Korg Releases "Wavestate" Digital Synthesizer

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

Korg Wavestate synthesizer © Korg

Seems one of the more underrated synthesizers of the 90's, the Korg Wavestation, is getting another chance to shine with all its wave sequencing beauty, with the announcement yesterday of Korg's newest synthesizer.

Used by bands like Depeche Mode, and Genesis, even used in the popular TV series the "The X-Files", the Korg Wavestation first introduced the world to something called "Wave Sequencing", and was developed as the first project by Korg's R&D team in California; a group made up of former staff from Ensoniq, and also Sequential Circuits, who in the 80's introduced the world to perhaps the biggest inspiration behind the Wavestation project: Vector Synthesis. According to Wikipedia: "Vector synthesis provides movement in a sound by providing dynamic cross-fading between (usually) four sound sources".

Revisited here in the 21st century as the compact, yet very versatile "Wavestate", this powerful digital synth is nothing unexpected from Korg, who has always been on the cutting edge, yet nothing like over the past few years, starting with the release of its wildly popular Minilogue analog polysynth, and moving on to more DIY approaches to sound design with its open-source "logue SDK"; first featured on the beautiful Prologue synthesizer (and later on the version 2.0 of the Minilogue, the Minilogue XD), and synths like its clever, and buildable kit, "NTS-1".

Front panel of Korg Wavestate © Korg

While you will find some familiar controls on the Wavestate such as a filter, LFO and ADSR, this synth gets its sonic power primarily from an extensive library of raw samples, including the sample library from the original Wavestation, all playable in up to 64 stereo voices and programmed primarily via layers, what Korg refers to as "lanes", and a very cool joystick to let you mix your sounds together! The filter section, which like the rest of the synth is digital, offers a few different options like a model of the aggressive MS-20 filter, or that of the Korg Polysix. There is also something Korg calls "Intelligent Randomization", accessible via a "dice" button.

Overall as Korg states on their website, the wavestate takes inspiration: "from sources as diverse as modular synths, groove boxes, and algorithmic composition. The compact form-factor, with 37 full-size keys, transports easily and fits neatly into any stage, studio, or desktop setup". The Wavestate also features 14 different effects like compressors, EQ's, choruses, flangers, phasers, and stereo delays, not to mention processors such as Wave Shaper, Talking Modulator, Reverse Delay, Multiband Mod Delay, and Overb (from the OASYS), along with other effects including VOX guitar amps, wah, multi-head tape echo, and other guitar pedals.

The Korg Wavestate is expected to begin shipping in the coming months, pre-orders are available now through dealers such as Sweetwater, at a price point of $799 US.

Full specs here.

Watch the Korg Wavestate promo video below: