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Waldorf Blofeld Desktop Synthesizer
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Waldorf Blofeld Desktop Synthesizer

Get high-end synth performance at a price you can afford with this synth's 1000+ sounds from the world-famous Waldorf PPG Wave synthesis.

Overall User Ratings (based on 16 ratings)
Overall:
Sound:
Features:
Ease of Use:
Quality:
Value:
Manufacturer Support:
The Wow Factor:
Overall:
(16)
Submitted May 30, 2012 by D Davis
"Great value, and even greater fun"
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This is the second Waldorf Blofeld I've owned. The first one I traded away a few years ago. Big mistake. I basically thought about frequently enough to make this recent purchase. Dollar for dollar, I don't know if a better VA synth exists. The Blofeld does everything, it is super easy to use, it has a ton of options, and the modulation matrix is stunning; it's like having a modular synth system in a tiny little desktop unit. I've also recently paid for the Sample RAM to be unlocked, and this has opened up entirely new avenues of sound creation. There are some set-backs, though, mainly the lack of MIDI out/through. Yes, that's right, it only has a MIDI in, so it will have to exist on its own chain or be at the end of a chain without a return. However, I used the supplied USB connector, and it works perfectly. I only wish it transmitted audio via the USB connector. Anyhow, I can't recommend this little synth enough. It's solidly built, looks great, sounds great, and offers up so many tweaking options it would be overwhelming if the thing weren't so easy and fun to use.
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Submitted June 30, 2010 by a customer from gmail.com
"Small, dark, and handsome!"
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The Blofeld is a great synth to have in your setup if you're looking for a warm, phat, dark digital synth that can really add some edge to your productions. I wouldn't mark it down as a "critical" investment, but it's definitely a plus to have it. That beign said, a couple of critical omissions on the desktop model really prevent the Blofeld. The additional sampling upgrade is a must in order to truly appreciate the power of this synth!
Sound
The Blofeld sounds...fantastic. Rich warm, gooey bass, strange weird pads. Oh yes, this is a Waldorf through and through. MAN! This thing packs a MEAN wallop for the size and price! The basses snarl and rock, the pads are rich and creamy, the leads scream and roar. The wavetables, even by themselves sound good. The filters are alright. Clearly digital, crisp, and clean but they sound good. The FX is fantastic, especially the distortions. Everything from the squashing and slight distortion of compression, to fiery, ass-tearing hard-clipping, and guitar amp-ish FX. The Waldorf just breathes life!
Features
The waldorf has three digital oscilaltors each with PWM, FM, limiting, "brilliance" (for fine tuning the sound), and sync features. Each oscillator has about 65 waveforms to chosoe from. From there we have the oscillator options section, with oscillator mixing, unison and unison detune, voice allocation, portamento/glide, pitch modulation, and overall oscillator coloring. From there we go straight into the dual, multi-mode filters. Both filters have keytrack and envelope amount, a modulation slot, an FM modulation slot, individual drive type and amount (nice touch Waldorf), individual panning, panning modulation, and serial or parallel routing. You can choose from 24 and 12db cutoff versions of lowpass, bandpass, and highpass filters as well as 12db Notch, positive and negative Comb filter types, and a PPG lowpass filter. Next up is the modulation section. We have a dedicated Filter and Amplitude envelope, as well as two more assignable envelopes. Each envelope is six-stage with two attack stages, two decay stages, two sustain stages, and a single release stage. You can also select traditional ADSR or One shot type envelopes, as well as a six-stage envelope type that loops between sustain 1 and sustain 2 stages, or a loopable six-stage envelope. There are three assignable LFOs with start phrase, tempo syncing, keytracking, sine/square/saw/triangle/sample and hold/random wave types, delay, and fade options. Almost any modulation source can be sent anywhere else in the synth. LFOs can modulate other LFOs, and even the minutest function of the Blofeld can be assigned to some sort of modulation in the matrix. Better yet? Ther are over SIZTEEN of these modulation matrix slots! FX slot 1 can select between Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, countless overdrive, and so called "Triple FX" that stack these other catagories in various combinations. FX slot two has access to the above catagories, but also has two complex types of delay FX, and reverb FX availible. The Blofeld has a highly usable arpeggiator with Up, Down, Alt Up, and Alt Down options. However, the arpeggiator also has sequencer complex funtions availible, with accenting, glide, swing, and individual step length availible to tweak. Externally, the Blofeld is a bit bare considering that lesser synths have external inputs and MIDI thru/out, thus the reduction of one point for features. This also means that the Blofeld can't control other synths, which is a shame considering that the Blofeld has one of the best step sequencers in a synth for this price level, thus the reduction of another point. MIDI, updates, samples, and patches can all be transfered via the USB 2.0 port on the synth. It should be noted that the Blofeld does have sampling capabilities, however these must be unlocked as an additional purchase of $50. This allows the owner to transfer their own wavetables, which, believe me, is useful.
