Synth Site: Korg: Wavedrum: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 5.0 out of 5
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Travis Dultz a hobbyist user from United States writes:
Price Paid: US $3,000 used Ease of Use: 10 You need a voltage converter since the wavedrum is a 220volt device. There are 100 main patches (sounds). The factory presets are set to standard wavedrum sounds (mostly hand percussion instruments... a few ambient type sounds as well as techno type sounds). The Korg RE1 remote editor gives standard keyboard effects processing capability to each sound. (Pitch, Gain, attack, sustain, and then some other special features such as RIM, velocity, as well as misc. sound control). Within the first 20 minutes I was using the Korg RE1 remote editor without any problems. Even though my Korg Wavedrum manual is all in German, There was no learning curve needed. This has a standard led display on the wavedrum and on the remote editor. Going through menu options is as easy as touching a button to see your options. One last note: If you are not a hand or drum kit percussion player then you will have difficulty making it sound like music.

Features: 9 Even though I love the versatility of the Wavedrum... including all the sounds... and pressure sensitive acoustic surface, I have to give it a 9 because the midi application is virtually nil (I tried using it with pro-tools OSX Tiger and didn't receive usable data). Not to worry - I intend to use this for live performance and recording. Combined with my looping station (foot pedal), the wavedrum is amazing. There are about 4 ambient sounds that are a wonderful compliment to the deep, dark percussion that the wavedrum produces. If you use the wavedrum as a standalone instrument then you only have control over decay & tone... when you use the Korg RE1 remote editor with it then the versatility (and sounds you can produce) multiply.

Expressiveness/Sounds: 10 I cant say enough about the sound quality. Perfect sounds with zero 'hiss' going in from the 1/4" audio left and right channels. When you raise the gain you can hear hiss on some instruments (but at this point you are outputting such a loud signal that there is distortion coming from the drum). When you raise the gain level all the way and choose certain instruments.. then you can actually play a melodic ambient noise (almost like feedback). Some other sounds have a feedback influence to the inherent sound patch you have selected. Pretty kewl experimentation ability. As a sidenote, one of the main functions of the wavedrum is pressing into the surface. Over 90 percent of the sounds are affected by the pressure sensitive drum head surface. With all the percussion sounds, pressing in gives a talking drum or tabla feel (you hear each sound bend in real time as you press or release). Other sounds produce ambient noises as a background complment to the percussion. You can keep playing the percussion sounds over certain ambient noises by using it much like indian tablas (apply pressure with the left wrist while you play with your fingers and hands.)

Reliability: 10 These were made in 1994 - 1995 only and there were under 3,000 made. Mine was in superb shape when I received it (July, 2005). I hear the internal battery only has a 10-year shelf life... so with that in mind I will be crossing my fingers... all of them. Lol

Customer Support: 1 There is NO customer support. Luckily I know all the sound engineers at Warner Bros.

Overall Rating: 10 I first heard about the KORG WAVEDRUM when researching Danny Carey of Tool. Since I heard about it I have been looking for one for the last 4 years and finally found one on a website in Germany ! I had to get it immediately. (The 6 week standard shipping time was a difficult wait for me). Yes, it is a bit pricy, but I don't know of a synthesizer on earth that lets you add your own innovative real-time nuances such as scratching the surface to produce wind-sounds or one that has the full acoustic range (and more) of a real hand drum. The ethnic percussion sounds are excellent quality. The natural wavedrum sounds are deep and mysterious... all the sounds are programmable, Combine this with a loop station and it can be used as a standalone backing instrument (Including bass guitar). It has it all... from Sitars, to Tablas, Udu and oil drums to rubber band and war drums, bells, congas, bongos, talking drums & electronic drums... Where else can you create a tsunami - or the silent to loud pass of a jet, and all with a wonderful acoustic range. You set the pitch, you set the decay and real-life applications. The pickup on the wavedrum will play it all down to each fingerprint touching the surface. Attach the effects rim and then new sounds become available. I give it a 10+++ (But I'm just a drummer that takes music seriously).

If you have any other questions, please feel free to visit my Drummer's forum on Myspace. Just go to: http://www.myspace.com/drummers

- Trav

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-12-2005 at 03:39
Richard Hilleman a hobbyist user from SFCA writes:
I bought this guy new as my Electric Snare for my DDrum Kit. It has since been retired back to hand percussion duty.

It is still the most interesting to play piece of electronic percussion I have ever seen. Well on its way to classic status.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Apr-18-2002 at 16:51
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