Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Preformance Sound Design

Waldorf Blofeld Keyboard Tip: Droning with the Free Button

This article describes the general function of the “Free” button as well as how to lock sustain for drone work.

Extra Buttons on Keyboard Edition of Blofeld

The keyboard version of the Waldorf Blofeld has 3 extra buttons on the front panel – 1) Octave Down 2) Octave Up 3) Free.

P. 17 of the Manual  describes the Free button

Free Button Just for fun we added an additional button with assignable function. The functions are accessible from Global Menu.

Set the Function of the Free Button

blofeld-free-example-annotated

  1. Press and hold “Shift” + “Global” button to enter Global Menu
  2. Rotate “Display” knob to find the “Free Button / Pedal” page. On the current OS, it’s the last page – so just crank the knob get their quickly.
  3. Use the left-most “Display Dial” to rotate through the possible options for the “Free” button. The button can be assigned to 6 different functional states as shown below. For the purposes of this article – select “Sust. toggle“.
    1. off – nothing happens when you press the Free button.
    2. Sustain – The button acts like a sustain pedal. But please use your fingers!
    3. Sust. toggle – Also sustain, but it acts like an on/off switch. 
    4. Control W, X, Y, Z – the corresponding controller is sent to internal sound engine and MIDI out.
    5. C. W, X, Y, Z toggle – Emits the assigned controller but acts like an on/off switch.
    6. mute – mutes Blofeld while pressed.
  4. Press the “Play” button to return to patch selection and play mode

Drone Machine Usage

The “Free” button can now be used as a toggle to latch sustain thereby turning your Blofled keyboard into a “West Coast” style drone machine.

Presets with No Arpeggiator

On presets without the Arp enabled, toggling the “Free” button simply gives you infinite sustain without having to hold a pedal down. This is perfect for both sound design work and real-time drone performances. Hit “Free” and start working the matrix!

Presets with Arpeggiator

The arpeggiator has the following modes:

  1. Off
  2. On
  3. One Shot
  4. Hold

If the mode is set to #3  “Hold” – the Arp is already latched and will hold by default. If you would like instead to toggle holds without menu diving to get this parameter (which is burred pretty deep) – set the value to  option #2 – “On”. Now if you toggle the “Free” button, the arp will hold. Press the “Free” button again to toggle the Arp off.

More Articles on the Waldorf Blofeld

Check out some of the many articles I’ve written on the Waldorf Blofeld here https://modulatethis.com/category/blofeld/.

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Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Octatrack Touring

Flight-Friendly Hardware Synth Rig Part 2 – Backing Into Your Synth Rig from the Pelican 1510 Case

Photo Aug 23, 1 44 27 PM

This is a follow-up to post "Flight-Friendly Hardware Synth Rig Part 1 – Switching to Hardware Rig for my Solo Set". 

Over the last 5 years or so I've had the opportunity to fly to festivals. It's always a challenge of course to get your gear from here to there.

One strategy I'd recommend is to back into your show rig from what will fit into the luggage you are going to travel with. Something to consider here is that you want to bring enough essential gear as carry-on so that you could perform your set even if your checked luggage doesn't make it with you to the venue. So a backpack and a case that will fit in the overhead bin are the way to go.

Pelican 1510 Carry On Case – $160

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 06 PM

It's important to get a tough case for the overhead bin in case you are asked to gate check the bag or end up on a regional jet where approved sizes won't fit. This has happened to me multiple times over the years. In this scenario they'll put the bag right into the cargo hold so you at least know your gear will make it to the destination with you.

My friend and amazing artist Dino J.A. Deanne (http://jadeane.com/blog) who's done many tours turned me on to the Pelican 1510 Carry On Case. Here is Dino's post on cases.

