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It appears that my site has become one of the definitive sources of information on the web for the DW-8000. I'll continue to maintain this page for just that reason, although I really don't use the synth much anymore. There is actually a dedicated DW-8000 site out there now, DW-8000.COM, which I hope will become the reference site in the future. I really have no idea whether some of the older sites or contacts listed below still work.

The Korg DW-8000 Programmable Digital Waveform Synthesizer is a nifty little digital/analog hybrid synth which has that analog sound with a modern MIDI implementation. Specs:

  • 8 voice polyphonic, monotimbral
  • 2 DCO's per voice, 1 VCF, 1 VCA, 1 modulator
  • 2 6-stage, velocity-sensitive envelopes for VCF & VCA
  • full sysex support, OMNI disabling, selectable MIDI channel
  • digital delay processor
  • pitch bend -> filter cutoff modulation super cool! But everybody does that these days...
  • other cool stuff
  • did I mention that the VCFs are self-oscillating? That'll kill your hearing real quick.

Check out the "Retro Review" in the December 1994 issue of Future Music (real recent stuff here, I don't even know if the mag exists anymore) for a sure indication that the DW-8000 has officially become pseudo-vintage. I used to use the DW-8000 all the time because it has some very distinctive sounds, not to mention the capability of doing some truly wicked organs. Plus for some monster spaciness, pump up the on-board digital delay and chorus, and shuttle the output through MIDI-synced delay and a nice weird ambience. Fantastic!

Archives & Editors

Because the programming interface of the DW-8000 sucks (one slider, one parameter at a time) I have written a full editor/librarian for it which runs under Windows 3.1 (and seems fine under Windows 95). The editor can upload and download patches and banks and has full control panels for all patch parameters. It's way too cool for its own good. It's also old (I know by personal experience that it runs under Windows 3.1), and I'm not maintaining it anymore. Go to the software section of my web site to get it.

I now have a large collection of patches available, courtesy of E. Emmett Brown (who now has a web page), so thank him, not me! Here is the patch readme and here are the patches (180k ZIP file). If there are any .EXE's in the zip files, don't trust them because I don't know where they came from. This guy is just a fountain of good stuff; I have another patch archive from him, plus two sets of factory patches in .wav format (part 1 and part 2). You should be able to hook your line out to the tape input to send them to the synth. I also have all of the patches formerly kept on the DW-8000 ftp site (which is now gone so don't try the link) in two smaller zip files, part 1 and part 2. These are courtesy of a guy named Capo. I guess I am now the DW-8000 site, since the old site seems to be kaputt. All of these patches are provided as is--I have not used them myself and I can't vouch for their quality or even whether they work. Most of these should be in a sysex format that you can send to the DW with any sequencer software. Chris Scurrah has contributed some new patches recently. They are in a zip file.

A guy named Alex Gilelach has graciously contributed a DW-8000 program sheet of his own design in PDF format. Enjoy!

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