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Korg DW8000 in 2017? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 22nd July 2017
  #31
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namnibor's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
Unison on it is a secret weapon.
You are so correct. Unison on and latch the arp and play with the delay. Built like a tank outside. I have never ever done that tuning adjustment on the filters as described in service manual and I have owned mine since brand new in 80's...only modified the battery so no longer soldered it is removable/easier to change next time.

Still has crap for keys. Clacky.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #32
Deleted User
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Hi, it is a program number, not test data
there is a chart which shows you the settings for each chart, just like the DW-6000

Well, when they are tuned to C AND track the keyboard, you can get the filters to re-enforce
the harmonics of the oscillators.
plus it sounds cool to have a self resonant filter track the keyboard.

My Dw-6000 was quite a bit off after all those years.
Even for me, as i have been out of electronics for 30 years, fairly easy to do. YMMV






Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewdman42 View Post
I took a look at the service manual, I see that adjustment section at the end...A little afraid to mess with some of that stuff...so you're saying you loaded the test data and ran that procedure for adjusting the VCF's, then made sure they were all set to C? what does that do exactly? Were you just changing the centerpoint of the resonance? You said you felt that was the secret weapon of the instrument, how so?
Old 22nd July 2017
  #33
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
Hi, it is a program number, not test data
there is a chart which shows you the settings for each chart, just like the DW-6000

Well, when they are tuned to C AND track the keyboard, you can get the filters to re-enforce
the harmonics of the oscillators.
plus it sounds cool to have a self resonant filter track the keyboard.

My Dw-6000 was quite a bit off after all those years.
Even for me, as i have been out of electronics for 30 years, fairly easy to do. YMMV
I just bought a used DW-8000 and I haven't plugged it in yet to find out how bad or good it is. Had one years ago as my first synth and wanted one for my collection. SO I reckon I will be getting familiar with the service mode adjustments, but I don't want to mess anything up either, so I need to understand it clearly first. I will definitely write down anything I change.

The service manual mentions some test data that needs to be loaded for doing the adjusting... dunno what that is. The table you mentioned in the service manual didn't make sense to me just yet, but I will try to grok it later. I might be able to find this test data on the net somewhere... I might even have the old cassette tape from 25 years ago on my first DW actually, I need to look around.

So from the factory are all they normally supposed to all be tuned to the same frequency or is that a deviation from "normal" which you consider better? It makes sense that if the VCF's are tuned to match 440hz(I guess?), then tracking resonance to the keyboard could beef up the sound substantially when the filter goes into self-oscillation, I totally get you there and would love to play around with that....but anything I can do to just make the keyboard sing a little bit like the good ol' days...
Old 22nd July 2017
  #34
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by namnibor View Post
You are so correct. Unison on and latch the arp and play with the delay. Built like a tank outside. I have never ever done that tuning adjustment on the filters as described in service manual and I have owned mine since brand new in 80's...only modified the battery so no longer soldered it is removable/easier to change next time.

Still has crap for keys. Clacky.
I'm going to do the felt replacement that I saw mentioned on some forums. This one I just got is real clacky too. I remember the one I had in the late 80's also kind of clacked a lot, but this one is worse 25 years later, or else my memory is worse. There is a procedure I've seen where you take all the keys out, clean them, replace the padded strip with some piano felt and wala...way quieter...... allegedly. I'm planning to try it, I hope the aftertouch on this thing, I've heard some reports of those wearing out too. But we shall see. The guy I bought it from said it never left his studio, but who knows...
Old 22nd July 2017
  #35
Deleted User
Guest
The Fo adjustment does not require test data, you are just adjusting trimpots, after setting the synth as per PROGRAM 13 (no need to load from a data cassette.
The Fc adjustment requires trimpot adjust as per chart 14.

The chart on Page 41 shows how to set up program 13 and 14.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewdman42 View Post
I just bought a used DW-8000 and I haven't plugged it in yet to find out how bad or good it is. Had one years ago as my first synth and wanted one for my collection. SO I reckon I will be getting familiar with the service mode adjustments, but I don't want to mess anything up either, so I need to understand it clearly first. I will definitely write down anything I change.

