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Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

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Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby joshnur » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:32 am

I've become some kind of King of bargain-hunting and keep finding great deals on 80's synths that I repair.

Got a Korg DW-8000 for $75 with some keyboard and acid leakage issues, and here it is in all its glory through AlexB's TFT and CDSoundMaster's Revox Nebula programs:

http://soundcloud.com/yashn/dw-8000-strings

Others repaired:
- Alesis Micron
- Roland JX-8P
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Re: Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby richie43 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:10 pm

Drool Drool..... :geek:
The Sounds of the Hear and Now
http://soundyaudio.com/
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Re: Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby joshnur » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:52 am

Hehe...

http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=45312

richie43 wrote:Drool Drool..... :geek:
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Re: Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby Cupwise » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:30 pm

i've had an EX-8000 (rack version of DW, without arp) for several years now and i love that thing- favorite synth. man, you can get so many cool sounds with that thing. you can get sounds like from the Terminator 1 soundtrack, other crazy 80s flicks. it's crazy what you can do with it because of how limited the thing seems- the analog filters go a long way. Also, the digital delay with modulation is RAD. you can just mess with that with feedback, and the filter, messing up echos for DAYS getting crazy sounds. thing is sweet.

I've taken my EX-8000 apart, as much as it pained me (yes, i knew it was dumb and did it anyway. why? i don't know), and desoldered the first filter chip off of the circuit board, and broke some of its legs off. so i had to order a replacement. :? anyway, i'm gradually working on trying to get like an 'external input' dealy set up, where i can send sounds into it, through the filter and echo. I've already got it working, it's just a matter of finalizing how i deal with it. i'm also installing switches that allow you to switch from the 24db/oct filters to the 12db/oct mode that the filter chips have but the synths didn't use for whatever reason.

anyway, at some point i'm going to sample the filter.

i think.

it depends on if i get it (the synth) back together without destroying it... i need to desolder the other 7 chips still, and already killed the first one i desoldered.. :roll: actually it's kind of a stupid thing i've done and i should probably just put it back the way it was, because the filter control is steppy, so to really get a good use from it i would need to somehow slew it and i'm not smart enough to figure that out. plus i'll probably get the whole thing sounding bad from interference having wires going every which way.

that's my story about me and my EX-8000.

oh, and you should check out: http://www.deaf-eddie.net/ex8000/ex8000.html if you haven't already. get the MEX-8000 patches. it's a .wav file you can just play from your soundcard into the DW. some of them are pretty rad. original factory patches there too!

-tim
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Re: Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby Cupwise » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:30 pm

oh and i also gotta say, 75$ for one of these things is an awesome deal- VERY worth it. i think i got my EX around 2005, maybe gave around 150$, so i got kinda lucky too, because it seems the prices on this stuff started going up right around that time, and have since.

nice string sounds in your clip! i've always wanted to get my hands on a DSS1 too, with its waveform draw and those filters.....

also, i saw a site somewhere once, where a guy made custom chips he installed where he put his own waveforms in his dw/ex, and could switch between the original set, and his set of like 200 waveforms, i was so jealous. kind of what spurred me to the 'ext input idea', which isn't quite as good because i won't get polyphony. still, i love the filter sound and like the idea of being able to use it on anything.

EDIT- just noticed in your muffwiggler thread that you are doing an ext in mod too. i've been wanting to do it for years and just finally started working on mine a few months back, the thing is sitting in my closet, deconstructed now. you seem more capable than me in this area, i would have to read/learn some more to get a final thing that worked well (smooth cutoff control). good luck!
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Re: Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby joshnur » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:46 am

Cupwise wrote:i've had an EX-8000 (rack version of DW, without arp) for several years now and i love that thing- favorite synth. man, you can get so many cool sounds with that thing. you can get sounds like from the Terminator 1 soundtrack, other crazy 80s flicks. it's crazy what you can do with it because of how limited the thing seems- the analog filters go a long way. Also, the digital delay with modulation is RAD. you can just mess with that with feedback, and the filter, messing up echos for DAYS getting crazy sounds. thing is sweet.


Sweet-sounding indeed, but also dark, and brash. The NJM2069 are amazing filters, really. Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode used a DW-8000 live for the Black Celebration tour. I am not yet sure whether he used its sounds or just used the keyboard as a controller, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did program sounds.

I've taken my EX-8000 apart, as much as it pained me (yes, i knew it was dumb and did it anyway. why? i don't know), and desoldered the first filter chip off of the circuit board, and broke some of its legs off. so i had to order a replacement. :? anyway, i'm gradually working on trying to get like an 'external input' dealy set up, where i can send sounds into it, through the filter and echo. I've already got it working, it's just a matter of finalizing how i deal with it.


Yep, I found a way to do that: global entry into the VCFs through the noise trace.

i'm also installing switches that allow you to switch from the 24db/oct filters to the 12db/oct mode that the filter chips have but the synths didn't use for whatever reason.


