The new Wavefonix Modular synthesizers model W314 & W614 are reviewed in the latest edition of Sound on Sound magazine (August 2022), written by Robin Vincent.
More info on the Wavefonix synths can be found at the Wavefonix website.
These powerful self‑contained instruments blend analogue and digital sound generation to devastating effect!
It’s always interesting when a modular company curates a self‑contained system. It gives you a window into how they perceive modular synthesis, and what they believe are the essential modules needed to produce a satisfyingly integrated synthesizer. Wavefonix have done exactly this, first with the W314 single row and now with the W614 double row, in both cases pulling together an array of modules that fulfils the brief of being a workable synthesizer while adding some surprising flavours. The process neatly demonstrates how nimble boutique builders can be: I received the W314 some time ago, and Wavefonix quickly responded to my experience of that instrument to hone what would become the W614.
Wavefonix, run by Christopher Willocks, have only been trading since 2020 and already have a collection of over 40 Eurorack modules, hand‑assembled and tested in the UK. The focus is on clean, elegant and ergonomic designs, which have more than a whiff of the classics about them. The range of modules on offer is impressive, and so is the pricing, which feels remarkably affordable for a boutique manufacturer.
The black front panels and styling reflects some Moog modular influence, and looks great. Each module feels solidly built, the knobs are good, the sizing is snug in places but works well with your fingers, and there’s no sense of wobble. This is one good‑looking system. In most cases the patch points are away from the knobs, minimising any struggle with the jungle of patch cables. The cases have evolved since the W314 was first introduced as Wavefonix struggled to find the perfect match. Both systems now come with beautifully finished solid walnut cases and integrated Konstant Lab power supplies.
Whichever one you go for, it’s undoubtedly an impressive machine on your desk, full of dark and serious‑looking potential. It’s not too serious, though, because it comes with a bunch of pleasingly squidgy and colourful patch cables. While the larger knobs are great to use, the smaller ones are a little lost against the background, and it can be hard to see the indentation that shows you where they are pointing. I have the 8‑Step Sequencer in my rack and I’ve added ‘Trimmer Topper’ knobs over the top to make them easier to see.
What You Get
There are 12 modules in the W314. You get a MIDI Interface, 4×4 Buffered Multiple, 3340 Dual VCO, 1847 Wavetable VCDO, six‑channel Mixer, 2140 Lowpass Filter, two 3310 Envelope Generators, a 3360 Dual VCA, a Dual LFO, a Noise Generator and an Audio Out module. Of course, any Moog aficionados will tell you that the LFO should be on the left of the VCO, but otherwise, what you have here is a cool dual‑oscillator monosynth with a wavetable fun park built right into the middle.
The dual‑row W614 doubles up on the oscillators, giving you four VCOs, adds some voltage control to the envelopes and LFOs, puts in a Ring Modulator, Dual Sample & Hold and 2710 Envelope Follower, and adds the fabulous 8‑Step Sequencer along with a Clock Divider, attenuator and switches. It’s all rounded off with a three‑channel Stereo Panning Mixer, giving 23 modules.
The rest of this article is not yet available online, so you need to buy yourself a copy of Sound on Sound to read the full feature.
A full W614 system contains:
1 x MIDI Interface (MIDI)
2 x 3340 Dual Voltage-Controlled Oscillator (VCO)
1 x 1847 Wavetable VCDO
1 x 6-Channel Linear Mixer or 6-Channel Audio Mixer
1 x 2140 Low-Pass Filter (LPF), 2144 Low-Pass Filter (LPF) or 3320 Low-Pass Filter (LPF)
1 x 3310 Envelope Generator (EG)
1 x 3310 VC Envelope Generator (VCEG)
1 x Noise Generator (NG)
1 x 3360 Quad Linear VCA
1 x 2710 Envelope Follower (EF)
1 x Ring Modulator (RM)
1 x Dual Sample & Hold (S&H)
1 x Clock Divider (CD)
1 x 8-Step Sequencer
1 x Dual Switch (SW)
1 x 4×4 Passive Multiple (PM)
2 x Dual Low-Frequency Oscillator (LFO)
1 x VCD Low-Frequency Oscillator (VCDLFO)
1 x 3-Channel Stereo Panning Mixer
1 x Audio Out (AO)