How easy is the Korg Wavestation to use?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRist
456 posts since 31 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:00 am

It looks rather involved!

KVRist
109 posts since 23 Mar, 2019

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:34 am

Wavestation or Wavestate? Ah, you mean the VST.OK.

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KVRAF
1918 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:45 am

I find it very easy, but then I started programming the Wavestation directly on the hardware in the 90s.

Assuming you already understand synthesizer programming fundamentals, all you really need to do is get a handle on the architecture, Performance -> Patch -> Wave Sequence.

One Patch can have 1, 2 or 4 oscillators, each of which can play a PCM wave, or a "list" of waves & timings (wave sequencer).

A Performance, which is the top level sound/preset you play, has up to 8 Patches layered/split, plus FX.

When you start programming, start with an Initialised bank, and always keep any dependencies in that same bank - so all your Perfs, Patches and Wave Sequences are from the same bank, and don't reuse items in different sounds, otherwise you might edit them and find different sounds that used those items have changed now too.

Start by keeping it simple, edit an init Performance, choose the first init Patch from the same bank, pick 1 or 2 oscillators, and start by choosing waves, editing envelopes, and adding FX at the performance level. Then start playing with Wave Sequences instead of single PCM waves to get a handle on how they work - again, just keep it simple with maybe two or three waves in the Wave Sequence.

That's the fundamentals - sounds can get quite big/complex because the WS is so layerable, but you don't have the polyphony problems that the hardware has in the software.

KVRist

Topic Starter

456 posts since 31 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 2:40 am

It's a little hard to follow in the vst. I can't find an initialised patch to work from and the demo prohibits saving and loading. That's fine, but it is tough figuring this out. Each performance seems to have a lot of patches which seem to have wave sequences with lots of parts. That's before all the weird stuff with the joystick and the vector position.

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KVRAF
1918 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:06 am

That's why I said start from an initialised one (or clear it out if necessary). I said the best way is to start simple, building something from scratch so you can get a feel for the architecture, not start by reverse-engineering existing very complex multi-patch performances to begin with.

Just my suggestion, based off of years of WS experience, but if you just want to hack away at it at random and that works for you, that's fine too.

KVRist

Topic Starter

456 posts since 31 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:01 am

It's fascinating stuff. I'm starting to get it, a little. Some of these parts have huge numbers of individual noises.

How does the vector thing and the joystick work though? I can't see what they actually do and how to manipulate that?

KVRist
195 posts since 13 Jul, 2021

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:11 am

ghostwhistler wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:00 am
It looks rather involved!
It is don't let anyone fool you otherwise :)
But with persistence you'll get very good results.
I like to add my own reverbs and effects though.

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KVRAF
1918 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:15 am

ghostwhistler wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:01 am
How does the vector thing and the joystick work though? I can't see what they actually do and how to manipulate that?
There is a manual that tells you what these things do, and how to use them..! ;)

Remember I said that a Patch can have up to 4 oscillators? Imagine you've put four different waves on each of these oscillators. Now, each of those four oscillators are represented by A, B, C and D on the joystick. Moving the joystick changes the mix of those four oscillators. Put it all the way at A, and you'll only be hearing oscillator A - put the joystick dead central, and you'll hear an equal mix of all four oscillators.

That's cool, but going further you can get the WS to automatically *move* the joystick when you play a note. So, you could decide that when you play a note, the joystick starts at position A, then slowly moves to position B, and then settles eventually back in the center position. Or you could have it bouncing around and looping all over the place. This is what the vector envelope is.

It's another tool to give you movement in a patch.

Remember, this works at Patch level - a Performance could have, say a layer of 2 different patches, and each of those Patches might have different vector envelopes (describing the movement of the vector position / mix of oscillators) going at once, each changing the mix of oscillators in it's own Patch.

And you can modulate joystick positions from other modulators too.

And thats even before you add Wave Sequences into the equation.

KVRist

Topic Starter

456 posts since 31 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:16 am

How do the basic sounds (the building blocks for your patches etc) stack up to the likes of the M1? I have no idea of the history fo these machines, I just remember hearing a lot of wavestation parts in the early nineties (didn't know it at the time of course). I don't know if there was much time between the two synths?

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KVRAF
1918 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:19 am

M1 was first by a year or two, but they were contemporary instruments so the sound character of the waves and FX was comparable. The WS had less of the more traditional waves and more synthy ones, and could do thicker sounds with more motion than the M1, which could be a little ‘static’ like a more conventional rompler.

KVRist

Topic Starter

456 posts since 31 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:43 am

Thanks for the help.

I notice some parts don't seem to allow wavesequencing (the option cannot be selected). Is there anyway to know which, or how to enable it in those cases? I have the manual, but it really isn't clear on a lot of this nuance.

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KVRAF
1918 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:59 am

ghostwhistler wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:43 am
I notice some parts don't seem to allow wavesequencing (the option cannot be selected).
Not sure what you mean. Any oscillator in a Patch can play either a single PCM wave, or a Wave Sequence. If you want it to play a Wave Sequence, choose one (again, helpful if it's just an unused initialised one in the current bank to - wave sequences are usually in the first 32 slots (0-31) when you choose an oscillator wave, and are listed with an * in front of their name as a clue that you're looking at a Wave Sequence - when you've chosen one of those, also the "Wave Sequence" edit button lights up too), and then start choosing the PCM waves in the list there.

I'm not aware of any instance where you can't choose a Wave Sequence to be played by an oscillator. Possibly you're just not familiar with the interface yet?

Maybe you've only selected regular PCM waves for the oscillators, and are confused why the Wave Sequence edit button isn't active? In this case, scroll down the waves for one of the oscillators until you get to the first 32, now you're selecting a Wave Sequence for that oscillator, and the Wave Sequence edit button will be available.

KVRAF
8856 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:39 am

Lord do I wish there were some good, in depth, Wavestation VST tutorial videos. It’s an instrument I’ve never quite wrapped my head around programming. Beely’s posts are about the most informative things I’ve seen on the subject and make sense conceptually. Just need to sit down and learn how to translate that to the actual instrument interface.

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KVRAF
1918 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:08 am

I wrote up a bunch of this stuff about Wavestation programming in the long-ago times of the Wavestation mailing list - I haven't read it in a while, but it's this kind of format with a bunch of tips you might find useful.

https://muz4now.com/Stan/music/ws-toc.html#top

I'm happy to clarify some of these things or go into more depth of people are interested in getting deeper into the WS in general...

Doing a good YT/video tutorial is a lot of work, and I'm not sure the demand is there to make it worth the effort...

KVRist

Topic Starter

456 posts since 31 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:14 am

TBH I don't know what it is. Some pathces and parts have asterisks by their name which ma indicate something relevant. I picked the tambourine sound for a part and the wavesequencer option was greyeout. But when I went into a part that already had a wavesequencer set up I could edit the sounds to include that voice.

I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. I'm just trying the demo. I'd like to learn more about it before i decide whether I want to purchase, even at the sale price (which is great).

I appreciate the help

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