  • Meets the FAA MAXIMUM CARRY ON SIZE!
  • Retractable extension handle
  • Strong polyurethane wheels with stainless steel bearings
  • Easy open Double Throw latches
  • Open cell core with solid wall design – strong, light weight
  • O-ring seal
  • Automatic Pressure Equalization Valve
  • Comfortable rubber over-molded top and side handles
  • Stainless steel hardware and padlock protectors
  • Pick N Pluck™ with convoluted lid foam
  • Personalized nameplate service available
  • Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence
  • WATERTIGHT, CRUSHPROOF, AND DUSTPROOF
  • INTERIOR (L x W x D) 19.75" x 11" x 7.6" (50.1 x 27.9 x 19.3 cm) 
  • EXTERIOR (L x W x D) 22" x 13.81" x 9" (55.9 x 35.1 x 22.9 cm) 

This case is just amazing. I ordered the version with the Pick N Pluck foam so I could customize the case for my desktop rig. The biggest challenge is deciding how you'll lay out your gear to fit. Here is my case from the inside out.

Photo Aug 23, 1 43 40 PM

Pick N Pluck comes in two sheets that lay on top of each other. Place your gear on the sheets and use chalk or toothpicks to mark  where you'll need to punch out the foam to fit your gear. Then just pull the little rectangles off. 

The picture above shows the bottom layer punched out to fit the Octatrack, Blofeld Desktop, and Mackie Mixer. Hang on to all those scraps as they com in handy. For example, I used Elmers Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive to glue Pick N Place scraps to create one more layer of padding on the bottom of the case for the Octatrack. I also sprayed adhesive on q-tips and used it to glue the thin run of foam along the top and for other miscellaneous padding.

In this next photo, you can see I've placed the Octatrack and Blfoeld Desktop into the case. Note that there are slots cut out for the blofeld knobs. It looks a little precarious at this point but adding the next layer tightens things up. Also note that I have Elektron's Protective Lid PL-2 on top of the Octatrack. The lid is expensive at $59, but I consider it a  MUST BUY for Elektron users who take their instruments out of the studio. I'm also a fan of the Elektron ECC-2 soft-sided carry case (which includes the lid) if you just want a way to carry your Elektron unit around by itself locally.

 Photo Aug 23, 1 43 15 PM

In this next photo, you'll see I dropped in the next layer of Pick N Pluck foam and this time I glued some extra scraps to put tension on the top of the blofeld where there are no knobs or LEDs which also ensures that there is not pressure on the knobs. I also inserted the Mackie 402VLZ3.

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 48 PM

I then carved down into the foam so I could add an Akai Professional MPK Mini Mk2 to the rig.

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 36 PM

I used some scraps to put a layer over the drum pads so the lid wouldn't crush the joystick. 

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 30 PM

When you button the case up, nothing moves at all! 

If you really mess things up and need to start over, or you want a different configuration of padding for a different rig, you can buy replacement foam on Amazon.

Backpack

Osprey-ozone-46

There of course an incredible number of choices for backpacks. Ultimately, you just need something you dig that will fit all your gear and still fit under the seat in front of you. I used to use a North Face Surge and last year switched to a consumer backpack – the Osprey Ozone 46. While there are many fine choices in DJ backpacks, I prefer the consumer backpacks so I can use them for things other than toting musical gear. In other words, they are lighter when you are doing other things but it's up to you to add padding to fit most musical journeys.

Carry the essentials to pull off a show in this bag – plus items to keep you going during the travel day.

  1. My laptop and power supply (which I use for visuals)
  2. Essential audio and power cables for the rig
  3. Any recorders you need to document the show like a GoPro, Zoom H2N.
  4. Flashlight
  5. Spare batteries for gear
  6. Spare audio adapters
  7. Any perscription meds, pain relievers, allergy pills, Bandaids…
  8. Phone charger
  9. Square or payment reader
  10. A few copies of your CDs
  11. Business cards
  12. myPower ALL Plus MP3450i Battery to charge my phone and run the Octatrack if need be
  13. Snacks in case the flight gets delayed (happens all the time of course)
  14. Nalgene OTF Water Bottle with locking lid. You can open and close it with one hand. Even if you  kick it over on stage you won't soak your cables or rig. Fill it up on the other side of security for the odd chance that you get stuck on a tarmac somewhere.

