Must Read for Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer Owners: New 1.23 Firmware for Blofeld + New Spectre App + Secret Sauce for Getting Spectre Sample Transfer to Work After Upgrading

Photo Dec 12, 5 15 45 PM

Another update: I noticed 1.23 is no longer available on Waldorf’s site. I’ve emailed them to find out more.
Update: 2TThis is a long article and I’ve rendered it as pdf and Open XML paper so you can read this offline and print it. 

Blofeld users rejoice! Waldorf has released a free firmware update for the Waldorf Blofeld synthesizer. It’s kind of a life changing update in that it allows you to transfer only new samples from a new Program in a Program List rather than transferring all samples in a program list – hooray!

Most seasoned Blofeld users seem to be having trouble getting the new features working – boooo!

I did figure it out after about 3 hours of research and trial and error and wanted to pass along my findings to save you time. Yaaay!

Details and secret sauce of how to get new features working is below.

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Boulder CO


There are no release notes, but Waldorf posted the following on Facebook:

The new Firmware in combination with Spectre 1.00 only transfers missing samples and not the entire collection. Example: When you transferred already e.g. 4 samples and you like to add an additional one, there won’t be transferred 5 samples to the Blofeld like in the past, but only the missing one….

We wish you much fun,

your Waldorf Music Team !

From <>


The new OS is version 1.23. For those on the keyboard edition there is also the  Blofeld Keyboard Controller Firmware 1.4 update. You can download the updates here

Spectre (a tool for creating and transferring Sample Content for Waldorf Blofeld with License SL and Waldorf Blofeld Keyboard) has also been updated to v 1.00 (the previous version was .091) and is required for the new features to work. Grab the Windows and Mac versions here


Before you do any of the following steps make sure you have backups of your blofled programs and Spectre Program Lists. While everything I’m about to relate works for me, your mileage may vary so I’m not responsible for crashing your blofled or loss of data – yo!


1 – Download firmware updates and Spectre and unzip the files. Updates are stored as .mid files (ex Blofeld Firmware V1.23.mid”)

2 – Install the Spectre app and run it

3 – Connect your Blofeld to your computer via USB and power up the Blofeld

4 – Click the “Audio/MID…” butt on Spectre to configure the Blofeld for input and output.


5 – Click the “Upgrade” button and select the .mid file and the update will be transmitted.


6 – Keyboard edition users repeat this process with the keyboard firmware update



All the information below is for those with the Blfoeld keyboard (which implicitly has access to the 60M of sample memory, or those with the Blofled Desktop with the License SL Sample Option (not needed with Keyboard editions). I tested using the blokeys with Spectre running on Windows 8.1 via USB MIDI port.

CAUTION: The new functionally works perfectly if I start with a new BLANK program list. This DOES NOT work if you open a program list created with an OLDER version of Spectre. However, simply open the old Program list using the “Load” button, Save it again (I used a different name), reload it, then transmit. In other words, something changed in the XML file format.


This behavior is mostly the same as with the previous versions, but I wanted to run though it for those new to all this and to show some of the differences after the update.

1 – Configure Spectre App


Make sure you map BOTH input and output in the “Audio/MIDI…” settings are mapped to “Blofeld”. I was in the habit of only mapping the output. The new Spectre needs the input to be mapped so it can handshake to receive checksums. This allows Spectre to calculate the diff so it only needs to send new samples.

2 – Create or Load a “Program List” in Spectre

If you create a new program list with associated samples and then “Transmit” to Blofeld it works as expected with a few new intermediate dialog boxes. As with previous versions, you’ll first get the dialog box with estimated transfer time.


3 – Requesting Hash codes

Next is a new dialog where Spectre request “Hash codes…” from the hardware to determine what’s already loaded in memory.


During this process you won’t see any screen changes on the Blofeld hardware. Instead, you’ll just see the MIDI light popping off.


5 – Transfer Samples

Once Spectre determines where in memory it needs to put the file it’s business as usual with the “PLEASE BE PATIENT DURING TRANSISSION OF BLOFELD SAMPLE CONTENT” screen appears.


You’ll see the status dialog pop-up on Spectre as files programs & corresponding samples are sent to the Blofeld.


6 – Samples Transferred

Once all the content has been received you’ll see this screen.


7 – Access Sample Content

Once the Blofeld restarts it’s business as usual and as before you select OSC, then use the “Shape” param to dial up to the 200s where the samples live and can now be used as Oscillator sources.



In this use case, you’ve either just gone through steps in the previous section, of you have loaded an existing Program List .xml file. Now you want to add some new Programs with corresponding samples to the Program List. For example, I added a new program “A4 Singing Bowl” which use a small sample.


In the previous version of the OS and Spectre, ALL of the program information and samples would be re-transmitted which could take a very long time if you had many megabytes of sample data. Now pushing the “Transmit” button only sends what’s new (or as Waldorf puts it “what’s missing” form the Program List).

