Wavestate, or Modwave

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
KVRist
452 posts since 11 Aug, 2005 from Canada

Post Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:12 am

Hey guys, I am really intrigued by 2 of Korg's newest offerings, the Wavestate and Modwave. Both look pretty amazing to me, especially at their price point.There's a fair amount of crossover between the 2 and I had the original Wavestation, and still have the the rack A/D version. So, I'm wondering and asking any who cvare to chime in which of the two you would choose and why that one? :help:

KVRAF
5548 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:38 am

Well, I haven't ever had my hands on a Modwave so can't give you any advice there. But I have had the Wavestate for maybe 6 months now. All I can say is that it's a beauty. If you have an A/D you'll have a great head start on how to use the Wavestate. I still have my old original Wavestation though it's pretty knackered. TBH I bought it mainly as a replacement for the Wavestation knowing that it would do considerably more also - I was wrong, it does a f**king huge amount more. Same wavesequences but the modulation of them with lanes is definitely next generation - you can modulate the timing, gating, rhythm and all kinds of other stuff - stuff you no doubt dreamt about with the A/D. Pair that with all the very good Korg filters and it sings - mind you, the Modwave will likely have the same filters.

The Modwave didn't really appeal to me - I just don't seem to like wavetable synths - the sounds often grate on my ears for some reason and I never quite figured out why. Similarly I never could like Waldorf for the same reason. I know you can do wavetable stuff with the Wavestate, but it's so much more than that. I know the A/D had way more samples on it than the original WS, and again with the Wavestate - the number and variation of samples is stunning, including all the drums (some very powerful ones too) you could want - it was a weak point previously IMO. The new s/w update allows user input of multisamples and single samples (doesn't appeal to me, but nevertheless it increases its sample power infinitely if you like that sort of thing). I saw a demo of someone inputting their own vocal samples and making patches and wavesequences with them - very powerful. I've not heard of the Modwave allowing that, so there's a very real difference.

At first glance it seems redundant to get a new Wavestation. I have my original WS and the VSTi. Since I got the Wavestate I literally haven't used either of them a single time. Wavestate just blows them out of the water by quite a long way. It is definitely different - it has a shitload of pros and also has some cons - though not many. There aren't as many layers and the keyboard is smaller. TBH the sound is so much more powerful that you really don't need all 32 layers that you got on the Wavestation IMO. And though there is still considerable menu diving it is definitely easier to program in many ways, and the hands on control is very much appreciated. In fact that's what Korg are now doing extremely well IMO. Their intuitive layout is great - I think they've put a lot of thought into the controls and how it's programmed. That's exactly why I'm very close to buying the Opsix - it's the most intuitive way I've ever seen for programming FM. So I'm sure Modwave will be equally intuitive. Looks like it has a lot of knobs and control - always a good thing.

If you're an A/D user - you know you want a Wavestate. It's like several A/Ds in one box and then some, with knobs galore. You know how Wavestations are kinda OK with their own FX, but they really shine when you put them through quality external FX - the little tinkly wavesequences really shine when you put some Lexicon or whatever on them? You will not believe how a Wavestate shines with its own FX. I've played around with drum wavesequences on it - you can play with the tempo without actually changing your DAW tempo or midi clock or anything, you can play with groove, gate them, lengthen them, even modulate the actual samples, modulate the pitches then put a screaming MS20 filter on them - combine the MS20 with several other filters. TBH I barely scratched the surface yet. Yeah - it's still long-winded to program great sounds, same as with the original, but it is easier and better. I can see the Modwave being pretty flexible but ultimately having a ceiling. Wavestate will have a ceiling but I suspect it's a lot higher than almost all other synths. Modulations number in the hundreds - pretty well anything can modulate anything - wavesequences and their individual samples included. I know with my WS that often LFOing something often doesn't actually do much sonically - but with Wavestate it modulates the f**k out of it. Interested yet? :hihi:

I have to say that Korg have really upped their game recently. They are putting out some spectacular digital synths (and some analogue ones). Digital generally doesn't make me that moist but Korg have done it with their recent offerings. Real character. I guess if you were looking at Wavetable, then Waldorf have released their recent M thing which competes with Modwave though pricier than the Korg. Nothing competes with the Wavestate though.
Last edited by kritikon on Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KVRist
379 posts since 10 Apr, 2010

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:46 am

Just to give you a contrary perspective, I got a Wavestate and found it quite alienating because of its complexity and awkward interface. The sonic quality of the samples didn't impress me that much either. I haven't actually spent much time with it although I keep meaning to go back to it. I'm sure I haven't come anywhere close to fully exploring its potential, so bear in mind this is just a casual impression, possibly even based on a naive failure to grasp how the Wavestate is supposed to operate. If you have a Wavestation already, presumably you will already have some sense of that.