Checked Bag

If it's a quick in-and-out show, you might be able to fit your change of clothes and toothbrush in the backpack. If not you'll need to check a bag. I also use the checked bag for:

  1. Backup cables for the rig
  2. I sometimes bring stands in this bag like the Roland SS-PC1 Laptop Table
  3. If I can spare the weight, a Furman AC-215A power conditioner
  4. A stereo Hum Eliminator
  5. Merchandise
  6. Sometimes LED lights like a Simppar 56
  7. Clothes

——————–

MarkMosherMusic.com << Artist Site and Podcast

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Octatrack Touring

Flight-Friendly Hardware Synth Rig Part 1 – Switching to Hardware Rig for my Solo Set

In my last post "Part 1 – Mark Mosher Cinematic Electronic Live – Boulder Synthesizer Meetup August 11, 2015" I shared a video of a solo set I played at the Boulder Synthesizer Meetup earlier this month. For years now when I've played my solo sets I've used an Ableton controllerism rig on the audio side. Hot off the heels of the (no)poem tour where I had great luck using all hardware in a collaborate and improvisational context, the meetup gig was a test of using all hardware on the audio side and only using the computer for interactive visuals. The instant-on and quick setup of the all hardware rig was really great and allowed me to play a continuous set combining composed piece from my albums plus do improv.

At the meetup gig, I used a Blofeld keyboard.

Blofeld+octatrack

I wanted to be able replicate that same gig for away gigs where I fly so I added an Akai MPK Mini MK2 to be paired with the Blofeld Desktop.

MPKmini_angle_web_lg_700x438

 Here is a sketch of my solo rig now.

Photo Aug 24, 8 21 17 AM

By having a home and away rig with the same technology I can develop more muscle memory for the rig and focus on a small set of instruments.

Note that if I happen to have the computer along for visuals, I can turn this into a hybrid rig and use the laptop to run Percussa MIDIBridge and run audio cubes as gestural controllers.

I'm currently testing the rig in hybrid mode and will add an iConnect MIDI interface soon so I can completely break the tether to the laptop if needed.

Coming up in Part 2 – Backing Into Your Synth Rig from the Pelican 1510 Case

Photo Aug 23, 1 44 27 PM

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Boulder Synthesizer Meetup Concerts resolume Synth: Octatrak

Part 1 – Mark Mosher Cinematic Electronic Live – Boulder Synthesizer Meetup August 11, 2015

Markmosher-boulder-synth-august-2015

This video is part 1 of a live cinematic electronica set I performed at the Boulder Synthesizer Meetup on August 11th 2015 at the Walnut room in Denver. In this video I'm performing both the music and the visuals. 

<https://player.vimeo.com/video/136179823

Part 1 – Mark Mosher Cinematic Electronic Live – Boulder Synthesizer Meetup August 11, 2015 from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

Part 1 – Mark Mosher Cinematic Electronic Live – Boulder Syntheszier Meetup August 11, 2015 from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

In part 1 I perform an extended version of "Gonna Rise Up" from the album Fear Cannot Save Us" markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/fear-cannot-save-us. For this piece, I was doing live arrangement on the Octatrack plus playing lead synth on the Waldorf Blofeld. The lead patch is an original patch from INIT using OSC2 & 3 for sync with mod wheel. The original lead patch on the album version was done with Zebra 2. To retain some of its character, I used Extreme Sample Convert to multi-sample the Zebra patch then import into the Blofeld for the source for Oscillator 1.

Rig Notes:
This set was performed only on Octatrack dynamic performance sampler with original field recordings and sonic elements from albums plus a Waldorf Blofled keyboard with original presets.

Recording Notes:
Live audio was recorded on a Zoom H2n fed by my sub-mix to house via Mackie 402VLZ3. Main footage is from a GoPro with secondary foot from my friend Chris Frain.

Visuals Notes:
The ONLY video source is from live camera input being run through layers of custom Resolume presets controlled by an Arturia Beatstep live.

Categories
(Modulate This) (no)poem Blofeld

Intro to Creating and Loading Custom Wavetables into Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer

DSC09994

EVEN MORE UNIQUE SONIC POSSIBILITIES THROUGH USER WAVETABLES

In preparing for the (no)poem Experimental Ambient mini-tour to Lincoln and Des Moines this weekend with Darwin Grosse, I wanted “up my game” on the Waldorf Blofeld side. This meant not only using original presets from INIT, but also custom wavetables as sources from some of my custom presets. You can upload your own wavetables in both the keyboard and the desktop edition WITHOUT having to use License SL on desktop edition.

