Waldorf Blofeld Tips & Tricks

For all the Waldorf Owners here. I was wondering what you use the waldorf blofeld for and maybe want to share some tips and tricks.

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In short terms:

  • get an editor (it helps quite many times for patchmanagement etc.)
  • if the level is too low for you, crank in the the drive-models (tube, clip)
  • mess around with the wavetables on fm, sync, ringmodulation
  • use the mod-matrix to the max
  • use filter-fm (get some wired sound out of it)
  • for pads, use two osc’s, this is enough to fill the whole frequency-spectrum
  • use the filters with care, they tend to make the sound hard

i could tell you quite many things but it’s up to you how you use it

from my point i use the Blofeld for creating strange soundscapes, FX-sounds, ambient-stuff, pads

once you are into it it will amaze you what you can get out of it

however, over the years i run into some sort of love/hate-relationship - hard to explain, but it has to do with the sound

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Don’t underestimate the power of a random patch, some amazing, unheard-of sounds can come up, then you just tweak it to your liking.

A value of 2 or 3 on a slow LFO to the cutoff of a comb filter go a long way.

You can really go overboard with distortion, you can add a distortion to each filter then distort the result with an additional distortion on FX 1.

I agree on the love/hate thing, the Blofeld can be a royal pain in the ass, but I love its sound.

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I think it is deep, but manageable, i feel pretty confident with it and i’ve made my own editor for it … however, when i see some of Mark Piggot’s tutorials linked up on Blofeld user group on Fb/YouTube i realise just how little i tap the potential … i jump in with creative ideas and the Waldorf always delivers , but Mark links up some great insights to deliver workarounds and ways to fake other instruments … it is astonishingly capable, i love the real wavetable side of it and it’s a very flexible synth

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thanks for sharing this avantronica :relaxed:

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There is the oscillator key follow, a rare occurance in many a synth. Instant microtonality. Pitty you can’t get octaves this way, (except for some settings, like 50%). But you get new tonal waters with every percent.

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Q1: Does anyone know a workaround to get the FX level or other parameters as a modulation target? It’s not offered in mod matrix but maybe there is a neat trick to achive that …? Or anything that could make FX more ‘dynamic’.

Q2: In some Multis I create for MPE (same patch over several MIDI channels) I’m encountering strange FX distribution. First 4 channels play (seemingly) through both FX units but the rest (channels 5+) plays only through second FX unit. Strangely enough on the display it seems that first channels have only FX1 available and the rest only FX2. I assume it’s a result of dynamic DSP allocation though the patch it self doesn’t seem to be complex.

Being relatively fresh Blofeld owner, it helped me to get the editor not just for faster editing but to get better picture of architecture and relations between some parameters so it’s easier now to sculpt sounds on the box itself. Btw, I didn’t find any block schema of Blofeld. Does anyone have any resource?

I :heart_decoration: Blofeld with Linnstrument! It’s got so much flexibility for assigning stuff to expressive controls. Also enough of polyphony and multi-timbrality to get proper MPE.

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I never use the Blofeld in Multi mode - it has a few detractors in that regard, i’m not so sure why, but what I recall is that the FX switch to being global only - so i’d imagine that arrangements in a patch that allowed fx controls may not translate to multi mode. There are also potentially variations in terms of OS version btw

I’d be glad to hear how it goes for you with the multi explorations, it’s a side of the Blofeld I’m keen to explore with the OT, but I like the idea of dynamic channel allocation for incoming notes … a few synth offer this and it’s doable with midi utilities(i’ve done stuff like this with Max … i guess it’ll be one of the things I try with the axoloti, to make it computer-free, once I get deeper into it)

It’s an incredibly flexible synth, soooooo many modulation possibilities that are way beyond any other I have seen … it would be good to have some insight into the load though, some aspects really hit the voice count, like comb filter - always turn off oscillators you are not using btw

Midi cc 92 93 or 94 are for fx mix 1 and 2. It’s listed in the manual, remembering off the top of my head. Not present in the mod matrix, so the only way is to send it from another source.

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For my MPE application global FX in Multi Mode is totally fine. Yet FX’s are behaving weird sometimes.

With Linnstrument it’s the Channel Per Note mode that distributes single notes to various channels, including PB, AT and other CC messages. You can do this i.e. with MI MidiPal in hardware realm. It’s funny to play different sounds in round robin fashion. Axoloti seems to be right tool to achieve that.

Thanks for the tip on external MIDI control!

that’s right … FX1 is only for the parts 1-4 with dedicated FX-types per part but you should be able to turn in some delay/reverb from FX2 on parts 1-4 as well. Only part 5-16 deal with the FX2 engine alone.

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Here’s one that I like. Make the Env Decay and Release linear using 2 slots in the mod matrix

Source: Amp env
Destination: Amp Env Decay
Amount: +41

Then do the same thing with release. It gives it a bit of a more old school feel. Not sure how to describe the difference very well, but I like the way it sounds.

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Hi! I own a Linnstrument, and is looking for a hardware synth to play with it. Can you use the LS with the Blofeld USB-port? If so, its a very attractive package, I must say!

Keytracking can be totally messed with giving totaly cool Ring Mod effects.
For example, set the KT to 0% on one of the oscillators, and then in
the matrix slot 5 say [ Keytrack +48 (from memory not at Blofeld) M1 Amoun t]
and then in Slot 1 [ Env 3 0 OscXpitch ].

Set Env3 to A=92, D=0, S=127, R=127 and play around with the craziness!

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I don’t use Multimode, as by the time I have set unsono to 3, used up all 16 slots
and 4 modifiers for one sinlge patch, the poor thing does not have enough horsepower
for anything else!

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Blofeld is extremely easy to navigate.
I tried using editors but to be honest they always presented some issues and never added much to the process.
I use it for everything, from “analog” sounds to video game FX.
I always recommend good FX to go along with it though. I use eventides for that but good FX plugins in your daw will work wonders as well.
Blofeld has really bad FX and they use polyphony so it is a unnecessary waste if you ask me.

After that just go deep and don’t be afraid twisting knobs. You can modulate a lot of stuff and then modulate what you just modulated while adding modulation on top of it all :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
Add custom waveforms or samples if you have they keys or SL license.

The most underrated synth in the history of awesomeness in my opinion :slight_smile:

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I’ve bookmarked this thread now that Blofeld legend @MarkPigott is on board :thup:

I thought I was all over the Blofeld, modifiers, logic, nuances … but Mark keeps finding really sweet stuff to highlight, reinvents the scope of the Blofeld in the process

welcome aboard, have you any of this Swedish stuff ?

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Not yet, but I look on with anticipation.
My garage studio is morphing into a “bedroom studio”
(slowly moving stuff from the garage to inside the house)
so I am looking at the Elektron modules to
compliment my perFOURmer.

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I’m confused. Isn’t the Blofeld multitimbral?

Talking about the strengths of the Blofeld…the keyboard of the Key Version is one of the best you can get for the Money. Much better thank those cheap Controller boards.