Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld

SampleRobot 4 Multi-X and Single-X Released with Support for Waldorf Blofeld

SR_4_Single_X_Blofeld

I just saw this announcement over on http://www.waldorfmusic.de/.

 

SampleRobot 4 is the name of Blofeld's new accomplice. Creating multisamples for Blofeld has never been easier with the help of SampleRobot, as it automatically samples existing instruments. It saves all samples as WAV and assignment information in XML format, ready to be transferred into Blofeld using Spectre. SampleRobot 4 is available from SkyLife, a special Single-X version for Blofeld starts at only 39,00 Euro, the luxury version is available here. This is not only the perfect companion for Blofeld but also for Lector, which can load multisamples in XML format too.  Requires Blofeld Keyboard, Blofeld with License SL installed or Lector. More information here.

Here is some detail SampleRobot’s page on the Single-X version.

 

SampleRobot 4 Single-X contains the application and more than 800 MB of premium samples in Soundfont 2 file format.

SampleRobot 4 Single-X is a completely new and for all musicians and producers affordable version of the well-known sampling software. Single-X stands for single export.

This download of SampleRobot Single-X support the following export format:

Waldorf Blofeld (*.xml)

With SampleRobot 4 Single-X you can easily do automatic sampling of acoustic and electronic instruments. Remote control your MIDI gear and sample all sound nuances fully automatically.

The graphical interface is very easy to use. You can achieve excellent results with just a few mouse clicks.

SampleRobot 4 Single-X works with Windows XP / Vista / 7 and also under Bootcamp and Parallels Desktop for Mac on Intel Macintosh Computers

Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Synth: Largo

Waldorf Largo vs Blofeld

image

I own both the Waldorf Blofeld keyboard edition plus the virtual instrument Largo so I thought I’d offer some notes on what is the same and what is different.

98% The Same

First let me say that Largo is indeed a Blofeld expressed as a virtual instrument. I’d say that the patch architecture about 98% similar. If you programmed a patch on either using parameters common to both without effects the resultant output would almost identical with just slight variance in timbre you’d expect from hardware vs software implementations. The parameter differences are not simply that one has more features than another -each has exclusive features, and some cases – such as effects – the features are similar but implemented differently.

I’ve created a mindmap to illustrate only the differences. Green highlights on a branch indicate which synth is better in a particular area.

View embedded map full-size
http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/public_map_shell/106790260/waldorf-largo-vs-blofeld-by-www-modulatethis-com?width=450&height=400&zoom=0

Which is Right For You?

This depends on your priorities. If your primary goal is programming patches from scratch and you don’t care about samples being used as oscillator sources, Largo has a bigger sonic range in my opinion. If you want to use samples, you have to go with the Keyboard or Desktop Edition with License SL. The effects processor section is definitely stronger in Largo, especially the chorus. The color coding in the mindmap should help you make your choice.

Why Do I have Both?

I got the Blofeld first and fell in love with Waldorf waveforms, oscillators, filters, and architecture. I actually got the desktop, then sold it to get the keyboard edition for studio and jam use. However, my current performance rig is laptop-based and fits in two carry-ons (including my controllers) and I didn’t have room haul even the desktop Blofeld. So by adding Largo I have that Waldorf sound and architecture on my laptop and can use it in live performances out of town. Largo’s effects – especially the chorus are also quite fantastic. As a matter of fact, I have a new song on the upcoming album that was built almost exclusively around one patch where I do crazy things with the chorus using automation from dummy clips in Ableton Live.

Using Blofeld as a Dedicated Hardware Interface for Largo

The company Touch Digital Controllers is getting some buzz around their dedicated ImpOSCar2 hardware controller. What you might not know is that you can do something similar on the Waldorf side by using Blofeld as a dedicated control surface for Largo. This is possible because Waldorf designed both Largo and Blofeld such that each parameter has a corresponding MIDI CCs (which is how third party editors communication with Blofeld). That being said, I don’t think this is currently an intended use as it’s not document, a bit fiddly, and as you can see from the mindmap there are architectural differences. Also, some parameters like waveshape number are 0-based on Blofeld and 1-based on Largo (Blofled uses waveshape 0 as oscillator off where Largo has a dedicated parameter for this). So while it works it’s a bit sketchy.

