What is the "HAWK-832" kit? *** The HAWK-832 should be available in 2024. ***
The HAWK-832 is an electronic hardware and software upgrade kit (currently being developed) for the Korg Poly-800 MK1 (PS-800), and the EX-800 or MK2 models. The HAWK-832 kit gives those three music synthesizers amazing new sound making capabilites along with advanced MIDI controls and, many new user performance features. For details on the many features, see the 'Main Features' section below.
Development Road Map...
The HAWK-800 was developed and was offered for sale in 2007. Over 5,000 kits were sold between 2007 and 2021. Then Covid came along and disrupted the supply of flash memory chips that are used in the HAWK-800 kit. This disruption continues even today. The disruption prompted me to revisit the idea of creating a brand new kit. The chip supply problem is one thing but the limited computing resources also suggested a new kit.
The HAWK-800 has 24K of program memory, 32K of patch storage and 8K of static RAM. It also uses the original Intel 80C85 CPU that runs at just 8Mhz.
As those who bought and installed the HAWK-800 kit well know, the new and improved features are fantastic! But the kit has reached a point where there is no more memory capacity available to improve features or add new ones.
An STM32 based kit would come with 128K of program memory, 128K of patch storage and 64K of static RAM. Most importantly, the STM32 CPU runs at a whopping 72Mhz.
So, a new kit is born! The HAWK-832, which uses the STM32F373CC.
The dramatic increase in CPU storage capacity and speed provides a large amount of room for improving the performance of existing features and for implementing new ones.
The HAWK-832 kit should be easier to install when compared to the older HAWK-800. The HAWK-832 kit will require removal of the 80C85 CPU and replacing it with a 40 pin socket into which the HAWK-832 module will be inserted. This makes installation of the kit easier and less risky too.
Initial production of the HAWK-832 will not support the AtomaHawk. I made this choice because I've seen too many hack jobs performed on the Poly-800 and it's time to start treating them as the antiques that they are. They need to be preserved intact and pristine. We shouldn't be drilling holes in them anymore.
For those that adore the AtomaHawk, you can keep your HAWK-800/AtomaHawk install - of course. Depending on how things progress, I might develop a new AtomaHawk kit. But for now I am working on a plan to develop a new tone generator that will replace the MSM5232. The new TG will precisely emulate the original TG (the MSM5232). So the lovely chiptune square wave sound will be retained and we will add new waveforms. I am not exactly sure how many new waveforms will be available in the new TG but, at a minimum, we it should have sine, sawtooth, and pwm. And the DCO's will all be clocked independently! Independent clocking of the TG oscillators will give the synth voices warmth and depth. Also, the original paraphonic filter (NJM2069) will be retained as well. So the single filter will continue to provide rich, vibrant sounds along with the original DCO's or the new DCO's. We might even be able to squeeze in some new TG filters.
For now, the HAWK-832 will be a dramatic improvement over the HAWK-800 which itself was a huge boost for the Poly-800.
Receive HAWK-832 Project Updates
I will send out HAWK-832 project updates to those that would like to keep current on the progress of the HAWK-832 project. You can sign up by entering your email address below and pressing the "Subscribe" button.
Note that I will only send you HAWK-832 updates and nothing more. And, your email address will not be used for any other purpose.
HAWK-832 Teaser - Prototype Picture
HAWK-832 - Main Features
- A full and comprehensive MIDI implementation including CC and sysex!
- Arpeggiator with up, down and up/down modes across 1 to 3 octave range.
- Portamento Unison Mode! Combines chord mode with portamento.
- Four banks of 64 patches stored in non volatile flash memory!
- Seven sequences with step and real time editing!
- MIDI velociy sensitivity with control over VCF and envelope generators!
- Sustain pedal operation (both via the rear pedal jack and MIDI CC)!
- Four LFO's with many waveforms!
- Dozens more controls and improved user and sound generation!
- With the AtomaHawk kit installed you also get control over Extreme Resonance, FM-800 and 12/24db per octave mods!
- Click here for the full list of features
HAWK-832 - Proposed New Features
- 10 (maybe as many as 16) envelope generators (precise details to come soon)!
- New modulators using the additional EGs!
- High speed envelope generators (faster attack/decay slopes etc)!
- Selectable EG profiles (overall faster and slower EG durations)!
- Revamped sequencer step editing with parameter controls!
- Fully integrated patch and global parameters implementation!
- Simple kit installation (one 40 pin chip replacement)!
Buy the Kits
IMPORTANT: The HAWK kits are not currently available. The HAWK-832 will be available soon!
HAWK-800 Technical Support
- Click HERE for technical support (such as, the latest software).
- I use the groups.io Vintage Korg forum and I recommend that you sign up HERE.
What is the "AtomaHawk" kit?
The AtomaHawk kit is another hardware upgrade kit for the Poly-800 (also available for all three models) that takes control over the popular hacker modifications known as the Moog Slayer (extreme resonance including self oscillation), FM-800 (DCO modulation of VCF) and 12/24db per octave filter slope. The AtomaHawk kit is controlled by the HAWK-800 (no longer available) hardware kits so you must already have the HAWK-800 installed before you can install the AtomaHawk (no longer available). With both the HAWK-800 and AtomaHawk kits installed you have a revolutionized synthesizer with many new sound abilities.
HAWK-800 and AtomaHawk Resources
Where is the "HawkyStick" kit? *** The HawkyStick kit is NOT currently available. ***
The HawkyStick kit is another hardware upgrade kit for the Poly-800 (also available for the Mk2) that is a complete replacement of the original joystick.
This kit is being redesigned so that the physical installation is dramatically improved. I don't know yet when the new kit will be available.
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