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
Ted B
September 19, 2012 @ 10:59 pm
The DW-6000 and DW-8000 have more in common than the Poly 800. The DW synths, despite their differences, both play 8-bit digital PCM waves from a wavetable using DACs. The Poly 800 differs in that it uses DCOs that generate either a sawtooth or pulse wave in analog fashion. So, while all can be casually described as having '2 oscillators per voice', the DWs and Poly 800 differ markedly.
September 17, 2012 @ 10:10 am
Don, could you elaborate more on the DW 6000 having better "analogish" circuits than the DW 8000? How can this be when the 8000 is an evolution of the 6000, mainly with double the number of waveforms and some extra features? What part of the circuits are different that makes the 6000 more "analogish"? Also you say that the "Poly 800 is a true 2 oscillators DCO Analog". Both the 8000 (and 6000) also have 2 oscillators, plus indivdual filters per voice, whereas the Poly 800 only has one filter for all voices. They all sound good, have similarities and all come from the same family of synths...
Ted B
August 27, 2012 @ 9:21 am
I acquired a DW-8000 out of curiosity recently, having never played one before. Its sixteen 8-bit PCM waveforms and analog filters give a combination of digital grit and analog warmth characteristic of its era, and provide a basis for some raw, powerful sounds. Programming is easy to grasp, but can be a little tedious at times. Its effects are quite decent. The modulation routings are somewhat limited, but it's a capable machine in capable hands. All things considered, it was a good value in 1985, and remains so in 2012.
Don Solaris
August 22, 2012 @ 10:27 am
Korg DW-6000 is better by far than DW8000 regarding the "analogish" circuits. I agree it is a more 80's synth than DW-8000. DW-8000 belongs to the later era, let's say the "early digital era".

Poly 800 is a true 2 oscillators DCO Analog.

August 21, 2012 @ 9:25 pm
~don > get a clue! Poly 800 is trash, and DW-6000 is the sub version of this synth! Stop trying to bring prices down on ebay, we all know you are lusting for an 8000 :P
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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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