Ease of Use
The blofeld has all the necessary features availible for quick tweaking thanks to the four rotary encoder and four button matrix on the right of the synth. The four knobs on the left also allow for easy browsing of patches, and other critical tweaking features. However, the complexity of the engine is such, that it will likely take the novice user a week or two to begin to wrap their head around the full capabilities of the synth. The desktop module has no keyboard, but responds to any MIDI interface I hook up to it well, no glitches or problems here! The USB MIDI is also a big help in live situations, allowing you to set the Blofeld to "set and forget" if need be.
Quality
The blofeld is a solid metal chassis, with solid metal knobs, and is (as a result) built like a tank. Again, I've dropped this thing on hard floros several times, and each time the Blofeld comes up good as new. I've also accidentally poured water on it twice, and the thing never suffered a glitch, and no rust! The Blofeld is light and compact, but rugged. Excellent for studio use or live! The Blofeld's OS is rock solid and stable, and I've only had it freeze once.
Value
The Blofeld's engine is fantastic. The complexity, depth, and quality of the engine is akin to one you would find on very high-end digital synths like the Virus TI, but with far more stability. The quality of the sounds on the Blofeld also speak for themselves, and at this price point, it's nigh impossible to find a hardware or software synth that sounds THIS good. That being said, I'm docking off a couple of points for two reasons. One, for a synth this price, external inserts and MIDI thru/out are a must! I also took off a point because the purchaser must buy the sampling upgrade for an additional $50. Not a major inconvenience, but for those tight on cash, it really limits the synth's true potential to not have it.
Manufacturer Support
Waldorf support is solid. The few times I've had to ask them for help, they've responded quickly and accurately. No fluff, straight to the chase kind of guys!
The Wow Factor
Whether keyboard or desktop version, the Blofeld just looks (and sounds) great. It's a striking piece of equipment that really catches the attention of people when they see it. But when they hear the power contained within this synth, that's when the (and you) will really be sold!
Musical Background:
Active musician, a
Musical Style:
Electronic, hip-hop, trip-hop, dnB, big beat, jazz, soundtrack, ect.
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Submitted January 25, 2015 by Dan G in Jacksonville, FL
"Very nice for the price"
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The first thing I noticed when I pulled this thing out of the box is how solid and heavy it is. The fit and finish are really nice and the knobs feel top notch. The jacks on the rear are all the most solid fitting connections of each type I have felt on any synth. When cables are inserted there is no play whatsoever giving me an overall feeling of confidence that this device is made with the utmost attention to detail; it's that nice. Upon power up you're greeted with a quick animation of the Blofeld logo on the quality mono LCD screen. The screen is sizable enough for my needs. The volume knob is the only one that is not of the continuous rotary type. There are four buttons to select the different sections of the synth(osc, filters, mods, arp, fx) which changes the function of the two corresponding knobs below the grid. The two knob below the LCD are soft assigned to different params depending on which screen you're on. The know to the left of the LCD is the main scroll knob for the screen selection. The UI is beefy, and by that I mean there is quite a lot that can be done in such a small space. It is well organized, once you get used to it and understand it better. I admit I was a little lost at first but then I realized that there are sometimes more than one way to modify a param depending on the context in which you've accessed it. The routing matrix is my favorite part though. It allows you to lock nearly any param to any osc, filter, etc for some really tweakable and unique sounds that can seem to evolve over time. In all, the UI is is fairly much what you'd expect from Waldorf. This thing has been around a while now and much has been said of it already by many much more proficient in this thing than I am. It's basically the device that brought Waldorf back from obscurity. I've wanted one for some time and I finally gave in after watching some videos of a Blofeld master on youtube working up some incredibly expressive FM piano-like patch along with several of his others. Then once you get it all cabled up and blast some MIDI notes to it, that's when I was most impressed. The fidelity of the sounds that come out of this thing are astounding to say the least. It's, bar none, the best sounding virtual analog synth for $500 in existence. If you want aliasing you can get it, but this thing is so buttery smooth -in a sweet digital way- that I can barely stand it. I am not a big fan of most presets on any given synth, but this thing has some patches that are to die for. It does some very convincing bass as well as exceptionally fluid pads that seems as though the air was made of something thicker than water. The overall sound quality far exceeds my expectations of virtual analog synths in this price range or even double that. Very wide stereo range giving it a three dimensional and enveloping sound on a nice set of monitors or PA speakers. Aside from demoing it, I have mostly only used it for pads and drones, which it excels at, on my current projects so far but I am sure that it does everything else pretty well also.
