Korg Modwave Synthesizer In-Depth Demo

In his latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at the new Korg modwave, a new synth they describe as ‘a synthesis powerhouse’.

“modwave is a very capable synth, with wavetable, fm, subtractive synthesis and samples, plus an innovative kaoss physics-style mod-source and generative sequencing,” notes Eliraz, “It’s quite a bit of synth in a relatively small package!”

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:45 vs Wavestate
6:40 Build
7:20 Editor
9:15 Workflow
11:00 Wavetables
13:20 Morph
14:15 Modifiers
15:10 A/B blend
16:30 Samples
17:30 FM/AM/Ring
18:20 Osc env/LFO
19:05 Sub/noise
19:50 Sequencing
20:40 Pitch
22:05 Timing
23:25 Motion seq
24:35 Shape lane
26:10 Misc seq
27:30 Mod matrix
30:00 Kaoss physics
33:15 Filter
34:30 Envelopes
36:00 LFO
37:20 Effects
39:40 Randomize
40:45 Misc features
41:50 Pros & cons
44:35 70 presets

Check it out and share your thoughts on the modwave in the comments!

35 thoughts on “Korg Modwave Synthesizer In-Depth Demo

  1. People are sleeping on Korg’s synths in this format – they’re some of the most interesting new synths in years.

    1. Dunno about that. Korg is mainly recycling old concepts here instead of actually coming up with something new.

      1. In terms of synthesis capabilities, these synths go far beyond their predecessors in just about every way.

        When I think of ‘recycling old concepts’, I think of things like the Roland SH-01A – not a wavetable synth with gigabytes of samples, deep polyrhythmic sequencing, crazy deep modulation, tons of effects and lots of knobs and controls.

        To be able to get one of the most powerful wavetable or FM synths ever for $700 or $800 is flat out amazing.

        1. Hi Chiara, Are you sure the opsix is very different from the Korg Oasys/Kronos Mod7 engine, for instance? Spec-by-spec it looks almost identical.

          Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have it with dedicated knobs and in an accessible and affordable package for a wider audience. But when you say it goes far beyond its predecessors in terms of synthesis capabilities, maybe you know more than me?

          1. from modwave specification:
            “there can be more than 1,000 potential modulation targets per Program”

            this alone make it “far beyond” everything available on hardware. I’m still surprise they choose to go so far with this modulations matrix.

        2. > To be able to get one of the most powerful wavetable or FM synths ever for $700 or $800 is flat out amazing.

          In the past I’d grab a synth with these features used from the classifieds for $700 after they’d fallen out of favor for newer tech and were about 5-7 years old. And I’d be glad to do so. So much hardware in the $200-$800 range these days. Competing with “plugins” that run $130-$500, stop working when you upgrade, and don’t have physical knobs.

    2. I love the format and would love them to release them as modules with an optional keyboard enclosure, a bit like Roland Boutiques and their K25M. They could even make different kind of controllers for them like a grid. Also it would make things on the manufacturing side.

    3. Aren’t they pretty much the same as the Oasys engines, also in the Kronos? Nothing wrong with that (apart from omitting aftertouch). But I think that’s what they are, although I don’t understand why I can’t find a A/B comparison anywhere.

  2. This seems like an awesome instrument. I’m really excited by the new crop of digital synths coming from KORG, Modal, Waldorf and ASM.

    1. I don’t think those two markets affect each other much these days. Nobody really chooses between a hardware or a software synth. Most people are either set on one of them or get both anyway.

      1. Maybe you’re both right.

        The level of virtual instruments that come packaged with most DAWs is pretty amazing. This is forcing hardware manufactures to give you more for your money in order to compete.

        It’s getting harder justify the collectable prices for vintage synths, when you can get something brand new that’s more powerful and sounds great.

    2. I doubt that at all. If there was no hardware to copy the VST crowd would have nothing. Some of of us like tactile things. Some love to stare at a computer to make music.

  3. The software editor looks nice, the Wavestate desperately needs one!
    I am not 100% convinced on the sound, but they have put a lot of interesting options on this…you wont be bored!

      1. No, my understanding is that it’s a Raspberry Pi compute module (not a pi zero) that does pretty much everything.

        1. Oh I see, it’s a 1.5GHz quad-core.. that explains how they’re able to do everything with one SoC. Impressive.. doesn’t seem to be lagging and sound quality is pretty decent.

          Hopefully, they’ll be able to use this module for this period of synths and churn out interesting instruments while managing to drive the prices lower and lower..

    1. The value of this synth comes from what Korg do with the Raspberry pi. This is similar to a flute, which after all is just a piece of wood.

      1. Yeah l love how people say “durr its just a pi”

        But if you handed them a Raspberry Pi and asked them to go make a synth with it, the likelihood it would be any good is practically zero

    2. i don’t think the cpu is ever the costly part of a synth, it’s not like dsp or fpga cost more.
      like with anything digital you paying for the development of software.
      but anyway, the case, keyboard, controls and even the screen are far more expensive

  4. For me there are currently just 2 kind of synths:
    – analog (that I must buy to have THAT sound, there is no a viable alternative to this)
    – all the other synthesis engines (that I already have in gazilions of format and type in my laptop. And also having them in digital format they are practically infinite as routing and setting)

    Then, apart for live duty, this kind of synth would be IMO pretty useless purchase.

  5. Very cool, but all these new 3 oct keybeds are feeling half-realized/half-pro! Please KORG, make a module version for studios, and a real keyboard for keyboardists.

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