg’s Nu:Tekt NTS‑2 oscilloscope kit is rather different, in that it’s very much intended for use by music makers — in fact, Korg describe it as “the musician’s Swiss Army knife”! This pocket‑sized device features a 2.8‑inch colour LCD screen and is less expensive than most proper ’scopes, yet provides four — yes four! — input channels, all of which have standard 3.5mm TRS jack sockets. More than that, though, the NTS‑2 also provides an FFT mode that allows you to analyse the harmonic spectrum of input signals, plus two independent and very comprehensive signal generators (which are permanently available), and a very useful pitch tuner mode.


The NTS‑2 comes as a self‑assembly kit with pre‑populated circuit boards — assembly took me only 15 minutes.The NTS‑2 comes as a self‑assembly kit with pre‑populated circuit boards — assembly took me only 15 minutes.

The NTS‑2 comes as a complete kit of parts with a simple four‑stage construction process that can be completed in about 15 minutes (an assembly tutorial video is available: There are two main circuit boards in protective bubble wrap, along with some aluminium corner pieces, a bag of screws, and a teeny‑tiny screwdriver. There’s also a 3.5mm TRS‑TRS audio cable, a USB A‑C cable for powering, and some stick‑on rubber feet.

Assembly starts with a slightly nervewracking process of snapping small rear and front panels away from the bottom battery panel and top display PCB — the whole lot is manufactured as one large fibreglass piece, which presumably keeps costs down. But although some care and patience is required, it’s not difficult. In the same way, a couple of small spacer pieces are snapped away from the lower input PCB, although these and two others are only required if you want to make and attach side brackets to support the display on a desktop (a template is included for making said DIY side...

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