Wavestate, or Modwave

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
rockmachine
KVRist

Topic Starter

459 posts since 11 Aug, 2005 from Canada

Post Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:33 am

Okay guys, been scouring Youtube watching lots of videos, but now have garnered an interest in the OpSix too. I'm so impressed with its sounds, way beyond mere digital bell/DX stuff with all the filters. Korg's done a great job at taking the formerly arcane and dry FM synthesis type and making it so you don't feel like you are in a lab. I've also been taking into account that the Opsix would complement the Hydrasynth much better than the Mod or Wavestate.

rockmachine
KVRist

Topic Starter

459 posts since 11 Aug, 2005 from Canada

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 2:15 pm

Well, my original question is now a moot point, as after doing that research, I felt that the Opsix would cover a lot of sonic territory the other two wouldn't. In addition to what I said above, the Hydrasynth is a beast and can cover so much sonic territory too. Got a decent deal too as they were marked down $100 Can. dollars too. I assume it's related to the same pricing for the Wavestate plus the fact that many people don;t want to deal with FM. Anyway, also wanted to express thanks to all who contributed to the conversation.

kritikon
KVRAF
5683 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 2:20 pm

rockmachine wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:33 am
Okay guys, been scouring Youtube watching lots of videos, but now have garnered an interest in the OpSix too. I'm so impressed with its sounds, way beyond mere digital bell/DX stuff with all the filters. Korg's done a great job at taking the formerly arcane and dry FM synthesis type and making it so you don't feel like you are in a lab. I've also been taking into account that the Opsix would complement the Hydrasynth much better than the Mod or Wavestate.
Same here. Opsix is now my next buy. I was almost ready to drop cash on either a Behringer vocoder or Monopoly. Now decided to get an Opsix - and for me, a digital synth has to have real character and something unique to make me want it over a decent analogue. I just love the way Korg made FM synthesis look intuitive and dare I say it...easy, and allow it to make fluid and lush sounds as well as typical FM sounds. Have you seen some of the vids with the new Opsix 2.0 OS and FX operators? I think Korg have taken FM into complete new territory - I haven't seen much that's really inventive or creative in terms of hw synths recently (lots of rehashing old stuff), but Korg are the ones doing most of it. Wavestate is a love it or hate it thing (or simply too difficult, and I understand that) but they made it very powerful and unique, and then the Opsix exactly the same but in a completely different direction.

Korg have made me want digital synths again. Who knew? :party:

rockmachine
KVRist

Topic Starter

459 posts since 11 Aug, 2005 from Canada

Post Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:44 am

Good move kritikon, just did the slow, but steady update to 2.0 which offers lots of new features, plus the Librarian that allows the loading of a pile of new programs which they must have designed after 2.0 and to illustrate those things. Once again, slow and steady was the operative word. A day later-and more than a dollar short,lol-and I am so impressed with this synth. You can do a lot by instinct, but I printed out most of the manual and it's well worth reading, well arranged and written. It's great that Youtube is full of videos with very knowlegable guys doing lots of good stuff. Korg's done a bang up job with all 3 of their new synths, but I am so glad I went with this one.

kritikon
KVRAF
5683 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:45 am

Yeah, I heard upgrading the OS is a bit of a PITA. I haven't taken the plunge with my Wavestate yet... :scared:

Nice that they now do librarian/editors too. I heard they pretty well doubled the presets? Very useful even if only for the librarian aspect...I suspect many won't even use them as editors as the new Korgs are so well designed and easily programmed...Opsix especially. :)

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_leras
KVRian
986 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Mon Nov 08, 2021 2:54 pm

pixel85 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:46 pm
It's just me or those synths sound like they have low sample rate? Like idk... 32kHz SR. Kinda like early plugins. When I'm listening to demos I feel like there's a brickwall LPF with digital artifacts.
I don't hear that in other "current gen" synths or even in Jv1080 which has low sample rate.

Is this how they supposed to sound? To emulate old digital synths?
Sounds like a that to me, some steep LPF, but I think it does give it some presence. The Modwave is what I listened to most (YT), but it seemed to have quite a nice, if digital, mid range grit. I think the Modwave sounds pretty good, though it's not all that cheap.

zaphod betamax
KVRist
72 posts since 17 May, 2016

Post Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:14 pm

I got my Modwave for $1016 Canadian Dollars all in with taxes.
Right now they want $999CAN+ 13% tax here in Canada or $1128 post tax.

I love all the other korg offerings, the opsix and Wavestate but I have really tightened
my spending on synths.

So in reality, I have no choice but to like the one I picked.

Honestly I find the Modwave mixes well with either my Blofeld keys or my Sledge Yellow.

I usually bypass the filter on wavetable patches, so I don't have the filter in the mix.

