Yeah man. There are menus but they are really well laid out and make complete sense. Blofeld is very intuitive and sounds great. I know there are a lot of Blofeld users over at Gearslutz so you might want to ask more specific questions there.
I’ve owned one previously, and it certainly does have great sounds however I found the interface slightly too limiting to really have fun with it - mainly because you do find yourself paging around the interface. However, despite that, it is a very deep synth and everything is laid out well. No doubt, the costs are kept low because of the minimal hands-on UI. One thing I did like (and lots of synth manufacturers should follow suit, not Elektron I hasten to add!) is the use of endless encoders, so no dodgy snapping of parameters when flicking between pages/presets!
A nice alternative, if you happen to have an iPad is the app Waldorf Nave contains all the same waveforms as the Blofeld and more (http://www.waldorf-music.info/en/products/nave.html), mentioned in the 3rd paragraph.
Not wanting to get start a hardware vs. software battle, but in terms of range of sounds Nave would appear to trump the Blofeld on a few things - not a bad choice for $20 for that Waldorf sound.
That is very valuable information! Thanks a lot, I’ll check out those pages in the menu before I splash out on it.
i have the blokey since 2011 and i like it …
[li]awesome sound, digital and sharp, a bit too much highs … anyway[/li]
[li]modmatrix is well implemented (strangeness soundwise on a very complex level is possible)[/li]
[li]built like a tank[/li]
[li]knobs are not the best, maybe it changend in recent productions[/li]
[li]LFO2 doesn´t synchronize to midi-clock (a known bug)[/li]
[li]ARP has some problems when triggered via external gear (ex. Octatrack)[/li]
[li]the menue isn´t well implemeted when you programm on the blo[/li]
[li]Soundwise the blo has much pressure and i found it hard to fit the sound in a mix … it is always dominating[/li]
[li]somehow the sounds tending to be unstable in terms of leveling, so much help via the modmatrix on the levels is needed to gain stability[/li]
in my case i use the blo for pads, atmos, FX and some leads and i can recommend this gear for every one who is looking for wired digital sounds
if it comes to editing, i point to a guy on google+ named Softknob. He programmed an editor for the BLO, its free, and still in beta, but this guy is working constantly on it … you can donate if you want
if you don’t want to go for an XT or a Q then the Blofeld is a good compromise considering its price and dimensions.
unfortunately, as already mentioned, you won’t get all the knobs you get with the big brothers so you’ll find yourself flipping menus to change parameters (unless you hook it up to an external MIDI controller) but you sure get their sounds and sound shaping capabilities
there’re a lot of presets (categorized) that can be used straight away and with the SL license you get sampling feature as well (don’t expect to do a lot with the samples though, but surely a plus)
the blofeld comes in handy when playing with knobs is the last thing you want to do and you just want to get something playing straight away; with the XT or the Q you would need a bbit more time. no MIDI OUT unfortunately and no audio in but hey…
one thing that annoys me is the crackling you get in some cases with some sounds when using effects, sometimes it makes the sound unusable (even if other times is nice to have some random generated crackle here and there )
it fits well in a setup where you can sample/filter its output (i like to use the MnM to filter it and with an OT or an A4 it would be even better )
so, apart from some OS bugs (which i read have been removed with the latest update…will need to upgrade) and wobbly knobs (i believe that was probably a problem with early models), the blo is a nice desktop synth to have and use…and it’s a Waldorf anyway
Hmmm, bit “worried” (not really the appropriate word) that it’s difficult to fit in a mix (had the same experience with the XT, very dominant sounding thing), but I figure it’s worth a shot anyway.
Thanks a lot for all your replies, you guys! Very valuable information for me!
The Blofeld Keyboard INDEED has both DIN midi in and out as well as USB. It’s only the Desktop Blofeld that only has midi in DIN…just for accuracy, as I have the Blofeld Keyboard.
As far as “overpowering sound”, that’s easily remedied with all other overall levels and there’s always use of compressor/limiter.
Save from the A4 and Virus Series, not too many synths have really outstanding effects on-board. I will freely admit the effects on Blofeld are not outstanding but I have always used outboard effects anyway and in my opinion the A4 is better/great as, dare I say, Lexicon ones!!! Yep, I said it!
As aforementioned regarding the “Waldorf Q being OLD”, it’s same age as Virus KB/KC and these are the deepest VA synths I have ever used and still set the bar for hardware and even some software. The Q Rack does take up 5 rack spaces but also happily sits at an angle as a desktop unit. If you ever have a chance where I fellow musician has a Q for you to take for a “test drive”, I think you would understand why it’s so revered.
Also note that the “old Waldorf team”, upon their prior bankruptcy, they all went over to Access Music to further develop the Virus Series. So, they both share some Synth DNA and that should tell you something.
Lastly, if anyone had to try to program any of the synths of late 80’s to early 90’s when the industry thought it a great idea to have itsy-bitsy screen, only knob was volume, if you were lucky…the Blofeld is a joy to program in comparison and it’s User Manual is quite well implemented. Try to program a DX7 and you will understand!
Good fortune on your quest!
i had one for a while. i really loved the sounds it made. i would say they were some of the better sounds i have made. brutal, harsh, shimmering, very delicate, weird as you could ever want. i have a microwave xt and still wouldn’t hesitate to get a blofeld again. i wish they made a knobby one.
Although I have never (yet) tried this, but if you have a Waldorf Q/Q-rack, have read on more than a few occasions where people state that most of the midi cc’s correspond with the Blofeld and make a great controller for it.
Have seen many of your music videos, providing your same Kirlian on YT, and thought had spotted a Q rack at some point but if it was in black and white, perhaps it was a Polymorph or Rave o Lution? I own an XT Rack so would never confuse it with the Q rack.
I wanted to add that although Waldorf Nave App would never replace the Blofeld or even the XT in my opinion, I recently purchased first iPad 2 and the Behringer iStudio Dock, just to own NAVE…it’s quite a wonderful sounding synth.
Does the blofeld have the same modulation options as the XT?
This SOS article got me semi interested in the XT.
I was reading up on wavetables to try and get the most out of the monomachine…and between running it into the analog4 and sampling that into the octatrack, I’m sure it’ll be at least a year before I can be bothered. Still, they show up super cheap from time to time.
I wonder if Elektron could add waveform interpolation or hack the LFO designer from the octatrack into a waveform creator for the monomachine? Or like turn a VO machine into a wavetable?! The one thing I’m not feeling about the monomachine is that it doesn’t “make it’s own gravy”, in terms of wavetables.
I don’t have an XT, but the Mod matrix is quite similar between the two. I have seen that article and have been meaning to try out the modulations in there on the blof.
What’s the unlock able “sampler” thing on the Blo? Is it just loading up short waves and mapping/modding them? Or is it more?
60 MB RAM for single or multi samples that can be used in oscillators 1 and/or 2. Support for 16 bit / 44100 samples, they can have loop points… You can’t modulate the start, end, loop points. But you can do some interesting things with FM and the modulations if you can program the thing well enough. Given those characteristics, it is definitely not a straight sample playback machine. But you can do interesting things with it.
You can upload both…userwavetables, similar to what is possible with the Monomachine, and both Blofeld models desktop and keyboard have additional 60MB sample ram, which can get loaded via SPECTRE. Someone at Waldorf seems to be a Bond fan…
Btw. i found this demo of the Blo FM very nice: https://soundcloud.com/tomnakam/waldorf-blofeld-self-fm-test