There is a bug though Spectre’s prediction on how long it will take to transmit the program list is incorrect as it is based on time to send all samples not just diffs. In the example about, the sample is really small and Spectre predicted 2 minutes for the xfer when it took 30 seconds in reality.


Once you hit “OK” the “Requesting Hash Codes…” phase begins. Again, only the MIDI light blinks here.


Then – bam – ONLY the new sample is transferred. THANK YOU WALDORF!!!




The process is the same at this point as in the previous section. Then once the transfer is complete, voilà, you can now access all the samples including the new one.



After installing this update it struck me how unusual it is to have an instrument that was released in 2007, is still sold as new today, is still getting updates, and still has an active user community on Facebook. Bravo Waldorf! Now please get right on OS V2 :^)


I’ve written quite a few articles on Blofeld and the synth has it’s own category

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Thanks again for reading.

Mark Mosher
Experimental Musician and Multimedia Artist
Boulder, CO

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Hi, this is Mark Mosher. Welcome to my blog. I’m a synthesist, Composer, Producer, and Visualist living in Boulder CO. I’m also the founder of the Rocky Mountain Synth Meet and Synth Patrol.

I’ve been blogging wince 2005 and this blog is a mix of posts on artistic news as well as synth tech & technique posts under the category Modulate This!

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17 responses to “Must Read for Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer Owners: New 1.23 Firmware for Blofeld + New Spectre App + Secret Sauce for Getting Spectre Sample Transfer to Work After Upgrading”

  1. As far as I know, transmitting only missing programs and samples does not work in firmware v1.24 anymore. I bought my Blofeld last week with v1.23 installed and upgraded to v1.24. Should I go back to v1.23 (which is on the included CD)?


    • It appears Waldorf pulled 1.23 as an official release and fell back to 1.22. 1.24 appears to be the same as 1.22 but with an update for a new controller IC used on the main boards on newer runs of the Blofeld. So no incremental sample updates. Since yours came with 1.23 my guess is it’s not one of the new machines with new components. I personally keep my Blofeld on 1.23.


  2. Randy Diakur on facebook said “Hi there – I recently contacted Waldorf support on exactly this question. Their response was they pulled back 1.23 because of sample transfer issues. They said they were working on a fix and would release 1.24. (No time frame was mentioned, though.) So if you have the SL license like I do, you might want to wait for 1.24.” So best to wait for 1.23.


    • I want to point out also Blofeld global setting. The MIDI device id. Some patches/banks are not transferred from spectre if the device id is other than 00h.


  3. Saw this on Facebook
    Randy Diakur said ” Hi there – I recently contacted Waldorf support on exactly this question. Their response was they pulled back 1.23 because of sample transfer issues. They said they were working on a fix and would release 1.24. (No time frame was mentioned, though.) So if you have the SL license like I do, you might want to wait for 1.24.”
    So I’d stick with 1.22 and wait till 1.24 comes out.


  4. Hello and thank you for this helpful site! I just purchased a Blofeld keyboard with firmware v1.22 and would like to upgrade to 1.23. I would rather stay off of Facebook. Is there anyway you can upload v1.23 here? Thank you!


  5. Hi, Mark.
    Thank you for the detailed explanation. The 1.23 software is no longer on Waldorf’s website. Can you upload it here?


  6. hi thanks for this, made update my bf a lot easier!
    by the way, your link at the end to all blofeld tagged posts is broken, theres an extra ‘.’ at the end.


  7. Google translate to English before I reply… “So, in the time in the Microsoft hangs up 4 new Windoze versions, Walldorf has managed just on 1:23 … which are either very conservative with the allocation of version numbers or very slow … I’m considering just buying a Blowfelds and wonder whether MIDI sync now works for Arps and filters?”


  8. So, in der Zeit in der Microsoft 4 neue Windoze Versionen auflegt, hat Walldorf es gerade mal auf 1.23 geschafft…
    Die sind entweder sehr konservativ mit der Vergabe von Versionszahlen oder sehr langsam…
    Ich ueberlege mir gerade den Kauf eines Blowfelds und wundere mich ob midi-sync inzwischen funktioniert fur arps und filters?


  9. Thanks for the great article! Definitely some stuff that helped out. On the 1.4 update for my 49 key, I get to the screen that says “Ready-Restart Now!” But pushing play in this instance does nothing. I can’t get it to update to 1.4. Any suggestions? Also, have you had any experience with downloading the Waldorf Edition LE that came via CD with the WB? I have tried installing but it is nowhere to be found after installing. Is it meant to be a plugin or is it a standalone? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  10. Bravo for the great articles and heads up for this fantastic digital syntesizer Mr.Mosher.Im a great fan of you and your work and also a great fan of blofeld.Maximum respect and appreciation for your contribution to this field.I have purchased lately and im so excited of its capabilities,so keep up the good work and keep us posted for this phoenix from Waldorf!
    Panos Katsaranis,Greece.


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