BLOFELD, motherfuckers. Any good?

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flts
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Post by flts » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:33 am

Babaluma wrote:that it seems like their might be pin-outs for AES/EBU too. would love an AES out on my blofeld, could go direct to my RME HDSPe AES, or the crookwood DAC.
FWIW and you probably already know this, since S/PDIF is basically a consumer version of AES/EBU (datastream being identical, the channel status bits and signal level & impedance & connector being different), quite a lot of modern gear will happily recognize a S/PDIF signal as valid on AES/EBU inputs even with a simple converter cable. At least my RME UFX seems to be able to spit out & swallow those two formats interchangeably in a pretty flexible way.
meatcliff wrote:There's a very similar mod for the octatrack, IIRC.
now you got me interested. don't really want to modify my blofeld for digital out, but in the octatrack it could be useful. googling showed someone selling a modified unit on ebay (via matrixsynth) but no instructions. would probably require a bit of reverse engineering then.
Warm thank you to everyone for the past 10 years. I'm not active here anymore for personal reasons, so for those I've had the pleasure of dealing with please send an e-mail instead of PM if you wish to get in touch.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:42 am

thanks. yeah, have seen SPDIF/AES converters. all my digital gear is AES only, so would be ideal if i could connect the digi outs of the blofeld chip directly to an XLR for interfacing to the RME or crookwood.

seems it works with your RME, wonder if it would work with the crookwoods, should probably shoot crispin an email. if i routed straight into the RME, could easily get back out to the croowkood through the regular (RME total mix software and crookwood controller) channels though.

what extra bits would need to be bought in order to do the blofeld mod in that .pdf file?

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Post by flts » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:27 am

Babaluma wrote:thanks. yeah, have seen SPDIF/AES converters. all my digital gear is AES only, so would be ideal if i could connect the digi outs of the blofeld chip directly to an XLR for interfacing to the RME or crookwood.
one could of course just wire the S/PDIF output to a XLR connector on the back panel. in that case i suppose you'd have an AES/EBU output with wrong impedance, too low signal level and possibly the consumer bits set, but still something that newer more flexible AES/EBU converters and hubs would handle perfectly OK. that sounds like a very ugly idea but at least would save you one converter cable.
seems it works with your RME, wonder if it would work with the crookwoods, should probably shoot crispin an email. if i routed straight into the RME, could easily get back out to the croowkood through the regular (RME total mix software and crookwood controller) channels though.
yeah... i would guess crookwood stuff could handle S/PDIF signal levels and format fine, but it never hurts to ask. if you explain the whole situation to crispin, i'd guess he would have an idea of how to approach the problem.
what extra bits would need to be bought in order to do the blofeld mod in that .pdf file?
here's the DSP datasheet and user manual:
http://www.freescale.com/files/dsp/doc/ ... P56371.pdf
http://www.freescale.com/files/dsp/doc/ ... 6371UM.pdf

i have no clear idea what needs to be done for it to be foolproof TBH. i don't know how digital outputs are usually wired. for toslink (optical) you would need an extra transmitter that runs on the same supply voltage as blofeld digital side (3.3v i guess). for coax s/pdif (which you probably want) i have no idea if it's just two wires (signal from ADO pin of the DSP and ground from a ground point on the PCB) and a new connector or something more complicated. maybe more experienced electronics people / modders could chime in or this question reposted to music tech DIY subforum?
Warm thank you to everyone for the past 10 years. I'm not active here anymore for personal reasons, so for those I've had the pleasure of dealing with please send an e-mail instead of PM if you wish to get in touch.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:13 am

thanks for all the great info. doesn't really seem like an easy/beginner mod, so will research more before committing!

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Post by Xmit » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:45 am

I've got a whole load of these on various bits of kit in my commercial studio - http://www.neutrik.com/en/accessories/a ... nsformers/
to get the the proper 75ohm - 110ohm impedance match.
Just stick an RCA-BNC convertor plug / cable on & you're good to go. never had a single problem with them.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:19 am

that looks like just the ticket, thanks!

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Post by flts » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:57 am

Babaluma wrote:thanks for all the great info. doesn't really seem like an easy/beginner mod, so will research more before committing!
it _might_ be that you just need to solder one wire to one of the (very small) pins of the DAC chip, one wire to a ground pin somewhere, drill a little hole to the back panel, install a RCA or XLR connector there, and then just solder the two wires to the connector. then again, i am not an electrician so i don't know if you need some kind of protection or extra voltage gain which would make it a bit more complex. my advice is to ask in the music tech DIY forum, there'll be plenty of people who have a better idea than me!
Warm thank you to everyone for the past 10 years. I'm not active here anymore for personal reasons, so for those I've had the pleasure of dealing with please send an e-mail instead of PM if you wish to get in touch.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:09 am

cheers! i could probably do the soldering of a few wires, and find someone to drill a little hole. then would just need to buy BNC plug and that neutrik converter xmit posted earlier.

one more unrelated blofeld question:

is it possible to load single cycle waves into the sample ram, (if you buy that update), and if yes, how easy would it be to load in the ones provided by galbanum in their "architecture 2010" collection? guess i should wait and see how the waldorf spectre software works...

