iWaveStation update – Korg tweak their ‘classic’ iOS synth recreation

Download from iTunes App Store

iwavestation-logo-1Korg are undoubtedly a leading brand in the world of music technology and that expertise and brand has very much embraced what iOS has to offer over recent years. Earlier apps such as iKaossilator, iPolysix and iMS-20 showed great promise but more recent apps such as Gadget, Module, iM1, ARP ODYSSEi and iMono/Poly have most certainly made a significant impact. Each of these apps is brilliant and all represent very good value for money.

There other ‘classic synth as an iOS app’ release is iWaveStation, launched about 10 months ago.  No prizes for guessing that this is based around Korg’s own WaveStation hardware synth from the early 1990 (and that they have also recreated a s a desktop software synth in the more recent past). That we can now pick up the essence of that classic synth (the hardware is very expensive!) and its sound in an app format costing around UK£29.99/US$29.99 is pretty remarkable to say the least.

In terms of other practical details, iWaveStation requires iOS9.3 or later, is universal and comes as a 78MB download. As with Korg’s iM1, the iWaveStation also reproduces the ‘virtual’ ROM-style add-on soundcards from the hardware….  so you can already by an additional IAP (currently just UK£4.99/US$4.99) to expand on what is already a huge number of presets many of which, I think, mimic those from the original hardware.

Korg’s iWaveStation – another recreation of a classic hardware synth… and it sounds great :-)

Audiobus and IAA are supported and, of course, if you are also a Gadget user, then iWaveStation becomes available as a gadget called Milpitas. And, in short, is sounds great….  well worth any iOS synth collector adding to their portfolio :-)

As regular iOS music makers will be aware, Korg are not a company that delivers a constant stream of updates to their software. It tends to be pretty well tested prior to launch and therefore doesn’t generally require much fine-tuning (although they are also pretty good at dealing with the occasional glitch when it does make itself known). So, in 10 month, iWavestation has only received one update….  until today that is, as v.1.0.3 has now appeared on the App Store.

iWaveStation appears as the Milpitas gadget within Gadget.

As per Korg’s usual style, this is not a major update – if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it – and, aside from adding a very minor tweak to the MIDI channel handling, the ‘improvements to enhance stability’ noted in the App Store description are probably dealing with whatever subtle changes in the audio/MIDI ecosphere that iOS11 has bought with it.

I think I’ve only ever used a hardware WaveStation for about 30 minutes… and it was a long time ago….  but I think Korg have done a pretty decent job in capturing the sound of the original… and have simply wrapped it up in a much more user-friendly software format…. Yet another classic slice of synthesis history for your iOS device for less than the price of a Friday night out. Whether Korg will eventually embrace the AU format is still something we are waiting to find out.

However, given the general quality of their iOS synth family – iWavestation included – I do hope they can make that happen. Even so, iWavestation is well worth a look. Check out the full iWavestation review, watch the demo video below and then hit the App Store download button to find out more.

iWaveStation

Download from iTunes App Store


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