I suppose it depends what you're looking for: a sort of pick-up-and play synth or a more of an alternative DAW experience where you are creating multi-layer patterns and structures.

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KVRAF
20406 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:06 am

The Wavestate looks excellent, but I am fairly sure I would find the workflow too daunting and end up mainly using presets. The Modwave looks more like a UI that I would dig into and make my own sounds. I just haven't been inspired by the sounds in the various Modwave demos I've heard. Not that it doesn't sound good cause it does, but for me to buy a hardware synth, it has to inspire somehow. I was considering ordering one, but I never came across a demo that made me go, okay there it is.

I ended up ordering the new Waldorf M. Most of the M demos have been without FX (it has none) and it catches my ears with tones that do it for me. There is something unique there.

KVRAF
5548 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 3:03 pm

Torchlight wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:46 am
Just to give you a contrary perspective, I got a Wavestate and found it quite alienating because of its complexity and awkward interface. The sonic quality of the samples didn't impress me that much either. I haven't actually spent much time with it although I keep meaning to go back to it. I'm sure I haven't come anywhere close to fully exploring its potential, so bear in mind this is just a casual impression, possibly even based on a naive failure to grasp how the Wavestate is supposed to operate. If you have a Wavestation already, presumably you will already have some sense of that.

I suppose it depends what you're looking for: a sort of pick-up-and play synth or a more of an alternative DAW experience where you are creating multi-layer patterns and structures.
I absolutely get where you're coming from. I know the Wavestation very well - bought mine in 1990. And TBH I put a shitload of time and effort getting into programming it. It wasn't unusual to spend a whole day programming just one patch. It was very daunting. The Wavestate is similar - to get the best from it you really have to dig under the hood, and TBH - with the new lanes and modulation options I'm not sure I'd want to learn it from scratch nowadays. There will be an awful lot of people that just don't want that level of complexity and I understand that completely.

If you picked up a Wavestate having never played a Wavestation - WTF?! would be a perfectly reasonable response - I find it daunting and I've had 30 years with a Wavestation! I'm pretty sure Wavestate is aimed more at Wavestation fanboys like me than new customers, and its architecture is by its own nature...pretty out there. When I've spent some time playing around with my usual analogues and come back fresh to the Wavestate I have a non-plussed period when it takes me a while to figure out how the f**k it works. Have to also admit that I spend more time just blissing out mucking around with glorious cinematic textures than actually using it to make music. In fact it's my least used synth for making tracks, but probably my most used synth. Weird, eh? That's down to the type of music I mostly make - but anyone into ambient style noodlings or cinematic stuff would be insane not to buy a Wavestate. If you make anything more mainstream - it's probably not a good buy.

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KVRAF
20406 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 3:18 pm

kritikon wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 3:03 pm
If you picked up a Wavestate having never played a Wavestation - WTF?! would be a perfectly reasonable response - I find it daunting and I've had 30 years with a Wavestation! I'm pretty sure Wavestate is aimed more at Wavestation fanboys like me than new customers, and its architecture is by its own nature...pretty out there.
Lots of people don't do sound design on synths... they use presets and buy more presets. Also, the sample library is pretty good size and it is easy enough to swap out a multi-sample and tweak a few things and be good.

I used to have a Wavestation, so at first glance I was excited about the Wavestate. Then I watched a couple videos of sound design using wave sequences and all the possibilities of the lanes and I remembered how I stopped designing sounds on the Wavestation over time. Too complex to be fun for me. Maybe the Wavestate with the screen editor! And now users can import samples! I'm still tempted by it.