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:16 am

my blofeld arrived at my parents in the uk yesterday, but now i have to wait two weeks until they bring it over, aaarrrrggghhhh!!! :)

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Post by EMwhite » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:20 am

Dumb question time (very intrigued by this); how would conversion from the DAC chip to a TOSLINK fiber transceiver to expensive converter sound versus copper SPDIF to an input on a Saffire Pro 24 audio interface sound vs. the original Blowfeld compare?

My guess is that you would need some sort of drive from DAC to SPDIF across an RCA cable, but if it were that easy, very interested in understanding what audible difference is between the three.

Maybe somebody with expertise, excess time on their hands and deep pockets can pull together a nice video and demonstrate : )

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Post by flts » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:15 am

Babaluma wrote:is it possible to load single cycle waves into the sample ram, (if you buy that update), and if yes, how easy would it be to load in the ones provided by galbanum in their "architecture 2010" collection? guess i should wait and see how the waldorf spectre software works...
yes, it should be possible with no issues! i feel ashamed to say i haven't even touched the spectre so far myself (i'm basically using my blofeld as a glorified slightly-modified-preset machine and master keyboard as i said earlier) but from everything i've read and heard that's exactly the type of use it's meant for.

btw. IF you got the keyboard version, it already comes with the sample option. only the desktop version needs a separate license. both have the hardware already built in so it's just a software update for the desktop model.

as an aside (kind of offtopic again), do you have the galbanum architecture 2010 set and if so, how do you like the content? i downloaded http://www.adventurekid.se/akrt/wavefor ... waveforms/ yesterday and just dumped it to the octatrack, but i also remembered the galbanum set i was going to buy for other uses previously. wondering if i should spend the cash and buy it as well.
EMwhite wrote:Dumb question time (very intrigued by this); how would conversion from the DAC chip to a TOSLINK fiber transceiver to expensive converter sound versus copper SPDIF to an input on a Saffire Pro 24 audio interface sound vs. the original Blowfeld compare?

My guess is that you would need some sort of drive from DAC to SPDIF across an RCA cable, but if it were that easy, very interested in understanding what audible difference is between the three.
i'm not sure if i understood your question correctly, but i guess the most meaningful comparison would be from Blofeld DAC to a decent (say, RME) ADC vs. direct digital recording. unless there are serious jitter issues with the whole digital signal path or something was set up incorrectly, i suppose there should be no difference between optical and coaxial SPDIF if the audio was just recorded to a file.

some people on the internet say that the DAC in blofield is kind of crap and the digital output mod makes it sound a lot better. then again, some people on the internet say a lot of things without providing clear comparison / evidence... :lol:
Warm thank you to everyone for the past 10 years. I'm not active here anymore for personal reasons, so for those I've had the pleasure of dealing with please send an e-mail instead of PM if you wish to get in touch.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:36 am

Only just downloaded the Galbanum Architecture demo yesterday, haven't had a chance to listen yet, but on paper looks really good. You'd be able to fit a shit tonne of single cycle waveforms in the 60 MB sample RAM.

I've ordered the black desktop Blofeld, I would have held out for the keyboard but we might be moving countries again at some stage in the next couple of years, and wanted something small I could just check in the suitcase! If we end up more settles somewhere I'll definitely get a keyboard version. Also gonna add the Pulse 2 at some stage too.

Yeah, the whole SPDIF digi out thing could possibly all be a lot of hassle for not much gain in sound quality. I'll see how she sounds with the regular analogue outs when she arrives in a couple of weeks!

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Post by colossal » Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:00 pm

I've been playing with Largo demo and I'm a bit confused about the wavetables. The Microwave XT has 64 waves in each table the 1st 3 being saw square and triangle. Largo has 128 and none of them are saw etc unless I am totally wrong ?

I thought the wavetables were form the Microwave, is the Blofeld different ?

This article talks about skipping the top 3 and only modulating 60 positions I guess this is not applicable to Largo and Blofeld ?

