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BLOFELD, motherfuckers. Any good?
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Author BLOFELD, motherfuckers. Any good?
When I was out playing last night I noticed that one of the other guys that was playing had a Blofeld keyboard. it sounded very nice, somewhat more involving than my little Micro-Q, which is OK but sort of not involving somehow.

I could stick my Micro Q on the blocks and get a Blofeld instead. It has a bunch of other fancy shit in it and also if I pay a little more, can play back 60MB of samples. One reads reports of the Blofeld having been released with various annoying bugs in its OS, something of a Waldorf speciality, lots of people moan about it all the time on Waldorf's mail list, otoh a lot of those people are moaning assholes who seem to just like to complain. I would ask this on the Waldorf list, but S/N there is atrocious.

Does anyone here have a Blofeld, and is it any good? Particularly interested in how low the polyphony can go - Waldorf's site says "up to 25 notes" but not a minimum.

Also, is there a decent PC editor for the thing available?
it's great, we use one! does fm great. overall sound is icy glassy. similar to, but different from the microwave/mwii/xt/q family. try one out!
i never got along with my microQ but i really like the blofeld. the interface is wonderful too.
Kendall Station
I've had one about 6 months now, I really do love it. basic analog modelling is great and pads / strings are sooo nice sounding. The wavetables also sound good though its easy to come across some of those cheesy classic sounds that you're not so sure you need.

But all in all you can get so many sounds out of this with the modulation matrix, I don't think I'll ever exploit the true depth of it.

What else..... UI is pretty easy to get around, I know there's a VST editor out there for PC and a logic environment for Mac, though I've never felt terribly compelled to use it much.

Glitches, nothing I've notice that makes me howl in anger. All in all a great box for especially for the money. Novamusik usually has an 'unboxed' version on ebay for really cheap, that's how I got mine and it was absolutely mint w/ all original they sent a water bottle and t-shirt with it

here's a link: e_W0QQitemZ230430957911QQcmdZViewItemQQptZKeyboards_MIDI?hash=item35a6 c16157

Do it!!!!
Norman_Phay wrote:
Also, is there a decent PC editor for the thing available?

Not from Waldorf. There's a couple user made sysex downloadable ones, but they're very basic.

The lack of a good PC interface makes it a bit of a pain to use. I would suggest checking out the Waldorf mailing list, as there is quite a bit of discussion about software issues with the Blofeld.
Kendall Station
all in all though, if you want a synth you can get both power and subtlety out of, this is it. and for $525 its not a bad deal at all. Novamusik will also get it to you in a couple days and be very sympathetic if you don't like it.

Got one! New for 325 UKP. going to have a faff later tonight.
Nelson Baboon
I owned one before, and didn't like it much...maybe it was that it seemed to me that the sound was no longer the 'typical' Waldorf sound. Just couldn't really get into it.

I picked one up recently at a great used price, and got the sample expansion, and I must say that I'm really enjoying it a lot more this time around. The sound is just what I'm looking for (really wanted ONE polyphonic/multitimbral digital synth) in contrast to my analog and modular stuff, and it has the typically deep Waldorf modulation routings. Being able to use the samples as waveforms is pretty nice too.
essex sound lab
Norman_Phay wrote:
Got one! New for 325 UKP. going to have a faff later tonight.

What do you think of it after your initial "faff"?

I quite like my MicroQ (75-voice "Omega" edition) and am intrigued by the Blofeld.
I'll just throw my 2 cents in real quick on the blofeld. I've had one for about a year and I quite enjoy it, especially at the price you can get them from novamusik. The interface on the tabletop version I have is pretty awesome, and while it takes a few minutes to figure things out, once you get it, "you get it."

There are definitely bugs, and I do wish Waldorf would go ahead and fix some of them. For the most part they're minor and nothing that makes me want to stop using the synth, with the exception that sometimes it won't save your patch after you've worked on it for hours (so remember, save often). But as others have mentioned, the modulations are quite deep and I've still finding neat things to do with the modulation matrix.

The bloefeld also sounds really good to me, I love the wavetables, along with the ability to change the drive curves. The effects do tend to suck, but for most people that shouldn't dissuade them from getting the blofeld.

I haven't gotten the sample pack yet (I'm a cheap bastard and don't want to pay $150 for something that I feel should have been released for free, imo). But I may eventually break down and get it, the keyboard version of the blofeld comes with the sampling enabled by default.

So, it has it's little faults, but what synth doesn't? They're all minor annoyances however. For the user interface and sound, it's hard to beat this little synth at the prices they're selling for. And if you don't want to spend the money, there's always the Waldorf Largo soft synth which is very similar to the blofeld.
Kendall Station
I agree, it does have its bugs, but for the amount of modulation and complexity of the software its bound to have a couple of glitches. and, as you said, its nothing that makes you not want to use it anymore.

