Considering a Blofeld Desktop

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3803
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:20 am

RonF wrote: Its a shame that Waldorf, as a company, doesn't have the resources anymore to put the Blofeld synth engine in the hardware casing it deserves....but alas they don't. None the less... the Blofeld represents the pinnacle of Waldorf's lineage of synth design, and they have really done well with these concepts over the years. BTW....the current versions of the Blofeld OS, and hardware, are pretty bulletproof in my experience. So, perhaps get a black one (new release)....and enjoy with confidence!
Well, supposedly the Stromberg is being worked on...

User avatar
tallowwaters
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4998
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:11 am
Gear: LC-MS/MS
Location: snake's belly in a wagon rut

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by tallowwaters » Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:37 pm

_dan wrote:@tallowwaters
This is very encouraging, thanks! I'll have to do a little digging on the software/ multitibmral issue. As long as it only pertains to the software I'm good, I have some sort of wierd eye condition where focusing on a computer screen or TV for more than 5 minutes is painful.
Damn, terribly sorry, I used "software" synonymously with "firmware."

But yeah, it's an amazing synth, and I doubt you'll have any real problems.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

User avatar
Shleed
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:00 pm
Real name: Ashley Dolan
Gear: Doepfer A100
MFB Synth II
Waldorf Blofeld
Korg MS20 Mini
Ensoniq EPS-16+
TT303
TX81Z
Band: Shledge
Location: Loughborough, UK

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by Shleed » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:11 pm

Firmware 1.16b fixed most of the issues with multimode and most general bugs.

Since having mine for over half a year now, I'm quite happy with it. Sure it's a bit buggy and has reports of dodgy encoders, but mine has held up fine so far. It sounds brilliant and there's so much to do in it that you don't know where to start. FM with samples? Check. Extensive mod routing? Check. User Wavetables/Samples? Check. You get the idea.

User avatar
th0mas
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1349
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:27 pm
Gear: oakley tm3030/mopho keys/midibox sid/tr-707/tama techstars/monotron
Band: GRAVITRONIC
Location: Ontario
Contact:

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by th0mas » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:12 pm

I owned one a few years ago.

The good:
I loved it and probably haven't been as productive in sound creation with any synth since.

It had the encoder problem which sucked. All encoders are rated for an X turn lifetime so they'll all degrade eventually but iirc the blofeld was shipping with 10,000 turn encoders on the main encoder which was not high enough for a high traffic encoder.

Mine also had very noisy outputs but I think it's possible something was a bit off with the unit as the headphone socket didn't work. Dunno. It still made great sounds.

The sampling addition was a let down though for the price as you had to load all the samples in at the same time and I spent hours setting up a bunch of c64 single-cycle waves, and imported them only to find the hardware didn't transpose the same way spectre had previewed the sounds

Hugo76
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1431
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by Hugo76 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:44 pm

I forgot to mention: apart from the knobs not being the best, my only complaint about the Blofeld was the effect section. There could definately be some more types, but more importantly, there should be more simultaneous efx. I think the max is two, and there are even limitations to what effects can be used at the same time. This seriously hampers multi timbral operation.

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3803
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:45 pm

th0mas wrote: Mine also had very noisy outputs but I think it's possible something was a bit off with the unit as the headphone socket didn't work. Dunno. It still made great sounds.
Perchance did you have it connected by USB-midi and connected through a USB audio interface?

User avatar
_dan
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:38 pm

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by _dan » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:44 pm

Another question about the Blofeld Desktop unit: can phrases/arpeggios be triggered/demo'd while editing patches or multi's without the use of an external device?

I found no mention in the reference manual or forums. Seems a no brainer that it 'should' be an option...
_dan
========================
soundcloud.com/fy_11
Micron, Motif XF8, Reaper
========================

User avatar
Shleed
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:00 pm
Real name: Ashley Dolan
Gear: Doepfer A100
MFB Synth II
Waldorf Blofeld
Korg MS20 Mini
Ensoniq EPS-16+
TT303
TX81Z
Band: Shledge
Location: Loughborough, UK

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by Shleed » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:28 am

Nope.

