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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128 Visitor comments
Mammory Moog
November 20, 2009 @ 5:57 am
Agree with Dark Knight, absolutely mind blowing synth, the parameter resolution could be better over midi but hey dod the jupiter 8 have that ?
The sound is very very much like a jupiter 8, in fact more so than the MKS-80, and it probably is because of the discrete components on the voice boards, its a totally unique synth with absolutely mind melting sounds. And yes its is a best kept secret theres no doubt about it.
Love it love it love it, and with a midi controller love it some more !!!
The Dark Knight
November 11, 2009 @ 6:43 am
Dont know whether i should be saying this, but after owning two jupiter 8's ive found the EX-8000 does basses and pads as thick and the unison mode is frightening, i think some of this is due to the voice boards being a mixture between korgs own filter chips and discrete components unlike a CEM based synth of the era, and while JP-8s go for 4 and 5 grand these are going for a tenth of the price at present which is in my opinion ridiculous. The cat will soon be out of the bag on this synth and everyone will want it now that midi controllers are ten a penny, im sure about that. Its everyones best kept secret. Ok it doesnt do x-mod and PWM, but then again the JP-8 doesnt have 16 single cycle waveforms, a lovely digital delay, aftertouch or factory MIDI. I dont really miss the jupiter 8 with this around the place, but i would miss this baby.
October 9, 2009 @ 11:37 pm
I own one with the Musitronics Expansion,it's got 512 Patches now and belive me it rocks!!!
Best Synth for Basses and Pads.
September 15, 2009 @ 10:06 am
The EX-8000 - I love it. I just bought my second one! Well it is not the most famous synthesizer but it's got an excellent sound. Like someone on 'amazona.de' said - it reminds sometimes to an Oberheim. Ok - sometimes, it can sound 'analog' but even 'digital' because of the stored Waves. So it is a early Rompler - but with excellent filters that reach selfoscillation. The sound can be compared with the Oberheim Matrix 6/1000 and the Waldorf Microwave.
Now I have two of them in my rack, and none will leave it.
I remember SAGA on tour with two EX-8000, two Akai S-900 Samplers, Korg P3, Roland D-20, D-110 and Kawai K1m - I think it was in 1988. One more reason to use the EX-8000 :-)
July 28, 2009 @ 4:55 pm
Even though this synth is old it is very tweakable and sounds even better when run through an external filterbank and a digital signal processor. It's fun going through a guitar distortion unit too. Another neat feature is that the key contacts are self cleaning. If you find your keys not working their best just depress them rapidly a few times and you will find that they usually come back to life just fine.
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Rated 4.52 (1396 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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