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NAMM 2013: Korg Wavedrum Global Edition launched

The most powerful Wavedrum yet

NAMM 2013: Since Korg re-introduced the Wavedrum in 2009 we've seen various different models, but with the new Global Edition, the company claims that it's produced the most powerful version yet.

This second-generation percussion synth features a wide range of sounds from around the world and promises to be the most playable and expressive Wavedrum yet.

Find out more below or on the Korg website. The price is yet to be confirmed, but we're told that the Wavedrum Global Edition should be available in March.

Korg Wavedrum Global Edition press release

The new Wavedrum Global Edition represents the next—and most powerful—evolution in the Wavedrum family. It boasts the largest palette of cutting-edge sounds of any Wavedrum to date; with sought-after percussion sounds from around the world, a major boost in the quality of each sound, and dramatic improvements in usability.

In 2009, Korg unveiled Wavedrum WD-X, a revival of the original Wavedrum that debuted in 1994. The reimagined '09 Wavedrum had a stunning impact as a performance tool that brought new expressive power to musicians–from users of the original Wavedrum to forward-looking percussionists. Subsequent models included Wavedrum Oriental with its added Arabic sounds, Wavedrum Mini with its unique sensor clip, as well as limited edition color models, and the instrument's unbounded potential has continued to accelerate the spread of Wavedrum mania throughout the world.

Highlights:

  • 2nd Generation Dynamic Percussion Synthesizer that provides unparalleled musical expression
  • A sound engine that combines DSP-powered algorithms with PCM sounds to allow versatile and highly flexible performances
  • A pressure sensor and multiple pickups capture the subtle nuances of your strikes on the head and rim, generating expressive power and new sounds
  • Increased pickup precision provides improved dynamic range for low and high pitches, as well as enhanced response for soft sounds, making the instrument more sensitive
  • Play different sounds from the head and rim, or apply pressure effects on the head to create performance techniques that are possible only on the Wavedrum
  • 200 preset programs cover a vast range of sounds from classic percussion to unique and novel sounds.
  • 200 user programs are available for storing customized sounds and settings
  • A new input sensitivity parameter has been added, supporting a wide range of users from beginners to pros
  • Fundamental sounds such as acoustic instruments have been enhanced
  • Live Mode stores up to 12 settings (4 favorite programs x 3 Banks) for instant recall
  • Compact and light-weight design; use as an individual instrument, or mixed in with a traditional drum kit or any performance/percussion rig
  • 140 loop phrases of various genres allow Wavedrum users to jam along or practice to them
  • AUX input allows monitoring or mixing of any audio source–CD, MP3, even a second Wavedrum

Revolutionary synthesis technology

Percussion instruments that generate rich, dynamic sounds from the bare hand of the player are perhaps the most physical of all musical instruments. While an electronic musical instrument, the Wavedrum Global Edition is painstakingly designed to retain this level of physicality. The sound of the player's strike is sensed by separate pickups for the head and the rim, and used directly as the sound source that drives the DSP-powered algorithm and PCM sound engine. In combination with this, the pressure sensor in the head allows the Wavedrum Global Edition to detect and respond to subtle movements of the player's fingers or palm which can be used to strike, rub, or scratch the head, as well as use techniques such as open shots, slap shots, heel and toe, and mute. Tonal differences produced by using a stick, mallet, or brush, plus changes resulting from different striking locations are also faithfully reproduced, giving the musician a high degree of expressive power and a broad dynamic range that rivals that of an acoustic drum or percussion instrument. This means that percussionists can bring a substantial arsenal of sounds - to rival a stage full of traditional percussion instruments - anywhere without the sacrificing the real feel or sonic quality that they require for their performance.

To further Wavedrum Global Edition's ability to provide the utmost expressiveness and response, Korg has worked to increase the accuracy of the pickup. This boosts the dynamic range of the lows and highs, and improves the response to soft sounds, allowing more sensitive playing.

Innovative technology combines DSP synthesis and PCM samples

The Wavedrum Global Edition contains 60 DSP algorithms, which enable a variety of synthesis methods––analog, additive, non-linear, physical modeling, etc. Working with these algorithms, you can create various instrument sounds, natural sounds, or purely synthetic sounds – in addition to the Wavedrum Global Edition's own unique sounds. Certain DSP algorithms allow you to assign a different DSP method and PCM instrument to the head and to the rim. In other algorithms, the velocity and tone of the strike are used to control the PCM sound, delivering a playing experience rivaling that of an acoustic instrument. The PCM sound engine – the other important part of the Wavedrum Global Edition's sound creation system – contains 400 PCM sounds: 200 for the head, and 200 for the rim. Combining the PCM sounds with the DSP algorithms delivers a natural response far beyond the reach of PCM only instruments.