Wish List

I wish that Waldorf will go a step further with both synths to bring them to parity and line up synth parameters such that we all could could:

  1. Use Largo as a VST/AU editor for Blofeld
  2. Use Blofeld as a control surface for Largo
  3. Add sample support to Largo
  4. Share patches between both.

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

http://modulatethis.com/
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


Thanks for reading,

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Electronic Musician, Producer
Boulder, CO
ModulateThis.com


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Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld

How to Make Your Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer Go to 11!

As you walk through the factory patches, you might notice some patches are louder than others. Or perhaps you programmed your own patch and can’t quite get it to be loud enough to be in balance with other patches in your set. Here are a few quick tips to take a quieter patch and make it go to 11.

Make Sure the Amp Volume is set to 127
image

Hit the “Shift” button and navigate to the “Amplifier Page”. Verify that overall “Volume” is set to 127. Note the “Velocity” parameter is a global patch parameter that determines how much velocity effects volume. If you play with a light touch, you might want to take this parameter down some. If it is set to 0 velocity does not effect the volume.

Crank Up Your Oscillator Volumes
image

Make sure the oscillators that are active are high enough for your needs. Click the Oscillator button in the matrix to turn select the first menu for Oscillators, and crank the 4th knob over. Repeat for other oscillators.

This Parameter Goes to 11!
SNAGHTML5142362[4]

Now for the secret sauce. Let’s say you have a patch and all the levels are perfect and in balance, yet it’s still too quite relative to other patches in your set. You can get a volume boost quickly with on parameter set, Filter Drive.

The “Tube” drive curve with values down in the teens can add a volume boost without distortion. To make the patch rip the audience’s face off, set the value to 127! Experiment with other drive curves.

More Blofeld Please
I hope you found these tips helpful. You can view other posts on the Blofeld category of Modulate This here.

I’m slowly working on some patches that I plan to make available as a library down the road. If you’d like to be notified opt-in to the Modulate This! mailing list and check the box for “Patches for Waldorf Blofeld”

image

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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 Blofeld Desktop & Keyboard Special Edition in Black

 image

Waldorf is releasing my favorite hardware synthesizer in black as a limited edition. As always, I love their tongue-in-cheek marketing on this.

Deep in the subterranean Waldorf Laboratories, our scientists have finally discovered the finish that delivers the best sound. We almost had forgot about them when the resurfaced and proudly presented the result of their almost endless struggle to find the ideal material: Neither Mauve nor Lavender nor Ochre result in optimal sound, but a special electron absorbing coating in deep black.

The explanation is simple: as more absorbed electrons reach the inner digital and analog workings of Blofeld and casue each bit to be stronger pronounced, resulting in a very defined and detailled sound. This makes our new Black Blofeld sound even better than before. The new black Blofeld is produced 100% in German Schwarzarbeit and is available only on the black market.

According to a Matrix Synth post on this, this is a limited edition run of 250 units.

More here http://www.waldorfmusic.de/.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com

patchlab.modulatethis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld

Waldorf Synthesizer Web Site Refresh

image

I noticed a few days back that Waldorf Music re-designed their website. It’s simple, clean and easy to navigate.

They pulled the phonetic bad German accent marketing copy from the Blofeld desktop page :^(. If you wait long enough, there is still a Blofeld villain picture on the page :^). Also note they’ve added a new music player with samples.

image

Mark Mosher
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.Modulatethis.com

Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Tetra

Waldorf Blofeld vs Dave Smith Tetra Synthesizers

blofeld_vs_tetra  
Modulate This reader Deman recently commented on a post from February entitle “Blofeld LFOs Gone Mad” – One Patch Performance Series. Deman wanted to know which I preferred, the Blofeld or the Tetra.

Well Deman,  while I’ve only played the Blofeld, I did consider the Tetra so I did some research on both before going with Blofeld. I’ve put together a table highlighting the major differences below.

