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
September 15, 2009 @ 9:26 am
1500$? Ha, that's a good one! I got mine in mint condition for 58 Euros (~80$) a few months ago. Had only to be cleaned and needed a new backup battery. Everything above 150 $ is expensive and NOT worth it. The synth is nice,though. Typical 4 OP FM sound, very much like the DX27 I once owned (they use the same Yamaha chip) and I like the DS-8 a lot more for it is very easy to program and the Timbre-slider is very effective. But if it really was worth 1500$... someone out there who wants to trade mine for a mint Mono/Poly or MS-20? :oD
July 31, 2009 @ 4:00 am
this thing is amazing. got it for sixty bucks in a pawn shop in connecticut and melted part of the memory block with a soldering gun and now it makes sounds that technically dont exist...
if your into the strange and weird nothing better than early experimental digital synthesis
true fm also, not like yamahas phase modulation synthesis they passed off as FM somehow.
B. Turner
June 20, 2009 @ 12:10 am
I've had this board since the late 80's as well. I've updated my home studio equipment I don't know how many times, but this board has been sitting right there in the loop. The 300 additional sounds on the library card are very useful patches. I did a couple of local CD projects using primarily the sounds on this board. Now I use it as a MIDI controller, but when I just can't find that sound I'm looking for, I'll plug a patch cord into it and go to work. Manipulating the existing sounds is very easy using the Performance Editor functions, and creating new sounds is just as easy. I don't plan on ever replacing it.
April 21, 2009 @ 10:18 pm
best synthesizer for glitching.
S Tilva
April 16, 2009 @ 1:20 pm
Bought one new in 1987-88. Great for gigs. Sounds are FM like, and found it easier to program than the DX21/DX7. Nice strat guitar, bell, vibes, leads like sounds possible. Unison mode is fat. FX add liveliness to the sounds. Also managed to get sone nice pads out of thisd as well. Keyb feel was excellent.
Also has a multi mode to later sounds easily (up to 4 if I am not mistaken). You can assign polyphony between the layered sounds.
It lasted through 14 years of intensive gigs (80-100 per year), lasted through several flights and flight cases. The joystick is easily pushed in (if you dont have a metal case), but fixable. Its a workhorse of a keyboard - changed battery on the card once.
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • 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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