Modded Korg EX-800

Several people have mentioned the Poly-800 here, so I thought I’d share some of the first sounds from my newly-working-again Korg EX-800 (the desktop module version of the synth), with Hawk-800 and AtomaHawk mods installed. This was just the result of my blindly tweaking random parameters from my MIDI controller. As you can hear, the multiple LFOs are in full effect here. You wouldn’t get that from a stock EX (or Poly)-800!

I’ve had various issues in the past with this mod (some of which were very probably the result of user error on my part), but hopefully I now have it working. Mike, the developer of the mod, has been getting a lot of negative comments on his forum lately, which I think is a little unfair, given the time and effort he’s put into the project over several years. Having said all that, it’s not in the same league as Olivier’s work in terms of general slickness and quality of documentation.


Oops, just realised the link to the actual recording on Soundcloud was missing. Have added it now, but I’m including it below in plain-text, for easy copy-pasteability.


Very interesting mod!
Is it MCU based or just firmware upgrade?

It’s essentially a new MCU for the synth. It’s a weird one, in a way. The Poly/EX-800 (as has been mentioned before), is an oddly crippled and limited machine, so the idea of investing all this time and effort into extending it’s functionality in various ways, while at the same time not addressing the glaring omissions in the original hardware (it’s still only got the one filter!), seems a bit odd, really. From my point of view though, it was perfect. I’d grown to love the single filter, but I wanted more and better MIDI functionality- I didn’t want it to crash when the original tiny MIDI data buffer overran, randomly writing-over chunks of patch memory, and I wanted to be able to tweak parameters from my MIDI controller. Both are covered by the mod (thought the CC setup is ‘unconventional’), and there’s a load of other stuff thrown in, as a bonus.


I have one with negative keyboard. It was given to me with few broken keys and totally silent. After repairing keys i’ve found that it’s memory was totally erased. That was a quest finding .wav file with digitized factory presets casette, loading it into mp3 player and uploading to synth via audio cable. Like Commodore/ZX spectrum =) The file was faulty. Fortunately i’ve found another good wav. After that it became fully functional. I’m still going to make simple filter pots mod. I love it too. It good for pads, and its note hold and chord mem buttons are very handy.