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
Alexis Nembrode
August 4, 2012 @ 6:47 pm
This is a perfect example of how Korg was miserably underrated in the 80's. 3 stars is quite an unfair rating. This little machine is capable of awesome fresh sounds powerful and usable enough to build a whole electronic song from scratch just with it. It sure stands with its head up against its oponents at the time.
heriberto zavala valles
June 2, 2012 @ 12:41 am
tengo un korg d5-8, deje de usarlo por 2 años y se me desprogramó como puedo programarlo, pues no tengo la tarjeta mcr-03, es un buen teclado, y al conectarlo sólo dá sonidos raros.
March 22, 2012 @ 6:21 am
When the timbre ammount is high enough the sound distorts in joystick pitch bend.
I considered it annoying when i found it out but it can be used for very nice oriental lead sounds
Colin Macdonald
February 25, 2012 @ 2:57 pm
@skoulaman Your Welcome, always glad to be of help. It can be a little tedious trying to reload the DS-8 but if you keep in mind the technology available in that time period it all makes sense. It's always worthwhile holding onto some of the older technology you never know when you might need it. just found some 72 pin simms that I needed for my Triton and Triton Rack and now my samplers are maxed out! Have fun with the DS-8 and if you find the DSCU 400 its got some really cool patches on it, particularly one solo lead patch that will blow you away have fun.
November 24, 2011 @ 3:08 pm
Last weekend I bought one for 60 €, battery was (correct) replaced but the synth was in the "glitch mode" Restored this with a windows 98 computer (after several trials with lowerd buffer and file sizes under XP) connected with a midiUNO from M-audio. Buffer setting was 8 and a size of 256 bytes. Used program MIDOX. Thx Colin macDonald. Now I am ready to reprogram.
I have a Yamaha DX 27 and a CX5m 4 operator synth/computer but the DS-8 beat them, so easy to program and the hands on some controls, perfect.
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Rated 3.93 (448 Votes)

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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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