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 23, 2013 @ 12:41 am
Always wanted this hybrid and just got one off ebay $300. w/battery replaced and refitted for easier future changes. This is very easy to program and the analog filters and VCA allow one to design some really nice ballsy bass and dream pads. This is not a rompler, actual digital waveforms and you can assign different one to each of two osc's, so although subtractive synthesis methods used, additive is here as well using harmonics/waves to sound design. This filter is really nice and UNLIKE the poly800, it has filters for each voice. Find one cheap while you can. KIWI Programmer helps.
June 19, 2013 @ 11:15 am
I have a Poly800, but I'm not too satisfied with it... And recently, it has begun to have weird problems. I'm thinking of getting this, and it is around the same price, as well as having quite a nice sound. I'd like to know how the programming is, though; My main problem with the 800 is the bad programming.
June 4, 2013 @ 1:04 am
Just picked 1 up off Ebay for $400 (including S&H) It was listed as being in "perfect working condition" battery was replaced & comes with power cord, disk w/SyEx presets & editing software. I've wanted a DW8000 since the mid-80's & I can't want for it to arrive! It will make a great addition to my synth collection, as well as scratching a 27 year long itch. LOL.
January 28, 2013 @ 5:40 pm
I managed to get myself one of these from a bootfare. Have to use it as an EX-8000 as the key-bed assembly has been damaged beyond repair, which qualifies matze-tias comment, as a replacement assembly I have not yet found.

Attached to a Novation or a Kenton . . . It's still a treasured addition worth working on.
January 4, 2013 @ 6:51 pm
A very impressive and massive sounding synth! Like with an inbuilt compressor. You can make a wide range of sounds, but espacially good for brasses, bass and belly sounds. Also great is the delay effect, which makes the sound very special and exciting. Keyboard in good condition is a pleasure to play, but be careful: because of the special design of the keyboard contacts (no rubber), it is possible that it fails and replacement parts are very rare. I think that is the weakest point on this instrument.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.52 (1414 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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