Korg DW-8000

Korg DW-8000 Image


Take Korg's first digitally controlled analog synth hybrid (DW-6000) two steps higher and you get the more popular DW-8000. Sound is digitally generated from the DWGS (Digital Waveform Generator System) and has been doubled from 8 sampled digital waveforms to 16 simple analog to complex digital waveforms. The DW-8000 has 8 voice polyphony in two modes, or one monophonic mode with all eight voices stacked. The analog VCF resonant filter and VCA both have independent ADBSSR envelopes. Parameters can be altered in real time via a single programmable slider. There are 64 presets that can be reprogrammed by the user.

Korg EX-8000 Image


In comparison to the DW-6000, the DW-8000 expanded to 8 notes polyphony, 16 sampled waveforms, a velocity sensitive keyboard with programmable aftertouch, auto-bend, a simple arpeggiator and a digital delay unit. The Digital Delay was an astonishing goody for the time, offering up to 512ms delay, phasing, flanging, chorusing and other time effects. Both the Arpeggiator, Auto-Bend and Digital Delay make this synth an inspiring and great sounding machine to use for great 303 basslines, techno and house bass and synth sounds and more! The EX-8000 (pictured above) is a rackmount version of the DW-8000. Several 3rd-party developers offered expansion boards for the DW-8000 providing up to 1024 presets, layered sounds, keyboard splits and Sample+Hold for the LFO. Though later overshadowed by the M1, the DW-8000 has been used by Divine Masquerade, Juno Reactor, Depeche Mode, Dream Theater, Joe Zawinul, and Keith Emerson.

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131 Visitor comments
July 10, 2014 @ 10:56 am
The DW-8000 is a fantastic sounding synth. It is a little disappointing that the filter steps so much (more due to MIDI than to anything else) and the keybed is terrible. Editing patches is fairly straightforward, but I have made a Novation ReMOTE template that makes editing even easier (found in the video linked below):

July 3, 2014 @ 4:18 pm
The circuitry in this synth is pure magic. It just sounds fat, warm and brilliant. The digital delay adds lots of depth. Limited parameters are part of its beauty. A digital-analog-symbiosis found in no other synth in the world.
June 13, 2014 @ 9:39 pm
Just added a Kiwi Technics Patch Editor to use primarily with the DW-8000 and it is like a whole new instrument with the unlocking of much more easily real time tweaking and designing sounds.
I really love the DW-8000 because having the ability to have two different waveforms/one for each oscillator, and mixing those gives quite a large palette amongst 16 available waves. Also, the envelopes are quite versatile and malleable. The filters...can make this sound in almost Moog territory or even PPG digital w/warmth.
Added a MEX8000 memory expander as well. Get them while still affordable.
April 22, 2014 @ 2:19 pm
Hello, Rhino.
How are you.

Dear Vintage Synth,

I would like to purchase VST samples of the
DW-8000’s stock patches (the A and B tape banks).

VST samples that I can use with a USB keyboard and Cubase.

Specifically ... the titles called Voice are the only ones needed
( 35 VOICE I, 36 VOICE I, 37 VOICE II, 38 VOICE III ).

Rumor is that these are available somewhere out there.
Do you know where.
Would prefer to buy the VST samples and not try to recreate them my myself.

Any help greatly appreciated.
March 18, 2014 @ 8:58 am
Before you go spending thousands on a Matrix 12, CS80, Super Jupiter, Juno 60 or even a D50 or JX10 you owe it to yourself to see what the DW8000 is capable of! I made a video of a few of its monster analog sounds and even threw in a nice Hammond B3 emulation! These are all patches I created, Enjoy!!

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VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.52 (1410 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 DWGSs per voice; 16 sampled digital waveforms (including saw, sqr and sin)
  • LFO - YES
  • Filter - Analog Low-pass resonant filter with ADBSSR 6-parameter envelope generator
  • VCA - ADBSSR 6-parameter envelope generator
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (with velocity and aftertouch)
  • Arpeg/Seq - 64 note arpeggiator
  • Effects - Digital Delay
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1985-87

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