Hanging with the Wavedrum

I’ve had my Korg Wavedrum for over a year now and it’s still got a lot of surprises under the hood. One thing I’ve been trying to find is a sound that would evoke the Hang, that hard to find, super expensive and no longer made percussion sensation. OK, there is something very similar on the market: Missouri’s own Pantheon Steel, but you have to get in a lottery, wait a long time and have $1800 in your hot little hands to get one of their drums.

The Wavedrum has no USB port, so there’s no way to download patches, store them on a computer or share the ones you make. The only way to share is to write out the parameters in a text file and then copy them into the drum. Happily, the Interwebs helped me find something. There’s a Wavedrum forum and one of the talented users named Geoffrey Brown posted his version of the Hanglike patch. Here’s a link. I copied the text to my iPod touch and input the settings on the WD. It’s a lot of fun to play it. Here’s a vid:

If you’d like to try the patch, here are the parameters and other info, copied from the link above.

Head Algorithm: 21 Bamboo
Head PCM: 36 Steel Drum
Rim Algorithm: 20 Koto
Rim PCM: 50 Steel Drum (Low)

The other obstacle is that by choosing the Steel Drum PCM, it means that if we combine that with one of the three algorithms that allow “scale selection,” then we must choose the Pentatonic Scale for that algorithm in order to avoid any serious dissonances with the Steel Drum, which is set to a fixed scale (although the root note can altered). Any other melodic sounds that are chosen can only be tuned within octaves of the Steel Drum for the same reasons–to avoid dissonance. But that’s what we have to work with.

I find it essential to edit the different parameters in the order I’ve listed. Select the Algorithms and PCMs first! (I’ll address editing, in more specific terms, in a separate thread). The numbers in Red are the only ones that you should have to change from the default settings on P#49. All the settings are listed for clarity though. Any parameters not listed, are ones that I left in their default settings.
Pay close attention the negative setting in the second tuning parameter (Head PCM).

Here’s how it lays out. Edit 1 Mode:

ALG: 21__36__20__50

LEV: 100_25__100_50

tun: 50__-05__44__00

dcy: 100_10__90__00

rEb: 05__40__50__30

Edit 2 Mode:

H 1-4 00__35__15__00

H 5-8 00__24__00__00

Rim Algorithm settings [r1-4 & r5-8] for #20 Koto are all Default settings. No changes necessary. Although the Koto algorithm has different notes applied to it, these are set to a fixed scale that can not be altered. The relative tuning can be changed, but not the scale itself. It seems to work OK though.