modWave is a wavetable Synthesizer that is inspired by the iconic Korg DW-8000 that combined digital wavetables with rich analog filters. However, there is nothing analog here, everything is implemented digitally.
Korg says: “modwave builds on the DW legacy and transforms it into a modern monster synth, featuring incredibly deep wavetable oscillators, gorgeous filters, wildly flexible modulation, unmatched polyphony, comprehensive pattern sequencing, and immediately satisfying hands-on control”. Each patch features two full-featured wavetable oscillators, plus a sub-oscillators/noise generator, analog-modeling filters known from the Wavestate/OPSIX as well as a wide range of modulations.
Animate almost any parameter using the massively flexible modulation system, with four triggerable envelopes, five LFOs, dual mod processors, and two key-track generators–plus multi-lane Motion Sequencing and Kaoss Physics.
Let’s stick with the oscillators, which are the heart of this new Synthesizer. It comes with over 200 wavetables, each with up to 64 waveforms and the possibility to load own in Serum or WaveEdit formats. That’s nice and gives you endless possibilities. Then, you have 30+ modifiers onboard with which you can change the basic character plus 13 morph types to process them. Modwave has also a multi-gigabyte PCM sample library onboard that gives you the option to layer wavetables with samples. You can layer up to two programs for further sound possibility and achieve up to 32-voice of polyphony.
Analog Modeling Filters
Like the Wavestate or the new FM synth monster OPSIX, modwave also has the well-known solid 12 analog modeling filters onboard including the aggressive MS-20, smooth Polysix, and others. The modulation options have been extremely expanded again. Animate almost any parameter using the massively flexible modulation system, with four triggerable envelopes, five LFOs, dual mod processors, and two key-track generators–plus multi-lane motion sequencing and Kaoss Physics.
modwave also introduces two new powerful tools for creating dynamic motion: Kaoss Physics and Motion Sequencing 2.0. Kaoss Physics combines an x/y Kaoss pad with modulatable game physics to create a responsive, interactive controller that is—besides being powerful— a lot of fun. Motion Sequencing 2.0 brings the organic, continuously evolving patterns of the wavestate’s Wave Sequencing 2.0 into the world of motion sequencing, including multiple lanes and real-time recording.
Kaoss Physics & Motion Sequencing 2.0
The Kaoss Physics is pretty innovative and experimental. The engine models a ball rolling on a surface and/or bouncing off walls. With this, very expressive modulations can be created that go far beyond what is otherwise known from LFO, envelope, etc. You can play with gravity in different ways. This engine also includes parameters that can be used to influence speed, behavior, etc. These can be modulated so you are opening another layer of creative Kaoss physics.
Motion Sequencing 2.0 is known to many from the first digital Synthesizer, the Wavestate. The engine relies on lanes that feature timing, pitch, shape and four step sequence values. Each has with its own loop start and loop end, adding a deeper, more customizable level of phrase and modulation recording. With these, you can create very organic, ever-changing sounds that respond to your control. The dual onboard arpeggiators can interact with Motion Sequences for even more possibilities.
Like the OPSIX and Wavestate, it also comes with a wide range of high-quality effects. Each Layer has three dedicated effects, plus a send to the Performance’s master reverb, followed by a master parametric EQ. Along with standards such as compressors, EQs, choruses, flangers, phasers, and stereo delays, you’ll find distinctive processors such as the Waveshaper, Talking Modulator, Reverse Delay, Multiband Mod Delay, and Overb (from the OASYS and Kronos), plus modeled effects including VOX guitar amps, VOX wah, multi-head tape echo, and a collection of classic guitar pedals.
On the connection side, it has balanced stereo outputs, stereo headphone output, DIN-style MIDI jacks, and USB-MIDI (class-compliant). The modwave has a 37-key keyboard with velocity but without aftertouch. Unfortunately.
Korg continues with his digital Synthesizer. Same housing as OPSIX, Wavestate, so you can assume that it is powered by a Raspberry Pi compute module. I like the engine very much. A wavetable Synthesizer on steroids with lots of crazy ideas. Very nice that they thought of wavetable import. Unfortunately, the modwave has no aftertouch either, probably the same spongy keybed as the other two and the relatively unsightly plastic casing.
Korg, I’m a big fan of these digital synths but not about the feeling. There is also no USB host port where you can quickly connect an external keyboard with aftertouch. There is aftertouch with the miniKORG FS reissue, which is weird again, to be honest.
Korg modwave will be available for 799€ including tax. Release date TBA.
More information here: KORG