Skip to main content

The Korg DW-8000 returns in the form of the Modwave hybrid wavetable synthesizer

GEAR 2021: Korg has revived yet another classic from its illustrious history and given it the hybrid treatment, with the new Modwave wavetable synthesizer that promises to take the DW legacy and create a "monster synth" with a little help from Motion Sequencing 2.0 and the brand new Kaoss pad modulation.

It doesn't take a genius to see that this looks like it's the third instalment of forward-thinking hybrid synths from Korg that tap into models of yesteryear with modern features, all wrapped up in a now-familiar 37-key chassis.

The Modwave seems to also take on the same ethos as the Wavestate and opsix with plenty of hands-on control and combining deep synthesis with plenty of filtering options and a whole heap of modulation options with the ability to assign four modulation signals with the Kaoss pad, utilising the new Kaoss physics function.

  • NAMM 2021 is cancelled, but we'll be covering all the big January gear announcements right here on MusicRadar.

Modwave's synthesis engine seems to be rather deep with 200 wavetables, each containing up to 64 waveforms. The structure allows you to utilise 30+ Modifiers to change the character and 13 Morph Types for realtime processing. 

Combined with the A/B Blend function, all of this adds up to a dizzying number of wavetable variations, over 230 million to be exact. 

If that doesn't blow the mind enough, you can add more by loading your own custom wavetables in Serum or WaveEdit formats via the Editor/Librarian software.

Image 1 of 6

Korg Modwave

(Image credit: Korg)
Image 2 of 6

Korg Modwave

(Image credit: Korg)
Image 3 of 6

Korg Modwave

(Image credit: Korg)
Image 4 of 6

Korg Modwave

(Image credit: Korg)
Image 5 of 6

Korg Modwave

(Image credit: Korg)
Image 6 of 6

Korg Modwave

(Image credit: Korg)

Modulation takes up a large part of Modwave's architecture with the return of an old friend to help you get more creative results out of the synth. The Kaoss pad is back and Korg has deployed its fabled XY pad controller as a new modulation source.

The pad is part of Korg's new Kaoss Physics feature which models a ball rolling on a surface and/or bouncing off walls. Using the pad you can control the ball, or have it automatically triggered via a Gate + Damper.

The virtual environment allows to either have the walls slow down the movement of the ball, like a cushion or bounce off the walls, accelerating the ball's movement much like a pinball machine.

The Kaoss Physics alongside Motion Sequencing 2.0 from the Wavestate, make for some very interesting modulation possibilities, especially with a choice of four envelopes and five LFOs onboard.

So far we've no word on when we can expect the Modwave to land or for how much. However, considering the Wavestate and opsix both launched with a £699 price tag, we can assume this synth won't differ greatly on that score.

For more info and full specs check out the Korg website.

All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more.
Get the latest issue now!