Korg Wavestate Synthesizer In-Depth Hands-On Demo

Korg has released a series of videos, embedded above, that take an in-depth look at their new Wavestate synthesizer.

Korg Product Specialist Nick Kwas introduces Wave Sequencing 2.0; creating and editing wave sequences; using probability; multisamples, layers and vector synthesis; modulation assignment; performance options and more.

18 thoughts on “Korg Wavestate Synthesizer In-Depth Hands-On Demo

  1. I still don´t understand why they could not add a full-size keyboard. This instrument is supposed to being played expressively and you can clearly see the limitations in the video. Very sad.

    1. Full-size keys require a larger metal case. That adds manufacturing expense and significantly increases shipping costs for the manufacturer (from Asia to North America) and for retailers who have to pay the cost to get units shipped to store and then (if they’re selling online) to the customer. It all adds up quickly.

      1. @zaphod – that is a very good point, however do you really think it would add so much to the price? Look at what others manage to do for a few bucks.

        My point is: Korg did it before (just see the comparison to the Wavestations, which I own btw.) and I do not think that a price difference of – let´s say – 100 EUR would be a killer. In fact, I would have purchased a Wavestate right away, if it did have 61 keys instead of only 37 key. These knobs are meant to being moved while playing, especially the vector stick. Having to use another keyboard to “play” the Wavestate is not the same experience and recording a melody into the sequencer first does not come close to the playing live on a bigger keyboard. So still, I think it´s sad that Korg decided for a 37-keys keyboard only …

        (and sorry for my comment saying “full-size keyboard” – I did of course mean the number of keys and not the keys themselves being smaller)

      2. They did four versions of the ‘logue: 16 voice, 8 voice, XD, module. Modal did it, hydrasynth did it, etc…

        It SHOULD have a 61 key version. It is cramped. The keyboard is the reason I wrote it off.

      1. And indeed it does. I assume that comment about wanting a “full-size keyboard” means they wish for 61 keys. The action is pretty poor and not much fun to play- I don’t see why anyone would want 24 more of those!

        The form factor is actually perfect for me- I’m not sure I would have bought this if it was as big as most synths just, just due to my own space limitations. Though I wouldn’t have really wanted a module either- I like having the keys attached for convenience and editing sounds. Since I’m sequencing mine from Eurorack the situation is just right for me, but I completely understand people who would rather pay more for a bigger better keyboard with AT.

    2. Real question is why do manufacturers still bother with a keybed at all!? Nowadays with studios and stage rigs loaded with synths and so many great MIDI controllers with advanced sequencing and other features, releasing synths with keybeds is a stupid idea and a waste of space and money from both maker and user points-of-view. Why didn’t Korg just release a desktop version (which is assured to come up at some later stage)?

      1. Yeah, why bother with desktop synths, just have them on your pc/mac as software and all you need is keyboard…

        1. Don’t agree with that obviously, and I’m not gonna start the whole useless hardware vs software debate. Just gotta say, when you have sat cozy in front of a hardware piece of equipment, physically grabbing and tweaking knobs and pressing buttons, you’ll get why staring at a bunch of pixels on a screen and dragging a mouse up and down is never gonna replace it. Sure nowadays you’ll get a fairy similar sonic result, not denying that. But what about the experience of creating your sounds?

  2. I like the philosophie of wavesequens as an evolving sound, build up by different sounddesing blocks or ”steps” in which it’s now (with this 2.0 version) possible for choosing all kinds of ‘probabibilies’ that you can control and with always thé surprise if this steps will occur or not, so there will always be changes in that repetitieve wavesequens and by using a keyboard bed of ‘only’ three octaves which is enough to generate chords, chordprogressions and melodic motivs and even an entire musical theme. Well done, Korg!

  3. I guess I was expecting more. In addition to layers and step-probability, they were hinting at another dimension.

    In Animoog, you have kind of wave-sequencing via a 2D grid of waves, and a vector path that morphs around.

    One could imagine a 3D grid of waveforms, with expandable dimensions of the block (i.e., the option to have a large number of points/waveforms on each of the X, Y, or Z axes), and the ability to move multiple oscillators around that space independently and at multiple rates.

    I’m curious about how they approached the built in ROM sounds and whether it supports things like user-loaded wavetables, etc.

    1. As of now it does not support user waves/samples. I read that someone discovered 2gb. of free space inside the wavestate so it could be coming in an update. But as of now, no.
      In 2020 no user waves seems like a huge missed opportunity.

      1. No one needed to discover that, Korg has said so since they first started showing it. They have explicitly said that user samples haven’t been ruled out, so who knows?

        Hard to imagine anyone spending a little time with this thing and wanting more. And the entire concept is that it’s an evolution of the Wavestation, which it is in major ways. Sure, anyone can think up features they’d like to see, but this thing is crazy deep.

        This isn’t a wavetable synth, so X,Y,Z or even X-Y scanning are not concepts that even relate to it.

  4. they must have got the message by now – we want a desktop/module version with user wave import – you can read this on every single comment section on every single video

  5. Not being a modular or ROMpler, the Wavestate has a steeper hill to climb with both newbies & old hands. I prefer 61 keys too, but that’s not 2020. There’s now an Argon8X that offers 5 octaves. If there was suddenly a 5-octave WS with a less crappy keybed & a user wave section, would you pay $1200 for it? TBD, right?

    I have two controllers I like and use for everything. Problem solved. The Wavestate is a bit on the plastic-build side, but its 4 capable synths in one box, too. It seems like a workable compromise between a “full sized” studio instrument and one that’s near-portable. Take your price point limitations like a man.:P

  6. Idk, every time I watch a video, I get less and less enamored with this. Wavestation was novel. Wavestat 2.0 seems to emphasize serendipity behavior of probabilistic state transitions in a directed graph of samples (times, what 4?). I can’t think of anything less expressive; playing a Turing machine with a flat tire in Fat Alberts band.

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