The service manual mentions some test data that needs to be loaded for doing the adjusting... dunno what that is. The table you mentioned in the service manual didn't make sense to me just yet, but I will try to grok it later. I might be able to find this test data on the net somewhere... I might even have the old cassette tape from 25 years ago on my first DW actually, I need to look around.

So from the factory are all they normally supposed to all be tuned to the same frequency or is that a deviation from "normal" which you consider better? It makes sense that if the VCF's are tuned to match 440hz(I guess?), then tracking resonance to the keyboard could beef up the sound substantially when the filter goes into self-oscillation, I totally get you there and would love to play around with that....but anything I can do to just make the keyboard sing a little bit like the good ol' days...
Old 22nd July 2017
  #36
Deleted User
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Yes, from the factory the synths are tuned per the setup charts.
However, just like my 1979 CS-40m, adjustments are required.
The DW-8000 will have most likely drifted less.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #37
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It's a great synth. It does sound really 80s out of the box, at least with the patches that came with mine but I didn't get it for that kind of music. Great bass, leads and pads, it does great dark string pads. It did try recreating it using the DWGS waves in the MS2000 and MicroKorg and the DW just sounds better because of the filter, I guess. I like it better than the Roland JX-8P and Alpha Juno. Lack of osc sync (and the terrible keyboard) is the only thing that annoys me about it. I love the arpeggiator and onboard delay too. I'm a big fan of the SQ8L VST, I would love to get an ESQ-1 or SQ80 to compliment the DW.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #38
Gear Head
 
ElectricViolin's Avatar
 

It was my second synth. I got it when it first came out when I was 16. Summer job savings. Still have it. Just had it serviced last year as the power supply had died.

I've always kept it beyond sentimental value because of how easily it sits in a mix and also for its special effects, sound design, type sounds.

The interaction of the joystick modulation with the delay is pretty epic. Then turn on the arppegiator .
Old 22nd July 2017
  #39
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I always wanted one. But I have too many already.

I remember once there was a guy from Ireland on here, he had the best DW tracks I ever heard.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #40
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If you have the room and were going to buy the keyboard anyways, buy a DSS-1. Same but much better.

But buy the keyboard. Not the rack DSM-1. The rack version cut out the features most appreciated now for features that no one cares about today.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #41
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
The Fo adjustment does not require test data, you are just adjusting trimpots, after setting the synth as per PROGRAM 13 (no need to load from a data cassette.
The Fc adjustment requires trimpot adjust as per chart 14.

The chart on Page 41 shows how to set up program 13 and 14.
Thanks for that info. I will look into this...
Old 22nd July 2017
  #42
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilita View Post
It's a great synth. It does sound really 80s out of the box, at least with the patches that came with mine but I didn't get it for that kind of music. Great bass, leads and pads, it does great dark string pads. It did try recreating it using the DWGS waves in the MS2000 and MicroKorg and the DW just sounds better because of the filter, I guess. I like it better than the Roland JX-8P and Alpha Juno. Lack of osc sync (and the terrible keyboard) is the only thing that annoys me about it.
Yea no osc sync, so somewhat limited in terms of timbres it can do, but as you said, great filter. Plus, I love the auto bend feature...it makes for GREAT synthy brass patches... I remember factory patch 11, brass delay or something like that... I might have modified it, but it had the auto bend, some delay on it...sounded so great....but then you could play softly and it purred like a pad, hit some aftertouch and wobbled like a synth. LOVED IT.

I actually really liked the keybed back then, I liked that it had a little bit of kick back to it...but what I didn't like and still don't is how noisy it is in the room. I always had to record with headphones on to block it out.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #43
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
Yes, from the factory the synths are tuned per the setup charts.
However, just like my 1979 CS-40m, adjustments are required.
The DW-8000 will have most likely drifted less.
I will have to look at that chart a little better until I understand it. So when you say that it will have drifted over some time...I would assume that internally the settings should match the factory settings on the chart when I open it up...its digital right? if it drifted will the values have changed in there, or would the values still match what was set at the factory and I would expect to measure things with an oscilloscope as having drifted away from what they are supposed to be?
Old 22nd July 2017
  #44
Gear Maniac
 

Kind of an odd question but is the keybed any better on a dss-1 than the dw8000?
Old 22nd July 2017
  #45
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I had one in the early 90s for a short time before I traded it for a TS-10. I really liked it, but like others have mentioned, it's fairly limited. Every now and then I think about getting the rack version... then I don't. If you find one at a bargain price, I say, go for it.