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pixel85
KVRian
1476 posts since 11 Apr, 2008

Post Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:48 am

_leras wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 2:54 pm
pixel85 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:46 pm
It's just me or those synths sound like they have low sample rate? Like idk... 32kHz SR. Kinda like early plugins. When I'm listening to demos I feel like there's a brickwall LPF with digital artifacts.
I don't hear that in other "current gen" synths or even in Jv1080 which has low sample rate.

Is this how they supposed to sound? To emulate old digital synths?
Sounds like a that to me, some steep LPF, but I think it does give it some presence. The Modwave is what I listened to most (YT), but it seemed to have quite a nice, if digital, mid range grit. I think the Modwave sounds pretty good, though it's not all that cheap.
Digital mid-range grit is a good description. Both seem to have it.
Also apparently older digital synths used band-limited(?) oscillators/waveforms to prevent aliasing. So maybe this has something to do with the sound of 'steep LPF'. It's something that I loosely remember from reading forums so it's possible that I'm talking about something rubbish right now ;)
Beware! The software discussed in this topic has unacceptable aliasing at -386dBTP but it can be fixed by changing the sample rate to 12Bit

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pixel85
KVRian
1476 posts since 11 Apr, 2008

Post Sat Dec 18, 2021 6:05 am

After listening to tons of demos, especially preset bank demos, I must revert my opinion about Wavestate 'low sample-rate sounding'. But in my head, I still hear '90s' no matter what kind of sound.

It's tough to decide which one to take.


Not so great stuff for Wavestate/Modwave:

Programming in Wavestate seems to be more like working in a laboratory, but wavetables are also not for everyone. With wavetables, I'm either ending with harsh 'digital-sounding' noise or subtractive type of sounds, and I have subtractive synths for the latter. On the other hand, wavetables seem to be easier/faster to program in comparison to wave sequencing which I never tried.

Then I read all those nightmare stories about updating OS. Both issues and 'solutions' are often ridiculous and overly complicated. Changing firewall, TCP ports just for synth-pc communication? Damn, it feels like having a synth with WindowsME onboard that activates when you plug USB cable :D It's not leaving a lot of confidence tbh.
The good thing is that Dan from Korg is trying to help instead of leaving this task to fanboys who will answer: "it's not a bug! it's a feature, how dare you complain" like it happens in the case of another synth developer ;)

Apparently, keybed is not that great in both. I don't care about it but for some, keybed is so bad that they can't use it at all.


Good stuff (but only for Wavestate):

Modulation - it's infinite? ;) In one review I read that reviewer went with >30 modulations. I don't need that much but... maybe I do? I never had so many mod slots in a hardware synth.

Effects: from what I hear so far, all of the sounds good or very good. I have no complaints about reverb at all. Those effects seem to be very well curated. They gel very nicely with a dry sound.

In my case, where I'm covered with wavetable/subtractive, Wavestate seems to be more interesting sonic/feature-wise. I would like to hear more Modwave demos showcasing what it can do besides typical wavetable leads and pads. Because it seems to be capable of more?

I really like those evolving sounds of Wavestate. It's something different than subtractive/wavetable. Many sounds remind me of Delerium, Ambient or Psytrance from the 90s - fun stuff! Or even late 80's/ early 90's sounds (different than another ob-x/juno leads/pads), which is great for nostalgia :)

I feel that I'll end up with Wavestate. Probably making my own sounds by tweaking presets as opposed to making them from the init patch.
Beware! The software discussed in this topic has unacceptable aliasing at -386dBTP but it can be fixed by changing the sample rate to 12Bit

kritikon
KVRAF
5683 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:31 pm

You won't be disappointed sonically with Wavestate. It's definitely not a low sample rate - it's a very pristine sound when it's programmed that way. Yeah, you definitely will hear 90s with it - wavesequencing is really quite unique and it was a very 90s thing - loads of the presets very much give a nod to the original Wavestation. Wavestate does a vast amount more than what the Wavestation did, but at its core it's still a particular 90s sound. The upside to that is that (as with all of the recent Korg offerings) their filters are characterful, their FX are superb, and you can actually use it happily to make analogue type sounds (the MS20 and Poly6 filters make for creamy pads, character blips and bleeps and even solid basses and it has very capable arpeggiators). But TBH, any number of synths can do that, so one would have to be a bit daft to buy a Wavestate to make those kind of sounds (but it's still a bonus to be able to do them).

