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
Jon (SWE)
March 3, 2012 @ 1:22 am
The software version is a lot easier to work with.
about the op-amps, I would suggest to anyone using a computer to get some outboard gear, with good sound (for example run the sound thru a mixer, or nice eq, or effects unit, compressor, or other)... with good outboard gear you can even warm up the tone of hardware digital synths.
I dont think chris cares about the collectible value, or the sleak look.
November 17, 2011 @ 8:48 am
~chris there's a few reasons many will still prefer the hardware wavestation (esp the keyboard)
1. It's a 'classic' synth and means a lot to some collector types
2. the op-amps and outputs (on pretty much any 'real' synth) help add dimension to a song when mixed in with other sources, VSTs can sound 'flat'
3. Good keys on the keybed and slick looks on the real wavestation synth.
4. While some prefer vst workflow many still like to PLAY an instrument INTO a recorder/DAW - switch on + play - no pc needed :)

Classic Synth - stiill sounds great
October 30, 2011 @ 2:28 am
Could someone please tell me why should I get. Real wavestation instead of the vst / au version? How can it possibly be better then the software soundwise?
March 5, 2011 @ 6:20 pm
This synth is DEEP. If you don't want to sit down and tackle the programming, it probably won't do much for you, but if will treat you great if you do. Love the effects, feel of the keys, unique sounds.....LOVE IT.
January 14, 2011 @ 4:04 pm
Seriously - why is this synth so heavy? : )
It has a weighted keyboard similar to the DX7. This is a proper synthesiser, the like of which you don't see today in hardware synths (which desperately try to mimic synths of the past rather than innovate). It's also a great performance synth which allows a lot of real time manipulation as long as you know how to edit it right. Great pads and strings.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.27 (733 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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