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Wavetable Deathmatch: Waldorf Microwave XTK vs Waldorf Blofeld

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  • Wavetable Deathmatch: Waldorf Microwave XTK vs Waldorf Blofeld

    i had both of these instruments, the Waldorf Microwave XTk and the Blofeld, in my studio at the same time for a few days and decided to do a proper shootout of their pure wavetable sounds.

    people can argue about their UIs, features, and filters until they're blue in the face for all i care. IMHO the Blofeld wins on all of these things, especially on filter quality, user samples, and actual playability of endless rotaries. however my issue was that what i want out of a PPG-derived wavetable synthesiser is the best current approximation of the raw 8-bit sound of the Wave Computer 340/360 instruments.

    straight up i don't think either of these things totally nail it under scrutiny.

    that said, comparing them to the old PPG stuff on pure wavetable terms is a bit like comparing the x0xb0x to a TB-303 ... yeah side-by-side you might be able to tell a difference but when it comes down to brass tacks they both sound great in a mix. i would definitely say there's more of a difference between these two wavetable synths than there is between the x0xb0x and the TB-303.

    so anyway here's 38 minutes of rawdog wavetable madness, midi-synced for your pleasure. the first three and a half minutes are a patch i duplicated on the Blofeld based on a MWXTk patch i had made and liked. the rest of the time is spent blowing through wavetables on a single osc patch.

    on the Blofeld i was able to completely bypass the filter. on the MWXTk i was not, i had to set the Fc high enough with not just the cutoff knob but also the envelope so that the filter had no effect on the sound. i was not happy about this, and i prefer the Blofeld's option to shut it off.

    one channel is the Microwave XTk and the other is the Blofeld. no i'm not saying which is which for at least a week. please be my guest and make sweeping golden-ear generalisations about how one channel is garbage and the other is so perfect. that would be great.

    btw, i kept the Blofeld obvsly ...

    full-res wav downloads are enabled on this. please take advantage if you're serious:

    http://soundcloud.com/suitandtieguy/wavetable-deathmatch-mix

    main: http://suitandtieguy.com
    Lawrence Miles style rants: http://suitandtieguy.livejournal.com
    handbuilt boutique synthesiser modules: http://stgsoundlabs.com
    my digital albums: http://suitandtieguy.bandcamp.com

  • #2
    God damn both of then look just so sexy side by side!
    If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

    Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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    • #3
      I think they're going to make little Halloweeny black & orange babies.

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      • #4
        But seriously, this was exactly what I was looking for a year ago when I got my Blokeys. I'm glad somebody rolled up their sleeves and did the deed.

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        • #5
          thank you.

          i will say there are parameter range differences that make copying sounds from the XT to the Blofeld difficult. for example the modulation limiting on "PWM" (wavetable index) is logarithmic even though the response is linear. so a limit of 100 (out of 127) is actually like 30 percent of the wavetable. it's so irritating until you realise what's going on, and then it's still irritating but at least you know how to get the result you need.

          one of the problems with this test and my personal desires are that i don't have access to a Wavecomputer 360. i want to know which one of these two sounds more like that.

          but then i think to myself "well that top end was always getting lobbed off on the classic recordings anyway" and then you realise it might not make a difference at all except in a context which wouldn't even sound historically accurate.
          main: http://suitandtieguy.com
          Lawrence Miles style rants: http://suitandtieguy.livejournal.com
          handbuilt boutique synthesiser modules: http://stgsoundlabs.com
          my digital albums: http://suitandtieguy.bandcamp.com

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          • #6
            Thanks for taking time time to do this in depth comparison. I know I'm in the minority here but when the Blofeld was first released I wasn't too impressed by the sound(even tho Doc T's demos are always quite good). Had a XTK years ago and loved it so it's a sound I've always missed.

            These comparisons are quite close, and I want to give the demo a second listen before commiting to a guess.

            update:
            I don't know what you're doing differently but on every youtube demo I listened to there is a lot of noise coming from the Blofeld. Even from the Japanese guy who does exceptional synth demos. It was on every patch, not just a few.

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            • #7
              I know I'm in the minority here but when the Blofeld was first released I wasn't too impressed by the sound.


              i should point out that there's like 4 thousand presets that ship with this thing and every one of them is completely and totally useless. they're so complex and big you'd have to build a track around them and that's stupid.

              but quite frankly no one should buy a synthesiser based on the presets. it would just be nice if maybe one of the hundreds of presets could actually be used in a mix or played at a gig.
              main: http://suitandtieguy.com
              Lawrence Miles style rants: http://suitandtieguy.livejournal.com
              handbuilt boutique synthesiser modules: http://stgsoundlabs.com
              my digital albums: http://suitandtieguy.bandcamp.com

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              • #8
                i owned both too. but later i sold the XT. whatever i (!) did with the XT i can do it with the blofeld too...

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                • #9
                  ...except bipolar envelopes, that are only found in the XT.
                  If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                  Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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                  • #10
                    ...except bipolar envelopes, that are only found in the XT.


                    what do you mean?
                    main: http://suitandtieguy.com
                    Lawrence Miles style rants: http://suitandtieguy.livejournal.com
                    handbuilt boutique synthesiser modules: http://stgsoundlabs.com
                    my digital albums: http://suitandtieguy.bandcamp.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Modulation envelopes that are bipolar are only available on Wave XT(k), Blofeld doesn't have them, as far as I know. arnte said whatever he can do with XT, he can do with the Blo. That's mostly true, except for bipolar envelopes.
                      If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                      Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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                      • #12
                        ...except bipolar envelopes, that are only found in the XT.


                        blofelds mod matrix is bipolar. so it's possible to use the envs inverted too. right?

                        but of course, there are some features in the XT that aren't in the blofeld. but whatever i used is also available in the blofeld (and much more...).

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                        • #13
                          That's ok but you still cannot go from absolute +1 to absolute -1 in one envelope, like you can on XT.
                          If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                          Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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                          • #14
                            yeah but quite frankly it's made up for by the fact that you can actually turn the knobs more than half a degree at a time.
                            main: http://suitandtieguy.com
                            Lawrence Miles style rants: http://suitandtieguy.livejournal.com
                            handbuilt boutique synthesiser modules: http://stgsoundlabs.com
                            my digital albums: http://suitandtieguy.bandcamp.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Still not quite the same, though, I bet.
                              If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                              Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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