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Waverex - Korg M1 PCM samples expansion via new smart PCM data card attached to PC via USB

Postby therobyouknow » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:45 pm

https://waverex.de/en/

https://shop.waverex.de/

I've just bought one of these for my Korg M1 that I've had for nearly 30 years.

I'll hope to update on how it sounds etc over the coming days/weeks.

This card slots into the Korg M1's PCM data slot, like any regular PCM data card. There, the similarity ends, as the card has a micro USB slot to connect the card to a PC. Waverex provide a Windows application to communicate with the card and load samples onto it - https://waverex.de/en/downloads is the place to download new sample sets and drum sets.

The card itself is smart in that it contains an onboard embedded computer in the form of an ARM microcontroller unit (MCU) for handling comms over USB to the PC and for presenting the downloaded samples to the Korg M1 as if it where a usual PCM card.

The Windows application provides the ability to develop your own PCM sample sets as well.

I don't work for Waverex/Synthastix not have any financial affiliation with them. I'm just a Korg M1 enthusiast that stumbled across their product when I was searching for ideas as to how to extend the M1's sample set. I was thinking along their lines - and was amazed to find them and see that they had already done it. They released a Beta last year but now the product is out of beta and available to buy. Postage from Germany was swift, over just a few days.
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Re: Waverex - Korg M1 PCM samples expansion via new smart PCM data card attached to PC via USB

Postby desmond » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:05 pm

Yes, it looks like a cool project, I've had my eye on it for a while, as a longtime Wavestation user. Good that they've got to launch, and they support the WS too.

The old Frontal Lobe and Zadok Sam1 from back in the day let you be able to do this, but they were very rare and pretty expensive.

Do let us know how you get on with it!
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Re: Waverex - Korg M1 PCM samples expansion via new smart PCM data card attached to PC via USB

Postby therobyouknow » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:08 pm

Thanks desmond - will do! Indeed it does support Wavestation too.
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Re: Waverex - Korg M1 PCM samples expansion via new smart PCM data card attached to PC via USB

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:47 am

As a Wavestation owner from day one my curiosity is also piqued. I'm not as yet convinced I could be bothered to go back to extensively programming the WS (it was always a PITA), especially as I long ago abandoned the larger models for a space-saving SR.

If anyone out there tests this with a Wavestation I would appreciate a report to hear how it goes!
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Re: Waverex - Korg M1 PCM samples expansion via new smart PCM data card attached to PC via USB

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:41 pm

I'm a former Korg WavestationSR owner (now sold as I use Korg's virtual equivalent).

I'm still the owner of my immaculate Korg M1 from over 30 years ago (it isn't worth selling as the resale value is still pitiful, but once again I now use the virtual version)

Since both virtual models are already bundled with a host of built-in expansion samples and can load many hundreds of patches/combis, I suspect this will clobber sales of a hardware expansion like this, although I can see the attraction, even at 220 Euros :beamup:


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Re: Waverex - Korg M1 PCM samples expansion via new smart PCM data card attached to PC via USB

Postby therobyouknow » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:08 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
Since both virtual models are already bundled with a host of built-in expansion samples and can load many hundreds of patches/combis, I suspect this will clobber sales of a hardware expansion like this, although I can see the attraction, even at 220 Euros :beamup:

Martin

Thanks Martin, I'm already aware of the virtual Korg M1 software and intend to get that as well. I believe it has a patch editor that not only can edit those patches in the virtual M1 but also those on the M1 itself. Is that correct?

As for the Virtual M1 software competing with Waverex regarding sales, I think they are somewhat complimentary for the reason above - the patch editor and using the real M1 as a MIDI controller to drive the virtual M1 to play its sounds.

But the unique appeal of the Waverex is portability, with less equipment to carry around. The Waverex card has flash memory to store the PCM sounds. Once loaded from the PC, the Waverex card can be used on its own with the Korg M1. The memory is limited to 512Kb so this is only enough for one Drumset or a music intrument sample set. Synthesizer sounds can fare better if they are looped as dozens can be stored. To change sounds, the card needs to be connected to a Windows PC to be used with their program to download. Mac version is in development.

I think I'm also emotionally buying into the innovation - that a Synth made 30 years ago can have its capabilities extended with new hardware, without any mods or hacks that alter the existing hardware.

Finally, they have a summer sale going on at the moment of 11% off the original price: https://www.facebook.com/WaveReX/photos ... =1&theater
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Re: Waverex - Korg M1 PCM samples expansion via new smart PCM data card attached to PC via USB

Postby desmond » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:43 pm

therobyouknow wrote:I'm already aware of the virtual Korg M1 software and intend to get that as well. I believe it has a patch editor that not only can edit those patches in the virtual M1 but also those on the M1 itself. Is that correct?

No, the M1 plugin cannot edit the hardware synth, or export sysex in any way. It can *import* sysex files from the hardware, but it's only one way. Same with the Wavestation plugin.

therobyouknow wrote:I think I'm also emotionally buying into the innovation - that a Synth made 30 years ago can have its capabilities extended with new hardware, without any mods or hacks that alter the existing hardware.

I get that. For me though, I would have killed for something like this when I was hardware constrained and the WS was a fundamental piece of my hardware armoury - anything to extend the possibilities of stuff I had was really worthwhile. Back then I had, like, four or five synths with limited options. You couldn't just download a free DX7 (more's the pity!)

These days though, we've all got basically unlimited voice/polyphony/tracks/memory and sounds coming out of our ears (not just going in!) so the need to extend one particular thing to do more just isn't quite so necessary. We've all got a million different synths with a million patches for each one...

However, that's not to say it wouldn't be fun running your own samples in and seeing what the Wavestation engine could do with them (which is a bit more interesting than the M1's facilities, which are a bit more limited), and I do do something similar with my hardware XV-5080 which has 128MB sample ram so you can have a ton of waves from other synths and run them though that engine and use them as a source of synthesis.

I do love though that people are digging into the old stuff and developing these kinds of things though - extensions, card/memory systems, replacement firmware/OS's etc, usually out of love of the originals. Respect! :clap:
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