aurélien chubilleau 06/13/2014

Korg Dw-8000 : aurélien chubilleau's user review

« The hybrid made by Korg »

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The DW-8000 made its appearance in 1985, along with its little brother the DW-6000. Both synthesizers are based on a rather original architecture, unusual at the time, they are hybrids, as indeed the American Ensoniq ESQ-1. If the filter, envelopes and LFOs are analog oscillators themselves are digital. Where ESQ-1 uses sampled waveforms, Korg has chosen a slightly more complex technique, called Digital Waveform Generator System (DWGS). It is not quite samples, but samples calculated waveform produced by additive synthesis (you follow?) The result is a particular sound quite clean to the family of DW, and remained unprecedented since.

There or DW-6000 features eight waveforms calculated, the 8000 double bet, and offers ADDITION traditional forms of analog synths. Caution, however, is not found so far all waveforms on 6000 8000.

Among the forms available on the DW-8000, there was a predominance of such wave forms enough to render metal or copper. It is clear there will Korg fetch the Yamaha DX7 on his supposed stomping ground.
Note: a recurring fault on Korg this time, there is no modulation or possible synchronization between the oscillators.

8000 DW is one of the last avatars Korg before the acquisition by Yamaha in 1987, and thus is distinguished by its high quality analog filter, which made the reputation of the brand. However, this filter is based on a fairly standard CEM circuit, but in fact sounds particularly good! Please note: the resonance achieved self-oscillation, and "keyboard squaling" function offers a four-point scale against three for 6000.

As for the envelope generators, one for the filter and white noise generator, the other for the oscillators, they are six floors such as those opened on the Poly-800 (1984), but unlike the latter, it is surprised not to have an envelope generator oscillator.

Moreover, there or DW-6000 contains every feature LFO Poly-800, 8000 brings welcome changes: there are four waveforms instead of two, but no sample / hold, and c is a shame.

Small feature of the DW-8000 compared to 6000: portamento addition, there is a "self-bend" configurable: it is introducing a glissando in the attack of each note. Again, we feel the desire to align with the DX7, which offers him squarely a dedicated envelope generator pitch.

The DW-8000 is eight polyphonic voices, instead of six for 6000, and provides two polyphonic modes, and two powerful unison mode, a different influence on the triggering of the envelopes to the attack of the notes.

Finally, conclude with what clearly distinguishes 8000 6000: first are digital delay, which also serves as chorus plus offers a very useful digital LFO to assist the main circuit. However, the value of delay time is not gradual as the Poly II-800, but offers only seven values. Suddenly, it misses the great flanging effects of Poly-800 II. Shame ...

Then, of course, arpeggiator, with its latch function, which transforms it into small sequencer. It is in line with the Polysix and Poly 61, but was well ... If the Up / down mode, the Up and Down Mode is replaced by an Assign mode still groovy least in some cases. It is a shame to have removed these two modes.

Novelty, the joystick control on the 8000 live opening the filter, as in Roland.

Finally, finish with the keyboard, different from that of 6000: there he is sensitive to the touch, and offers after touch. For those familiar with the Korg M1, well ... it's not the same keyboard as the M1 manual mechanics there DX7 or DW-8000 uses a special keyboard, which amortization is less pleasant.

In the end, even if there was some flats, the DW-8000 proved to be fairly complete in 1985, and today, it complies well enough fans synthesis.


The only real fault DW-8000 is to belong to the generation "calculator", and not to propose knobs facades, as major U.S. synthesizers where some Japanese legend. But here the controls are really intuitive, well thought out, with the summary of all front panel functions, all presented with more elegance on the DW-6000.

It is clear, it is clear, and an amateur synthesis can do without instructions. One in English, also not reveal any major secret, and who is fluent in English, it is very didactic. We do not take the head as the reading of the DX7, far more complex and complete synthesizer it is true.

In addition, the DW-8000 can address a beginner, to be a good school.


Let's be clear: the DW-8000 is a pure electronic instrument to make electronic music, do research, and nothing else. It's not in his personality to go imitate an acoustic instrument. This is not a Workstation-fed PCM and other General Midi sounds, this is a real synthesizer. And in his field, he has a personality, it shall be clean, and it should not be confused with one another. For those who love the Korg very typical of the 80s, the filter is to delight the ears.

Oscillators, they do not sound at all "American" as the SSM and the Polysix Poly 61, and do not sound like either of Poly-800, even if you feel that all these people belong to the same family.

Amazing fact: if it was reported that it is not found on the DW-8000 all waveforms 6000, when they are common, well ... they sound different! Is this due to the D / A converters? it is certain that the sound of 8000 seems heavier than the 6000. Suddenly, the DW-6000 is capable in some cases of a delicacy in harmonics, a more ethereal side not found on big brother, but it is more round and copper. Somehow, it is closer to the sound of a Poly-800 at times, while maintaining the specificity of its inimitable stamp specific to its hybrid nature.

In short, 8000 is not 6000 and vice versa. We like the DW-8000 for its low short, impeccable for sequences and arpeggios, its progressive sound with a high quality filter, its, special effects these powerful brass. Its digital delay also brings a very distinctive and attractive color.

Clearly, the DW-8000 is both very Korg, but not equivalent. if you are attracted by the instruments with a strong personality and know how to make part of it will find its place in your set, and projects of electronic music.


I have for many years, Korg, which just a DW-6000. I am equipped with the 8000 for what it brings more thinking have to do a synthesis part absolutely comparable. If this is the case on paper, listening, however, the two brothers are distinguished clearly enough ... and I will definitely keep both!

It is also clear that the DW 8000 does not affect the power of synthesis of some tenors of the time, as the DX7, Oberheim Matrix or otherwise more expensive, it is not comparable to the another hybrid of the time, ESQ-1, very typical U.S. and more complete.

However, the DW-8000 is not a toy, and remains effective for its time. And most importantly, there is the sound, his personality, his trademark inimitable. With its own personality, it is capable of varied sounds, and offers with ease exploration.

The DW-8000 is therefore aimed at enthusiasts synthesis, those who like real synths. So those have interest to go find out, often for a small fee, but beware, the rating goes up.