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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Are you looking to buy or sell a Korg DS-8? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

66 Visitor comments
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.
S Dhain
March 2, 2009 @ 7:35 am
Ive had one of these for 19 years,and i used it as a master controller for years, cause the internal sounds just wouldnt sit well in a mix. I then got creative, programmed a load of patches on it, shoved it through some pedals/fx and voila...instant scoring heaven. Ill never get rid of it, simply cause it sounds like NOTHING ELSE.
February 11, 2009 @ 12:50 am
Thanks Pepe...I have a pc that should work with what was on the midi-ox site...
February 7, 2009 @ 4:42 am
Hi! There's a really good MIDI tool for your synth: MIDI-OX. It is downloadable for free, just look for it with Google. It is very simple to use and works with most synths and does a good job when it comes to send or receive SysEx-files. But wait a minute - you are a Mac user? I don't know if if the program works with a Mac.
February 6, 2009 @ 3:13 pm
This is a message for help! I realize you don't accept them so I understand if you discard it.

Hi, I downloaded the factory patches off this site for a DS-8 that is missing half the factory patches(45-99). I have the file on my mac and have my midiman connected to the midi in of the DS-8. I'm unsure how to correctly get the factory data into the DS-8. Do I need to use another program to communicate with the DS-8? The manual talks about transfering patch data between 2 DS-8s, but not getting it from an outside source.

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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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