Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

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groy
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Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by groy » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:24 pm

Would this make sense?

I'm a newbie and can't really play a keyboard. I'm not interested in presets, I want something to learn more about patch creation on and also synch via midi. I have two groove boxes (korg emx, and roland mc-505), but feel limited by the sounds I can get out of the emx and want to expand on the mc-505 (which is a bit of a pain to edit and only sometimes sounds good). I basically use the step editor and appregiator on my emx to trigger notes on the 505 where i can mash out some chords, and hope to do this on the new synth. Also, a built in appregiator is important.

What I really want is a MS-2000 or 2000R for the sequencer, but am really choosing between a used microkorg and a dw-6000 or 8000 due to a super limited budget.

Thoughts?

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by visceralvoids » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:36 pm

MS2000/2000b/microKorg all have the same DWGS digital waves the DW-8000 has, but with a more powerful and independent analog style engine, better modulation and routing options. Used microKorgs are cheap, another good choice is the rack MS plus a midi controller. The microKorg has mini keys and the MS keybed is rather short.

Other good synth options for this, and around 500 bucks are: Alesis Ion (no fx or sequencer, but Micron has it), Yamaha AN-1x (or AN-200 plus MIDI controller), Roland JP-8000/8080 rack + controller, for a little more cash you can get a more powerful modern VA like a Virus, Nord (no fx or sequencer), Waldorfs - I'm sure others will have their own suggestions.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by groy » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:46 pm

visceralvoids wrote:MS2000/2000b/microKorg all have the same DWGS digital waves the DW-8000 has, but with a more powerful and independent analog style engine, better modulation and routing options.
thanks! sounds like you would lean towards the microkorg then (the small keys shouldn't be an issue to me). i've read here that you can get some cool rich sounds out of the dw-8000, but you're saying the microkorg can do that all + some?
and in terms of ease of use is one better than the other?

and i agree a good choice would be the rack ms, it's really what i want, but right now it's out of my price range. looks like i can get a used microkorg for around $200.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by visceralvoids » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:49 am

Yes microKorg is able to do all that and more, maybe won't have the same raw sound quality as the DW-8000 which uses all digital generated waves, but think of the microKorg as just the Korg MS-2000 in a different package because that's basically what it is.

DW-8000 is a 25 year old synth and has nothing on the microKorg in terms of features. microKorg has lots of ways to change up the sounds - LFO routings + destinations, a mod matrix, which DW-8000 does not have. A Korg VA engine plus all the DWGS waves the Korg DW-8000 has. Plus built in distortion, delay, vocoder. You can be pretty sure the microKorg will work next time you turn it on as well. Still, I respect the heritage of Korg DW-8000 and think it's a cool synth.

As long as you don't expect to get grand piano and realistic sampled sounds out of it, a microKorg will be your best bet for first synth (I've gone through two.) Also try Korg R3, Alesis Micron, Roland Gaia (all much cheaper second hand.) Even Novation has a new VA around the Gaia's price.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by groy » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:29 am

thank you, that's helpful. i hadn't looked into the r3 and hadn't even heard of the roland gaia.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:49 pm

MicroKorg it is.
bonne chance

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by groy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:16 pm

so, at the risk of being annoying...
in terms of programming patches and learning about synthesis, is the microkorg's interface going to be prohibitive or slow me down at all? i've read that synths with knobby interfaces like the ms-2000 can help the user understand how and why things are happening. i'm used to shuffling between functions and digging a bit on my mc-505, but would people recommend that i hold off and save for the ms-2000 or even something like the r3? or is the microkorg easy enough to edit on once i've gotten used to it?

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by visceralvoids » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:41 pm

microKorg has a grid matrix style menu, where multiple knobs do multiple things depending where they are set at. R3 is similar. The knob combinations and what they edit, are listed below the four knobs, in a table. Those four black knobs normally just affect cutoff, rez, attack and release.

MS2000 is "one knob per function", which is my favorite kind of programming interface. Knobs/sliders for all parameters are (usually) all laid out on the front panel. Little to no "menu diving" is needed. MS2000 also has a 16 digit LCD screen while microKorg has 4 digit alphanumeric screen. Sometimes you will have to look in the manual to figure out what that screen is telling you.

If you are used to operating your MC-505, you may find the microKorg easy to program once you learn to navigate the matrix menu, it's probably the same difficulty level if not easier. Here is a good article from Korg's website on how to program a microKorg.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by groy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:34 pm

@visceralvoids
i've actually grabbed a microkorg on craigslist fairly cheep. the interface is really pretty easy and the little thing is fun. figure if i keep using it a lot then i'll start saving for the ms2000r or something else and resell the microkorg (or hang on to it). so thanks for all the advice, i appreciate it.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 as a first synth?

Post by SquareWave » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:28 am

Well. a DW-8000 was my first synth. Can't say I loved it - sold it for a D50 which I really loved! For a first synth I would recommend some sort of workstation that will give you lots of sound options plus allow you to start sequencing. Tons of these types of units out their for relatively cheap...

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