Korg Wavedrum

Are there any other Korg Wavedrum players here? It’s hard to find a lot of info about it online. I’ve owned one for quite some time and it’s been fun to toy around with, but I was never fully into the preset sounds. Today I decided to dig into the programming manual and really try to do some sound design. Wow! What a difference it makes to do it yourself. The interface is really arcane and nearly impossible to use without the manual in front of you, but the algorithms sound great and you can really create some great sounds there.

I started taking a Djembe class this week so I’ve been inspired to get back into the hand drum playing. Playing the djembe in my apartment is a bit noisy, so the Wavedrum is a good alternative. On a totally side note, when I told my Djembe instructor I work with synthesizers his next question was “Do you design for Eurorack?”… jeeze, just can’t get away from the stuff!

If there’s anyone else here that uses one, I’d love to discuss some techniques / tips.

I have a Wavedrum Oriental (many middle eastern drum sounds).

Which Wavedrum do you have? There are several editions.

I have the Global, which I think is just an amalgamation of all the previous Wavedrums.

A couple decades ago I played darabuka (doumbek) in a little bellydance troupe, so I learned the balady, chiftitelli, kashlimah, etc. so I tend to fall back into those when playing hand percussion. Have also spent a little time playing guinean rhythms on djembe, but that was generally in a larger ensemble, so my parts weren’t as interesting to play solo (never quite advanced to soloing on djembe). I find myself enjoying the daf and cajon voices as well. There’s tons of great sounds in the thing.

I still have the acoustic versions of the darabuka and djembe. Bought the Wavedrum for easier recording without having to fidget with mic setups. Haven’t really gotten into programming the thing at all. Would be interested in some pointers in that direction. The manual is less than helpful.

This thread was of an immense help: http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=66393&sid=63ea507197f9d3ff6bd72aa57bd2e526

I actually really like the analog algorithm. Makes weird drony synth sounds. Then I layer one of the metallic PCM samples with it to get a sharper transient.

My other favourite model is the Udu. It just sounds really cool and I’m doubtful I’ll get the chance to play a real one any time soon…

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That thread, and the entire forum is gold. I’m starting to grok how hackable (not just programmable) the Wavedrum is. Hehehe. :smiling_imp: For example, there’s an internal micro-sd card?!

I wonder if anybody has made a list of all the initial parameter values for al the pre-made voices. This seems like it would be a useful thing since there is no “init” state. I might have to make this if I can’t find it.

I’ve got the mini version and it’s novel but frustrating to use.

The piezo attachment has been fun though, I use it as a trigger sometimes.

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In some ways the mini version looks like more fun, just more immediate.

The WD-X is a great instrument, but it has a serious menu diving problem.

once you’ve set up your sounds, it’s pretty immediate. Just push one of 4 buttons to get the sound you want…

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or just scroll through presets! that’s probably what 99.9% of owners do anyway

The problem with preset surfing is that there are just so many parameters that can be adjusted. Every preset is like a completely different instrument. This is wonderful in a flexibility sense, but the menu diving becomes a problem the moment you want to take control of all those parameters.

What I think I need to do is take the time to make 4 sounds I love from scratch in a fairly thorough way, and just stick to those. There are thankfully a lot of factory presets that get pretty close.

I’m also going to start reading up on how I might hack some kind of MIDI control into it, so I could use a big knob bank to make programming easier. (I don’t actually know if that’s possible yet, but I do see threads about MIDI in some form or other).

This is really cool!


Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:06 pm
Ladies and Gentlemen,

finally here it is: the spreadsheet based Wavedrum Editor! Very Happy

Download a description here:

Download the editor (Open Office Calc format) here:

Basically it’s a spreadsheet that lets you edit Wavedrum (Silver and Oriental) sounds. It can read the sound parameters from the Wavedrum’s MicroSD card and write edited sounds to the card (indirectly, a hex editor is still required).

Please download, try thoroughly, let me know what you think, report bugs, make suggestions etc. etc.

How to tell you’re old in one of these threads…

…start reading, since you have a colleague with a Wavedrum and have a fair bit of experience with it yourself (having written a lot about it when it came out), who knows, maybe you have something of use…

…and then you read about a programming manual, which never existed, and a hackable architecture, which ALSO never existed, and a micro-SD port, which sure as HELL never existed…

…and then you turn bright red as you realize everyone is talking about the NEW Wavedrum, that came out a few years ago… not the one your colleague owns, that you were working with back in the 1990s when physical modeling was this new and unknown thing.

I have to really pay attention to this thread now. I sort of wrote off the new Wavedrum as a cheap knockoff of the original when it came out, but it sounds like Korg actually put a lot of cool programming tools under the hood for enterprising users, which is in fact a big improvement over the original. (You think the new one’s arcane to work with? Ha and ha ha, say I.) :grin:

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