38 USER WAVETABLES FOR OSC1 & OSC2

The blofeld has 38 slots for user wavetables. You select them as oscillator shape sources for Oscillators 1 & 2 by dialing in shapes 80-118. Note, the blofeld has 64 waves per wavetable.

WALDORF BLOFELD WAVETABLE CREATOR APP

A popular and free app for drawing each wave within a wavetable is Kotró László Lehel’s Waldorf Blofeld Wavetable Creator. He also makes the free and popular Waldorf Blofeld editor. These apps run on windows but members on the Blofeld Facebook forum indicate the apps run fine under Wine (https://www.winehq.org).

This app has some other great features like morphing between waves. For example, you could draw the first and last wave in the table, then let the app morph all the waves in between. It has basic basic import of .wav for resynthesis as well.

The app lets you then save in a format that you can upload to your blofeld. More on this later in the post.

AUDIOTERM APP

I just started using a pretty great freeware general purpose editor app called Audioterm by Mathias Gurk. It has a super groovy retro interface and green waveform display reminiscent of the Fairlight. It’s not Blofeld specific, but does a great job of resynthesizing audio from various formats and has the option to save into the format Blofeld is looking for. Audioterm is on Facebook here, and you can download the app from a dropbox. Here is a KVR Thread on the app.

2015-07-29_13-10-13

It’s a little tricky getting around inside the retro interface, but once you learn it, it’s a snap. This video will help, although note you can skip the step at the 1:00 mark as the app now supports saving natively to Blofeld format.

Tip: To save in Blofeld format

  1. Select “F_TYPE” 5 which is Blofeld.
  2. Select the file
  3. Enter a name and press “RET” (return key)
  4. Enter Blofled Device ID (0 is the default)
  5. Enter the user slot you want to load the wavetable into betweeen 80-118.
  6. Press “RET”

2015-07-29_13-18-46

I’m just scratching the surface, but man this app is packed with cool features.

2015-07-29_22-07-27

OTHER APPS

There are other apps out there but these should get you going.

LOADING CUSTOM WAVETABLES INTO THE BLOFELD

Waldorf implemented a SYSEX format for loadingn wavetables. You’ll note that in both the apps I mentioned above you have to specify the slot when you save the file in .SYX format. In other words, the slot number is embedded into the file. You can transmit the file to the Blofeld with your MIDI Sysex app. On Windows I use MIDI OX.

SWEEPING THROUGH THE TABLE

A last tip for those who haven’t experimented with wavetable synthesis on Blfoeld. Like with factory wavetables, user wavetables can be used as sources for OSC 1 & 2.  Parameter “Pulswidth” to set the starting point or manually sweep the table. 0 = first wave in the wavetable. 64 = middle, 127=last wave. You can automate this by specifying PWM source then adjust the amount of modulation with PWM amount. You can also set this up in the modulation matrix. An example would be to use an LFO or perhaps the Modulation Wheel to sweep through the table.

MORE ON THE INTERWEBS…

Fequent FB contributor Øystein Olsen reminded me of  Wolfgang Hieb’s awesome site http://synth.stromeko.net/Downloads.html which also has some .zip files containing  wavetables that you can load into the user slots. If you know of others, please leave a comment :^)

If You Found This Article Inspiring or Helpful

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Thanks for Reading,   Mark Mosher Boulder, CO ModulateThis.com

Categories
(Modulate This) (no)poem Blofeld iOS Lemur Modular Synth: Octatrak Touring

(no)poem creative limitations: Modular/Looper/Max/Beatstep Meets Octatrack/Blofeld/Lemur

Darwin and mark

CREATIVE LIMITATIONS

In my last post, I mentioned the formation of a collaboration with Darwin Grosse called  (no)poem. When we where putting this project together a few months back we started by defining a set of creative limitations which would inform the art for our first mini-tour through Lincoln and to Des Moines.  

