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Korg DS-8

Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:13 pm
by Analogue Crazy
I have just got a serviced Korg DS-8 FM Synth for £150! Was wondering if anyone has one of these and what their opinion is?

Robert

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:10 pm
by 8bit9bot
my opinion is... stick w/ your DX synths - infact... add an SPX90 to your DX synths and you'll be ahead of the korg ds-8

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:59 am
by Synthetech
Get it on the bay? I was watching that one.

I've heard it's one of the best designed 4op FM synths from the day.. I'd love to have one to play around with for awhile.
I'm sure the aftertouch is a great feature to use on the DS 8 that is not on most DX's.

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:39 am
by philip

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:41 am
by Analogue Crazy
It was 20 mins from where i live so i had to have it, always fancied one but never thought i'd find one. After the first few hours of programming i have to say i'm extremely impressed. It is very easy to program, using analogue terminology on it's parameters, and the sound is very thick and complex for a 4 OP synth. In fact, i find it hard to believe its 4 OP at times.

Lovely machine, safe to say i will be selling my DX11 soon. This is a league above it.

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:07 pm
by philip
Analogue Crazy wrote:It was 20 mins from where i live so i had to have it, always fancied one but never thought i'd find one. After the first few hours of programming i have to say i'm extremely impressed. It is very easy to program, using analogue terminology on it's parameters, and the sound is very thick and complex for a 4 OP synth. In fact, i find it hard to believe its 4 OP at times.

Lovely machine, safe to say i will be selling my DX11 soon. This is a league above it.

In mono mode it sounds exactly like buchla

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:15 pm
by 8bit9bot
i'm sorry my response was so negative - i'm glad you are finding it to be awesome! :D

4op FM synths are capable of sounds 6op are not... for sure!

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:31 pm
by Analogue Crazy
Vice versa, i will always be very fond of the DX7; despite the tricky interface. But yes i'm happy i have found a DS-8, it's a very nice sounding machine.

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:06 am
by nathanscribe
Did you sell the DX5?

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:15 am
by Analogue Crazy
nathanscribe wrote:Did you sell the DX5?
Yes Nathan i sold the DX5, lack of space made me part with it in the end. What a great Synth though, really happy i had the chance to own one a while.

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:54 am
by antilles
I've always been curious about the DS-8. Is it easier to program than the Yamaha 4-OP FM synths?

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:08 am
by groy
Analogue Crazy, glad to hear you like it. I have the 707 and from what I find online they both seem to get some tempered love once and a while, but also s**t on, so to each their own I guess. Also, there are very few worthwhile demos of these things, Z's being like the only one I was able to find.

I like the 707 well enough, easy to program (with my limited knowledge of subtractive stuff), menu system is simple to navigate, sliders are cool for real time tweaks but also aid/speed programming, the layer function is great and helps thicken it up (and the unison is sort of insane). I find the timbre slider super 'steppy' and have been thinking that the effects in the DS-8 probably mask that if it's even an issue on those.

I'm curious what you, as a DX owner, think. Why are you liking the Korg? Sound or programming it? Honestly I haven't been able to find much in-depth comparison between the DS-8/707 and the Yamaha 4ops. Korg used a Yamaha chip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_YM2164) so should sound similar? I have a very shallow understanding of DX FM programming, but have been wondering if the way Korg set up the 2 osc style voice structure if they limited the control and range of sound you can get out of it compared to a 4op DX synth?

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:54 am
by commodorejohn
groy wrote:I'm curious what you, as a DX owner, think. Why are you liking the Korg? Sound or programming it? Honestly I haven't been able to find much in-depth comparison between the DS-8/707 and the Yamaha 4ops. Korg used a Yamaha chip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_YM2164) so should sound similar? I have a very shallow understanding of DX FM programming, but have been wondering if the way Korg set up the 2 osc style voice structure if they limited the control and range of sound you can get out of it compared to a 4op DX synth?
I haven't used a DS-8/707 myself, but from what I've seen in the manual they do sort of what Casio did with the CZ series and align everything to analogue-style terminology, with two "oscillators" - I assume they leave it in algorithm 4 (two parallel two-operator stacks) and set the frequency ratios so that they produce a quasi-subtractive filter sweep from a sine to a sawtooth or square wave as the modulation depth increases. There's also a cross-mod option for "oscillator 2," which I presume knocks it into algorithm 0 (a single four-operator stack.) So it would be missing access to the other algorithms; then again, there are only eight of them on the 4-op synths compared to the 32 on the DX7, so it's not such a huge loss. A bigger loss in capability would be all the possible frequency ratios, which define the resulting timbre; even on the YM2164/2151, with only integer multiples 1-15 (and 1/2) of the fundamental to choose from, there's a lot more possibilities than the four the DS-8 offers.

Basically, you're losing a good deal of finer control in exchange for improved ease of programming. Whether it's worth it is for the user to decide.

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:46 am
by Analogue Crazy
I much prefer the DS-8 to the Yamaha 4 OP Synths, it does loose some things like several algorithms and fine tuning ratios, but for some reason it doesn't seem a set back. The sound of my DS-8 is thicker and warmer than that of my DX11, even some sounds that bypass the effects are somewhat warmer. On the DX11 i am constantly layering 2 sounds together for warmth, which kills polyphony, but the DS-8's eight voices are fuller and warmer.

Along with the Yamaha V50, this must be the very best of the 4 OP Synths. Would love to see how it compares to a V50, would be interesting as that has built in effects.

Re: Korg DS-8

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:20 am
by max badwan
I had a DS-8 for over twenty years, and I've used a 707 as well - great digital synths. The FM chip is the 4op Yamaha that was used in tons of products, but the OS was Korg, and it worked well. As with the DW 8000 the delay adds a lot.
Compared to the more mathematical implementation of the Yamaha 4ops, they are sonically identical in character, and they DXs MAY be capable of doing things the DS can't, but the DS OS means you can easily and quickly edit in a way not possible on the DXs. So more musician friendly means you tweaked more, and ended up with sounds you liked.
You can do some cool things with a DS.