Korg introduced the Wavestate Synthesizer this morning, a modern successor to the legendary Wavestation Synthesizer with a new hands-on design and major new features.
The leak that haunted the network yesterday evening was true. The Wavestate Synthesizer is Korg’s first new product for NAMM 2020. It is a modern successor to the legendary Wavestation from 1990 and thus an interesting further development. Readers who think they get the same thing in the Wavestation plugin (PC/Mac) or iWavestation iOS app, but only for a fraction are wrong. The software emulation is completely based on the old Wavestation, this is a new instrument based on the Wave Sequencing 2.0 engine.
According to Korg, the Wavestate is far from a nostalgic reissue but a completely new development from the ground up. However, it has a lot that could be found in the first WS. The new design is immediately noticeable, from the giant workstation to a compact digital wave sequencing with 37 full-size keys but without aftertouch (why Korg!). The new interface now also includes numerous knobs (black/white) and buttons that make programming more intuitive than on the predecessor.
Wave Sequencing 2.0
The Wave Sequencing 2.0 Engine also follows the familiar concept: transforming raw samples into patterns and sounds that no one had ever heard before. Same applies to the vector synthesis that is also onboard. With this control section, you can crossfade in four ways sounds and parameters. Even after 30 years, this remains an exciting concept. However, this new engine is much more complex and tangible than the original. Wavestate invites users to explore all the basics; filter, envelopes, LFO;s, and effects at their fingertips with dedicated front-panel controls.
If you are overwhelmed by the abundance of possibilities at the beginning, no panic because it offers on the front-panel a dice icon that generates new sounds via intelligent randomization. This is a very clever feature that takes people’s fear of the device away.
Synthesis Power With Up To 64-Voice Of Polyphony
Wavestate is not based on Korg’s proprietary multi-engine but on the new Wavesequncing 2.0 in combination with deep modulation capabilities, plenty of polyphony (64 notes) and up to four parts and 14 effects simultaneously. Six GB of internal PCM samples are onboard that delivers over 700 sounds and 240 performances, plus there are 1,000 Wavesequences to explore and storage for over 10,000 performances. No custom sample support, unfortunately!
Each layer of the engine offers independent sample selection, timing, pitch, and modulation. The latter part can be achieved by the internal vector synthesis and the 4 axis vector grid. Here you can assign parameters to 4 axes. These are supported by 5-stage looping vector envelopes, LFOs or via external MIDI. The signal is then routed to the filter section where you can find a good range of different filters. No analog filters but multiple digital resonant filter models including emulations of the best-known analog synths like the Polysix or MS-20.
At the end of the signal path, the sound can be refined with 3 effects slots per layer. Yep per layer, that impressive. Effects include delay, reverb, modulation, EQ, tremolo, ring modulation, and an amp modeler. On top, you have access to a global EQ and reverb. To help users get the most out of wavestate, eight hardware Mod Knobs provide musicians with instant access to the most effective sound parameters for any sound or performance; inviting customization and exploration of the sonic possibilities.
Developed In San Diego
Korg took a very interesting step in the development. This time the Japanese were not responsible for this but a well-known team from San Diego, California. It’s the same team that created the original Wavestation, co-created the OASYS and Kronos, and has developed fundamental technologies behind many other KORG instruments
Korg Wavestate Synthesizer will be available in January/February of 2020 for $799,99 USD.
More information here: Korg