We created this set of limitations:

  1. Desktop only
  2. No keys
  3. No laptops
  4. No synced clocks
  5. No sampling of each other's output

RIGS

For Darwin, this meant a modular-centered rig:

For me this meant an Octatrack-centered rig:

  • Electron Octatrack
  • Waldorf Blofeld Desktop with custom presets from init, custom wavetables, and custom samples as oscillator sources via License SL
  • Instrumentality for Blofeld are via a custom Lemur patch on iPad (USB Midi with Camera Kit) and Octatrack (MIDI)

DIFFERENT WORKLOW = DIFFERENT CREATIVE RESULTS

Different rigs and different workflows yield different results of course. A hardware focus means our eyes are free to focus on graphical scores (more on this in a future post) and paying attention to each other's body language. No keyboards means we have to use knobs, buttons sliders, cables, visual feedback from hardware, and in my case, physics and multi-touch through the Lemur interfaces. Again, this changes the creative result – especially when playing tonal passages without being restricted by a 12-tone keyboard interface.

TRANSCENDING TECH TO SERVE THE ART

If you've been following along here on Modulate This! you know I've gone deep with both the Octatack and the Blofeld for many years now so this upcoming tour is the culmination of a lot of work to create expressive workflows around these instruments. 

UPCOMING POSTS

Stay tuned for more detailed posts on how I'm using Octatrack (see dedicated category), Blofeld (see dedicated category), and Lemur. I'll also do some posts on working with grphical scores and free-running clocks.

Lastly, tune into to Darwin's new blog All Things Modular to learn more about his rig and artistic process.

Related articles

Introducing (no)poem – A New Collaboration with Darwin Grosse + Heartland 2015 Tour
Categories
(Modulate This) (no)poem Blofeld Concerts Octatrack

Introducing (no)poem – A New Collaboration with Darwin Grosse + Heartland 2015 Tour

Nopoem-fb-banner-v2

Things have been a little quite over here at Modulate This! HQ because I've been super busy working with my my good friend Darwin Grosse to form a new duo called (no)poemStay tuned for some upcoming behind-the-scenes posts where I'll share some insights into how we put the duo together as well as some notes on the tech and artistic elements of the our upcoming tour. For now here is a little background on the project.

For those who don't know Darwin, he is director of education and customer services for Cycling ’74 (Max). He is the  creator and host of the art+music+technologypodcast. Darwin also launched a brand new blog called All Things Modular.

We're striking out from Boulder on a mini-tour of the Heartland.

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Octatrack Sonic Encounters Soundscapes Podcast

Sonic Encounters Episode 004 Features Brand New Piece – “A Day In The Life Of A Krell Technician”

Cover-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-krell-technician

This next soundscape in Episode 004 is a 20 minute long soundscape. One thing I love about the podcast format is I can present these longer form works that you can listen to as you go about your day. If you need to pause the show, you can pick up where you left off.

So thanks to all of you who subscribed to the podcast in iTunes. If you haven't subscribed click here to Subscribe now on iTunes so you never miss an episode. Please leave a rating or review if you are enjoying the podcast. If you use a different podcatcher, paste this RSS link.

On to Episode 004…

Episode 004 A Day In The Life Of A Krell Technician

A Brand New 20 Minute Original Soundscape

To learn more about this episode visit the Soundscape Journal Page here.

Episode-004-show-notes

 

Subscribe-itunes

Thanks for listening,

Mark Mosher
http://www.SonicEncounters.com
http://www.MarkMosherMusic.com

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld

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

www.MarkMosherMusic.com

WHAT’S NEW?

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 <https://www.facebook.com/WaldorfMusic>

NEW FIRMWARE AND SPECTRE

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 http://www.waldorf-music.info/downloads-blofeld-en/blofeld-firmware-en.

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 http://www.waldorf-music.info/downloads-blofeld-en/spectre-downloads-en.

BACKUP!

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!

INSTALLING FIRMWARE UPDATES

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.

clip_image002

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

clip_image003

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

clip_image004

NOTES ON NEW FUNCTIONALITY AND BEHAVIOR

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.