Update 3/3/2013: Updated pricess since original Post

  Blofeld Tetra
Price $699 $499 $799 $849
Sound Generation Circuit-models of analog waveforms: Pulse with variable pulse-width, sawtooth, triangle, sine wave, wavetables that were introduced by the Waldorf Q and appeared shortly thereafter in the Micro Q series. 100% analog signal path. 2 – analog sawtooth, triangle, saw/triangle, square with variable pulse width.
Synthesis Types Subtractive/FM/Wavetable Subtractive
Multi-Mode 16 Splits/Layers with 2 outs Four-part multitimbral capability with four separate outputs.
Polyphony 25 4
Display 128×64 LCD 2 line LED
Non-Volatile Sample Playback Memory

64 Meg of Non-Volatile Ram wih SL Option
99.00 €

No
FX 2 Independent FX Processors None
USB Yes, Third-Party Editors Yes, Manufacturer supplied editor

Arpeggiator

Both synths have strong arpeggiator/step-sequencer capabilities. Here is a summary as described by the manufacturers:

Blofeld Arpeggiator (From the Blofeld Web Site)

Okay, Blofeld’s arpeggiator could very well become the biggest chapter of this page but let’s try to keep it short…

It features variable clock divisions from 1/64 triplets to more than 1000 bars, with variable swing/shuffle, a range of up to 10 octaves. Up, down and alternate figures, selectable play order from low to high note, low to high velocity, as played or reversed, variable note length, different velocity modes. And Hold or One-Shot, if you like.

But more importantly, it has the most powerful Pattern Editor we have ever seen.

You can set each Step to either play the note it would do so anyway, to pause, to play the previous note again, play the first or the last note, play those together, play a chord consisting of all held notes or a randomly selected note.

Then you can adjust the Accent of each step (including silence), activate or deactivate Glide for each step, set the timing to play a step ahead or behind its nominal time, and finely adjust the note length between short staccato and full legato.

No wonder this arpeggiator had great reviews when it first appeared in the Waldorf Q. It will take you straight to arpeggiator-heaven, as has already happened to thousands of Waldorf customers. Dig it!

Tetrai Arpeggiator (From the Tetra Manual P. 35)

Tetra features a 4 x 16 “analog-style” step sequencer that can generate four separate sequence tracks of up to 16 steps each. Each of the 4 voices has its own sequencer. Individual sequencer tracks can be routed to any standard modulation destination (see the table on page 35). Using VCA Envelope as a destination, for example, varies the volume of each step; a destination of Filter or Filter Envelope Amount will produce different filter settings per step. Typically, however, at least one sequence is routed to an oscillator to control pitch.

The sequencer is a “gated” sequencer. That is, a note must be played, either from the PUSH IT switch or via MIDI, in order for the sequence to be heard and it will continue to play as long as the note is held (gated).

Note: The PUSH IT switch’s Toggle parameter enables notes (and,
therefore, sequences) to be latched on for sustained playback.

The Clock Parameters determine the note value/tempo of the sequencer. The actual gate duration for each step is fixed at half the step time. Use the envelopes to generate notes of longer or shorter duration.

One very useful way to modulate a parameter in sync with a sequence is using LFOs with sync; LFO frequency runs from 0 to 150, after which you can select the sync settings. A setting of 16 Steps for LFO Frequency with a Triangle wave selected and routed to the filter will provide a clean filter sweep over a 16 step
sequence, perfectly in sync! This is much easier (and smoother) than programming a filter sweep using sequence steps.
28.

Conclusion
In a nutshell, Tetra is a strong choice for those looking for a pure-analog solution in a very small desktop form factor. Blofeld is the choice for those looking for a more versatile solution in the sound design department with a more workstation-like set of features (16 splits/layers, built-in FX, option for non-volatle sample memory…). The large LCD display makes the and MIDI matrix make the Blofeld experience similar to using a soft synth on a computer.

I am in the latter category and was also looking for more bang-for-the-buck so I chose the Blofeld. I also felt the virtual analog was quite good. If I had extra budget for an analog desktop unit would I buy a Tetra? You betcha.

Links

Blofled Tetra

 


Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Checkout my updated and fresh artist site:  www.markmoshermusic.com
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Categories
(Modulate This) Blofeld Synths & Instruments (Hardware)

New Waldorf Blofeld Firmware V1.15

image

I know, I know, three Blofled posts in two days. Sorry about that. Next post won’t be Blofeld, I promise.

Anyway, Blofeld 1.15 Firmware is now online. Update includes:

  • MIDI Clock reception improvement
  • System Exclusive handling
  • Workaround for USB on Apple computers
  • Sample/Wavetable start as Modulation Destination
  • User Wavetables
  • Changing Multi Programs via Bank MSB (CC#0) value 127
  • Local Off for Blofeld Keyboard
  • Minor bugfixes

I can personally vouch that this update fixes a bug for sending Multi dumps back to the Blofeld. Can't wait to try "Sample/Wavetable start as Modulation Destination ".