Musical Background:
26 yrs of musical experience in all aspects of music from engineering and production to performance. Master jammer.
Musical Style:
All styles. I love at least some aspects of all music; without a doubt.
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Submitted August 7, 2019 by joe prohaska in Washburn, WI, WI
"I love this synth"
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so far this little (if only in appearance) synth is surpassing my expectations. It is easy to get around the programming and it sounds fantastic. Only gripe is that on certain sounds when you play a dissonant cord the thing goes in to a feed back loop but I am sure this can be overcome wit careful programing. I ad to leave no stars for manufacturer support as I have not had to use then for support.
Musical Background:
been playing for 51 years, piano, guitar, organ, synth.
Musical Style:
when I play for myself Classical, when I am recording Progressive rock.
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Submitted March 14, 2019 by Matthew Elder in Vienna, WV
"Awesome"
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I've owned this before but sold it back in 2013 and kept asking myself why.So fast forward tile now i decided to jump on this one again Yeah there's new synths that have come out but i kept this one in mid for a vary long time and knew it was time to add him again sounds are amazing in this guy.Easy to work with and create your own sounds as well I'm glad i jumped on this one again just because it's been out since 2007 don't mean it's not good go get one
Musical Background:
34 year's
Musical Style:
Acid Techno Psytrance Ambient Sci-Fi
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Submitted June 27, 2019 by Matthew Elder in Vienna, WV
"Awesome"
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This is my second time having this synth man I'm glad they still have this out.I know it's been out for a good while but still can keep up with the newer synths that are out so i highly recommend for anyone to get this
Musical Background:
34 year's
Musical Style:
Acid Techno sci-fi Psytrance Hardstyle Alien music
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Submitted February 22, 2016 by Ian Goold in Portland, OR
"Backpack sized powerhouse"
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The Waldorf Blofeld is a sound design magic box with lots of flexibility and powerful sculpting options. Ideal for studio/recording work because of the slightly menu-dive heavy interface. I wouldn't use it live because there aren't enough knobs for improv and on-the-fly control of the functions.
Musical Background:
27 years playing music, lots of bands, lots of recording
Musical Style:
Whatever
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Submitted February 19, 2016 by Ian Goold in Portland, OR
"Backpack sized powerhouse"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
The Waldorf Blofeld is a sound design magic box with lots of flexibility and powerful sculpting options. Ideal for studio/recording work because of the slightly menu-dive heavy interface. I wouldn't use it live because there aren't enough knobs for improv and on-the-fly control of the functions.
Musical Background:
27 years playing music, lots of bands, lots of recording
Musical Style:
Whatever
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Submitted September 7, 2009
"Looks great - too bad it doesn't work with digital performer."
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Sound
Don't know - can't get it to work.
Features
Don't know - can't get it to work.
Ease of Use
I just got mine. Hooked up the USB, it shows up in apple's AUDIO/MIDI config. I launch digital performer, and where is it? Gone, does not appear as an instrument midi or otherwise. Very frustrating. The manual is so vague it provides no help, and there is not support forums on Waldorf's web site. I have to recommend not buying this product. -arashi
Quality
Seems to be well built - would make an excellent paper weight.
Value
I just got mine. Hooked up the USB, it shows up in apple's AUDIO/MIDI config. I launch digital performer, and where is it? Gone, does not appear as an instrument midi or otherwise. Very frustrating. The manual is so vague it provides no help, and there is not support forums on Waldorf's web site. I have to recommend not buying this product. -arashi
Manufacturer Support
I just got mine. Hooked up the USB, it shows up in apple's AUDIO/MIDI config. I launch digital performer, and where is it? Gone, does not appear as an instrument midi or otherwise. Very frustrating. The manual is so vague it provides no help, and there is not support forums on Waldorf's web site. I have to recommend not buying this product. -arashi
Musical Background:
Pro Musician
Musical Style:
Ambient/Trance/Electronica
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