Korg reinvents a cult favorite with the Modwave wavetable synthesizer

Countless modulation controls and Kaoss Physics give the Modwave incredible depth.


In 1985 Korg released the DW-8000, an analog-digital hybrid synth that combined at the time cutting edge digital oscillators with analog filters. The Modwave is an all digital take on the DW, updated to fit in with the company’s modern lineup, including the Wavestate and Opsix, which focus heavily on knob-per-function controls and live performance.

The Modwave will ship with 200 built-in wavetables, each with 64 waveforms to morph between. Plus you can import custom wavetables in Serum or WaveEdit formats or layer wavetables with samples from the built-in library. That’s a ton of sonic potential, before you even start talking about the modulation and morphing options, the dozen modeled filters or 30-ish effects.

One of the Modwave’s more unique features is what Korg dubs Motion Sequencing 2.0, an evolution of Wave Sequencing from the Wavestate. Here timing, pitch, shape, and four step sequencers are separated into “lanes,” each with their own loop lengths. This means you can create complex constantly evolving sounds that don’t have an obviously repeating pattern. Wavetables can also be combined and seamlessly blended between.

Just like the Wavestate and Opsix you’ll also find a bunch of modeled filters here, including emulations of classics from Korg’s MS-20 and Polysix. But, this also marks the first time Korg has included Kaoss Physics (brought over from the Kaoss Pad) in one of its mainline synths. This gives you unique touchpad control over parameters and effects beyond the traditional mod and pitch wheels and can also modulate parameters with physics-based bouncing balls. And Korg continues its embrace of creative chaos (which a “c”) with the dice that uses “intelligent” randomization to create new sounds.

Unfortunately there’s no work on pricing or ship date. But it seems safe to assume cost will be inline with Korg’s other digital synths — the Opsix and Wavestate — which cost around $800.