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Jan03/a ... vetips.asp

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Post by meatcliff » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:40 pm

flts wrote:
meatcliff wrote:There's a very similar mod for the octatrack, IIRC.
now you got me interested. don't really want to modify my blofeld for digital out, but in the octatrack it could be useful. googling showed someone selling a modified unit on ebay (via matrixsynth) but no instructions. would probably require a bit of reverse engineering then.
yeah that's what I was remembering, but wasn't sure if the guy ever documented it... guess not! i couldn't find it online, so next time i open my OT (not any time soon probably) i'll take note of the DAC or whatever he took the word clock and s/pdif outputs from and see what could be done about it.

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Post by meatcliff » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:08 pm

EMwhite wrote:Dumb question time (very intrigued by this); how would conversion from the DAC chip to a TOSLINK fiber transceiver to expensive converter sound versus copper SPDIF to an input on a Saffire Pro 24 audio interface sound vs. the original Blowfeld compare?

My guess is that you would need some sort of drive from DAC to SPDIF across an RCA cable, but if it were that easy, very interested in understanding what audible difference is between the three.
Blofeld w/ s/pdif out into an interface: you get a lower noise floor and cleaner signal than analog out into mixer, into line/pre input on an interface. Depending on your signal path, that's X fewer stages of coloring and added noise (of course that's all up to taste)

Blofeld w/ s/pdif into your own fancy DAC converters: you bypass the blofeld analog output and get a high quality output of your choosing. completely overkill, but pretty cool.

the only difference between coax and optical should be less data loss over long runs (a number of meters) when using optical.

In a smaller studio where you probably don't have a lot of digital i/o on various gear, I find the biggest bonus to having it is sampling. I used to use s/pdif to transfer samples quickly between my computer, roland s760, and akai mpc1000. I could load up a drum hit and send it digitally (however, still in real time) to the MPC faster than the MPC could switch to card reader mode. Then when I had something complete on the MPC, I could record it all over s/pdif as well.
flts wrote:some people on the internet say that the DAC in blofield is kind of crap and the digital output mod makes it sound a lot better. then again, some people on the internet say a lot of things without providing clear comparison / evidence... :lol:
I wouldn't say the DAC is crap, but everything after it is certainly weak. I think the number of posts across various forums and reviews about how incredibly low the Blofeld output is proves that. My Blofeld's output needs a decent amount of gain to stand up to other gear, though I have a few friends with newer Blofelds who don't find they need as much. Who knows what design changes may have occurred though since it first came out. One friend said on his newer Blofeld that volume differences between patches seem completely random and inconsistent.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:33 pm

ok got the black blofeld desktop, no keyboard so screwing around with it with seq24 and seq303 and various vst midi chord generators etc. build quality good, sound good, getting used to the interface (a bit cumbersome after ten years on a modular...)

my main question right now is: why are the LFOs so fast? or to put it another way, why aren't the LFOs capable of going more slowly? i'm all about the 2 min plus LFOs for slowly evolving ambient textures, but setting the LFO speed to 0 or 1 still seems to sweep every 20 seconds or so. do i need to add some kind of offset in the mod matrix to make it much slower? any tips?

also gotta try the "sweeping a whole wavetable with one slow LFO" thing, but LFOs are way too fast at the mo.

must say i am over the fucking moon that the PPG upper wavetable was included. i used to use this wavetable in the korg wavestation ex to make two of my favourite pad sounds of all time (1 buzzy sounding and 1 hollow sounding, will need to get the sweep of the right part of the wavetable just right on the blofeld!)

so far very happy, more so once i work out how to make the LFOs slower, and i get used to the interface. will sell and buy the keyboard one we get settled in france.

yeah, pretty amazing value for money considering the sound, build quality and synthesis power, at least compared to the 80's and 90's prices of things.

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Post by Tronman » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:52 pm

Babaluma wrote:ok got the black blofeld desktop, no keyboard so screwing around with it with seq24 and seq303 and various vst midi chord generators etc. build quality good, sound good, getting used to the interface (a bit cumbersome after ten years on a modular...)

my main question right now is: why are the LFOs so fast? or to put it another way, why aren't the LFOs capable of going more slowly? i'm all about the 2 min plus LFOs for slowly evolving ambient textures, but setting the LFO speed to 0 or 1 still seems to sweep every 20 seconds or so. do i need to add some kind of offset in the mod matrix to make it much slower? any tips?

also gotta try the "sweeping a whole wavetable with one slow LFO" thing, but LFOs are way too fast at the mo.

must say i am over the fucking moon that the PPG upper wavetable was included. i used to use this wavetable in the korg wavestation ex to make two of my favourite pad sounds of all time (1 buzzy sounding and 1 hollow sounding, will need to get the sweep of the right part of the wavetable just right on the blofeld!)

so far very happy, more so once i work out how to make the LFOs slower, and i get used to the interface. will sell and buy the keyboard one we get settled in france.