If you can spend a bit more, think about the KingKORG. All the DWGS waves are in there, and the analog modeled filters sound really nice. 3 oscs with some cool tricks (like sync osc modes for different wave shapes, crossmod, etc) mod matrix, ok effects, nice tube overdrive. I sold one in perfect condition for $600. If they made a rack version, I'd buy it again.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
I remember Don Solaris saying it had plastic sounding oscillators, which put me of somewhat...
I don't want to put the exitment away but I agree to Don Solaris about the DW8000. This is my personal experience of the DW8000, back in the 80s:

Of all hardware synths I ever had since the early 80s or had access to (the DW8000 wasn't mine but I was the only user of it) it was the synth I disliked most of them all. Not only the oscillators but the whole synth sounded plastic. It sounded almost phaseshifted and the attack of the sound was unfocused. Also the interface was plastic and uninspiring. The joystick was, IMHO, a bad thing to implement on a synth as it was spring back and not like a mod wheel that can be set on a certain position to use with filters, volume, LFO speed etc (the way I always been a heavy user of, not only for vibrato).

I always preferred American synths (SCI, Oberheim etc), Rolands and the earlier Yamahas during those heydays of great synths of the 80s. But sorry, the DW8000 still don't give me any good vibrations. When coming up for sale I pass it to you who like it and in that way help you hold down the price to a realistic level of synths. Therefore give me a thank you for I dislike it
Old 22nd July 2017
  #47
Deleted User
Guest
The VCF is analog with trimpots, it can and will drift with time and temperature.
I set mine up after 20 minute warm-up time and was consistently "in-tune" on my self-oscillating sine wave patch, so one adjustment must work for years.
But as I no longder have it, I can only speculate.

This synth is a hybrid, the oscillators are digital, but the amplifier and filters are analog.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewdman42 View Post
I will have to look at that chart a little better until I understand it. So when you say that it will have drifted over some time...I would assume that internally the settings should match the factory settings on the chart when I open it up...its digital right? if it drifted will the values have changed in there, or would the values still match what was set at the factory and I would expect to measure things with an oscilloscope as having drifted away from what they are supposed to be?
Old 22nd July 2017
  #48
Deleted User
Guest
It wasn't the timbre of the DW-6000 that made me sell it, it was the fact that the volume levels
were low compared to my reference Blofeld (digital) or JX-3P (analog).

I could never get the level to sit in a mix, and I am not a big fan of ever going over UNITY setting
on the input strip on my Mackie.

I don't know if the DW-8000 levels are low compared to other synths, never having owned one.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
It wasn't the timbre of the DW-6000 that made me sell it, it was the fact that the volume levels
were low compared to my reference Blofeld (digital).
Huh, interesting Isn't the Blofeld known for having rather low volume levels?
Old 22nd July 2017
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
I don't know if the DW-8000 levels are low compared to other synths, never having owned one.
They are a bit low but that wouldn't be a reason for me to sell mine.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #51
Deleted User
Guest
Yeah from Redditland and the merry band of the uninformed.
Most of the preset patches were ported from the uQ at very low levels.
I noticed this from the get-go at the time I bought the Blofeld, referenced
to a JX-3P set to Patch A1 High Output, volume at 7.

The fix is super easy! It is called gain structure.
On the filter drive a setting to tube at 16 will boost the audio into
synthvana.

As I deleted all 1024 patches and started from scratch as I felt the patches
sounded too "young" at the time. I was 50 when I bought my first (of 4)
Blofelds. I am now up to G030 with about 225 to go, so the end of the year (after 4 years) I will have replaced all these low-level, young sounding patches with custom ones.

I am very much a lone-wolf, contrarian, so when I hear a repeated mantra of the masses, in regards to alleged events, such as low volume level, it puts me into "Oh, Really" mode.

Now granted, there are those who have blown out the output resistor with too low an impedance headphones (I use 50omh 1992 Denons, if I actually find the need to plug headphones into the Blofelds)

This is not a good thing from Blofeld that this happens- but it does.

If I want a good laugh, I read all the fantasy made up about the Blofeld in Reddit or various other "informed" sites.

But there again, there is more than enough fantasy about any synth, to get a
great lark, on most any site!


