First released back in 1994, the original Korg Wavedrum was an amazing instrument. Anyone who hears a skilled percussionist apply his abilities to the device can’t help but be in awe of the sounds it managed to produce.
Korg’s new version of the high-tech drum pad debuted at the end of last year, bringing both advanced features and a more affordable price tag. Who says only keyboard players and DJs get to play with strange sounds, again?
About the size of a fat frisbee (okay a really fat frisbee), the new “percussion synthesizer” is a thing of beauty. Small and light, you can easily set it on your lap, hug it between your thighs or mount it on a regular stand, all while delivering an insane amount of aural treats.
A set of controls along the top allows you to pick out thousands of different percussions at the touch of a button, giving you the ability to switch from natural to synthetic sounds on-the-fly. You can play it with your hands, turning it into a djembe or a conga, with each area of the skin delivering authentic sounds just like the real thing. Want to play a cocktail drum kit? Set different areas of the drum accordingly, pick up your sticks (or brushes or mallets) and crank a funky beat.
The 21st century Korg Wavedrum is completely programmable (it can store up to 200 settings), with a total of 200 PCM instruments, 36 DSP algorithms, 100 loop phrases and various effects. It requires an amp and a power source to play, so forget taking it to the campfire (unless you haul a rig around). At $600, it sounds like a serious bundle of fun.