Blofeld love


#243

I already posted this in another thread, but it might be useful for someone.
I can get lost easily for hours with this beautiful synth and i‘m absolute in love with my Blofeld.
I don’t have any lag when turning the encoders(which work perfect, even after „heavy„ use. Not one single error or freezes. I‘m using the newest version.

Here a few tips for the Blofeld:

  • If you use a DAW you can map all CC‘s to your midi-controller. This makes editing super fast and flexible. Automation is possible this way, and depending on your controller, you can change (for example) Cutoff frequency’s of different channels without the need of stepping through the channels.
    I use a AKAI MPK 249, which works very well for this. (Every fader can send on a specific midi channel).

  • Animations on the Blofeld?
    If you sequenc your Blofeld via OT or a DAW you can for example, change the Filter frequency and if the Blofeld shows the filter section, you can see how the filter behaves in real time, like a animation.
    If you use a complex filter modulation this can be helpful. And it’s kind of cool to see the Blofeld doing something that wasn’t built in. If I remember correctly this works also with the EG‘s.
    Create your own editor: I usually use Fruity loops as a DAW. You can add a „MIDI out“, and map all CC‘s to the virtual knobs and sliders. Name them correctly(!) and save the mapping as a template for the „MIDI out“. You can create your own Blofeld „editor“ this way. (Of course this works with every Hardware, if CC‘s are implemented correctly).
    That’s probably doable on most modern DAWs.
    If you Blofeld is too quite, go to the section with the velocity settings and turn it down to 0. This almost doubles the output volumen (but it’s still very quiet…).
    You can load your own custom Wavetables, you don’t need the „SL“ sample upgrade! I know that many people aren’t aware of that.

  • The presents aren’t the best IMO. Do yourself a favour and make a backup from it, and delete a few banks. But of course check them out first, they are good examples what can be done.

  • FM every OSC and Filter has a dedicated fm routing page. Use those instead of the mod matrix to save up free mod slots. You can modulate every OSC. with another OSC, ENV, LFO, and the mod matrix. Alone this can already produce an insane amount of different timbres. If your results are to harsh use more „smooth“ waveforms and modifiers. The use of the Modulation modifier can be very powerful to. For example two LFOs both sine waves with different start phase or/and different speed, modulating each other. Use the product of those to modulate other elements.

  • Exponentially envelopes: If you want a concave or a convex attack try this trick: Modulate the Envelope attack with its own envelop. Positive modulation will result in a convex attack curve, negativ modulation a concave. This should work for the decay and release too!
    last but not least: Check this very useful clip on YT! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sbWhrzPj2Wc8

I often read online things like:“it’s hard to program.“,“to much menue diving“, „horrible interface“ etc.
IMHO Blofeld is very fast and easy to program. I have a editor called „Patch base“ for the iPad (it costs 10-20 bucks, can edit a lot of other synths too, inclusive the Volca FM, JD-Xi, microwave, q and much more), but i almost never use it. The menus are logical, matrix is a great way to create patches, especially on a synth with just a few knobs and no faders. The synth engine is just awesome, if you know any hardware synth that is as powerful as the Blofeld, tell me. But as far i know, there isn’t anything that can do that much for such a „cheap“ price.
Is the Blofeld perfect? Of course not. I don’t like the fx (the Reverb is horrible IMO). The patch management isn’t perfect (sysex etc)… Something I really hate is the quiet output.
Of course if you use it in multmode and you want to change the cutoff frequency (or something else), you have to click through the channels until you reach the page of the part you like to change. This can be tedious. But I still love the Blofeld!
By the way: Blofeld is already 10 years old! Hopefully Waldorf or any other company creates something alike, but with a little bit more power! Like a Waldorf Quantum Desktop :blush:

Any other Blofed tip’s and tricks?


#244

Great tips there !

I’ll add this: http://lady.rdsor.ro/~kotro/index.php?m=soft

Wavetable editor, patch editor and patch manager


#245

#metoo


#246

leave the usual path of sounddesign, I know words spoken easily

But use the drive-models, wavetables, FM and ringmodulation and modulate the shit out of it


#247

Don’t have the Digitakt, but the OT. Sequencing with the OT is fun, the same should be true for the DT.


#248

I had a Blofeld when it was released and think about getting another one now. Since prices for Microwave I & II are going through the roof (I sold mine for 300-400€ 13 years ago) it seems to be a good alternative.


Best synth to pair with Digitakt? If you only had one
#249

And you have 24(8x3) LFOs in addition to the LFOs of the Blofeld or another synth. And countless of parameter locks, that can change the sound even further!

@Noisebuddy exactly! Something I often do is experimenting with looped envelopes(especially the one with two decay and attack phases. Last night I had the idea of creating two patches with the same waveforms, write down the parameter of the second patch and try to use the OT to morph from one patch into the other. Maybe one long note that isn’t going to retriggered, but changes the tone by manipulating of the OSC semitones. But I may do this with my new virus to get them to know better.

But seriously if someone wants to buy a digital hardware synth for under 1000€ i would always suggest the Blofeld (and the rest of the money can be infested into a good Reverb and a delay effect).

