The Korg Poly-800 Series, produced between 1983 and 1987 was the first fully programmable synthesizer that sold for under a thousand bucks. The original price of $795. was within reach of the average keyboard player. It was an affordable addition for the studio or live gig and had easy access to excellent analog sounds. Korg sold a lot of them.
The Original Poly-800 was one of the first synths with midi, but it did not include MIDI system exclusive parameters and all sounds that were programmed had to be backed up to a data cassette. However, there was a not so well known ROM chip update that you could purchase that once installed gave you sysex capabilities. There are probably several original Poly's still around with the chip installed so check yours out to see if you happen to have the update.
The Poly 800 was also one of the first synths with Digitally Controlled Oscillators, which are known for a stable pitch and without the usual tuning problems of the Voltage Controlled Oscillators that were on most analog synths produced during the time. The Poly is velocity sensitive, has aftertouch and holds 64 patches in memory. It has eight voice polyphony with one Digitally Controlled Oscillators per voice and can be switched into double mode which stacks two DCOs for a fatter sound, but reduces the polyphony to only four notes. It featured one analog lowpass Voltage Controlled filter for all voices. It has three digital envelope generators, a noise generator, a Low Frequency Oscillator and a Chorus FX. It also included a "very basic" built in sequencer.
Korg EX-800 Rack
The Poly-800 could be run off batteries and had guitar strap pegs, letting us keyboard players wear it like a guitar. A new idea way back in the early 80's! In 1984 the rack mount version "EX-800" was released and added MIDI sysex parameters. 1985 saw the release of the Poly-800 MkII, which featured a digital delay instead chorus fx and included MIDI sysex functions. It was produced until 1987.
The Kid Nepro Poly 800 patches are available in the following formats:
WAV files - connect your computer audio output to your Poly-800 cassette interface input and you can load in the sounds the same way you would from the data cassette tape. The files will open in any program that plays WAV files. The advantage to getting this format over the data cassette is that you can download it, saving yourself time and shipping charges.
System exclusive files (.syx) - for those of you with a EX-800, Poly-800-MK2 or an original Poly 800 with the ROM chip upgrade. Sounds can be loaded through the Korg's midi port. You need a midi interface or sound card to connect to the synths midi input. We provide the software that lets you load in the new sounds. The sounds are available in both Mac and PC formats. This format is also available via our FREE download delivery.
There are two banks of sounds included in the collection. Each sound bank contains 64 new programs for a total of 128 new sounds. Just click on the links above to view the patch name lists. Our sounds will also get you back in business if your Poly 800 battery has died and you lost all the sounds in the memory. Please contact us via phone or e-mail if you need any more info.