Fury-800 a Free KORG Poly-800 Polyphonic Synthesizer Software Instrument

  • By: Thorsten Meyer
  • Date: Friday, 5 June 2020
  • Time to read: 3 min.

The Fury-800 is a software instrument for Microsoft Windows (VST) and Apple macOS (VST/AU) simulating the KORG Poly-800 polyphonic synthesizer from 1983.

Once upon a time, Björn Arlt promised himself not to create a simulation of an existing piece of hardware that Björn does not own by. Anyway, after receiving so many emails about “Why not recreating the Poly-800?” he thought “Why not?”. After all, this could have been the first polyphonic synthesizer Björn ever had bought – if it were not for the mighty Bit One.

Fury 800 a Free KORG Poly 800 Polyphonic Synthesizer Software Instrument
Fury-800 a Free KORG Poly-800 Polyphonic Synthesizer Software Instrument 2

In the mid-’80s, it was time for weird and futuristic designs. It was also time for transition (from analog to digital…) and for relentless cost reduction – how else could one explain the advent of music machines with zillions of parameters but only two buttons to edit them?

The Yamaha DX7 became an icon of its time (plus beyond), and other manufacturers gave their new machines a similar look: Parameter numbers and ranges were printed on the faceplate, knobs/sliders disappeared, pseudo-technical diagrams and LED displays were ubiquitous.

Björn does not claim that the Fury-800 sounds exactly like the Poly-800. He explicitly do state this although he doubts that all those who claim they can really can tell the difference.

Fury-800 Simulation Enhancements

Björn talks about the enhancements he made to the Fury-800

  • The Fury-800 can be 64 voice polyphonic – the Poly-800 only offered 8 voices(just 4 in DOUBLE mode).
  • Velocity is ‒ optionally ‒ available.
  • Due to technical reasons, the Poly-800 was paraphonic with respect to the VCF (the special chip used for the eight DCOs did not output the individual DCO signals but a mixture of their octave signals; thus the signal of the DCOs could only be filtered in their sum). But the God Mode will turn the Fury-800 into a “true” polyphonic synthesizer.
  • Where ever-useful I turned step-like parameters into their continuous equivalents. For example, you can adjust the level of the 8’ DCO wave instead of just turning it on or off.
  • The sequencer in the Poly-800 offered 256 “steps” – but the correct description would have been that it offered 256 events (for example a chord of three notes eats three “steps” and not just one). The sequencer of the Fury-800 is different and features 256 “real” steps. In theory, you can have sequences of 256 steps where each step stores a chord of 64 notes.
  • Editing the Poly-800 is no fun because you have to dial each parameter using the numeric keyboard, and there is no slider to change the parameter’s value (just two buttons). The Fury-800 has the option to show and edit all parameters at the same time.
  • The Chorus effect of the Poly-800 was said to be a stereo chorus. Well, I don’t want to split hairs here, but in fact, it was a mono chorus where the inverted signal was mixed to the right channel of the Poly-800’s output (quite a common pattern in these days). The chorus in the Fury-800 also is a mono effect, but here you can select if the chorus signal shall be inverted when mixed to the right channel or not.

Fury-800 Features

  • Two band-limited DCOs with individual envelope generators
  • Two waveforms with additive harmonics (16′, 8′, 4′, 2′)
  • Single (paraphonic) lowpass VCF and Noise
  • On-board sequencer and Chord Memory
  • Pseudo-stereo Chorus effect
  • Tweaks:
    • Up to 64 voices polyphony with Velocity
    • “God Mode” for real polyphony
    • Continuous parameter values and direct access
  • Resizable user interface
  • MIDI Learn – all parameters can be controlled by MIDI CC
  • Plug-in supports Windows (32 bit and 64 bit) and macOS (64 bit)

Pricing and Availability

All music and software available here is free of charge. However, you may want to help Full Bucket Music by donating.

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