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DS-8 is an extensive multi-sample synth pack based on the vintage Korg DS-8, the hard to find FM synthesizer with a weird analog-like design and a sound ranging from classic FM to digital experimental.

Released in 1986, the DS-8 was the Korg’s attempt to provide an easier way to access FM synthesis, one the most enigmatic synth architecture ever made. The abstract concepts of algorithms, operators, carriers and modulators were therefore translated into more intuitive analog-like parameters to look more meaningful for musicians. This particular design deeply contributed to define the strong character of this synth and made it possible to create interesting FM sounds never heard on the popular DX7.

The alternative FM

Used by Aphex Twin for his album “Syro”, the DS-8 is a flexible FM synthesizer featuring 4-operators per voice, two oscillators with detuning and cross modulation, two 4-stage timbre envelopes and two 4-stage amplitude envelopes. The DS-8 is characterized by the typical sharp, transparent, metallic FM sound and it’s capable of generating tinkling electric pianos, biting clavs, percussive vibes, clangorous bells, warm strings but also aliased synth keys, disharmonic synth leads, digital-noised basses and a wide range of experimental sounds.

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