Evolving sounds - I still haven't heard anything on a par with wavesequencing for that, and I've tried a lot of them for that style. Some of the presets on Wavestate are just phenomenal to showcase itself. Obviously it has strengths in those choral/string type pads, but when you try out one or two of the evolving random ones - there's a couple in there that sound like a whole orchestra tuning itself up before a show tat seems to never repeat - I wouldn't even know where to start to program that! And another one where it sounds like something rumbling from the bowels of the earth, tortured screams from hell and bells that toll the end of the world - again, mindblowing! Not easy though. I've had one for 30+ years so I know my way around a Wavestation, but Wavestate is still potentially a mindfuck to get to grips with in depth. Sometimes it all just seems like too much to program my own big pads, and I'm sure many are the same with it - you have to really want it to delve inside, and often I just don't want it that badly. Life is short, Wavestate is long. :? There really are no shortcuts with Wavesequencing, and I'm a fanboy, but it can really be a big PITA. After 3 days programming the f**king thing when all of a sudden you get ethereal pads like nothing you ever heard before - it's worth it. Other times not so much. TBH the most I've actually used it for is more regular sounds but twisted a bit. Or slightly altered presets for big pads. Not often that I program it deeply.

As for modulation - yeah it seems infinite. There are so many modulations it may as well be a modular synth. I've buggered around with it for the sake of it and never run into barriers - just the FX can have pretty well every parameter modulated by different things, before you even get into the sound arcitecture. Not sure there even is a limit to number of mods? But - it seems Korg do that on Opsix and Modwave too.

FX - a big strength on the Korgs - AFAIK they're much the same on all of the Korg hw. I'm not aware that Wavestate's is different to Modwave etc. They are really good. Lots of depth to them too - surprised me how deep some of the FX go, you can really scramble things up with Korg FX.

Wavetables - I'm with you on them. If you like them you like them, but it's easy to not like them. And to my ears they don't do anything really unique. They sound digital but kind of vanilla. Whereas wavesequencing sounds absolutely digital but out there on its own platform and unique, characterful, creative.

kritikon
KVRAF
5683 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:59 pm

If I had to choose between Modwave, Opsix, Wavestate...I don't think I could (at least not between the last 2). I won't buy Modwave, but I'm going to get an Opsix. Wavestate and Opsix are so different and so characterful, I have to get both. :? And bear in mind I'm an analogue nut. Usually I avoid digital and don't use many plugins synths. But those 2 Korg hw synths make digital sound so good.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
20856 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:50 am

kritikon wrote:
Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:31 pm
Wavetables - I'm with you on them. If you like them you like them, but it's easy to not like them. And to my ears they don't do anything really unique. They sound digital but kind of vanilla. Whereas wavesequencing sounds absolutely digital but out there on its own platform and unique, characterful, creative.
I love wavetables... then can do all sorts of stuff! For example, work as sample transients for various instruments and as exciters for physical modeling. The Hive uhm scripts do stuff I could never do otherwise. I also regularly resynthesize vocal audio clips into wavetables.

The new Waldorf M sounds totally gorgeous! The lo-fi wavetables into the analog filters and VCA's is unique sounding.

I also like Wavesequencing too... I'm scared of the Wavestate cause I imagine it will be really tedious to create wavesequences. I used to have a Wavestation back in the day and after the initial excitement of exploroing it ended up as more a preset machine cause sound design with wavesequencing was really slow.

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Vectorman
KVRian
1339 posts since 6 May, 2005 from Michigan, USA

Post Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:48 am

I guess I'll still end up grabbing a Wavestate eventually. Had a Wavestation EX and A/D years ago and of course used the Wavestation plugin, so the Wavestate is up my alley somewhat. But I think I would've been more excited about it if it had come in a full-sized keyboard with a good quality keybed and a large built-in touchscreen to make editing right on the unit more friendly, having a graphic representation of the wave sequence lanes and such. The way it was implemented with a limited interface that requires a software editor and the cheap-ish hardware design with the poor quality keybed...honestly, now that there's a software editor, I'd be doing all my programming from that anyway and the keyboard is like a big, space-wasting dongle for something that could have just been released as a softsynth.
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kritikon
KVRAF
5683 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Mon Dec 20, 2021 9:06 am

Must admit - I kind of get their representation of the lanes...but it's not really that obvious. In some ways there is less menu diving but the improvements also mean more menu diving. It's def better/easier than the Wavestation...but only a little. TBH I dunno how they can make it more simple without a huge interface?

zaphod betamax
KVRist
72 posts since 17 May, 2016

Post Mon Dec 20, 2021 9:36 am

Since you can not delete the Modwave factory sounds, that IMO have way too much reverb for my liking- I simply ignore them.

Starting my patches with an INIT patch and adding in wavetables from Audio Term or WaveEdit is my cup of tea!

I am making some weird stuff with the Modwave. Great that the filter can be disabled, which allows for all the timbre to come though without a filter. Experimenting with the filter is fun too!
pdxindy wrote:
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.
Last edited by zaphod betamax on Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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