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Korg Wavestate

chysn

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Korg Wavestate
« on: January 12, 2020, 06:46:29 PM »
I haven't been this tempted by a digital keyboard synth in years

https://www.korg.com/us/products/synthesizers/wavestate/

The original Wavestation was an absolute blast, and I loved it. But the lack of a real filter was a drag, and the lack of hands-on control was typical for 199x, but also a drag. Wavestate seems to solve both of the Wavestation's problems, while rethinking how wave sequences are built from a timing perspective.

DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

OceanMachine

Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 07:28:22 PM »
I'll own a Wavestate soon unless Sequential announces a VS successor or Prophet Wave by NAMM. Got one on pre-ordered already in fact.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 07:46:17 PM by A Thousand Eyes »

Shaw

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 07:45:47 PM »
... but limited to a 3 octave keyboard?    ???


I do find the synth quite interesting, and lovely sounding, but the Korg Wavestation had 61 keys and 32 voices.  This one goes with 37 keys and 64 stereo voices.  I suppose I'll never understand this new paradigm in synth creation.  Do people no longer actually play a synth???
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 07:52:23 PM by Shaw »
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

OceanMachine

Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 07:50:42 PM »
They'll likely release a "pro" version called the Wavenation if the Wavestate is a hit.

Shaw

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 07:54:13 PM »
They'll likely release a "pro" version called the Wavenation if the Wavestate is a hit.
I likely was adding onto my first post when you replied, but suffice it to say, if they release a 61 key version (at a reasonable premium over the 37 key "non-pro" version), I'll be all over it.
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

chysn

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 08:04:12 PM »
... but limited to a 3 octave keyboard?    ???

It sort of calls back to Prophecy, which was also 3 octaves. Prophecy wound up in Z1, of course, and I'm sure Wavestate will wind up in the next Kronos or whatever.

But Wavestation didn't need five octaves, and neither does Wavestate. A wave sequence synth is essentially a monosynth. It's got 64-note polyphony, but that's to facilitate lots of crossfading in the wave sequences. It's the kind of instrument where you build up a complex sound and then play it with one finger. It would work well with 16 tuneable pads. Three octaves is a luxury.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

OceanMachine

Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 08:19:19 PM »
I can't stand the whole, "press one key to win" concept. This is an extremely capable synth in which that's only one facet of. Personally I need a synth that's easily portable and I'll just use another keyboard as a controller when at home.

chysn

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2020, 08:41:10 PM »
I can't stand the whole, "press one key to win" concept. This is an extremely capable synth in which that's only one facet of.

I agree with that in principle. Certainly if you're talking about hitting a key and running loops, that's no way to make music. But a wave sequencer disrupts that principle by making the composition a major part of the sound design. Wavestate has the resources to make the fact that it's a three-octave keyboard unimportant for serious composition.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Shaw

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2020, 08:42:51 PM »
Three octaves is a luxury.
I must have been playing that old Wavestation incorrectly....   ;)
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2020, 03:14:28 AM »
The Wavestation EX was my very first synth or rather my introduction to synthesis, so Korg's announcement set some nostalgia in motion. I still own the Wavestation, although it could use some new buttons and especially a new display. The latter is mostly the reason why it's currently sitting in a box. I always wanted to have another go at it to see if I can make use of its potential beyond the sonic character that can be perceived as an early 1990s cliché. That's at least one of the challenges when it comes to the original that has been used in so many (bad) film scores: It can easily feel like an overplayed record with a massive time stamp.

The Wavestate brings along some advantages, mostly by allowing for programming several lanes independent of each other and the introduction of a more hands-on UI. I'm not sure I care so much for the added filter types, since I never regarded the filter to be as important on the original as on a classic subtractive synth. To me it was just one ingredient amongst others and I can't remember losing any sleep over it having no resonance (Dave Smith originally didn't want the VS to have a resonant filter either btw). Wave sequencing and blending different sounds was the method for shaping timbres, not any filter - the same goes for wavetable synthesis, which is why the first PPG had no (analog) filters at all.

I'm somewhat divided on the keyboard decision. I can understand both sides. If you're using a very complex wave sequence - which doesn't have to resemble the clichéd pling plong rhythm pattern - few keys will do. I'd say a maximum effort in programming a complex wave sequence leads to minimum effort required when it comes to the number of notes this sound is played with. On the other hand, we all know how well at least the original Wavestation led itself to being used as the ultimate pad machine and of course you want at least 49-61 keys for that.

Either way, I'm not happy to see that the keyboard of the Wavestate doesn't support aftertouch. I know that aftertouch as well as poly aftertouch are both supported via MIDI, but it should have been a modulation source within the instrument itself. I'm basically saying that because I used to utilize aftertouch a lot on the original Wavestation and for pad type sounds in general as opposed to velocity, which I tend to use more on percussive sounds. Nevertheless, I'll be curious to check the Wavestate out as soon as it will be delivered to stores.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 03:19:28 AM by Paul Dither »

OceanMachine

Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2020, 10:11:46 AM »
Modulation-
Controllers: Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel, Vector Joystick X/Y, 8x Program/Performance Mod Knobs
Other Sources: 3x Envelopes, Vector Envelope, 3x LFOs, 2x Mod Processors, 2x Key Track, Step Sequencer Lane, Step Pulse, Tempo, Program/Performance Note Count, Program/Performance Voice Count, Poly Legato, Velocity, Exponential Velocity, Release Velocity, Gate/Gate+Damper, Note-On Trigger/Note-On Trigger+Damper, Note Number, Aftertouch/Poly Aftertouch (external MIDI only), MIDI CCs +/-, MIDI CCs +
Destinations: Most parameters can be modulated, including parameters of individual Wave Sequence Steps. Depending on Wave Sequence length, there can be more than 1,000 potential modulation targets per Program.

Plus-
Vector envelope
14 simultaneous effects
Envelope linear/exponential curve control
12 filter types

Obviously you can make do with three octaves depending on your intended use; however, this thing is a beast of a synth, even aside from the wave sequencer capabilities. It would assuredly benefit from more octaves for people who actual still play keys and I'd wager Korg is well aware of that.     

Cool side notes-
John Bowen added to the Wavestate's sound library.
Comes with a bundle of software including the M1 VST.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 10:53:14 AM by A Thousand Eyes »

Razmo

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 12:58:16 AM »
I have one grief point with wavestate... That it does not have a large touch screen with an intuitive way of editing so deep a synth...  That fiddly little OLED display is a joke!... At least it should come with a full fledged editor when the synth has so vastly deep an engine.

And another thing... ROM samples only!? Why the hell did they not allow for user samples!? That would have been the most logical upgrade to a wavestation!

I am by no means impressed with these things... It sounds really good, but in a few years people will start moaning about user samples, and its fiddly interface... I guess I am just moaning in advance...
If you need me, follow the shadows...

chysn

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 09:31:17 AM »
I see where you're coming from about the display. My eyes are old enough now that I recoil a bit at the thought of displays, especially tiny ones.

As for user samples... some synths are samplers and some aren't.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

OceanMachine

Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 07:56:20 PM »
The thing that soured me on it the most is the secondary functions and menu diving. A larger form factor with more knobs would benefit it greatly. Personally I prefer OLEDs to touchscreens and would much rather have a fixed/curated sample library as long as it covers all the bases. I look forward to seeing an expanded version, but will now be passing on it regardless.

Razmo

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2020, 10:05:26 AM »
Reason I want touch screens are that they usually are bigger when chosen... Tired of small rigid displays.

Other reason is that when you use a rigid non touch display, you always need page buttons, cursor buttons etc. To choose what is on the screen, just look at the typical Sequential display navigation system. With a touch display, many of these buttons and softknobs can be replaced with one high quality data encoder, an inc/dec button and enter/exit button. You point at the parameter you want to edit, and it hilights, letting you edit it with the encoder.

On top of tvis, color has been sacked too many times for monochrome displays... Color give clarity and looks better if designed well.

A bigger display also let you group more related parameters on the same pages, greatly enhancing overview and ease of editing, which again let you save buttons on the panel that could be used for more important knob controls, sliders etc. If thought out cleverly, it lets you add more features to an engine without being limited by panel descriptives... Like LFOs for example... You press a button to select what LFO you edit, and a corresponding LED tell you what LFO you are editing, completely restraining you from adding an LFO. later if you wanted to... A big color touch display and clever arrangement would completely change that.

On top, it allow you to easily include XY control pads to the engine.

I would certainly like to see Sequential take on a nrw standard interface like that for coming synths... And on top of that, make an usb or sd card a standard addition to any synth for storing sounds. A simple 2gb sd card would allow any synth to store 128 banks of 128 presets that way... I am amazed we are not even there today with flash being so cheap... Also OS updates would be sysex hazzle free as they could load directly from the flash drive.

If Wavestate had such a display, it would wery certainly be my third synth... It is the most interresting synth after PRO3 for me.

I may get one anyhow, but that depend completely on the MIDI SysEx specifications, because without a full fledged editor, I know this synth would go out the window at some point when i loose my temper over its tiny menu diving display.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 10:06:59 AM by Razmo »
If you need me, follow the shadows...

Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2020, 12:33:29 PM »
Either way, I'm not happy to see that the keyboard of the Wavestate doesn't support aftertouch. I know that aftertouch as well as poly aftertouch are both supported via MIDI, but it should have been a modulation source within the instrument itself. I'm basically saying that because I used to utilize aftertouch a lot on the original Wavestation and for pad type sounds in general as opposed to velocity, which I tend to use more on percussive sounds.

Yeah this seems like a major missed opportunity.  Even just for pads, being able to tie aftertouch to like lfo rate etc. would be massive on a Wave Sequencing synth.

I can also see it creating chaos if not used well, but at least give us the option.

Razmo

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Re: Korg Wavestate
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2020, 10:04:03 AM »
I bet it will be so successful, that we will see a module version soon enough, like with the minilogue xD module, and then people can use any controller with it they like... We might even see a mature version later with user sample option, larger display and keyboard with more options due to the fact, that this is the three main griefs people have with wavestate.

I think it willl be wise to wait a year or two before buying anything...
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 10:07:12 AM by Razmo »
If you need me, follow the shadows...