HOW TO USER SPECTRE TO TRANSFER A NEW PROGRAM LIST AND SAMPLES WITH 1.23 FIRMWARE

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

clip_image002[1]

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.

clip_image005

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.

clip_image006

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

clip_image007

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.

clip_image008

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

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6 – Samples Transferred

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

clip_image010

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.

clip_image011

NEW!!! – USING SPECTRE TO TRANSMIT ONLY MISSING PROGRAMS AND SAMPLES IN A PROGRAM LIST

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.

clip_image012

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.

clip_image013

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

clip_image014

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

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“PLEASE BE PATIENT DURING TRANSISSION OF BLOFELD SAMPLE CONTENT” screen appears.

clip_image008[1]

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.

clip_image016

THANKS WALDORF!

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 :^)

MORE ON BLOFELD

I’ve written quite a few articles on Blofeld and the synth has it’s own category http://modulatethis.com/blofeld.

If You Found This Article Inspiring or Helpful

If you found this article inspiring or helpful consider supporting the blog by leaving leaving a tip below.

Tip Jar

Tip for Modulate This! article

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Thanks again for reading.

Mark Mosher
Experimental Musician and Multimedia Artist
Boulder, CO

Artist Site: MarkMosherMusic.com
Tech & Technique Articles: MarkMosherMusic.com/category/modulate-this/
Podcast: SonicEncounters.com
Meetup: RockyMountainSynth.com

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld

Waldorf Releases 1.22 Firmware for Blofeld Syntheiszer & Keyboard Firmware Update. Now Is the Time for Your Feedback + What’s New + How to Install

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Waldorf has just released Blofeld Firmare V 1.22 – and for owners of the keyboard edition – Blofeld Keyboard Controller Firmware 1.4. The update is free from http://www.waldorf-music.info/downloads-blofeld-kb/blofeld-firmware-en.

Please Test Now!

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First off, three cheers for Waldorf for putting energy into a synth released way back in 2007! There is no change log in the firmware zip files and instead, Waldorf’s Kay Dee is communicating and taking input for this update via Waldorf Blofeld group on Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/groups/8492783249/

It’s been a while since Waldorf worked on Blofeld and it may be a while before they circle back, so now is your chance to test and give feedback!

What’s New

One major reason to update is they are using software to correct for the issue of encoder twitchiness some users have reported. Kay Dee from Waldorf mentioned out on Facebook that if this update didn’t address your issues, you most likely have a hardware issue and should have your unit serviced. There is no change log in the firmware zip file, but I’ve gleaned the following from Kay’s Facebook posts:

  • Between the last official version and this version, there were sum interim betas. 1.2 introduced some bugs with gui (sine waveform went missing), phasing problem and jumping value when you turn volume knob. They are fixed.Other value optimization for knobs.
  • Sync lfo/arp fix. This was a major complaint with the last official version. I’ve not tested it, but early reports on Facebook indicate sync is much improved.
  • Fx fix
  • Encoder fix and some system fixes.
  • 1.18-> 1.2 fix now you can use two wavetables/samples at osc1+2 at the same time.
  • Firmware update/downgrade now possible
  • General system Optimization

Blofeld Keyboard Edition Update

  • Now you can play a single "Part" with the keys. Changing the Global MIDI channel will change the Part. Omni will play all parts at the same time, so you can use this for layer sounds.
  • Mod and pitch wheel will not send random value
  • Data transfer from keys to DSP optimized.

How to Install

Grab the firmware from http://www.waldorf-music.info/downloads-blofeld-kb/blofeld-firmware-en. Unzip the file and save the .mid files.  If you haven’t done so, download the Spectre app (Win/Mac) from http://www.waldorf-music.info/downloads-blofeld-kb/spectre-downloads-en.

Run the Spectre app and plug in your Blofeld via USB.

  1. Make sure you set the Audio/MIDI options to select Blofeld
  2. Click the “Upgrade…” button and select each of the firmware .mid files to send the files to the Blofeld. Follow instructions on Blofeld.

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So Far, So Good

I upgraded a few days ago. So far, so good.

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Thanks Waldorf

Thanks to the Waldorf team for circling back and giving the Blofeld some love!

 

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(Modulate This) Blofeld Elektron Analog Four

Using Elektron Analog Four to Add Tap Tempo and Tempo Nudge to My Blofeld

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I just picked up an Electron Analog Four to add 4 analog synths + seq + effects to create an additional compterless workflow. I’ll also use it as source audio for Live and Absynth patches.  One of my other goals was to pair it with my Blofeld for live jams and performances.

