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Differences between Wavestate and Modwave?

 
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Dniss
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:54 pm    Post subject: Differences between Wavestate and Modwave? Reply with quote

Does anyone knows the major differences between Wavestate and Modwave?
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danatkorg
Product Manager, Korg R&D


Joined: 21 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Differences between Wavestate and Modwave? Reply with quote

Dniss wrote:
Does anyone knows the major differences between Wavestate and Modwave?


The wavestate and modwave are pretty different - in both the underlying technology and the sonic results.

The wavestate is fundamentally a samples + subtractive synthesis architecture. Wave Sequences play lists of samples, and can also modify synthesis parameters, like a complex step sequencer. The wavestate's Wave Sequencing 2.0 brings this to a new level through its modulatable Lanes and per-step probability, for organic, ever-changing sounds that respond to realtime control.

Wave Sequencing is great for leveraging the richness of sampled sources and combining them in unique and interesting ways. The flip side of this is that, since Wave Sequencing is based on samples, there are limited options for altering the fundamental timbres.

The modwave is primarily a wavetable synthesizer. (It can play samples too, but not wave sequences.) Its oscillators play single-cycle waveforms. These waveforms are grouped into sets called "wavetables," which let you smoothly transform from one single-cycle waveform to another.

Wavetables, when played without any modulation, are pretty static - just like analog waveforms. But, compared to samples, there are many more options for altering wavetables in real-time. Since the wavetables are all phase-synchronous, you can combine them together in ways that create a single new timbre instead of something that sounds like a layer (through Position, as well as the modwave's A/B Blend and associated B Position Offset). For the same reason, crossfaded sweeps through wavetables create a continuous evolution in timbre.

(In comparison, if you use the wavestate's Wave Sequencing 2.0 to crossfade between a set of single-cycle samples - such as the VS waves - they will not be phase-synchronous, and you'll hear each sound fade out as the next fades in. It's an interesting effect, but different from the modwave.)

Since the output of a wavetable is a single-cycle waveform - even if it's one that keeps changing - you can manipulate it with a selection of "Morph" processes in real-time. Some of these are similar to features found in analog oscillators; others are digital-only. Each oscillator has a dedicated LFO for controlling Morph in real-time (of course, you can also use a large number of other modulation sources!).

The Morph types include a few different takes on pulse-width modulation/time distortion (Narrow, Stretch, and variations thereof), inverting the waveform at a modulatable midpoint (Flip), reflecting it around a center point (Mirror), etc. Even processes which make some sense with samples (Sync, AM, FM, Ring Mod) become more generally useful with single-cycle waveforms, since their effects are much more predictable and controllable.

Since the wavetables are rendered at load-time, there's an opportunity to change the rendering methods. The modwave takes advantage of this with "Modifiers," which do all sorts of things including additive-style manipulations (isolating odd or even harmonics, or every third harmonic, or emphasizing drawbar organ harmonics), anti-aliased quantization, saturation, and clipping to add high harmonic content, etc. Finally, combining these rendering options with phase-synchronous playback and A/B Blend, the modwave lets you load both altered and original wavetables in a single oscillator, and modulate the amount of rendered processing in realtime via envelopes, LFOs, sequencer lanes etc. Sometimes this has a kind of filter-ish sound, sometimes it's like additive synthesis, and sometimes it's just its own thing!
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