Synth Site: Korg: WavestationSR: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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spectralab a professional user from a void in the center of the universe writes:
There are a few ways to look at this synth...

1) a glorifed (and slightly dated) Rompler

2) an incredible pad machine

3) a virtual musique-concrete workstation (with a nod to Antilife ;o)

If you choose #1, you'll *probably* be disappointed with the instrument emulations, but might like it for those "spacier" sounds, if you have a place for them in your music.

If you choose #2, #3, or both, you're in for a treat.

The whole thing is essentially based on PCM samples. What sets it apart are the Wavesequencing and Vector mixing capabilities. The graphic interface in Sound Diver for Wavesequence editing, is literally a "virtual musique concrete" design - you choose how many slots (ie. small snipets of tape) you want, the length of each, and the crossfade value between them. You can also set individual levels, as well as fine and coarse tuning for each segment. And the whole thing looks like a strip of analog tape with multiple splices/edits.

Then you move up to the Patch level. A Patch can contain 1, 2 or 4 oscillators. An oscillator can either be a single on-board PCM sample - which is how you use it as a Rompler; or a Wavesequence - which how you use it to do something interesting. Each oscillator has it's own sections for defining pitch, filter, envelopes, LFOs etc. If you use 2 or 4 osciallators, they are routed into either a 2-way or 4-way vector mixer, respectively.

There is also a Performance level, in which you can combine up to 8 Patches and define Global FX settings. There are two FX slots, which can run either serial (both on the A/B outs), or parallel (with one routed to the C/D outs). And there are Multi-Sets, which use 16 Performances for a multi-timbral set-up. Given that there are only 4 outputs, and that polyphony is 32 notes, multi-timbral operation isn't really a practical use.

I personally use it as a mono-timbral sound source, even if I'm layering Patches in a Performance.

In short, this machine is capable of some amazing sounds, thanks in large part to the Wavesequencing. There are several waveforms from the Prophet VS (the machine which, in a lot of ways, gave birth to the Wavestation series) included as PCM samples here, as well as some PPG-like tones - the Wavestation does a pretty good impression of PPG wavetables as well, if you use the appropriate tones while putting together your Wavesequence (I'm paraphrasing Antilife again, because I couldn't have said it better).

The effects are standard Korg fare, some great, some not.

There has been a fair bit of debate at the Gas Station over the lack of resonant filters in the Wavestation. Quite frankly, I think the lack of them gives this module a unique character. If you want a resonant filter for it, run it through an external one. The only way resonant filters would have been useful, in my opinion, is if they were implemented at the Wavesequencing level - with individual type, cut-off and resonance parameters for each slot in the Wavesequence.

I mentioned the Sound Diver interface for editing Wavesequences above: for editing the Wavestation SR, Sound Diver is absolutely necessary, as the front panel interface is horrendous. Two things I dis-like about the way the SR (and presumably the whole series) handles sys-ex: 1) the fact that you can only transmit entire banks and not individual Patches/Performances when storing this way, and 2) the fact that the Wavestation likes to "link" Wavesequences to the Patches they are used in, and Patches to the Performances they are used in. In other words, if you attempt to save a newly-edited Patch in place of one that is used in a previously-stored Performance, it will ignore your new Patch in order to keep the previous one intact for the relative Performance. Both very annoying traits. It can be worked around if you're careful, but I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

All in all, the Wavestation SR is an excellent synth which, in spite of it's age and sys-ex quirks, still stands up today - at least when used as a pad/sound-design machine.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-07-2001 at 06:42
A Gowland from UK writes:
Am borrowing one with a view to buying it. At first go I was disappointed especially with acoustic emulations but then it is getting on a bit. Its real strength is in the patch editing especially wavesequences these are pretty cool but tricky doing it from the front panel, you definately need an editor. Treat this as a module to get weird and unique sounds from and with a bit of effort you will be rewarded.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Jan-15-2001 at 07:18
William Kurniadi from Indonesia, Jakarta writes:
I own 3 types of this synth, The original/EX/SR, may be will buy the A/D too one day. I use it together with Korg Trinity Pro/Wavedrum/iX300, Roland JV1080, E-mu Morpheus/Sampler and Yamaha QY70, etc,...Really can't be apart from it, specially with those banks collection which is really put it on the steroid, I really love this synth, it's my all time favorite,...I'm looking to buy Waldorf MicrowaveXT tho, can't wait what will happen if this two scream together,...ANYONE HAVE ANY PCM CARDS FOR EX/SR PLEASE MAIL ME, THANKS! This is one of the most wonderful synth on earth,.....all time,....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-21-2000 at 01:55
Jamie a professional user from Philadelphia writes:
Easily one of the best synths ever released (that goes for the SR and the A/D). Anyone who's into making their own sounds and can get past the learning curve will have a field day with this puppy! The sound is clean and crisp, sometimes even warm, but don't expect emulations. This synth is designed to make sounds nobody has ever heard of before, so if you're going to base the quality of this instrument based on its acoustic piano sounds, go look someplace else! Drum sounds are excellent, and I'd even recommend this as a good slave unit for an electronic drummer, since you can program wave sequences to give you loopable drum patterns or whatever else your heart wishes! If you get the SR though, make sure you have a computer hooked up to it. Otherwise you'll want to throw it out the window. You just can't see into the beauty of this machine from a 40x2 backlit LCD. Go see what this thing can do. I'm actually kind of suprised that the SR is only bringing in $450-500 used. It should be worth more than that. It's a better synth today than most new synths on the market are!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-20-2000 at 04:46
Lenti Lenko a professional user from Australia writes:
I don't program the Wavestation SR (I have an AD also- much easier to get around and has analogue inputs to boot!). However, I got this for a great price ($1,000 Aussie 4 years ago!) and I use it for it's many excellent presets. Whilst the acoustic emulations were OK at the time, they are a bit average by today's standards. However that is not what the Wavestation is about- it's fortes include huge wavesequenced and vector patches, massive pads, great organs and great modulation routings of parameters for real time control. It is a nightmare to program from the front panel so that is why I have the Wavestation AD! By this as an excellent extra synthe for your Trinity,JV1080 etc. It's biggest weakness is no doubt those crappy sounding non-resonant filters. I wish Korg still worked on the Wavestation concept. This is a synthe that will fast become a classic in the next century!!!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Dec-18-1999 at 07:42
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