Meet The Lead Developer Of The Korg Wavestate Synthesizer

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I met Dan Phillips, the lead developer of the Korg Wavestate Synthesizer at NAMM 2020 for a talk about the engine, interface design & more.

With the Wavestate Synthesizer, Korg showed a spiritual successor to the legendary Wavestation Synthesizer from 1990 at NAMM last month. The goal was not to build a 1:1 reproduction of the original but a new instrument. So no Wavestation reborn or MK2.

However, there is still some nostalgia in the device. The Wavestate is still based on a wave sequencing engine like the classic once, but one that was completely redeveloped called Wave Sequencing 2.0. An important factor during the development was it to make the engine more accessible but also more flexible.

Korg Wavestate sound demos

Raspberry Pi Inside The Wavestate

As you can see: externally, the Wavestate is not reminiscent of the original Wavestation. Good decision. More interesting it becomes inside. According to information from, the WT hardware ist based on a Raspberry Pi. This video shows it more precisely.

Is that a bad thing? Certainly at first, since you have a device in front of you that costs 800 €. But if you think further, you can say: Korg shows nicely how much power there is in a Raspberry Pi Compute Board. If you develop really well for it, a lot is possible, see the GR-1 Granular Synth from Tasty Chips which is also based on this kit.

Korg Wavestate Raspberry Pi

Well, it has a Raspberry Pi in it but more important here is what they have built from. It is a complete, very complex Synthesizer that goes very deep. Not only a new Wave Sequencing 2.0 engine is built-in here that brings the advantages of the original Wavestation to the modern era of 2020 but also a well-designed interface.

Dan Phillips is the chief developer of the Korg Wavestate that I interviewed during NAMM 2020. In this video, you get a better overview of the development and what points on the engine & interface design were important for the developers.

Interview With Dan Phillips

Korg Wavestate Synthesizer will be available in February of 2020 for $799,99 USD.

More information here: Korg

Korg Wavestate is available to pre-order at our partner


Hardware Sound Demos

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