"Zawinul did not stop at the Wurlitzer and Fender Rhodes electric pianos he used in the 1960s. By the late 1960s he was extending his sonic palette with effects like phase shifters, Echoplexes, wah-wahs and ring modulators, and when synthesizers came on the market he was among the first to buy one (the EMS Putney). The list of synthesizers he has used since then — among them the ARP 2600, Rhodes Chroma, Oberheim Four-voice and Eight-voice, ARP Quadra, Sequential Prophet 5 and Prophet T8, Korg Trident, Oberheim Xpander, Korg VC10 vocoder, Emu Emulator, Casio CZ101, Korg DW8000, DSS1, DSM1 and M1 — reads like a synth museum's treasure list."more
"Roland was the only one who made programmers for the synthesizers, so you could still have the possibility to tweak sounds on the go—whereas with Korg, for example, like this one, the Korg 8000, the rack version of the DW8000, you really have to press buttons, and the programming or editing of sounds is definitely not as fun. "more
This Digital/analog board appears a bit unprofessional on the outside, even though it is heavy. But under the hood it really is quite nice. Too analog to be cool during the late 80's and too digital to be cool in the late 90's. But give this little beast a chance! It can totally hang with the DX, CZ and Juno series.And they are super cheap right now. grab them while you can!
This is a review, not an overview. Go here http://www.vintagesynth.com/korg/dw8000.php if you want to know the history/how it works. This truly a pro-grade poly synth from 1985-87. The dual oscillators are digital, but that doesn't stop them from sounding fantastic. The saw, square and sine waveforms are incredibly fat and warm, with lots of harmonic content. They also have 13 other 8-bit sampled waveforms, some of which sound passable, like the organ and electric piano, and others sound very 80s and pretty cheesy. You can also tune the second oscillator to a 2nd, minor 3rd, major 3rd, 4th, and 5th above the first one. Next the analogue, 12db/octave low pass filter is incredible. This filter is self-ocsilating, and can be almost played by it-self, it doesn't track perfectly. It has 64 steps to the cut-off, sadly it is noticeable when using the slider. It has a very nice Korg character to it though, and is probably one of the best features on this board. The envelopes are somewhat tricky to set up, because they have 7 parameters instead of 4 like most synths have. This makes them very flexible, but because of the one slider interface, it's rather hard to refine them. The single LFO has four waveforms, and works well, but only has 31 steps to the speed. It reaches just into the audio range. Finally, there is a digital delay. This unit is equipped with its own modulation as well. It adds a very nice touch to the tone, allowing the user to thicken things up. The keyboard itself, is usual synth fare, with light, springy keys. They make a fare amount of acoustic noise though. The keyboard is equipped with after-touch, but it's monophonic and requires strong fingers. The joystick is nice to have, but it would be nice to have a separate LFO speed/depth control. The arpeggiator is a lot of fun and has several modes. It thankfully is controlled externally. The interface sucks, but I plan on making/buying a controller to make live performances much easier. Finally one note, the backup battery is soldered to the main board, which means than total loss can occur if the battery leaks. Other than the battery issue, these are still extremely useful to this day, and a lot of fun to boot. Cheap as well
The delay effects sound fantastic and sometimes this synth shines like nothing else in my collection. It has character and I love most of all because of the saw waves, detune and unison mode. Just fat and warm sounding. Easy to use, even with just 1 fader and numerical buttons.
Nice machine, waveROM instead of analog so next to the saw/sqr/noise it also produces bell-like sounds. Not to keen on those though, I have FM for that. My HAWK800 modified Poly800 would almost replace this DW8000 were it not for the individual filters on each oscillator and the nice delay FX processor.