I'm on this mod as well, although what I thought would be an easy one with an 8PDT isn't actually that easy because this part is extremely rare. There must be a different way with possibly two 4PDTs and/or analog switches and relays. Let me know how you plan to do this.

it depends on if i get it (the synth) back together without destroying it... i need to desolder the other 7 chips still, and already killed the first one i desoldered.. :roll: actually it's kind of a stupid thing i've done and i should probably just put it back the way it was, because the filter control is steppy, so to really get a good use from it i would need to somehow slew it and i'm not smart enough to figure that out. plus i'll probably get the whole thing sounding bad from interference having wires going every which way.


Just put the single filter chip back: the actual mod you need here is the realtime Cutoff Frequency & Resonance potentiometer mods, which I'm doing soon, but first that involves unsoldering an IC for each, socketing them while bending pins and switching between the factory setting or the new pot mod setting. It's either this, or cutting traces and I'm not too sure I want to cut traces yet.

oh, and you should check out: http://www.deaf-eddie.net/ex8000/ex8000.html if you haven't already. get the MEX-8000 patches. it's a .wav file you can just play from your soundcard into the DW. some of them are pretty rad. original factory patches there too!
-tim


Yes, I checked this, but I vastly prefer transferring sounds via MIDI SysEx since the DW-8000 is well-equipped for that as compared to the Poly-800. The MEX-B is great if I remember correctly.
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Re: Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby joshnur » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:52 am

Cupwise wrote:oh and i also gotta say, 75$ for one of these things is an awesome deal- VERY worth it.

nice string sounds in your clip! i've always wanted to get my hands on a DSS1 too, with its waveform draw and those filters.....


Thanks, I customized one of the presets, the #13 from one of the available banks. Oh yes, when I heard the chords for the first time, I was overjoyed.

also, i saw a site somewhere once, where a guy made custom chips he installed where he put his own waveforms in his dw/ex, and could switch between the original set, and his set of like 200 waveforms, i was so jealous. kind of what spurred me to the 'ext input idea', which isn't quite as good because i won't get polyphony. still, i love the filter sound and like the idea of being able to use it on anything.


That would be Chris Strellis, and this mod is a complex one: Chris did this with a combination of FPGA modeling and a utility he wrote to remap the new waveforms correctly, together with another piece of circuitry. It's beyond my knowledge for now, although that got me interested in FPGAs, but there is good news: I asked Chris about information on his mod, and he recently replied that he is planning the same mod for the DW-8000. He will probably market it.

EDIT- just noticed in your muffwiggler thread that you are doing an ext in mod too. i've been wanting to do it for years and just finally started working on mine a few months back, the thing is sitting in my closet, deconstructed now. you seem more capable than me in this area, i would have to read/learn some more to get a final thing that worked well (smooth cutoff control). good luck!


Thanks. Yes that mod worked well although it's still in prototype phase. There are plenty of mods coming for the DW-8000: realtime Cutoff, Res, Noise Level pot mods, possibly some additional Delay-related pot mods, External Audio into the VCF, External CV inputs for Cutoff, Resonance and other parameters.
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Re: Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby Cupwise » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:20 pm

wow you sound like you're really on the ball with this! about the switch for the 12/24db oct modes, i too looked for an 8PDT and found that they were really rare, so i think i bought several 2PDT switches and planned on doing them in twos. I was kind of thinking about doing it like- chip 1+3 to a switch, 2+4, 5+7 and 6+8, thinking that might be cool because you could then have the odd chips in one mode and even in the other. that way you could use the monophonic mode that uses the next chip for each new note, and have your notes alternate between modes. i don't know if that would actually produce any worthwhile result or work well, but it was an idea.

i liked the idea of being able to control the cutoff with midi, and sequence filter sweeps. i tried it but as i said it's steppy. so i would like to somehow get a switch in the filter control input to switch in a way to smooth that. i like the idea of having a knob to control the cutoff also, for some knob twiddling sweep stuff. i'd like both. i don't particularly care as much about res control, but that's me.

a couple other things-
the chip i got from ebay (to replace the one i broke the leg off of) has slightly different numbering on it. i've wondered if there is much/any difference.

about the using a capacitor where your signal goes in- exactly what cap would be best to use there? someone told me that different values would pass more/less bass (i basically don't know much of anything about electronics, so i just learn small amounts through small projects like this).
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Re: Revived Korg DW-8000 through Nebula

Postby joshnur » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:56 am

Cupwise wrote: I was kind of thinking about doing it like- chip 1+3 to a switch, 2+4, 5+7 and 6+8, thinking that might be cool because you could then have the odd chips in one mode and even in the other.


That would go into control nightmare territory and would not be very musical. Two halves may be good.

Cupwise wrote:i liked the idea of being able to control the cutoff with midi, and sequence filter sweeps. i tried it but as i said it's steppy.


CV is the way to go here, not MIDI.

a couple other things-
the chip i got from ebay (to replace the one i broke the leg off of) has slightly different numbering on it. i've wondered if there is much/any difference.

about the using a capacitor where your signal goes in- exactly what cap would be best to use there? someone told me that different values would pass more/less bass (i basically don't know much of anything about electronics, so i just learn small amounts through small projects like this).


It would be cool to get this conversation continuing on MuffWiggler, so that everything is in a single place. See you there.
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