  • Visit http://www.waldorfmusic.de/en/news for more info. Download the firmware from here.
  • Mark Mosher
    Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
    www.ModulateThis.com
    www.MarkMosherMusic.com
    www.REBOOTalbum.com

    Categories
    (Modulate This) Blofeld Synths & Instruments (Hardware)

    Top 10 Things I Love about the Waldorf Blofeld

    I’ve been going on about the Waldorf Blofeld a bit. As you know, I’m pertty much 100% laptop based with piles of VSTs and many have been asking me why I’ve added a hardware synth and why I picked the Blofeld.

    To put it simply, there are times when I just don’t want to mess with a computer and I’m looking for instant-on. However, if I was going to go with a hardware synth, I wanted something that would compliment my Ableton Live rig. In a nutshell, a synth that:

    • I could throw in a backpack
    • Had contemporary sound with built-in fx
    • Had a strong interface that would allow quick tweaking with visual feedback without using a computer
    • Supported Mutli-Mode so I could pair with Tenori-On
    • Had a USB and MIDI In so I could use it with either a computer or a generic MIDI controller
    • Had an option for loading and playing back sample-data
    • Was affordable

    While there are a number of instruments in the sub $1,000 range, I found the Blofled to have the richest and widest variety of features at a great price point that met my requirements. After using it for a few months I’m still very happy with my decision.

    What are my favorite features? Checkout my top-10 list below.

    10 Build Quality/Form Factor – A metal enclosure with 7 endless metal knobs. It’s built like a tank. It’s also heavier than you might think so the weight of the cables won’t pull it off your stand or controller. It’s plenty small enough to fit in a backpack.

    9 Quick Editing – The physical parameter matrix with default mappings set to common parameters is fantastic.image

    8 16 Channel Multi-Mode 
    image
     
    Like the Tenori-On 16 layer sequencing model find yourself wishing for an a more aggressive pallet? Blofeld 16 channel Multi-Mode is a great answer. You can setup splits and layers making this perfect for gigging.

    6 Computer-Like Display Without a Computer 
    Waldorf Blofeld  Filter 
    The display is fantastic. It’s like using a soft synth. You see immediate feedback of envelopes, waveshapes etc… when you manipulate parameters.

    5 Robust Synth Engine
    Subtractive, wavetable, FM, adequate sample playback, built-in FX, arpeggiator… there is plenty under the hood for producing a wide variety of sounds and for those who like to program. Ships with more than 1,000 sounds for those who want to play and not program.

    4 Ability to Load Your Own Samples and Use them as Oscillator Sources
    The keyboard edition, or the desktop edition with the License SL option support 60M of non-volatile sample RAM which can be managed via a software app called – wait for it – Spectre :^)

    3 A Killer Modulate Matrix
    A 16 slots matrix! Includes the ability to assign custom MIDI CC’s to 4 controls W-Z (see my previous post for more on this).

    2 Huge Sonic Palette
    I personally love it. It can be warm, harsh, metalic, and you can radically change the character of a sound via the user interface or through MIDI control. I posted this previously, but if you missed it, check out this sample
    Blofeld LFOs Gone Mad – One Patch Performance Series.

    1 The Name 
    Blofeld_villian 
    And my number 1 favorite – why the name of course. I love Waldorf’s tongue-in-cheek naming and Bond branding. Check out the official product page to see what I’m talking about.

    Links:

    By the way, I’m not affiliated with Waldorf – just a fan :^). I also want to thank Jeff at Sweetwater who answered many questions and did some research for me before I bough the Blofleld – and no, I’m not affiliated with Sweetwater either.

    Mark Mosher
    Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
    www.ModulateThis.com
    www.MarkMosherMusic.com
    www.REBOOTalbum.com

    Categories
    Ableton Live AudioCubes Blofeld

    My Blofeld + Ableton Live + Lpk25 + AudioCube Couch Potato Setup

    markmoshermusic_couch_audiocube_lpk25

    I wanted to create a small couch-friendly setup where I could play the Waldorf Blofeld with my little Akai LPK25 Controller and an AudioCube. Here is how I set it all up.

