Korg DS-8

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Korg DS-8.jpg
Manufacturer KORG
Dates 1986
Price $ 1400
Technical specifications
Polyphony 8
Oscillator 2
LFO Triangle, Square, Sawtooth, Sine
Synthesis type FM Synthesizer (4 operators)
Filter 1 per voice
Attenuator ADSR Envelope
Aftertouch expression Yes (monophonic)
Velocity expression Yes
Storage memory 100 Programs and 10 Combinations
Effects Manual Delay, Long Delay, Short Delay,
Doubling, Phaser, Chorus, Portamento
Hardware YM2164 (OPP)
Keyboard 61-key
Left-hand control Joystick
External control MIDI

The Korg DS-8 is an expandable FM synthesizer released by KORG in 1986 which used the Yamaha FB-01 FM synthesis engine with 4 sine wave oscillators. 61 Keys in length with both initial and switchable aftertouch capabilities it stores up to 100 programs and 10 combinations in its internal memory. By using one of the optional non-volatile (but battery-powered) KORG RAM cards MCR-01, MCR-02, or MCR-03 this program memory can be expanded by extra programs and combinations: 100/10 for the MCR-01, 200/20 for the MCR-02, or 400/40 for the MCR-03. Programs can be backed up and received via standard MIDI dumps.

The DS-8 features one joystick controller for bending pitch, timbre and modulation speed, one card slot for aforementioned KORG RAM Cards, MIDI IN/OUT/THRU jacks, a damper pedal, assignable pedal, assignable switch, program up pedal, one balance slider, four keyboard modes (Single, Layer, Double and Multi) and two slider controls which indicate the ability to edit the two oscillators from fast to slow. The three editable banks shown on the right side of the board (Function, Voice Parameter and Combi Parameter) provide multiple ways in which the user can edit the programs, banks and patches.

At $1400 RRP the DS-8 was a revolutionary, cheap and affordable product for its time.