Quote:
Originally Posted by kittenmeatz View Post
Huh, interesting Isn't the Blofeld known for having rather low volume levels?
Old 22nd July 2017
  #52
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My belief is that new things like the Minilogue render it unneeded - the 80s digital can be done with an FM emulator, etc.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #53
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GeminIAm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryDelmarva View Post
My belief is that new things like the Minilogue render it unneeded - the 80s digital can be done with an FM emulator, etc.
Yeah I can't disagree with this. These kinda cheap 80s synths with rubbish UIs were great when it was a choice of super expensive Prophet 5, very expensive Juno 60, or a 90s VA. Now, with the likes of the Minilogue, DeepMind, System 1 and even stuff like the JDXi there really isn't that much point to them. Yeah they sound ok, but not special enough to put up with lack of knobbage/oldness etc.
Old 22nd July 2017
  #54
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flowthrough's Avatar
Had a DW-6000 and a DW-8000.
liked the Filter on both of them- not the keybed (or the physical weight of the DW-8000 or the weird joystick)
For me, the filter was just not exciting enough (in combination with the limited architecture- and the DWGS waves- which were just silly in comparison with a good single cycle selection found on a Prophet VS).
It was fun to play with the arpeggiator and DDL, - but that didn't come anywhere near justifying the space it would take up in the studio (soundwise- a Virtual Analog rack suits me much better)
Old 22nd July 2017
  #55
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
The VCF is analog with trimpots, it can and will drift with time and temperature.
I set mine up after 20 minute warm-up time and was consistently "in-tune" on my self-oscillating sine wave patch, so one adjustment must work for years.
But as I no longder have it, I can only speculate.

This synth is a hybrid, the oscillators are digital, but the amplifier and filters are analog.
Yea got you. I read the service manual a bit last night. I'm not sure what the test data that is mentioned is, I'm presuming its a sine wave patch or something that can be played back which will provide consistent results with an external oscilloscope. For the Fo adjustment, they recommend using an external chromatic tuner, in which case the sound may not matter that much. Hook that up, twiddle the trim pots via buttons on the DW until the tuner says middle C for each filter.

I will definitely do this. Are there any other easy calibrations worth looking at while I'm at it?

I hear what people are saying about the DW8000. It was my first synth in 1987 and I grew to loathe it as technology changed so much so quickly in those days....I eventually got an M1 for gigging, and an S550 and other more modern romplers and stuff. A triton, etc.. The value of analog oscillators and filters was completely lost on me back then. The clacky keybed and only 64 presets with no way to name them, etc.

I was a poor 20-something back then, I couldn't afford more then two keyboards.

However now 25 years later, mostly using plugins, I have still never found one that responds quite the way the DW8000 did for certain kinds of sounds. I already had an EX8000 actually, but got this DW more as memorabilia then anything. But I will definitely use it. It has a certain tone and feel that I just haven't found in any other keyboard or plugin in the last 25 years since I got rid of the first one.
Old 23rd July 2017
  #56
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namnibor's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewdman42 View Post
I'm going to do the felt replacement that I saw mentioned on some forums. This one I just got is real clacky too. I remember the one I had in the late 80's also kind of clacked a lot, but this one is worse 25 years later, or else my memory is worse. There is a procedure I've seen where you take all the keys out, clean them, replace the padded strip with some piano felt and wala...way quieter...... allegedly. I'm planning to try it, I hope the aftertouch on this thing, I've heard some reports of those wearing out too. But we shall see. The guy I bought it from said it never left his studio, but who knows...
Mine clacked from brand new in 80's to present. No worse for age, the after touch still works but it's as clacky as day one.
Old 23rd July 2017
  #57
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3rdpath's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reaperbond View Post
Kind of an odd question but is the keybed any better on a dss-1 than the dw8000?
Nope. I have both and they're great synths with horrible clunky keyboards. The DSS-1 actually was " semi-weighted" which meant small metal weights were glued to the bottom of each key. They randomly fall off and often end up inside of the keyboard during transport.
Old 23rd July 2017
  #58
Gear Maniac
 

Ok, please forgive me if this is obvious, but some questions about the VCF adjustment... Its slowly starting to make sense, but I still have a few holes in my understanding before I do this.

