The Wavedrums face off in this overview video. Hear some of the sounds of the new Korg Wavedrum Global Edition. Also includes some tips on setting them up and some surprises.
This is my first venture into providing video reviews. Since I’m a filmmaker and editor, I tried to have some fun with it, and hopefully it’s more entertaining and a cut above your standard V-Blog. I bought an Olympus LS-20M audio/video recorder to shoot this, so that’s a fun thing to check out in this video as well.
If you don’t know about it, the Wavedrum is a percussion instrument from Korg. It isn’t just a MIDI trigger pad, in fact it can’t send out MIDI data and there are no computer connections. It’s more a hybrid digital/analog device, I believe there are a bunch of sensitive microphones underneath the head, and these combine with the amazing high-quality digital samples to create a “real” sound. For instance, strike the same program with hands, beaters, drum sticks or brushes, and it will react appropriately. They also say that no two devices are created exactly the same, just like if you’re shopping for a new guitar, the same exact model may sound different than it’s twin.
The Wavedrum has been out for quite some time. Korg had a revival of it in the last few years with their Wavedrum Standard, which improved on the older one. Now they’ve released the Wavedrum Global Edition, which features double the presets, more backing patterns and also remastered versions of the original 100 presets. As I mention in the video, the new one puts out a lot more sound than the previous model.
The Wavedrum has a fairly short power cable with a giant wall-wart on it. So I attach that to the stand with some velcro strips and then attach the wall-wart to an extension cable, so the block isn’t flopping around on the ground in hanging in the air.
I then get 15′ stereo audio cables so I can easily move it around on the stage or in the practice room. I bought a Roland KC-110 Keyboard amp to run the Wavedrum into. It’s light, portable (runs on batteries if you want) and has multiple inputs. So in my case, I run two Wavedrums into it.
I think a lot of the programs benefit from different playing styles, and can sound quite different depending on what you hit the head with. Sticks, hands, hands with gloves on, Blast Sticks and brushes all sound unique and interesting. I recommend non-metal brushes in order to keep the head unblemished (though you can replace the head easily, that will also effect the final sound). I’ve had the most fun playing it with felt beaters. You can really get some nice rolls and timpani kind of sounds out of the Wavedrum this way.
Using the Standard and Global Together
The video goes into more detail, but the bottom line is the new Global Edition pumps out A LOT more volume. There is a trick that works on the latest generations of Standard Wavedrums; Korg states you can double the volume output by implementing this setting. I didn’t find that it made much difference in my comparisons. I still had the Global’s volume down below the haflway point in order to match the two devices’ output levels.
Here’s the trick to raising the Wave Drum Standard’s Volume Output:
Hold the BANK button while powering on the unit
The display will have “1″ on it
Use the VALUE DIAL to turn that to “2″
Hold BANK and press WRITE
Turn the unit OFF
Power up with BANK held down and check the display. It should say “2″ now
Power OFF and then back ON and rock out
This is one fun instrument! The Gloabl Edition is better. But I’m seeing the Standard Editions going for a lot less money now, and they’re a bunch of fun as well.