About the fx: I've had some good result with reaaaaally long reverbs on short stabby leads (more like blips) but that's about it. It was good to hear you say that because I've been struggling with them a bit. chorus for smooth pads is nice. but still an amazing synth.
Having faffed with this little thing quite a lot over the last couple of weeks, I've got to say I'm really impressed with it. It seems to have everything good about the Micro-Q, with all of the bad stuff removed. it sounds much, much better, even on identical patches. The interface is great, very easy to navigate (multi-mode is a bit faffy, that's the exception) and it is just the right size for plonking on the end of a keyboard.

Minor s/ware hassles aside (I haven't experienced anything other than mono mode with master keyboard response set to expo being a bit sketchy - and I have it on linear anyway) I think #waldorf really have a winner with this thing, it's great.
After BLOing it off I finally just caved and bought one w/sampling. It hasn't arrived yet but has a few issues namely that the the main encoder exhibits a rather common problem where it will register a rotation in the wrong direction sometimes. Bummer but oh well. I supposed replacing the encoders won't be too much of a hassle if necessary.

listen too much to this

maybe get a desktop for christmas i think, like to have something small, poly, wavetables etc
I have owned a Blofeld desktop for a bit over a year now and I must say I really like it. And now with the latest OS (1.15) finally most of its little bugs are dealt with. And as a bonus we are now treated to the possibility to load user wavetables in it smile One minus on the earlier models (like mine) is that the encoders are a bit weak and I had to change two of them. It should be better now i hear.
It is, despite its size and price a very complex synth with loads of features and modulation possibilities. It excels with clean, complex and hard sounds but it can, with some knob turning, do both fat and smooth too. If you get a keyboard version (or pay for the SL license) you can also load samples in it to use as sound sources. So then you have VA + Wavetables + Samples to play around with!
Honestly I think it's by far the best bang for the buck synth you can get now.
I got one of the earlier model with a wonky encoder.. turns funky when I go too fast, it heads backwards through presets.. (how hard is it to change them out?) But yeah I got mine with the sl license for a song.

really happy about it... very steely little synth.
Its not very tricky to change the encoders. You can buy a new one from Waldorf or some other place too.
What you are looking for is (for the encoder that selects the prestets): Encoder 16mm Rotary. Encoder with 24 Pulse and Click, 20mm Flat Shaft, Rotary feeling: Standard. Rohs conform.
Strange_Days wrote:
now with the latest OS (1.15) finally most of its little bugs are dealt with


been waiting for this
de_raaf wrote:

listen too much to this

fucking ell that's orrible
Is the comparison that the blofeld is like a boar, whereas the Microwave XT is an elephant still valid?
more like...

MWXT = Cuttlefish. All spectacular flashy goodness outside but still just a fish inside.

Blofeld = Electric Eel. Fairly mundane looking outside but dangerous inside.

Of all the Waldorf's I have owned, the Blofeld is alternately both the hardest to tame and the easiest to find satisfying sounds from. There are only a few synths that I can use to make and entire project from start to finish with. The Blofeld is one of them.

I bought one of the first ones and suffered through many horrid upgrades but never - ever had a moment of disappointment. It still sits front, center on the desktop.

Fanboy for life.

I'm mostly asking as my next pickup is either going to be a Nord Wave, or a Blofeld Keyboard. The main use would be to playback sampled modular loops and FM them in unique ways. My impressions so far would be that the Blofeld suffers from "just another metal box" syndrome. Lacking the magic that something like a prophet vs, evolver, or a XT/Q would have.

I just sold a G2 because I needed the funds, but did not really care to see it go as unless you programmed it into patch structure, it sounded distant and weak (-relative to an Evolver). My fears are that the Blofeld would be no different, great at distant modulated pad sounds (-which I hate). But breaks up when at the foreground or in an extremely dense mix.

For the same price of a used Blofeld Keyboard, it seems to make more sense just to buy a SSL Alpha Channel and then just track NI-Massive through that for more professional results.
i got the desktop version mostly because it was pretty cheap secondhand. and yeah, i find it pretty usable for some stuff, especially when overdriving its oscillators (got my blofeld hooked up to the CME UF60 keyboard and all the controllers do their job without any system adjustments) and then to mangling the sound with pedals, filters and so on. very industrial.

i don't care about typical "analog" patches quality, aliasing or anything as I have got better synth doing such a job well (andromeda FTW). still i think those pads and leads sound more than OK.
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