In the service manual I see that the so called "test data" is just a collection of patches which isolate certain things for measurement. For example, patch 13 and 14, turn both OSC's all the way off to zero and turns the filter resonance all the way up to 31. That makes perfect sense, fine so far.

The manual says to power on the machine while holding down 7 and 8 buttons, which puts it into tuning mode, but I don't see any other explanation for how to operate it in so called "tuning mode" or what that mode really is...?? "test mode 2" it is called in the service manual, but its not clear to me what is different about that versus regular operation.

Ok, so for the VCF resonance check, they have two tests, Fo and Fc. Its not clear to me what Fo and Fc stand for?

Here are the specific instructions for Fo:

Quote:
1) Select Program Number 13
2) Connect chromatic Tuner to output jack
3) Press any single key and confirm oscillation frequency of each voice on tuner is C (523hz), 1 octave, 0 cent.
4) Unless, adjust semi fixed VRs among VR102-VR802 of oscillating voice
So the question is, first where are the VR102-VR802 trim pots? Are these found on the circuit board somewhere that will be obvious when I dissassemble the DW8000?

Secondly, how is it that you measure "each voice"? it says to play any single key but how do you isolate each voice to measure with the chromatic tuner?

Same goes for Fc, which is a similar procedure, but with cutoff frequency set higher and, measuring a higher C note with the tuner and using different trim pots, whereever they are.

Appreciate any help..

after reading through all of the adjustment procedures, I think most of them will not be possible for me to do because I don't own an actual oscilloscope, for example, that I can measure things from the circuit board. Looks like most of the stuff is checking levels, voltages, etc.. Would be interesting to do all that just to make sure, but I have a feeling its not really necessary. Though I am intrigued about doing the aftertouch calibration as well, but like I said, I don't have the neede measuring equipment.
Old 23rd July 2017
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewdman42 View Post
Ok, please forgive me if this is obvious, but some questions about the VCF adjustment... Its slowly starting to make sense, but I still have a few holes in my understanding before I do this.

In the service manual I see that the so called "test data" is just a collection of patches which isolate certain things for measurement. For example, patch 13 and 14, turn both OSC's all the way off to zero and turns the filter resonance all the way up to 31. That makes perfect sense, fine so far.

The manual says to power on the machine while holding down 7 and 8 buttons, which puts it into tuning mode, but I don't see any other explanation for how to operate it in so called "tuning mode" or what that mode really is...?? "test mode 2" it is called in the service manual, but its not clear to me what is different about that versus regular operation.

Ok, so for the VCF resonance check, they have two tests, Fo and Fc. Its not clear to me what Fo and Fc stand for?

Here are the specific instructions for Fo:



So the question is, first where are the VR102-VR802 trim pots? Are these found on the circuit board somewhere that will be obvious when I dissassemble the DW8000?

Secondly, how is it that you measure "each voice"? it says to play any single key but how do you isolate each voice to measure with the chromatic tuner?

Same goes for Fc, which is a similar procedure, but with cutoff frequency set higher and, measuring a higher C note with the tuner and using different trim pots, whereever they are.

Appreciate any help...
The trimmers will be really obvious when you open it up. I'm just guessing (since it's been a LONG time since I tried tuning DW filter), but the "tuning mode" might show which voices are being triggered in the LED screen. That way you know which one you are tuning. Failing that, it's pretty easy to ID the starting voice by adjusting the Voice #1 trimmer quite dramatically and cycling until you hit a really "off" filter frequency--then you know you are on voice 1. Hold that note and adjust trimmers accordingly. The DW automatically cycles voices so should be easy to work your way down them.
Old 23rd July 2017
  #60
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
The trimmers will be really obvious when you open it up. I'm just guessing (since it's been a LONG time since I tried tuning DW filter), but the "tuning mode" might show which voices are being triggered in the LED screen. That way you know which one you are tuning. Failing that, it's pretty easy to ID the starting voice by adjusting the Voice #1 trimmer quite dramatically and cycling until you hit a really "off" filter frequency--then you know you are on voice 1. Hold that note and adjust trimmers accordingly. The DW automatically cycles voices so should be easy to work your way down them.
Oh I see now poly mode cycles through the voices, got it. Thanks! Can't wait to try this. Do you guys know if any of this is possible with an EX8000, which I also have one of those...
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