Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby Ashe37 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:59 am

NotASpeckOfCereal wrote:
Ashe37 wrote:
NotASpeckOfCereal wrote:Edit: why would it not happen with the Legacy synth? I see laptops on stage quite a bit these days.


Because CPUs have grown a thousand times smarter (more powerful) since then.

Okay, we might have some crossed meanings here. We know what 'legacy' means in general, but Korg is calling the software synths the "Legacy Collection". So when user "ItsOnlyMe" capitalized 'Legacy' in his post, I assumed he was talking about the software synth (on a newer machine with a CPU that's a thousand times more powerful).

Perhaps it was just my misunderstanding of what he meant.

Speck


yes, and you asked why the softsynth version wouldst have the CPU slowing... its because its not running an 8 mhz 68k cpu...
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby desmond » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:32 am

ItsMeOnly wrote:There's one benefit that nobody has mentioned yet - the hardware Wavestation is underpowered (the CPU is too slow) - which is pain in the butt when more complex performances are used - LFO's slow down, wavesequences loose sync or simply fall silent in some parts - a h**l to perform live. Not happening in Legacy


I've programmed the WS extensively, including some fairly complex stuff, and never come across problems of this type. Nor have I seen any online complaints of this over the years, your post is the first report I've seen of this...
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby Mooger5 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:59 am

ItsMeOnly wrote:There's one benefit that nobody has mentioned yet - the hardware Wavestation is underpowered (the CPU is too slow) - which is pain in the butt when more complex performances are used - LFO's slow down, wavesequences loose sync or simply fall silent in some parts - a h**l to perform live. Not happening in Legacy


Curious, my first Wavestation had the EX upgrade done by the local agent and never had these problems you mention.
And I used to program sounds that would put the CPU under stress.

Sonicwise I found the VSTi to lack depth and ditched it. Reminded of Kraftwerk Tour de France Soundtracks album, made entirely with software. Sounds 2D flat.
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby NotASpeckOfCereal » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:59 pm

Ashe37 wrote:and you asked why the softsynth version wouldst have the CPU slowing

Now there's a question I definitely did not ask.
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby Mooger5 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:24 pm

Does the VSTi have the Dream Waves card, BTW?
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby desmond » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:40 pm

Mooger5 wrote:Does the VSTi have the Dream Waves card, BTW?


No, Dreamwaves was not owned by Korg, it was a third-party bank made by Paul Osborn, which (some years after it was a commercial product) he generously gave permission to me back in the day to distribute online to the WS community (along with his Trancewaves bank) for a period of time - after it had been up for a few years, he asked me to take the banks down as he was planning on doing something with them (I don't know if anything happened with that).

They were both excellent banks, btw, some of the best I've seen.

You can likely still find the sysex banks out there if you look around, it's just a sysex bank and doesn't require any extra waves over the standard ROM ones.
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby Mooger5 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:10 pm

Thanks! Found them both. They sound great! Ingenious use of the effects...
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby jxalex » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:38 am

NotASpeckOfCereal wrote:
desmond wrote:Plus you get the all the PCM cards and banks with the software version (both EX and SR format cards) - I have the actual cards for the WS, and the Synth/Timeslice card is superb and rarely left my WS...


Thanks Desmond.

Looking at my archive of WS banks, I don't think I ever had the Synth/Timeslice bank.

Given that these cards often cost $40-50 each back in the day, getting an entire synth emulation with ALL of the cards for $50 is just a no brainer.

Speck


nobrainer, Really? :D And why still that hardware counterpart is 10 times more expensive in this case?
I get impression that for $50 what I get is just a piece of software which makes additional demands about the system, and it does not get along with the existing system which I have. And here we go, so it is! It does not work with my old system which I stick to it as it is comfortable to me.
Hardware counterpart is more expensive but only requirement is that to have MIDI port. thats all. Also now I have seen that it keeps value.
I wonder...
If the software version of Korg M1 and wavestation would be so much better, then how come that their prices never have really dropped in the last 10 years after several VST releases of these synthesizers?
(at the same time when that FM7 VST come, then I noticed that some years the Yamaha TX802 price dropped from 220EUR to 140 EUR -- so even lower than the VST (below 250 EUR) some years later) before it went up again.

Do you remember that there was already Korg legacy VST version as the 32bit ? And funny that those who bought it, now need to buy again as it does need to be "upgraded" to 64bit.
ANd what if I want to get 32bit version? THey do not sell it.