    AudioCube Configuration
    I use Percussa’s MIDI bridge to configure a sensor cube so that face 1-4 send CCs 10-13 (click image to enlarge).
    audiocubes_sensor

    Blofeld Global Configuration
    The Blofled supports custom mapping of 4 CCs to controllers that are labeled W,X,Y,Z. Hold down “Shift”+”Global” to access the global params and turn the Display Parameter Dial to access the “Global Controls” page. In my case, i set W-Z to 10-13 respectively to match the CC numbers coming from the AudioCube.blofeld_w

    Blofeld Patch Modification
    Now I modify any patch to respond to AudioCube modulation by going to the Matrix menu and then setting W-Z as sources. In the example below I map Z (AudioCube Face 4) with Ring Modulation Level.blofeld_z_to_rmod

    Ableton Live Configuration
    imageAbleton Live 8 is running on a laptop which is the hub that makes this all work. The LPK25, Blofeld, and AudioCube are plugged in via USB and configured as MIDI devices in Live options. I create a Midi Track and specify the Blofeld as the output and arm the track.

    At this point MIDI is merged from the LPK 25 and Percussa MIDI Bridge and sent through to the Blofeld allowing me to rock out from the comfort of my couch.

    Mark Mosher
    Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
    www.ModulateThis.com
    www.MarkMosherMusic.com
    www.REBOOTalbum.com

    Categories
    (Modulate This) Blofeld Synths & Instruments (Hardware)

    Free Waldorf Blofeld Soundset

    image

    Quick post to share this find. 128 sounds from Boele Gerkes and Holger Steinbrink for the Blofeld. Download from here.

    Mark Mosher
    Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
    www.ModulateThis.com

    Categories
    (Modulate This) Blofeld Synths & Instruments (Hardware)

    Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer 411

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time working with the wonderful Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer. I put together an interactive mindmap of things I’ve learned that will help you understand the differences between the keyboard and desktop version including the License SL sampling option. Along the way I’ve also found many links and utilities (such as computer editor/librarians).

    Click here to view the interactive mindmap on mindmeiseter.

    blofeld-411

    View the interactive map on Mindmeister.com

     

     

     

    Mark Mosher
    Composer, Sound Designer, Consultant
    Boulder, CO

    http://www.modulatethis.com
    http://www.markmoshermusic.com
    http://www.twitter.com/markmosher

    image
    Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
    Buy on iTunes

    Categories
    (Modulate This) Blofeld ONE PATCH PERFORMANCE Sound Design

    “Blofeld LFOs Gone Mad” – One Patch Performance Series

    blofeld_lfos_gone_mad 

    In the past I’ve posted “One Patch Performances” series tracks as videos. I decided to add Soundcloud as an additional publishing method for posting these short performances as I really like it’s timeline-based commenting system.

    Blofeld LFOs Gone Mad”
    For this performance I am playing Blofeld factory patch H005 DCS3 Bubbles and I’m changing modulation parameters in real-time. This preset has interesting modulation routings in that LFO 1 modulates the speed of LFO2. Mod wheel controls speed of LFO1.

    I think this performance also shows off the huge sonic range of the Waldorf Blofeld. Using this one preset and modulation, the Bolfeld produces timbers that are bell-like, bubbly, wet, warm, harsh and metallic. I’m also using knobs and keyboard scaling to control motion. It’s just an amazing synth. See my annotations on what I'm doing across the timeline.

    http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fmarkmosher%2Fblofeld-lfos-gone-mad
    Blofeld LFOs Gone Mad on Soundcloud by MarkMosher. Download embedded MP3.

    Mark Mosher
    Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
    Louisville/Denver/Boulder

    http://www.modulatethis.com
    http://www.markmoshermusic.com
    http://www.twitter.com/markmosher

    image
    Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
    Buy on iTunes

    Categories
    (Modulate This) Blofeld

    “From Germany With Love” I Reenter the Programmable Hardware Synthesizer World with Waldorf Blofeld

    markmosher_blofeld_knobs

    Since 2006 I’ve been working exclusively with virtual synthesizers. Prior to this I spent years, and years – uh, and years working with digital hardware synthesizers and samplers. I’ve officially reentered the programmable hardware synthesis realm when I took delivery of my new Waldorf Blofeld yesterday.

    I’ll post more on why I went with Blofeld and what I’ll be doing with it in the future. For now, enjoy some synth porn. Click the pictures below to see larger versions.

    markmosher_blofeld_withlove

    markmosher_blofeld_matrix 

    Mark Mosher
    Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
    Louisville/Denver/Boulder

    http://www.modulatethis.com
    http://www.markmoshermusic.com
    http://www.twitter.com/markmosher

    image
    Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
    Buy on iTunes