Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciated)

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Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciated)

Postby HalloweenJack » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:14 pm

I'd like to add a real analog to my synths, I want to add some more colours to my sonic palette...

At the beginning I was thinking mainly at a poly, but then changed my mind and now I'm considering a mono synth instead...actually I'm not so much interested in reissues, I'm not a "purist", I'm more interested in exploring new, modern, sound possibilities instead of a classic, vintage sound...from this point of view the Waldorf Pulse 2 looks like a no brainer, 3 DCOs, multimode filters, lots of modulations, arpeggiator, cheap etc. etc. , the fact that is a module is a plus for me since I don't have much space, also is not an issues the matrix/knob interactions since I'm more into editing than real time modifications, but when I search online for real users experiences I have mixed feeling, I mean I have the impression that this synth which, reading the specifications, should be an istant modern classic, is not so much loved , and for me it's not clear why...

Next week I will have the opportunity to test one, in the meantime I'm asking impressions, advices at this useful community :D

P.S: another option could be the Bass Station 2?
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby Ned Bouhalassa » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:38 pm

It's a wonderful, rich, deep, intense, fun instrument. I loved mine, but had to give it up to make room and money for something else. You're right that it's not as appreciated as it could be, given the serious synth that it is! Well-built, well thought out, great sound, tons of presets, arp CV out, et. I give it 5 on 5.
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby meatballfulton » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:46 am

I think the small number of knobs has led many people to pass on it.

The fact that it's a module probably also has hurt it's popularity, but who needs another two octave mini keyboard?
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby HalloweenJack » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:40 am

Thank you both for your reply!

Yes, I do think that the lack of knobs has something to do with its under appreciation...

What about paraphony? Does it give some interesting results (i.e. there's room for experimentation or is a very limited affair)?

Obvioulsy any other comments on the Pulse 2 are welcome!
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby Rokk » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:07 pm

I had great interest in it and wanted to buy it, but I like to test drive anything I buy, so I went to a music store with my own headphones. The sound impressed me a lot. It's clean, very hi-fi, modern sounding with lots of low end. It's a bit on the smiley-face side as far as the EQ curve is concerned and that can be a good thing. The vast modulation options are great, but, and a big BUT: I find it a pain to program. I'm used to either a knob per function interfaces or softsynths, where you see the whole architecture. I find these hardware synths with watered down interfaces very unattractive. It's not that it's horrible, but if I use hardware I want a good, fast interface. So, yeah, it was the interface that has put me off.
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:05 am

It sounds great, the interface I can live with, but the price compared to other recent analog monosynths is kind of high especially for one with that much of a reduced interface.
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby HalloweenJack » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:33 pm

Rokk wrote:I had great interest in it and wanted to buy it, but I like to test drive anything I buy, so I went to a music store with my own headphones. The sound impressed me a lot. It's clean, very hi-fi, modern sounding with lots of low end. It's a bit on the smiley-face side as far as the EQ curve is concerned and that can be a good thing. The vast modulation options are great, but, and a big BUT: I find it a pain to program. I'm used to either a knob per function interfaces or softsynths, where you see the whole architecture. I find these hardware synths with watered down interfaces very unattractive. It's not that it's horrible, but if I use hardware I want a good, fast interface. So, yeah, it was the interface that has put me off.


Thank you for sharing your experience, yes, I will test it because, like you I don't buy anything without hearing by myself how it sounds and again, yes, :D , I understand your point of view regarding the interface, but you are talking to someone who have edited sounds on FM synths for years ;) , mainly DX7 and FS1R, and I think that these synths have the worst user interface ever :( , so I don't think that the Pulse 2 UI will pull me off, I've already been in UI h**l :D , but again, I totally understand your point of view since I now understand, with my Roland V Synth, the beauty and the joy of editing sounds with an amazing and clever and clear user interface :D


Ashe37 wrote:It sounds great, the interface I can live with, but the price compared to other recent analog monosynths is kind of high especially for one with that much of a reduced interface.


Thank you Ashe for your advice, here in Italy the Pulse 2 goes for about 480 euros, please can you tell me at what mono synths you are referring to....thanks!
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby Rokk » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:24 pm

HalloweenJack wrote:
Thank you for sharing your experience, yes, I will test it because, like you I don't buy anything without hearing by myself how it sounds and again, yes, :D , I understand your point of view regarding the interface, but you are talking to someone who have edited sounds on FM synths for years ;) , mainly DX7 and FS1R, and I think that these synths have the worst user interface ever :( , so I don't think that the Pulse 2 UI will pull me off, I've already been in UI h**l :D , but again, I totally understand your point of view since I now understand, with my Roland V Synth, the beauty and the joy of editing sounds with an amazing and clever and clear user interface :D


I used to have DX7 (I still have it), Poly 800, Alpha Juno 1 and JX8P, all with awkward interfaces, so I'm familiar with that. I don't program my DX7 via the front panel anymore. Software editor is just more pleasurable.
If I bought Pulse 2, I'd program it via editor, too. But if I buy a modern synth, be it analog or digital I simply want a good, friendly interface and no editors necessary.
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby meatballfulton » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:13 pm

HalloweenJack wrote:here in Italy the Pulse 2 goes for about 480 euros, please can you tell me at what mono synths you are referring to....thanks!


