Korg DS-8

Korg DS-8 Image

The DS-8 is Korg's contender among synths like the Roland D-50 and Yamaha DX7. It is a digital FM synthesizer with 4-operators per voice, 8 voices of polyphony and 8 parts multitimbrality. It's good for percussive, strange effect noises and such because its sound (similar to the DX7) is so unique. It has some digital effects such as chorus, flange, delay and analog-like controls for modulators, envelopes and the LFO. A joystick provides control of modulation and pitch bending. It also has a performance section for quick edits on the fly using (3) real-time sliders to control timbre, EG1 and EG2. A nice alternative to the common DX-7.

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65 Visitor comments
December 28, 2008 @ 3:28 am
i haven't seen one of these in years, but just remastered a song by a band i worked with in the late 80's, and there's a track or two of ds-8 on there. hearing it brought back all kinds of memories. it wasn't a great synth, but it had some great sounds, especially when you added some processing. if you find one these days, it's definitely worth snapping up. for a late 80's fm synth, it sounds remarkably warm and non-dx-7...
November 13, 2008 @ 10:46 am
simpatico e versatile, sostituibile però con i vari vst presenti..causa un suono non molto presente, come se soffiasse....
October 4, 2008 @ 4:11 am
synth works perfectly in my band
though it wont save memory to stuff i want to save it on
its pretty good

to hear it in action check out my band on myspace...

September 14, 2008 @ 10:05 pm
It's a great synth really...My portamento works fine.
Matt Windsor
September 13, 2008 @ 2:24 pm
I have a DS-8 and am not sure whether I like it (though I'm new to synths, and only own this and a DX7mk1, so my views might be somewhat flawed because of that).

While the joystick and timbre/EG slider make the voices very flexible and quick modulation stabs very easy, and the 100-preset memory is large compared to the DX7's 32, the default presets (or at least the presets that were on it when I received it, they seem to be factory presets to me) seem quite low-quality (they tend to have a muffled, whiny sound to them for me), the internal build is convoluted (you'd have to remove the circuitry in order to get to the keys), and, being an FM synth, the programming aspect is impossible to experiment with unless you read a lot into it (which I haven't).

The portamento is also hopelessly broken on mine (not sure if it is on other DS-8s).

On a more positive note, the dual/split/multi voice facility is a welcome sight, coming from electronic keyboards that almost always sport these.
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  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices (4 FM-operators per voice)
  • Oscillators - 2 oscillators
  • LFO - 1 LFO: saw / triangle / square / sample & hold
  • Filter - None
  • VCA - 4 DCA (1 per operator)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys w/ velocity & aftertouch
  • Memory - 100 user, 10 multi patches, external card slot
  • Effects - 1 unit effect (delay, chorus, flanger, double)
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - MIDI (8-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1987

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