modwave hardware release notes

Different modwave models

All updates apply to both the original modwave and modwave mkII, except where specified otherwise.

How to update modwave hardware

To update modwave hardware, use the Korg System Updater. The Korg System Updater installs software updates onto select Korg hardware instruments. Currently, this includes the wavestate, modwave, and opsix instrument families. It automatically detects supported instruments, and connects to an internet server to find the latest available software versions.

Version 2.1.8

  • Previously, incrementing through Performances from the Keystage via MIDI 2.0 CI might not have worked correctly if a Performance was in more than one Slot in the current Set List. This has now been fixed.

Version 2.1.7

  • New effect: Orange Phase V2, an updated version of the Orange Phase effect. The original Orange Phase is still available, for compatibility with existing sounds. A set of effect presets is installed automatically.
  • Version 2.1.5 exposed a problem in which, if Global MIDI Channel was set to something other than 1, HOLD would not turn off properly. This has now been fixed.
  • Improvements to MIDI 2.0 CI functionality.

Version 2.1.5

New Features

  • Reverb Sends now include Pre/Post switches.
    Pre: the signal is routed to the Send before the Layer Volume is applied. This means that the Send level is independent of Layer Volume. For 100% reverb, set the switch to Pre, and turn the Layer Volume all the way down.
    Post: the signal is routed to the Send after the Layer Volume is applied. This is the default, and the way that the modwave worked previously. As you increase or decrease Layer Volume, the proportion of the dry and reverberant sounds remains the same.
  • MIDI CI functionality is now supported, for connection to the Keystage.
  • The new Step Pitch modulation source lets you control parameters via the Pitch Lane. For modulation destinations which use semitone units, a modulation Intensity of +1.0 produces one semitone of modulation for each one semitone change in the Pitch Lane. This is convenient for modulating Filter Cutoff, for instance. Note that this means that the overall signal level can be very high.

Other Improvements

  • Program Transpose is now split into two separate parameters: Octave (+/- 4) and Transpose (+/-12). Previous settings will be preserved in the new format; for example, an old Transpose setting of +30 will now be shown as Octave = +2 and Transpose = +6.
  • Previously, if Convert Position was set to Post-MIDI, the Transpose mode was set to Transposes Scale, and Global Transpose was non-zero, then Scales would not be transposed correctly. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, Active Sense messages might be sent on 5-pin MIDI even when there was other MIDI traffic. This has now been fixed. 
  • Previously, reception of long SysEx messages over 5-pin MIDI could interfere with Active Sense timeouts. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, for the modwave mkII only, dense streams of events over 5-pin MIDI could increase timing jitter. This has now been fixed.
  • Triggering free-running LFOs with Note-On or Gate sources is now improved.
  • Previously, it might have been necessary to refresh the mod list (by toggling between Layers, for instance) before modulations added in the Editor/Librarian were shown on the hardware display. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, if Kaoss Physics was Off but auto-launch was enabled in the Preset, Kaoss Physics would momentarily output the Start X/Y points before snapping to the center point. If Lag Time was non-zero, this could be audible. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, if Motion Sequence or Kaoss Physics was disabled, saving the Motion Sequence or Kaoss Physics Preset (respectively) would turn it on again. This has now been fixed.
  • Improvements to Editor/Librarian undo/redo when selecting Presets.
  • Previously, using the Editor/Librarian to randomize Oscillator 1 or 2 would randomize the entire Performance. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, the new Motion Seq On modulation source might not have had the right state for some voices. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, in very rare cases, the front panel sub-CPUs might have crashed on startup. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, when sounds with an all-numeric name (e.g. 6789) were duplicated in the Librarian, or imported with the "make unique" option enabled, the system would append several random numbers. Now, it appends simple, upward-counting numbers.
  • Other improvements to performance and stability

Version 2.0.1 (initial modwave mkII release)

New features

  • New user-requested modulation sources have been added:
    Pitch Bend+ and Pitch Bend- use only positive or negative pitch bend movements as the modulation source, ignoring the other polarity.
    Kaoss X+, X-, Y+, and Y- let you create four independent modulation routings emanating from the center of the pad.
    Random 1+ and Random 2+ generate random positive numbers, unique per voice, at note-on.
    Random 3 +/- and Random 4 +/- are similar, but the generated numbers may be either positive or negative.
    Constant Max generates the maximum modulation value (which can be thought of as either 1.0 or 100).
    Motion Seq On lets you create modulation based on whether or not the Motion Sequence is enabled.
  • All LFOs have been updated to include a Free-Run mode (including Trigger controls), Curve mode (Symmetric/Asymmetric), and Delay.
    The new Sync Notes Mode parameter controls behavior when Sync Notes is On.
    Sync Notes: start phase syncs to the oldest sounding note, but with note-specific modulation. This is the classic "Sync Notes" behavior.
    Free Run: all notes share a single LFO, which starts when the sound is selected and only re-starts if specifically triggered.
  • Added Aftertouch Source parameter on Utility/Controllers page. This allows you to use Poly Aftertouch to control existing Aftertouch modulation routings, without needing to create new, dedicated Poly AT routings.
    Off: All aftertouch will be ignored.
    Channel: The mod source "Aftertouch" receives Channel Aftertouch. Poly Aftertouch can still be used via the dedicated Poly AT mod source.
    Poly: The mod source "Aftertouch" receives Poly Aftertouch. Channel Aftertouch is ignored.
    Channel+Poly: The mod source "Aftertouch" receives both Channel and Poly Aftertouch. If both are sent simultaneously, the most recent value is used.
  • Wavetable graphics now display the effects of modulation in real-time.