While I love the character and user interface of the Blofeld, one thing that drives me batty is there is no tap temp or tempo nudge for the arp. Analog Four to the Rescue!

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Setup is pretty straight forward.

  1. Go into global settings on Analog Four and configure to transmit clock. See p. 44 of Analog Four manual.
  2. Hook up MIDI out from Analog Four to Blofeld in.
  3. In Blofeld global settings make sure you set clock to “Auto”. See p. o3 f the Blofeld Manual for info on global settings.

Now once you start a pattern on the Analog Four it' starts transmitting clock and any changes to tempo via direct tempo setting, nudge, or Tap Tempo are transmitted to Blofeld. See p. 28 of the for details of Analog Four manual on tempo manipulation.

I’m getting best sync results on the Blofeld so far by setting the arp to “on” not “hold” so I can time the down key to start on the beat with the Electron 4 – and then retrigger with next note on.

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Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Performer
Boulder, CO

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld

Alien Vanguard Soundset for Waldorf Blofeld by HG Fortune and Dimitri Schkoda

Waldorf has released a new sounds set – Alien Vanguard Soundset for Waldorf Blofeld by HG Fortune and Dimitri Schkoda.

What sets this Alien Vanguard soundset apart are the waves by HG Fortune, extending the sonic range of the Waldorf Blofeld into far outer space. This soundset features mostly patches for Ambient, Soundscapes and Atmospherics, but also some other classic stuff, for example, some bass and sequencer sounds for e.g. early TD type and related music.

Alien Vanguard (incl. waveset) by HG Fortune & Dimitri Schkoda (aka Inner Dreamer) includes two patchbanks with 128 patches each:

  • – AlienVanguard HGF-Bank-*.mid by HG Fortune 
  • – AlienVanguard ID-Bank-*.mid by Dimitri Schkoda

The soundset comes with 86 well chosen wave programs in 5 genres:

  • Cpl – complex i.e. mostly layered sounds 
  • Scp – soundscapes partly generated from images and as such showing some vivid sonic motion by itself 
  • Syn – synthesizer sounds 
  • Cho – synthetic choir sounds 
  • FX – effect sounds (spacey as well as natural like birds and water)

On request the waveset has been set to 86 wave programs in order to maintain space for the factory

set which does fit well along.

HG Fortune has been into synthesizers since 1975 and is well known for his very special VSTi plugin creations since 2003. Dimitri Schkoda aka Inner Dreamer is the most prolific patch designer and composer of demotracks for HGFortune VSTi plugins since late 2004.

Demos:

Long 15 Tracks Demo

Longer demo with 24 Patches

Demo Medley – very long

This soundset requires Blofeld Keyboard or Blofeld with installed License SL

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Sound Packs Synth: Largo Synth: Lector

The Waldorf Time Warp Weekend Sale Including License SL for Blofeld Desktop for Activating Sample Memory

Watch embedded video.

Waldorf has a sale going on this weekend. The time warp theme is related to European daylight savings time change which happens this Sunday. The sale is for this weekend only.

Use the discount codes in the video for your order and save up to 30% on

  • Largo
  • Waldorf Edition
  • Waldorf Edition Upgrade
  • PPG V3
  • Waldorf PPG Wave 3.V Upgrade
  • Lector
  • Atmospheric Transients
  • Jörg Schaafs Blofeld Xperience Vol 1
  • Blofeld License SL

Note, Waldorf’s virtual synths require eLicenser software (and can also be transferred to USB-eLicenser). This is normally a show stopper for me but I like Largo so much I made an exception to my rule.  If your curious how Largo compares to the Blofeld, checkout this post. You can download demos of the instruments first if to see if they are right for you.

Also note that License SL is on the list. So if you’ve been waiting to upgrade you’re your Blofeld Desktop to activate the sample memory now might be the time.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html
www.ModulateThis.com

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Mind Map Sound Design Synth: ElectraX Synth: Largo

Crowdsourced Mindmap: Synthesizers with Comb Filters

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I love comb filters! Buying a Waldorf Blofeld a few years back caused me to start using them even more because it’s interactive display allowed me to visualize the shape of the filter and correlate that with an audio result. Waldorf Largo and Tone2’s ElectraX also offer this feature.

