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Korg Wavestation AD

Created by nick. Last edited by nick, 11 years and 52 days ago. Viewed 13,666 times. #4
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This is an article culled from archive material, circa 1997.


The definitive Wavestation rackmount, identical in programming interface to the EX keyboard (right down to the provision of a miniature vector joystick), but with an extra bank of RAM storage. The significant feature which distinguishes the A/D, and gives it its name, is the provision of two audio inputs which allow external signals to be fed into the voice architecture. These signals can be routed through the effects processors, or can be treated as pseudo-samples, so that they can be vector-mixed or even used in wave sequences. The front panel sports miniature level meters for the audio inputs.

The A/D is absolutely the Wavestation to be seen with, which is why I own two of them. The units are quite rare and are holding their price. The only obvious drawback to the A/D is its physical size: 2U high and some 15.5" deep, making it too deep for most rack cases (in which case, go out and buy some EMS 500's).

Epilogue: For anyone who's curious as to why Korg decided to build a rackmount Wavestation with external audio inputs, here's the gen. from Joe Bryan, Senior Design Engineer at Korg at the time that the Wavestations were developed:

I'm glad you especially liked the A/D, since it was my pet project at
Korg after we finished the original model.  I'm Joe Bryan, formerly
the senior design engineer at Korg, and recently moved to Chromatic
Research.  Among other things, I developed the Wavestation's DSP
effects system, and made the A/D the A/D.

After the original WS went into production, there was the standard lull while we figured out what to do next. Since Korg R&D had emerged from the ashes of Sequential Circuits after the Yamaha buyout, we had a lot of old Sequential prototypes sitting around collecting dust on the shelves of the lab. One of these was an old Prophet 2000 sampler proto, with the analog converters neatly arranged and isolated in a corner of the board.

With the big Prophet board clamped in a bench vise, I noisily hacksawed out the converter circuits while a few of the other engineers held their ears. This was followed by the usual sanity test along the lines of "What the @#!* are you doing now?" I hand-soldered a digital interface circuit to connect the converters to the Wavestation's rom data bus, and the first A/D was born.

Since I'm a guitar player not a keyboard player, I wanted something that worked with a simple midi guitar that would merge the guitar, synth and effects, and could be controlled from one or two buttons on the guitar. I'd presented the idea to everyone before, but no one was very interested. However, with a real prototype in hand, it caught on pretty fast.

I'm glad to hear there's still a lot of interest in the Wavestation after all these years.

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