NAMM 2024: In yet another big gear announcement from Korg, the manufacturer has revealed three desktop versions of some of its most popular synthesizers: Wavestate, Modwave and Opsix. If you liked the look of these instruments but you've no need for a keyboard or fancy integrating them into a rackmount set-up, it's your lucky day.
Korg's Wavestate is a 21st-century reimagining of the Wavestation, a digital wave sequencing synth made by the company in the '90s. Wavestate mkII was released in June last year, expanding the original's polyphony from 64 stereo voices to 96 and adding a variety of newly designed Wave Sequences and Programs, along with expanded internal storage and redesigned companion software, Wavestate Editor/Librarian. The desktop version's polyphony has been boosted up to 120 voices, and the synth is priced at £649/€749.
The Modwave is a modern take on Korg's cult classic DW-8000 synthesizer that transforms the original into a "modern monster synth" equipped with powerful wavetable oscillators, flexible modulation capabilities and 60-voice polyphony. Korg says that its responded to user requests in updating Modwave's LFOs with options for free-running, delayed start and retriggering, while adding a pre/post switch for reverb sends. The desktop version of the Modwave is priced at £699/€799.
The desktop version of the Opsix offers all of the features of Korg's Opsix mkII, also announced today. This includes an expanded 64-voice polyphony and the addition of new "sound components, waveforms, filters, shaping possibilities, effects, LFOs, envelopes, modulations and more". Opsix is an 'Altered FM' synth that augments classic DX7-style 6-operator FM synthesis with subtractive, analogue modelling, waveshaping and additive synthesis, along with analogue-style filters that emulate the MS-20 and PolySix. Opsix's desktop version is priced at £649/€749.
Each of the three synths now supports MIDI 2.0 Property Exchange, a feature that exchanges tones, programs, and other information between devices using MIDI messages, and their factory sounds have been redesigned to respond to polyphonic aftertouch. This means they'll pair well with Korg's Keystage, the brand's first MIDI 2.0-compatible keyboard controller.
The desktop versions of the Wavestate, Modwave and Opsix are designed for both desktop and rackmount use, measuring 4U in height and 19" in width. The synth's brackets offer a choice of panel angles for desktop use. The synths will ship in April of this year.