User avatar
_dan
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:38 pm

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by _dan » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:00 am

Damn...
_dan
========================
soundcloud.com/fy_11
Micron, Motif XF8, Reaper
========================

User avatar
th0mas
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1349
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:27 pm
Gear: oakley tm3030/mopho keys/midibox sid/tr-707/tama techstars/monotron
Band: GRAVITRONIC
Location: Ontario
Contact:

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by th0mas » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:22 am

_dan wrote:Another question about the Blofeld Desktop unit: can phrases/arpeggios be triggered/demo'd while editing patches or multi's without the use of an external device?

I found no mention in the reference manual or forums. Seems a no brainer that it 'should' be an option...
Nope, this was really annoying.

User avatar
_dan
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:38 pm

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by _dan » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:34 am

Thats a deal beaker for me...why create a perfectly portable unit and then doom it to be tethered to something. It seems like a simple note on/off toggle could be tied into a menu or button combo without too much effort. I'll still pick it up to check it out, but I think I'll wind up returning it.

Thanks again for the advice everyone!
_dan
========================
soundcloud.com/fy_11
Micron, Motif XF8, Reaper
========================

User avatar
tallowwaters
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4998
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:11 am
Gear: LC-MS/MS
Location: snake's belly in a wagon rut

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by tallowwaters » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:26 pm

Maybe it's time somebody invented a tiny MIDI button for auditioning. It can't be that difficult, right?
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:00 pm

The Mopho and Tetra have that push it button and to be honest I don't think I've ever used it on my tetra. It's assignable to a bunch of different stuff but I'd rather just plug a keyboard or sequencer into it and be done with it. How much would you really need a button like this? I could whip one up in an afternoon with an arduino and a midi shield, but then if you're going to do that you might as well add a whole bunch of extra stuff, you've got the processing power. It would pretty quickly end up being something like the beat707, which although cool is a bit more than a button.

kvnvk
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 4:52 am

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by kvnvk » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:15 pm

I can see the appeal of the trigger button, the two times I owned a DSI Evolver that's exclusively how I used it, made for a quite convenient and compact live set up.
Dan, you mentioned the Korg Radias earlier, if being able to trigger sounds, sequences, etc and tweak in real time from the module itself is that important maybe you should have another look at the it. I own both it and a desktop Blofeld and size wise the Radias is maybe twice as big at most, still quite portable. of course when it comes to sound quality the Korg isn't going to sound as rich and full as the Blofeld, especially for bass and other lower frequency sounds, but surprisingly I find there are areas where they do tend to overlap. seriously, ignore all the youtube trance demos as someone else already mentioned.

User avatar
_dan
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:38 pm

Re: Considering a Blofeld Desktop

Post by _dan » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:50 pm

The beat 707 does look really cool... kinda makes me think about canabalizing old syths to make a modular VA beast :twisted: If the Blofeld sound feels right then I should go that route: Find a tiny midi trigger that can send a note on/off with the option of selecting the Tx channel and just take advantage of the key hold feature.

For me, the appeal of the audition button was that I could have a mobile sketchpad for tracking or patch play. I figured if i could somehow audition/mix and match up to sixteen patterns with plenty of poly then I'd have a primitive pattern arranger. That, plus the size of the blofeld makes it ideal for smuggling the unit into inappropriate places for covert synth jams.

...If the Blofeld does not work out I'll move on to the Radius. (@ kvnvk): You are right, with the exception of generous multitimbral capabilities and excessive pattern storage it definitely fits the bill. And I know it would lead more creative tweaks with all of those knobs staring back at me :)

Really off topic, but there are alot of brains here so I'll risk it. The VSE Micron review states "The Micron has 8-voice polyphony with three oscillators per voice, and is 4-part multitimbral" .: The micron is in fact 26 (A-Z) parts multi timbral (which is important for pattern matrix style comping). The Ion was 4 part, so maybe one of the earlier micron OS's may have been four part.. I've never seen one. I'm pretty new here, so I don't know the protocol. Should I bring this to anyone?
_dan
========================
soundcloud.com/fy_11
Micron, Motif XF8, Reaper
========================

Post Reply