Here in the USA, Pulse 2 is currently $750.

MS20 mini is $450, Bass Station II is $500, Minibrute is $400, Microbrute is $300, Mopho desktop is $400, Roland JD-Xi is $500.
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby HalloweenJack » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:20 am

meatballfulton wrote:
HalloweenJack wrote:here in Italy the Pulse 2 goes for about 480 euros, please can you tell me at what mono synths you are referring to....thanks!


Here in the USA, Pulse 2 is currently $750.

MS20 mini is $450, Bass Station II is $500, Minibrute is $400, Microbrute is $300, Mopho desktop is $400, Roland JD-Xi is $500.


That's a Huge :shock: difference between EU and USA!...maybe because the Pulse is an european product...
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby Tidda » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:22 pm

HalloweenJack wrote:
meatballfulton wrote:
HalloweenJack wrote:here in Italy the Pulse 2 goes for about 480 euros, please can you tell me at what mono synths you are referring to....thanks!


Here in the USA, Pulse 2 is currently $750.

MS20 mini is $450, Bass Station II is $500, Minibrute is $400, Microbrute is $300, Mopho desktop is $400, Roland JD-Xi is $500.


That's a Huge :shock: difference between EU and USA!...maybe because the Pulse is an european product...


Yes and no, Arturia is French and Novation is English.
Opinions on these synths might be colored by the different order in pricing in Europe and the US.

US prices: ($750)Pulse2 - ($500)BSII/JD-Xi - ($450)ms20m - ($400)Mopho/MiniBr - ($300)MicroBrute
EU prices: ($550-$530)JD-Xi/Pulse2/MiniBr/ms20m - ($490)Mopho - ($410)BSII - ($340)MicroBrute

EU prices in NL and converted to $

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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby Stalfosia » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:21 am

yeah, the price in US seems a little high...
I got mine used.

But I've got nothing but love for the Pulse 2.
It sounds great and doesn't sound exactly like a Moog or a Roland SH-101.. which is nice for a change.
It's a beast, and I've really enjoyed using it over the last 6 or 7 months.
Also the size is perfect for a smallish setup.
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby moodorf » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:24 am

I had one but sold it. I needed money at the time, but I don't regret it all the time. Some days, maybe, but not often.

To me, it had sort of a "different" sound to it--a bit cold and icy. Which is a nice contrast compared to something like a moog/Sh101/MS20. But there were a lot of things I didn't like about it:

#1 The second LFO is extremely limited. IIRC the only parameter of it you could change was the rate. That's it.
#2 the polyphony mode didn't impress me. If you're buying it for the polyphonic mode--which I did--then you'd better be a skilled pianist or can at least play the keyboard well.
#3 the knobs SUCK. They're small and they felt a bit fragile...as in....I felt like I might accidentally rip the knob off the thing If i turned it too fast.
#4 the resonance didn't really have any character to me. It's passable, but nothing special.
#5 the interface....it's usable and everything, but it got tiring to me. the blofeld has a very similar layout, but with the blofeld it feels more "worth it" since there's a HUGE selection of waveforms and modulations to work with.the blofeld feels almost computer-like with it's flexability. but the pulse 2....not so much. the mod matrix is there, sure, but it feels more like a regular-ass analog synth than like a virus or something.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT my biggest gripe with the pulse 2 by far is that it's too expensive. If you could find one new or like-new for $500 then hey, not bad. but for $750....no. I think it hasn't gotten a huge amount of praise because there's nothing too remarkable about it. It's good....but still kind of "meh"

If you love this synth, I don't think you're wrong, but it's not for me personally.
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby pflosi » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:03 am

Ned Bouhalassa wrote:arp CV out


That's nice, I wasn't aware of that. Does it also work as a midi-cv converter?

Cheers :drinks:
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Re: Waldorf Pulse 2 opinions (looks like it's not appreciate

Postby meatballfulton » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:21 am

pflosi wrote:Does it also work as a midi-cv converter?


Apparently yes, but not on a separate MIDI channel from the onboard engine. See video at 16:09

Watch on youtube.com
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