Well....just imagine that You can get a new ultramodern computer for $1 but you have to change the socket on
the wall becouse it is not meant to be compatible with existing established system. And couple years later You have to swap out the power supply, just becouse electric company decided that the nominal voltage in the grid is no longer 110V, but 80V. Some years later the plug types are changed again and the voltage is 260, 4 phases instead, and so on. (Really, I wonder when it comes times to things like this? Becouse people are willingly to go with all things of software company perversions about versions and "upgrades" just to keep their typewriter running, so why not seeing the changes in mains voltage also as the same thing.).


OK, about the Wavestation cards...

THose PCM waveform cards can be copied with EPROM reader and that data put into flash memory makes it instant clone card. I would not dare to put up a shop for this, but just lets say that I would be happy about borrowing some PCM cards... and You can get a copy of it?... ;) I would be glad and You too. Becouse so far the WS archive contains NO PCM WAVEFORM DATA about the cards (hey, someone correct me if I am wrong and put the link to these 2MW cards PCM waveform dumps! hmm.. :). They have only sysex info about the program/combinations so far as it does not require any wiring.


The hardware has totally different advantages over the software versions, but so far no-one have talked about it -- it is independent unit which does not demand upgrades and integrates with any software package and platform, whatever old it is until it has atleast MIDI! Neither it complains that it is "outdated" nor needs "updates". Neither it causes any trouble if You change other components in your studio.
At the same time VST versions make their own demands, are for latest contemporary systems only. BEsides I cannot get old software versions. At the same time YOu can get old hardware.

Soundwise there is really no difference -- algorithms are the same or not?
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby Ashe37 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:43 am

the converters are not the same. I cannot A/B it without the hardware so i don't know if Korg used the algorithm from their original digital filter or they just made a new one
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby jxalex » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:46 am

@Ashe37:

well, then it is perhaps time to add the digital output capability to the hardware counterpart, then we can examine that with its software counterpart.
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby Ashe37 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:55 am

good luck with that one.
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby jxalex » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:59 am

it is not an april joke... :)
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby desmond » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:05 pm

jxalex wrote:nobrainer, Really? :D And why still that hardware counterpart is 10 times more expensive in this case?


Not really, I've seen plenty of WS's being sold for cheap that didn't even sell. They are far less in demand than, for example, the D-50, *precisely* because the software has so many advantages.

jxalex wrote:I get impression that for $50 what I get is just a piece of software which makes additional demands about the system


No, it's an extremely light CPU plugin. I can run hundreds of voices on my laptop without it breaking a sweat.

jxalex wrote:If the software version of Korg M1 and wavestation would be so much better, then how come that their prices never have really dropped in the last 10 years after several VST releases of these synthesizers?


The prices of the WS did drop significantly. Maybe not in your market, but here in the UK, Wavestations are typically sold for less than the DX7S, and up to a quarter of the price of the D-50.

jxalex wrote:Do you remember that there was already Korg legacy VST version as the 32bit ? And funny that those who bought it, now need to buy again as it does need to be "upgraded" to 64bit.


Eh? I don't know what nonsense you are spouting, but I bought the Korg Legacy Digital collection when it was 32-bit, and it's had upgrades along the way, and I'm running a 64-bit version now, that I did not have to pay again for.

jxalex wrote:THose PCM waveform cards can be copied with EPROM reader and that data put into flash memory makes it instant clone card. I would not dare to put up a shop for this, but just lets say that I would be happy about borrowing some PCM cards... and You can get a copy of it?... ;) I would be glad and You too. Becouse so far the WS archive contains NO PCM WAVEFORM DATA about the cards (hey, someone correct me if I am wrong and put the link to these 2MW cards PCM waveform dumps! hmm.. :). They have only sysex info about the program/combinations so far as it does not require any wiring.


Of course people have only uploaded sysex, because ripping the PCM card contents is beyond the ability of most people - I certainly can't do it, unless I did the research to figure out what hardware I needed, bought reader hardware (and probably a PC to do it with). Plus the added fact that waveform data (= audio recordings) has a proper copyright protection (= "Sound Recording") as compared to patches which aren't protected by law other than basic claimed copyrights. And then getting card blanks, and writing the data to those.. maybe it's easy these days, but it wan't trivial back when I looked at this some years ago...

jxalex wrote:The hardware has totally different advantages over the software versions, but so far no-one have talked about it


You must have skipped my posts, then. The hardware, other than being hardware, having a keyboard and wheels/joystick etc has exactly *one* advantage over the software - that it sounds "worse" but that is the sound of the hardware, and it's a nice kind of worse - ie it has character and it's grungy, defocused, thick character is subjectively nicer than the clean, clear, hifi software version - which can be roughed up a little with plugins, so with the software you get the choice of being clean or dirty if you want to - not so much with the hardware, which is always dirty. (Pretty sure that the original designers would have loved to used expensive convertors and have the WS sound *more* hifi like the software is now, if they could...)