Motion Sequence

  • If a Timing Lane Step is skipped due to probability and thus combined with the previous step, the Step Type (Note, Rest, or Gate) from the previous step will now be applied, instead of that of the skipped step.
  • Previously, if Timing Step A1 probability was low or 0, and the Timing Lane looped on A1, the Motion Sequence could stop. This has now been fixed. 
  • During sequence recording, turning a knob all the way to the left or right will now reset the knob's range. 
  • If a MIDI Program Change message arrives while recording knob movements, the recording is now canceled.
  • Previously, data could only be copied within the same Seq Lane. It's now possible to copy between Seq Lanes–for instance, from Seq Lane A to Seq Lane D.
  • Previously, if Unison # of Voices was greater than 1, strange results might be heard while recording knob movements (though playback would be correct). This has now been fixed. 
  • When recording into the Pitch lane, the Clear Steps & Lane Settings option now works correctly. 
  • When recording into the Pitch lane, the record loop progress now displays correctly when the Start step is something other than A1, or if the Start and End Steps are the same.
  • Previously, Timing Lane Steps with 0% Probability might sometimes still play. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, if you saved a Performance with Motion Sequence Step Solo enabled, the Performance might be recalled in the Solo enabled state. This has now been fixed.

Kaoss Physics

  • Previously, there could sometimes have been an audible discontinuity in the Kaoss Angle mod source when passing through the center point. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, immediately after a Performance was selected, the initial state of Kaoss Physics might be unpredictable. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, if the Editor/Librarian was connected to the hardware, the Kaoss Physics display might sometimes pause briefly. This has now been fixed.


  • Modulating Portamento from the Motion Sequencer no longer causes a crash.
  • Previously, creating a new modulation routing using the front-panel Osc 1 Morph LFO Intensity knob worked properly, but creating the same routing by selecting the on-screen parameter and pressing MOD + > followed by ENTER showed the message "Sorry, this parameter can't be modulated." This has now been fixed.
  • In the Show in Mod List and Mod Source selection dialogs, selecting Kaoss X or Y by holding ENTER and touching the Kaoss Pad PAD now works more smoothly.
  • If Poly Aftertouch is modulating channel-level parameters (such as effects), the system will use the value from the most recently played key that's still being held.
  • Mod Knobs now correctly respond to CCs on the Global Channel only.
  • It's now possible to use MOD + > followed by ENTER to create a modulation routing to the Reverb Send for the non-selected Layer. 


  • Pressing ENTER + HOLD now switches the display to show the Hold parameter on the Layer Programs page.
  • If a database selection list is shown on the display (for which buttons 1-16 select Categories), and Step Solo is on, the LED indicating Step Solo will now stop flashing temporarily.
  • When a parameter value is shown by a list, pressing ENTER normally opens that list.
    Pressing SHIFT + ENTER, or ENTER while SHIFT is latched, will now do the same.
  • Previously, moving multiple Envelope knobs quickly and at the same time could cause the Envelope graphic to lag behind the knob movements. This has now been fixed.
  • If a button is pressed, and then a different button is pressed, the double-click timer is now reset.
  • Waveshaper Table names "Pulse 5" and "Parabola" have been corrected. (This is visible in the Editor/Librarian, but determined by the hardware.)
  • Previously, when using the Editor/Librarian, some edits to Wavetable parameters were not immediately shown in the hardware display's waveform graphic. This has now been fixed.

Other improvements

  • Previously, if Hold was on and a new Performance was selected, the old Performance might be heard for twice the specified SST Hold Time. This has now been fixed. 
  • Previously, after using Compare, Mod Knobs might not respond to movement. This has now been fixed. 
  • Setting key zones with Enter + note press now takes the Octave setting into account.
  • Randomization can now be set to the Amp and Pitch scopes by holding the Randomize button and pressing AMP or PITCH, respectively. 
  • Previously, if a Set List Slot referred to a Performance, but the Performance had been deleted, selecting that Slot could cause a crash. This has now been fixed.
  • When Knob Mode is set to Scale, initial knob movement now provides smoother results. 
  • Randomize now affects Motion Sequence on/off. 
  • Randomization of the Motion Sequence Pitch Lane is now improved. 
  • Improved resistance to possible edge-case problems in User Sample Bank reception. 
  • Synchronization of the Arpeggiator to the Motion Sequencer has been improved.
  • If you are holding a chord with the Arpeggiator on, and turn off Local Control while still holding the chord, the Arpeggiator now stops correctly.
  • Previously, deleting a user Performance from the front panel might sometimes have caused a crash. This has now been fixed. 
  • Constant Time portamento now works as expected in conjunction with mono legato voice allocation.
  • When a new FX Preset is selected, FX Edit Knobs 1/2/3 are reset to 0 (so that the FX Preset sounds as intended). Previously, however, modulation routings controlling the FX Edit Knobs would be retained, which could cause the FX Preset to sound differently than intended. These modulation routings are now removed when a new FX Preset is selected.
  • Previously, adjusting the VOLUME knob would cancel the "Add New Modulation" dialog. This has now been fixed.
  • Previously, when the list of modulation sources was displayed on the screen, the VOLUME knob was unresponsive. This has now been fixed. 
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