yeah, pretty amazing value for money considering the sound, build quality and synthesis power, at least compared to the 80's and 90's prices of things.
I got the same one last week. I bought it mainly for pads, but the presets aren't that great (in my opinion). I loaded the factory_set_2012.mid and that was an improvement, but was disappointed that I had to pay extra for the License SL so I could load samples. I did anyway because I was interested in a couple of the soundsets on the Waldorf website. Ended up getting the Jörg Schaaf's Blofeld Xperience Vol 1 set. Very nice!
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Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:56 pm

i haven't really bothered with the presets, never do! may check the 2102 on your recommendation though!

any ideas on the lfo slower speed thing?

i also realise that you can't have free running LFOs, which is kind of annoying (actually, VERY annoying). i.e. if you want an independent LFO that's sweeps the filter while an arpeggio is playing, for example, you can't do it because the LFO resets with every new note.

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Post by stikygum » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:04 am

Tronman wrote: I got the same one last week. I bought it mainly for pads, but the presets aren't that great (in my opinion). I loaded the factory_set_2012.mid and that was an improvement, but was disappointed that I had to pay extra for the License SL so I could load samples. I did anyway because I was interested in a couple of the soundsets on the Waldorf website. Ended up getting the Jörg Schaaf's Blofeld Xperience Vol 1 set. Very nice!
So is the 2012 soundset more interesting sounds instead lame bread and butter stuff? How is the Jorg Schaaf volume? Curious what kind of sounds it mainly has.

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Post by Annwn » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:03 am

Babaluma wrote: i also realise that you can't have free running LFOs, which is kind of annoying (actually, VERY annoying). i.e. if you want an independent LFO that's sweeps the filter while an arpeggio is playing, for example, you can't do it because the LFO resets with every new note.
Wowser, that seems like a real deal-breaker. Unless doing wubwubs :russian: , I almost always have LFOs free-running. What a strange thing for Waldorf to do.

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Post by de_raaf » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:23 am

check the blofeld manual for lfo, they do talk that lowest can take a few minutes, you can put clocked off etc, don't have one myself yet, but checked manual and there are some options

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Post by Tronman » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:49 am

Babaluma wrote:i haven't really bothered with the presets, never do! may check the 2102 on your recommendation though!

any ideas on the lfo slower speed thing?

i also realise that you can't have free running LFOs, which is kind of annoying (actually, VERY annoying). i.e. if you want an independent LFO that's sweeps the filter while an arpeggio is playing, for example, you can't do it because the LFO resets with every new note.
I haven't played with the LFOs yet, or any of the other "modules"...only had my Blofeld for a couple of days and have been trying to understand how to move data back and forth between it and my computer, and going through some of the presets. But I found this video inspiring enough to want to start:

Streetly Electronics - the one and only authentic Mellotron company: http://www.mellotronics.com/

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Post by Tronman » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:55 am

stikygum wrote:
Tronman wrote: I got the same one last week. I bought it mainly for pads, but the presets aren't that great (in my opinion). I loaded the factory_set_2012.mid and that was an improvement, but was disappointed that I had to pay extra for the License SL so I could load samples. I did anyway because I was interested in a couple of the soundsets on the Waldorf website. Ended up getting the Jörg Schaaf's Blofeld Xperience Vol 1 set. Very nice!
So is the 2012 soundset more interesting sounds instead lame bread and butter stuff? How is the Jorg Schaaf volume? Curious what kind of sounds it mainly has.
Bank A of the 2012 set is a lot more interesting to me than the 2008 Bank A. I don't care for Bank B of the 2012 set, but I overlayed it with the Shaaf bank, which can be in either Bank A or B. I really like his set. It was a toss-up between it and the Alien Vanguard set, but Shaaf's set seems to have more pads that I like. I've yet to go through the other banks of the 2012 set.
Streetly Electronics - the one and only authentic Mellotron company: http://www.mellotronics.com/

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:19 am

de_raaf wrote:check the blofeld manual for lfo, they do talk that lowest can take a few minutes, you can put clocked off etc, don't have one myself yet, but checked manual and there are some options
i've read the manual three times, so i know what's supposed to happen. but the LFOs don't go nearly as slowly as i would like them too (haven't tried messing with the mod matrix and modifiers yet though).

first thing i did was init about 20 patches and start programming the bugger with the sounds i like. only way to go as far as i am concerned, not really one for presets.

and yeah, you definitely can't have free running LFOs. you can set it to "free", but then it randomly starts at a different part of the LFO with ever new keypress. so you can't play choppy gated chords with a slow filter sweep over the whole thing etc. very annoying.

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Post by ignatius » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:46 am

the monstrum media blofeld editor released yesterday..

http://www.monstrummedia.com/

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