What is a Comb Filter?

I like the definition on p. 49 of the Waldorf Blofeld Manual:

A Comb filter is basically a very short delay that can be controlled in length and feedback. The delay time is so short that you can’t hear its individual taps but a colorization of the original signal created by peaks or holes in the frequency spectrum. The frequency of the colorization is set by the delay length, which is controlled in the Blofeld through Cutoff, while the amount of colorization is set by the Comb filter feedback, which is controlled in the Blofeld by Resonance.

To further illustrate this, I’ve included a screenshot below which has the same filter type in Waldorf Largo, but with VERY different shapes simply  y changing cutoff and resonance.

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What Do Comb Filter’s Sound Like?

Stay tuned for a future article on this with some video.

Crowdsourced Mindmap of Synths with Comb Filters

 A week or so back I was curious how many synths in my rig had comb filters and started to document them in a mindmap. I decided to take things a step further and crowdsource this on Twitter and Facebook and make an even more comprehensive map. The map is constrained to just synthesizers with comb filters that are in production. It also doesn’t contain FX plug-ins or processors that have combs.

Click here to view an interactive version of this mindmap full screen.

http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/public_map_shell/153682725?width=550&height=400&zoom=1

The Crowd

Be Combtastic

Now get out there and crank on those comb filters!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html
www.ModulateThis.com

Mind Maps

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(Modulate This) Blofeld

Waldorf Blofeld Public Beta Firmware V1.16B2

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A few months back Kay Dee from Waldorf support has been participating in an unofficial Blofeld Facebook group. There has been discussion and buzz about Waldorf starting to work on a firmware update for the Blofeld including a thread where Kay requested feedback on new feature requirements. For those not familiar with Waldorf, they are a very small company and tend to focus the company on a product at time then rotate through to do updates.  It’s clear work has begun on a new update as evidenced by this interim bug fix update that’s now in beta.

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Interestingly, Waldorf announced this on a Facebook post as a first move even before posting on their web site. It’s a small touch, but a nice way to give back  to the FB group who’s been giving them feedback.

So what’s new in V1.16B2?

Blofeld Public Beta Firmware V1.16B2

– Fix for some units that exhibited occasional clicks with Reverb and/or Modwheel
– Less sensible [I think they mean “sensitive” so you don’t get erroneous values] encoder scanning for improved accuracy
– Possible fix for spurious 'Init' sound program deadlock situation
– Category search improved

Since the most annoying bugs are those that only occur on some units under
very specific circumstances, we would be happy about any feedback, positive
or negative, about this public beta firmware.

Please send you findings to blofeld@waldorfmusic.de

Your Waldorf Team

Be aware, this is a beta release. I installed it and works fine. Some people on the FB group are reporting that some patches that used to have “pops” in them have been cleaned up.

Links

 

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Sound Packs

Electric Body Machinery Soundset for Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer by Ari Ahrendt

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Waldorf has just released Electric Body Machinery  – a new Blofeld soundset by Soundset Ari Ahrendt.

This punchy soundset that covers everything for electronic music of the darker kind. Highly energetic sounds for areas such as EBM, Synth Pop, Dark Electro, Future Pop, Electro Wave and Minimal Electro Pop. All sounds on highest level of musical playability, usability and inspiration. Suitable for records, studio and especially for clubs and live performance! 128 Sounds for technically wide EBM basses, melodically sawing chaos leads, boombastic drums, shiny pads and strings, as well as inspring polysynth sounds enable you to make the dance-mob shake and stomp .

Use modulation wheel at own risk!

 

Here is a demosong called “Dark Lights”. According to the soundcloud notes, all sounds are created with Waldorf Blofeld including all drums, effects, spheres and modulations.

https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F31721747
Dark Lights – Waldorf Blofeld EBM Demo by ARIMUSIK

Sounds pretty damn awesome! The soundset is available via Waldorf’s online store for 30.00 €. Click here to learn more and buy.

I’ve also added this soundset to my Blofeld 411 Mindmap.

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Links

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Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html