Rompler Cosplay: a multisample patch pack for Korg modwave

Korg’s modwave (2021) is marketed as a wavetable synthesizer, but it’s more than that. As well as being shipped with hundreds of wavetables, it contains thousands of multisamples in its flash storage. Yet in the factory patches the multisamples are seldom used. It feels like they are present in the modwave mainly because they were in the wavestate (2020) already and it wasn’t worth the effort of taking them out.

These multisamples are pretty good and they cover a wide range of sounds. So what’s stopping you using the modwave as a straight sample synth?

Wait, hear me out. Maybe you’re performing, and the modwave is what’s in front of you. Maybe you only own one synth (and the modwave is a fine one to own). Maybe you’ve got a great wavetable sound on Layer A, and it just needs a little bit of grounding by blending it with a less exotic sound on Layer B.1

Enter Rompler Cosplay, a collection of 64 single-layer patches using only multisamples on the modwave. Most of these patches are of traditional real-world instruments, the sounds hardest to synthesize with wavetables.

The patches come as 64 programs which you can import as a layer into an existing performance. As such, they avoid using too many performance-level features like Kaoss Physics or reverb and EQ. All of the programs use modulation assignments in similar ways, so they can be combined in predictable ways:

  • Mod Knob 1 (MIDI CC#24) controls filter cutoff.
  • Mod Knob 2 (MIDI CC#25) controls the smoothness of the envelope.
  • Mod Knob 3 (MIDI CC#26) controls the sound quality (this varies from patch to patch, including filter resonance, crossfade between two different samples, or addition of a transient sample to the sound).
  • Mod Knob 4 (MIDI CC#27) controls the depth of a layer effect.
  • Modulation wheel (MIDI CC#1) controls vibrato.
  • Breath control (no control on the physical keyboard but MIDI CC#2) controls tremolo.

There are also 64 standalone performances with one program in Layer A, so you can play each patch by itself (or combine two by importing another program into Layer B), and a set list so you can easily step through the sounds and select them with MIDI program change messages.

These patches have some limitations owing to the architecture of a modwave patch. Each layer can have only two multisamples, so velocity-switching mp, mf, f, ff samples (as there are several of in the modwave ROM) has to either pick just two, or use both layers to play four. With only two multisamples per layer, custom drum kits are ruled out, except for the single barely-decent drum kit multisample that comes on the modwave. While some multisamples have a configurable start offset to minimize a prominent transient onset, this can’t be controlled through the mod matrix, limiting expression somewhat. And samples always play immediately on key down (or key up), so it is not possible to have the second oscillator (or layer) start after a delay of a few milliseconds, as is possible on other sample-based synthesizers. Some of these shortcomings can be overcome by creating custom multisamples, but the spirit of Rompler Cosplay is to use what’s on the synth from the factory.

Patch list

  • RC 2 Trumpets
  • RC Acoustic Bass 2
  • RC Acoustic Piano
  • RC Alto Sax 1
  • RC B.Clarinet
  • RC Baritone Sax
  • RC Brass Ensemble 5
  • RC Cello
  • RC Choir Hum/Ohh
  • RC Choir Whisper
  • RC Clarinet
  • RC Cowbell Dance
  • RC Cowbell
  • RC Drum Kit WS
  • RC Dulcimer
  • RC E.Piano Pad
  • RC Finger Bass 2
  • RC Flute
  • RC French Horns
  • RC Fretless Bass
  • RC Glass Harp
  • RC Guitar Clean 2
  • RC Guitar Tele/Stra
  • RC Harp
  • RC Kalimba
  • RC Koto/Banjo
  • RC M1 Organ
  • RC M1 Piano
  • RC Mandolin
  • RC Music Box
  • RC Nylon Guitar 1
  • RC Nylon Guitar 2
  • RC Oboe
  • RC Ocarina
  • RC Organ Gospel
  • RC Organ Vox
  • RC Pad Syn Guru
  • RC Pad White/Brite
  • RC Pan Flute
  • RC Pick Bass Hard
  • RC Pizzicato
  • RC Pop Ooh/Ah
  • RC Shakuhachi
  • RC Slap Bass 4
  • RC Soprano Sax
  • RC Steel Guitar
  • RC String Ensemble 1/2
  • RC String Ensemble 3/4
  • RC Synth Lead 1
  • RC Synth Pad WS
  • RC Tenor Sax
  • RC Thunder Sheet
  • RC Tin Whistle
  • RC Tpt+Tbone Oct
  • RC Trombone 1
  • RC Trombone 3 Stac
  • RC Trumpet
  • RC Tuba
  • RC Tubular/Timpani
  • RC Vibraphone
  • RC Violin
  • RC Voice Oohh/Yah
  • RC Wurly Piano
  • RC Xylophone 2/3

Installation

Get the patch set here:

Download and install the Korg Modwave Editor and Librarian, then run it while connected to the modwave.

To use the patches as standalone performances, install the *.mwperf files from the Performances directory.

To use the patches as mix-in layers on your own performances, install the *.mwprog files from the Programs directory.

To assign the patches to a Set List, install the Rompler Cosplay.mwsetlist file.

  1. This last one is probably the real reason why the modwave has samples: not every wavetable is designed to have a transient initial component, and combining a wavetable and a sample is an easy way to achieve this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *