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Trusted musician and artist reviews for Korg DW-8000
Based on 7 Reviews and 42 Ratings
A hidden Gem!
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!
Limited, but great at what it does
When it was released, this was an unreal value due to: digital waveforms, digital delay, velocity and aftertouch, and a very solid arpeggiator.
None of these items are especially rare today, but that's ok: What it does have is a very unique custom Korg filter that I find instantly recognizable. It's an absolute dream for pads with the filter and a reasonably slow LFO. It's stable and reliable and it's very simple to dial in useable sounds even without knobs for every parameter. With two oscillators per voice, 8 voices, and the delay, it can sound very thick and dreamy.
On the downside, the modulation routings are extremely limited and the Korg joystick is not everyone's cup of tea. But, for pure sound quality, it's one of my go-to boards.
From Gear Setup:
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
A really good synth
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.