Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

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Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by gridsleep » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:08 am

The Casio VZ-1 review emphasizes that the CZ line uses Phase Distortion while the VZ uses Phase Distortion and Frequency Modulation, and that the Yamaha synths actually use Phase Modulation, not FM. If the Korg DS-8 uses the Yamaha type of synthesis, is it, too, a Phase Modulation synthesizer, or is it a true FM synth?
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by commodorejohn » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:49 am

It's a standard Yamaha FM chip in there, so yeah, it's FM, even though Korg arranges it to look more like the CZ-series voice architecture.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by gridsleep » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:12 am

But what was indicated in the VZ article is that the Yamaha synths DON'T use FM, but Phase Modulation. And you seem to be saying that the DS-8 is closer to the Phase Distortion of the CZ synths? So, does the DS-8 actually use Phase Distortion, then, or is it true FM as in the VZ-1? The whole confusion is three different kinds of synth engine that do sort of the same thing but in different ways, and people indiscriminately calling them by whatever name comes to mind, rather than what the engine actually is doing.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:20 am

The DS-8 (and 707) uses the same voice chip as 4-op Yamaha DX synths like the DX-9, 21, 27, 100, FB01, etc. The programming interface emulates subtractive synthesis without direct control of algorithms and operators, so the overall tonal pallete of the DS-8 is narrower than the Yamahas.

Whether or not that is "real" FM is just symantics.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by commodorejohn » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:04 am

gridsleep wrote:But what was indicated in the VZ article is that the Yamaha synths DON'T use FM, but Phase Modulation. And you seem to be saying that the DS-8 is closer to the Phase Distortion of the CZ synths? So, does the DS-8 actually use Phase Distortion, then, or is it true FM as in the VZ-1? The whole confusion is three different kinds of synth engine that do sort of the same thing but in different ways, and people indiscriminately calling them by whatever name comes to mind, rather than what the engine actually is doing.
Technically speaking, yes, Yamaha FM actually uses phase modulation - this is because it gives effectively the same results as true FM but is computationally simpler. So yes, the DS-8 is only FM to the extent that any of Yamaha's DX line is FM - but it isn't Casio's PD. Casio PD (used in the CZ series, not used in the VZ-1) eschews Yamaha's flexible arrangement of independent operators modulating each other for a simpler approach of selecting between different skew patterns for its sine-table lookup, so no matter how similar they may be at the lowest level, there's still distinct differences in how PD and FM work.

The DS-8 looks kind of like a CZ-series synth at the user level because it locks the FM voice architecture into algorithm 4 to give two two-operator stacks that it presents as sort of like an analog subtractive synthesizer, like the CZ-series does, but it's still purely Yamaha underneath.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by gridsleep » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:51 am

Very good. Thanks for the detailed reply.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by gridsleep » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:57 am

I have since discovered via cx5m.net that the DS-8 and 707 use the same FM chip set as the Yamaha DX9 and MSX CX5M, so in some ways it is less advanced than the DX7, but may sound better due to its overall design.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by commodorejohn » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:49 am

The original 4-op FM chips only sound better than the DX7 in that they use 16-bit DACs; it's not until you get into the TX81Z/DX11 and its multiple operator waveforms that new possibilities not offered on the DX7 start cropping up.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by max badwan » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:01 am

commodorejohn wrote:The original 4-op FM chips only sound better than the DX7 in that they use 16-bit DACs; it's not until you get into the TX81Z/DX11 and its multiple operator waveforms that new possibilities not offered on the DX7 start cropping up.
I'm sure you mean multiple waveform operators there

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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by gridsleep » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:50 pm

Monotimbrality can be quite a limitation. The DX7 might have started out as away too expensive or unreliable if they had developed it to access more than one voice at a time. Looking at the TG77 with its six op AFM, AWM2, and sequencer, it can handle four voices at once on sixteen channels for a full sixty-four instrument orchestra playing in real time.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by commodorejohn » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:31 pm

Yeah, that is the downside to the Mk.1 DX7. The DX7-II addresses that nicely, and better still with the E! mod, but of course it has a bit of a different tone to the original. You could always pair a DX7 and TX7, of course.
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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by moremagic » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:12 pm

why would you need multitimbrality on the dx7 of all things, given how you can make one patch sound so completely different across the kbd? :-p

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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by Psy_Free » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:38 pm

moremagic wrote:why would you need multitimbrality on the dx7 of all things, given how you can make one patch sound so completely different across the kbd? :-p
Cos more of anything is better :twisted:

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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by gridsleep » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:53 pm

Psy_Free wrote:
moremagic wrote:why would you need multitimbrality on the dx7 of all things, given how you can make one patch sound so completely different across the kbd? :-p
Cos more of anything is better :twisted:

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Re: Korg DS-8, FM or PM?

Post by calaverasgrande » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:55 am

gridsleep wrote:
Psy_Free wrote:
moremagic wrote:why would you need multitimbrality on the dx7 of all things, given how you can make one patch sound so completely different across the kbd? :-p
Cos more of anything is better :twisted:

Edit : apart from crabs
Having a yard full of these would be way cool, though. Just have to remember to keep the kittens inside.

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