(Well, patch management with the software is poor - well, it also is with the hardware, but using Soundiver with the hardware was way better than anything else for patch management).

*But* with the software there are many many improvements over the hardware - polyphony (which is a *big problem on the hardware, you can make a single performance that "requires" 256 voices - you only have 32.).

Proper filters, many many more banks instantly available, multiple instances without requiring the use the hardware's Multi mode and FX jiggling, no displays that whine, no fading backlights, no poorly designed power supplies that die etc etc.

jxalex wrote:it is independent unit which does not demand upgrades and integrates with any software package and platform, whatever old it is until it has atleast MIDI! Neither it complains that it is "outdated" nor needs "updates". Neither it causes any trouble if You change other components in your studio. At the same time VST versions make their own demands, are for latest contemporary systems only. BEsides I cannot get old software versions. At the same time YOu can get old hardware.


You seem to have had a hard time with this. I just bought the software something like ten years ago (or whenever it came out and it's continued to work fine on all my systems as I've gone through the years.)

jxalex wrote:Soundwise there is really no difference -- algorithms are the same or not?


There is one difference - the hardware goes through cheap convertors, which impart of crappy quality onto the sound, which the software doesn't do. If you wanted to replicate this, you'd need to find some combination of plugin processing that does a similar job, but it's a subtle thing and you could get 85% there by rolling of the top end a bit and maybe adding a very very slight amount of controlled distortion.

Personally, I like the clarity of the software, and I like the grunginess of the hardware. Yes, it would be nice to have a preference in the Legacy version to switch convertor emulation on or off, but in lieu of that, I'm fine with the extra fidelity - your milage may vary of course.

Note - I don't really use my hardware WS at all anymore, other than for the keyboard at times. The software is a perfectly fine substitute, and all my patches are available to me. I love it. And it hasn't caused me one problem, crash, fan spin up due to CPU load, or given me a single problem with copy protection or crashing. I really like both the WS and M1 plugins, for what they do.

Korg really did a nice job on them imo (though the interface could be better on the WS) - I only wish Roland did as good a job with theirs...

And no, I'm not going to send you my WS PCM cards...
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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby NotASpeckOfCereal » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:01 pm

Desmond said everything I might have said, only much better. I only have this to add, for people reading this that are considering the Legacy software package:

I never said it was "so much better" than the hardware. I have the hardware and will not part with it anytime soon. I believe the consensus of those of us with both is that we like both. I like the subtle fidelity characteristics of the hardware (though it really means lower fidelity, it is not without it's own personality); and I really like the sound of the Legacy software synth as well, even without that subtle added character of older/lower-fidelity DACs.

So having both is sweet.

But for those that don't have the hardware, I think they're going to find that having the WS with all of those patch banks for $50 is indeed a 'no brainer'.

And it sure is nice having all of that added polyphony! And running more than 1 at a time? Very cool.

The Legacy software today contains both the 32-bit and 64-bit install. (I do not know the history of this, I'm just reporting what it is today.) Of course, some people will still want the 32-bit install today if that's the version of the OS they're running (lots of people still run 32-bit Windows).

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Legacy software version used to be a lot more than $50? I personally hit the 'buy' link with the impression that was going to be $100, based on material I read, so I was doubly happy to find it costing a lot less.

I keep hearing that the Legacy Wavestation software synth includes a resonant filter. Am I right? I haven't run into it yet because I haven't done any editing, but it is certainly something that the hardware version was sorely lacking. I always missed it compared to the Roland synths from the same period.

Speck

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Re: Wavestation Hardware vs. Wavestation Software Synths

Postby desmond » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:55 pm

NotASpeckOfCereal wrote:Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Legacy software version used to be a lot more than $50? I personally hit the 'buy' link with the impression that was going to be $100, based on material I read, so I was doubly happy to find it costing a lot less.


Originally, you could only buy them as bundles - all the Analog plugs, and the Digital plugs, so if you wanted the WS you had to buy the Legacy Digital Edition, which contained both the WS and the M1. I cant remember offhand how much it was, it was over a hundred quid here in the UK at the time...

These days you just buy the plugins individually.

And yes, it has a resonant filter, unlike the hardware, although the early versions didn't, it was added in an update...
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