Percussion sounds from around the world

In addition to conventional drum sounds such as snares and toms, popular percussion instruments such as cajon, djembe, conga, and tabla, as well as metallic percussion such as cowbell and triangle, the Wavedrum Global Edition also provides exotic ethnic instruments and percussion sounds from all over the world, both ancient and modern. For example, the Wavedrum Global Edition allows you to instantly experience The udu, a clay pot percussion instrument; the jegog, a bamboo marimba from the island of Bali; the talking drum of Africa; Arabic percussion such as the darbuka and daf; plus gongs that would require massive setups. There's also a selection of stringed instruments such as sitar, koto, and berimbau. For each of these sounds, the Wavedrum Global Edition not only gives you a faithful re-creation of the original sound, but also provides new expressive potential that is unavailable from any other instrument. The Wavedrum allows you to instantly experience all of these, enabling you to easily play percussion instruments that normally take years to master.

Sounds that feature a dramatic leap in quality and variation

The Wavedrum Global Edition places its main emphasis on strengthened acoustic instruments such as snare, djembe, and conga. This pursuit of realism has given the sounds even greater practicality. The Wavedrum Global Edition lives up to its name by also providing a rich assortment of Latin American and African instruments, such as the balafon, shekere, and dundunba as well as the Japanese taiko drum. Of course, there's also a full complement of the sound effects and electronic sounds that you would expect from a synthesizer, further broadening your performance potential. We've also added sounds for cutting-edge electronic dance music styles such as dubstep and moombahton.

Performances that overflow with originality, leading you into an unknown world

The Wavedrum Global Edition generates new expressive potential not merely from its sound, but also from your performance technique. You can make the pitch change randomly each time you strike it, or even specify a scale and play a phrase. Applying pressure to the head is an expressive technique that's possible only on the Wavedrum Global Edition. After striking the head with your hand or a mallet, you can apply additional pressure to control the pitch or timbre of the decay, or produce sustained sounds simply by pressing down on the head, creating sound effects that would be impossible on a conventional percussion instrument.

Plenty of programs to choose from

The 200 preset Wavedrum Global Edition programs range from high-fidelity emulative drum and percussion sounds to a world of and new and unique sounds.

Save your own original sounds

There are a range of parameters available for editing and tweaking to create new user programs to suit your own music or style of playing. In addition to making changes to pitch, decay time, loudness, reverb, delay, and curve (intensity) of the pressure sensor, etc., you can completely alter the sound by, for example, changing the head material parameter from skin to metal. The combination of DSP and PCM sounds can also be changed to create totally new sounds from scratch that can be saved in one of the 200 available user programs.

In addition, the Wavedrum Global Edition provides a new parameter that adjusts the input sensitivity. This makes the Wavedrum's full potential available to everyone from beginners who are not yet able to produce strong strikes, to professionals who can command a broad range of dynamics.

These new programs (up to 200) can be stored in the user area. The Wavedrum Global Edition also has a Live Mode which can store up to 12 favorite programs (from preset or user programs) for selecting programs instantantly during live performances.

Jam along

While you can enjoy the Wavedrum Global Edition by playing the sounds alone, it offers some special features that provide the ability for users to jam along for fun or for practice. Included are 140 loop phrases from various musical genres you can use during practice. Or use the AUX input to mix in the signal from any audio source – CD, MP3 player, or even an additional Wavedrum for double conga-style setups. Using the headphone output allows you to practice in private, anytime, anyplace – without worrying about the neighbors!

Ready, Set, Go

Portable, compact, and lightweight, Wavedrum Global Edition is ready for any musical outing. Hold it on your lap, or play it standing like a hand drum. Place the Wavedrum Global Edition on an ordinary snare drum stand, or add it to any electronic or acoustic drum kit. Use it as part of a DJ set-up or to add a percussive element to your keyboard rig. With the optional high stand (Percussion Stand ST-WD), the Wavedrum Global Edition is the ideal accent for any vocalist or front person.

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