KVRist

Topic Starter

452 posts since 11 Aug, 2005 from Canada

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:06 pm

Thanks for the considered and well written ideas and opinions guys. I thought I was the only around still able to write something pithy and literary. lol Yes, Kritikon, it sounds like you and I follwed an incredibly similar path regarding the Wavestation. I sold my key version a few years ago, but kept the A/D, though barely use it, and also, own the KLC version, far superior to the hardware in my opinion too. I've watched many video regarding the Wavestate and am well aware of how bloody deep and capable it is. When I got it, I programmed a ton of things sequences, rhythm patterns using transient and drum sounds locked to the Notator/Atari clock, wavesquences that used velocity as a gating mechanism, etcetera. But like others, once I stopped programming the wavesquences with the incredible amount of time needed to do something I felt complete and with my own signature, I just burned out of doing it totally. My card baterries went dead, lost all my own programs, that was great, but I know that in the cave downstairs, I saved a ton of data as sysex on floppies on my whole great Atari STE system is down there, but honestly talk about work to set all that stuff up again just to program the A/D again! I'm very serious about buying the Hydrasynth Deluxe too when it ever arrives in Canada. My 73 note Yamaha EX-5 is having keybed issues, I never use its sounds, so is it worth repairing and I have loved the Hydrasynth since I first read and heard about it. Glenn is an amzingly great synth designer imo. Pretty sure it'd cover anything the Modwave can do too, and then some.

As you know, a huge failure in the old Wavestations, like the M1, were their pathetic filters, so bland and generic, totally lacking variety or anything you could ever call analog-like that I am now so used to with Rob Papen's Explorer, and some of the U-he stuff I own. No LFO locking? Wtf? Anyway, to be continued and thanks again for lots of things to ruminate on.

Banned
393 posts since 13 Jul, 2021

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:31 pm

Neither.

Pick Me Pick me!
9024 posts since 12 Mar, 2002 from a state of confusion

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:59 pm

I bought the Wavestate recently. Mostly for the onboard sounds -- It sounds incredible. There is nothing out there like it. Esp like the pads and ethereal sounds. Mod knobs can really alter the sound in remarkable ways.

Quite a bit of percussive loop stuff included that already sounds dated to me though.

I guess it depends on what sounds you're after. Morphing, cinematic pads, strings, and acoustically sampled instruments? Wavestate. More traditional synth sounds with lots of modulation? Modwave.

You can also simulate wavetable modulation on the wavestate, but the modwave is just better suited for it if that's your thing

Get around programming it by using the new desktop editor. Huge GUI that way. You can also load your own samples on it now with the sample loader software. 4 GB worth.

Updating the firmware to 2.01 was a pain in the keester. But I managed.

Please note the keys are kind of flimsy. And actually the case is flimsy too. Not that it wobbles when pressed, but its just all plastic. Not a bit of metal on this one. It is lightweight though as a result.

KVRAF
5548 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:20 am

rockmachine wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:06 pm

As you know, a huge failure in the old Wavestations, like the M1, were their pathetic filters, so bland and generic, totally lacking variety or anything you could ever call analog-like that I am now so used to with Rob Papen's Explorer, and some of the U-he stuff I own. No LFO locking? Wtf? Anyway, to be continued and thanks again for lots of things to ruminate on.
The latest Korg filters are really very very good. AFAIK all of their digital synths have the same set of filters, so Modwave will have them as well. Opsix does too.

KVRAF
4567 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:48 pm

dd
Last edited by codec_spurt on Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KVRAF
20406 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:22 pm

codec_spurt wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:48 pm
rockmachine wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:12 am
Hey guys, I am really intrigued by 2 of Korg's newest offerings, the Wavestate and Modwave. Both look pretty amazing to me, especially at their price point.There's a fair amount of crossover between the 2 and I had the original Wavestation, and still have the the rack A/D version. So, I'm wondering and asking any who cvare to chime in which of the two you would choose and why that one? :help:

One is quite a bit more expensive than the other. I plan on getting the cheaper one next, but not because it's cheaper. I got the Minilogue XD. That one is better than all others at any price. To me.
The Wavestate is $750 and Modwave $850... not that much difference

Pick Me Pick me!
9024 posts since 12 Mar, 2002 from a state of confusion

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:50 pm

Thomann USA:

$609
The shipping costs are calculated on the checkout page.

I ordered through a stateside retailer though. But that price is pretty nice, if true.

KVRAF
4567 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:08 pm

ww
Last edited by codec_spurt on Sun Oct 10, 2021 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KVRAF
5548 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:44 pm

Yeah, it seems like Korg price their gear according to local markets. Here in NZ last time I looked Opsix, Modwave and Wavestate were all priced pretty much the same...Wavestate was a bit cheaper initially but now increased. Strangely, their analogues seem cheaper (excluding the Prologue of course).

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