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) Contollerism MIDI Sound Design

CME Xkey Tip: Latching Sustain for Drones and Arps

I use my Xkey 25 Air pretty much every day in the studio. No matter what state my studio wiring is in, I can just turn this bad boy on and I’ve got velocity, pressure, mod wheel, pitch bend and octave shifts at my fingertips.

Because it’s so compact with no knobs to snap off – I also throw it in my pack for experimental ensemble sessions and performance where I don’t want to bring a lot of gear. In these situations I don’t want to have use a finger to hold the sustain button for drones and/or holding notes for synths that don’t support arp latch (U-He synths for example).

The good news is you can configure the button to toggle the sustain pedal on and off. Open the Xkey editor then:

xkey-sustain-switch

  1. Press “Read Selected from Xkey” button in the interface to load the current settings of the Xkey into the editor.
  2. Click the sustain button in the editor’s interface
  3. Change mode from “Push” to “Switch”
  4. Make sure the CC Number is set to “CC64: Hold Pedal On/Off”
  5. Press the “Save modified to Xkey” to save changes back to Xkey

That’s it! Now when you press the sustain button, it will toggle on as if you were holding the button down (or your foot on a sustain pedal). Press it again, and the sustain releases.

Drone on!

Mark Mosher
Sound Designer and Teacher of Synth Tech & Technique
http://ModulateThis.com