Korg Wavestation

Korg Wavestation Image

When Sequential Circuits finally went belly-up, their research and development into vector synthesis was picked up at Korg. This led to the hugely successful Wavestation Synthesizer which was based on Sequential's ProphetVS. The Wavestation incorporated the 2-dimensional vector joystick of the ProphetVS which allowed the user to alter and animate sounds.

Korg added to this a second break-through form of synthesis: wave sequencing, by which short segments of sampled audio waveforms could be played one after the other and cross-faded into each other for some complex and unusual tones, pads, textures and rhythms. The Wavestation had 2MB of ROM based samples at your disposal. Programming is not exactly easy but this great digital synth is capable of lush ambient sounds and strange effects. It has the obligatory lowpass filter, though it is non-resonant and digital sounding. Also on-board are some multi-effects which are pretty nice. This synth is easily upgraded and expandable with PCM cards too.

Korg Wavestation EX Image

In 1991 the Wavestation EX, also called EXK-WS, was released (pictured above). The EX added 150 more waveforms (4MB) including acoustic instruments and drums. The EX also adds 8 multi-effects including: Mod Pitch Shift-Delay, Stereo Compressor-Limiter/Gate, Vocoder, Overdrive and Distortion effects, transposable keyboard and added MIDI implementation and control. Wavestations are used by Orbital, The Future Sound of London, Genesis, Jan Hammer, Depeche Mode, Toto, Vangelis, Legendary Pink Dots, Biosphere and Sin.

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50 Visitor comments
July 23, 2009 @ 11:45 pm
For once the SOFTWARE VERSION does it far better. ALL sounds, ALL cards.. and the main thing? the resonant filter that is sadly lacking from the hardware version.
Man In Motion
July 18, 2009 @ 1:15 pm
I own two of them; the first Wavestation Keyboard and the latest SR. Very complex and hard to program, it produces amazing sounds to create emotional and suggestive soundscapes.......and offers endless possibilities in any kind of music.
The software version sounds good but it's just not the same thing.
ricky d
February 23, 2009 @ 3:50 pm
Initially you would think it would sound like a Korg M1, which it does the Piano 16' as well and maybe a few other borrowed sounds, but IMO it's more serious sounding and less "plasticky". It's good for music that calls for some exotic-droney type of sounds geared towards techno. The presets are pretty good on their own I have to admit (The same can't be said for alot of synths), but programming the Wavestation will boggle your mind and will easily piss you off if you're not the patient type, and editing one patch will screw up another patch too. That is what I don't like about it. Another con is that it's kind of hard to sit the sounds in a mix at times. All in all though, the Wavestation is a keeper and is a staple instrument in my setup.
tony H
November 22, 2008 @ 6:25 am
October 27, 2008 @ 7:52 pm
For examples in popular television's past, the Goosebumps series made gratuitous use of this synthesizer's factory patches as did Are You Afraid of the Dark? to an extent.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.27 (734 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Up to 32 Voices
  • Oscillators - Digital synth with 2MB ROM samples, Vector Synthesis, Wave Sequencing
  • Multitimbral - 16 parts
  • Filter - 1 LowPass filter per voice
  • Memory - 150 patches
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity / aftertouch)
  • Effects - 2 onboard effects
  • Control - MIDI (up to 8 channels at a time)
  • Date Produced - 1990-94
  • Resources & Credits
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