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Korg DS-8 Patch Librarian Help


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  • Korg DS-8 Patch Librarian Help

    I am the keyboard player for a band based out of Los Angeles call the Small Hours. Our music is rather synth-heavy and my primary axe is a Korg DS-8. I need a way to back up and organize my patches. I have downloaded just about every freeware and shareware sysex librarian I can find and am very confused. So far, the only one I can find that will even receive sys ex from my keyboard is the Audionaut Manager for Windows (I'm running XP). However, past that, I can't figure it out. I can get it to receive messages, and that's it. The documentation that came with it doesn't work (won't open).

    Does anyone have any clue as to how to work this software, or know of any better free (or cheap) alternatives? I'm not concerned with being able to edit patches (although that would be a plus) but really just need a way to back everything up.

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated!


  • #2
    Any generic sysex utility should do the trick (such as MidiOx or SendSX), that is, if you can't find a librarian specifically built for this synth. First, check your DS-8 manual (or download one if you don't have it) to see if you can initiate a sysex dump from the front panel of the synth. If not, you will have to send a sysex string from the software to the synth to get the DS-8 to give up its contents. Again, the manual should have this info.
    Korg Z1, Yamaha Clavinova CLP-350, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M, Arturia CS-80V, VAZ Modular, co-author of MinimogueVA and Arppe2600va.


    • #3
      Not free, but here's a link to a commercial editor/librarian:


      Here's a "rescue kit" for $14 that supposedly includes sysex librarian software:


      BTW, according to Korg: "Korg system exclusive is channel sensitive."
      My VCAs go to 11


      • #4
        Yes I can generate a sys ex dump from the front panel for "all 100 voices and 10 combinations" according to my manual. I have MidiOX as well, buit can't figure it out. Maybe I just have no clue what I'm doing? This is the first time I've ever dealt with system exclusive.

        In MidiOX, I'm able to request a dump, receive all my information (approx. 7551 bytes... this is correct according to my ds-8 manual). But then how do I see my patches? How do I store all this information? Can I organize it all so that I can rearrange patches, etc? And what if I want to send just one patch to the synth, it this possible? Maybe I need a tutorial or something. Once again, the documentation that came with MidiOX is terrible, and doesn't explain anything.



        • #5
          You can't rearrange/name patches with a generic sysex utility, but you said in the original post that you just wanted a way to back everything up, not rearrange stuff. Once you back up all your stuff, you can rearrange patches on the synth control panel itself, then back that one up too.

          If you'd just rather have a librarian that works with the DS-8, I'd check out what kind of librarian/editor that guy has in the "rescue kit". Soundquest or Midiquest or whatever will work, but it's very expensive and not really worth it for just one synth, esp. one that costs less than the editor itself!
          Korg Z1, Yamaha Clavinova CLP-350, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M, Arturia CS-80V, VAZ Modular, co-author of MinimogueVA and Arppe2600va.


          • #6
            Ok, I think I'm beginning to get a better grasp on all of this. In MidiOX, I dumped everything into a sysex filed I named "mypatches" or something like that. So, in theory, this contains all of the information on my synth... according to my manual the dump contains all 100 voices and 10 combinations. So, I could erase everything on my synth now, then send the sysex back to my synth, and everything would be back as it was? Like I said, I'm just beginning to use all this MIDI stuff. And sysex is pretty much completely alien to me right now.

            Yes, my primary concern is backing everything up, I just assumed I would be able to see all of the individual patches as well. But I guess not. That's ok! As long as I have a place to store my information.


            • #7

              You can check that your sysex backup is working OK like this:

              1. make a backup sysex dump

              2. edit ONE patch or ONE combination on the DS-8, something simple and easily reversed

              3. reload the backup and check to see that the original settings of the patch or combination were restored
              My VCAs go to 11


              • #8
                yes, i did exactly that and it didn't work. i'm positive the dump worked, but i can't figure out how to set my ds-8 to receive. i'm using a midisport 2x2 midi interface and it shows the input port as active when i dump, but when i send sysex to my ds-8, the outport port shows nothing happening. maybe there's a problem with my midi interface?

                i have the ds-8 owners manual and have read the MIDI section over and over and over again and am doing everything that it says to do, and it still won't receive messages from MidiOX. Not sure where to go from here.

                And everything is set to the correct channel, i've checked that. I think I've covered all my bases, but I could be wrong.


                • #9
                  I think you forgot to turn off memory protect. I have to rescue a dead DS-8 with corrupted flash rom by loading the stock patch. As for the possible problem with the midi interface, try to trigger the DS-8 by playing a midi file through the midi port.

                  BTW, check out the David's Korg DS-8 Page , the actual web page seem to be down at the moment but it's still available at archive.org Question 7 is about uploading to the DS8. I am too lazy to look up the exact menu items right now,but feel free to ask here if you need more specific instruction.


                  • #10
                    FIGURED IT OUT!!!!

                    My Midisport 2x2 USB MIDI Interface has 2 inputs and outputs. I was using In A and Out A. I switch to IN B and Out B and the light indicating that it is passing signal OUT to the DS-8 came on, which wasn't on before. I did the test where I change a parameter, save it, then send the Sys Ex to my Korg and check to see if it reset itself, and it did!!!

                    So... thanks for all of your help, I've learned quite a bit from this (i.e. check all your cables/connections first before you determine that it's a problem with your synth or your software). Wow, so glad I got this working!!



                    • #11

                      Hello Dave i have the solution to you problem with regards to loading the sysx files to your korg DS 8. The problem you're encountering is very common. The speed of you computer is way too fast for the buffers to handle the data being recieved by the Korg. I had the same problem what you really need is access to an old win 95 or windows 98 computer running an old pentium or early pentium II series processor. you also need and old style midi interface that will connect through your computers sound cards midi/ joystick connector. I ised and awe 64 soundblaster card. also you need a free program called midi ox you will need to lower the buffers in the program to slow the data rate and be very patient while it loads to your synth. But this does work. Because the technology was so limited in 1986 when the synth was developed it is just not compatible with newer technology as far as receiving data anyway, you keyboard will be able to dump all memory to a faster computer, but for loading data you need a slower computer. I hope  you find this helpful i spent a few hours trying to sort this out myself. Cheers.