Only problem I have is that the Blofeld has a pretty low output level compared to all my other gear. Even when I turn everything on max and velocity influence is on minimum… I sometimes run him through the OT and set the gain on max and the through channel volumen on a very heigh level. But the quality is much better if the output would be louder. (If Reverb on the Blofeld is used the unit can be a little bit louder, but the reverb isn’t good enough compared to the rest of this beauty)


#250

Just saw that you can find new ones for approx 350€! I already thought of buying a second one, just for the case that mine should ever had a defect. I say Blofeld is already a classic!


#251

I’ve had a Blofeld for more than a year, and I have a love-hate relationship with it.

I am sometimes tempted to throw it at a wall. The most important encoder is dodgy.

It takes a long time to learn what all the screens do and where they are. Making a synth as flexible as the Blofeld with as few knobs as it has is always going to be a real challenge – they did a decent job but it can still be a slightly agonising experience if you want to, for example, change unison settings. Stuff that would be quite accessible on most synths becomes a chore to access.

Gain-staging is kind of unpredictable. It runs out of CPU grunt too easily for the multi-mode to be much use to me. As everyone says, the reverb is horrible.

BUT
Last night I fell in love with it again. Made a patch that did some eerie, harp-like, almost physical modelling stuff. It can do so much.
And having it has taught me a lot about synthesis, because the mod options are so deep… and because there are so many initially cryptic pages that make more sense once you understand more.


#252

It’s like the Octatrack, if you use it frequently, you know exactly who to Accsess a parameter on the quickes way possible. But I fully agree the gain is really a problem. In multimode i normally have up to 4-5 tracks depending on the track and the sounds I use. But I use it mostly in combination with other synths. Then you can create really complex pads etc…

For the „cheap „ price it’s almost unthinkable to get this synth with a decent amount of buttons while remaining the flexibility. Hope Waldorf makes another one, some day. Or at least a Quantum as Desktop expander/Module.


#253

That’s awesome! I have to give it a try, thanks for posting this link! Never understood why the Virus/Nord Lead don’t allow custom wavetables. This makes the sound potential almost unlimited!


#254

@Kari i think the old Q got the morphing-feature … with two patches on the Blo this should be possible in multimode including wise placement on the keyzone

hopefully Waldorf is going to release a Quantum-Offspring - not so expensive


#255

ugh, that main encoder went out on me too. thankfully, i had a friend who was awesome with a soldering iron and he replaced it with a nice replacement one i bought.


#256

sadly the knobs on mine are glued somehow to the encoder-shaft, what a mess


#257

i don’t think the effects are that horrible, the horrible thing is that they stop directly when you tweak the delay and reverb time but one they’re set they do the job


#258

been tweaking the modifiers, thats powerfull modulation, never tweaked them before tonigh,that’s awesome!


#259

Oh another „tip“. If you have an analog synth that allows external input signal going through the analog filter, try it out. I did it with my Analog four and the results are pretty rewarding, and the reverb from the A4 is much better. I also did send the Blofeld output through the Virus and drowned it in effects and further manipulations… Waldorf please Blofeld II with higher sample Rate, and digital output Signal.
Or a downsized Quantum that doesn’t cost a fortune!

Where is Behringer when you need them? It’s the first time I want to see a Behringer Quantum clon for 399€ :wink:


#260

They call it “laptop”.
Seriously, this whatever hell of a machine is one of the most uninspired instruments I ever saw. It will share the fate of Hartmann Neuron and Alesis Fusion.


#261

This could happen, indeed. Last year I had saved up to get the Quantum, which was announced for the 4th quarter of the year … but then … nothing … even after NAMM 18 … later this year…

Waitng is not my favourite doing, so I researched for alternatives … wavetables, granulars, modal-synthesis … and came up with the following short-list:

  • Waldorf wavetables - even user-wavetables: Waldorf “Blofeld”
  • granular synthesis: Tasty Chips Electronics “GR-1”
  • modal-like synthesis: some interesting modules for Eurorack like “Spectral Band Resonator” from 4m, or Mutable Instruments “Elements”.

Could it be that we can have Quantum in pieces for less then €2000,-. For me those eluminated knobs and a touch interface is … well … TBH … “nice to have” … but does this help me makeing better sounds and performing better on the instrument? :wink:

Back to topic … so I got the Blofeld last week :wink:


#262

Hehe, I had similar thoughts. I don’t have a eurorack but I did calculate what it would cost to recreate the engines of the quantum. The result will be something that costs between 2500-4000 €, depending on the voice count and modules involved. But then you get a system that can be freely routed, with probably a lot more options as the Quantum(i‘m still very exited when the first in-depth reviews show up!). The cool thing is that a eurorack can be upgraded in a infinite different combinations. And you would have the ability to do FM synthesis too. I guess a alternative would be some semimodular synths(Behringer Neutron for 300 Bucks!) combined with a Blofeld and a „small“ Eurorack case, for a granular modul, and the modelling part.
I‘m still try to decide between Quantum, Yamaha Montage or a eurorack. I tend towards the eurorack, because it doesn’t make much sens to buy a new synth(in this cas with Keys) every time just for one or two new features. It’s like buying a New PC for every new software. The only thing that holds me back is the insane amount of money, with 4-5K i could travel around the world for months! Sitting at home and play with a synth, is what i can do when i‘m no longer able to travel.