A wavetable synth plugin replacement for my beloved Microwave?

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Supercollider wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 9:38 am
seafire wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 9:35 am Why did you buy a bunch of synths that sound terrible?
Because I'm a plugin-hoarding idiot with more cash than sense? Why does anyone get taken in by a con artist?

You asked, I answered as honestly as possible. :cry:

Plus, it's easy to get "talked into" this shit when everyone is saying how "amazing" plugin X sounds. So I guess my "strongest" defense is that I'm surrounded by enablers. Ha ha.
If it's any comfort, Serum, Icarus, Phase Plant, and Hive can all be sold onwards (although AFAIK Xfer do not officially support 'transferring' licenses, but do allow 'gifting' them)
quod tu es, ego fui, quod ego sum, tu eris

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audiouser720 wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 11:48 am
Supercollider wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 9:12 am
Danilo Villanova wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 9:02 am Have you tried Massive X?

The best sounding soft synth IMO. It has a "hardware digital" type of sound.

The browser is BS and you can't automate every parameter, but sound wise it is the tits.
Thank you for your kind suggestion. I mean that sincerely. But I am being exceedingly polite when I say that I am not a fan of Massive X. Like all Native Instruments plugins, it sounds really cold and sterile to me.

If it counts for anything, I do love the look of the Massive X UI. But its usability is actually pretty piss poor, IMO. I honestly wish NI had just updated the original Massive to make it sound better than waste Lord-knows how much time and money developing Massive X.

Having said all that, I don't write/produce the kind of music that Massive seems designed for. So I'm not a good judge of whether it sounds "good" or not.

One of my favorite-sounding "Synth Pop" albums is Depeche Mode's "A Broken Frame" which uses Martin Gore's newly acquired PPG Wave 2.3 all over that record. That's the kind of sound I'm aiming for. Massive X seems to occupy an entirely separate sonic universe.

Oh, I forgot about Korg's modwave native plugin which I own. It's okay as far as it goes. It doesn't sound awful to me the way Serum and Phase Plant do. But modwave is still super thin and digital-sounding to me.
Try UA Opal. It sounds warmer than Massive X, but has similar quality audio rate modulation and polyphonic distortion
Opal is awesome, but no wavetable import makes it impossible to get those classic wavetables. It’s filter if very Moog like, and with two of them and with their morphing abilities, it can go a lot of places. Sadly, no polyphonic aftertouch or MPE, or I wouldn’t shut up about it. I would also dig if it did filter FM as well, but I won’t get too greedy.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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I didn't really enjoy the microwave when I had one. The XT was fun, because of all the knobs, but I honestly didn't really have a very good time with any of the Waldorf stuff. I use a friend's pulse for nice bass and sequence sounds quite a bit at their place. I'd be curious to hear a sound that's " a quintessential Microwave sound" that you don't feel you can make with other wavetable synths. Just curious really. Everyone likes what they like.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

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Ah_Dziz wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 9:36 pm I didn't really enjoy the microwave when I had one. The XT was fun, because of all the knobs, but I honestly didn't really have a very good time with any of the Waldorf stuff. I use a friend's pulse for nice bass and sequence sounds quite a bit at their place. I'd be curious to hear a sound that's " a quintessential Microwave sound" that you don't feel you can make with other wavetable synths. Just curious really. Everyone likes what they like.
I don't know of ANY synth (other than the Waldorf M) that sounds anything like this. And this is a dry recording as far as I can tell. Run the Microwave through a great-sounding chorus and a lush hall or plate reverb and be prepared to be launched into another plane of existence. Ha ha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVoeAzaZIl8

Everyone has their own tastes, of course. But the Microwave sounds freaking amazing to me. If I had to pick just one synth (in terms of sound alone,) it would be the Microwave.

Wavetable plugins sound like "crap" in comparison, IMO. There is no digital filter that even comes close.

While the XT is very cool in its own way, it doesn't have the same "organic" vibe as the original Microwave to me.

FYI, this Retrosound demo unfortunately clips/distorts in a number of places. That's the recording and not the Microwave itself.

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Although Martin Gore used a PPG Wave 2.3 all over Depeche Mode's "A Broken Frame" album and obviously not a Microwave, you can still hear that "PPG DNA" in the Microwave.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuWQitNlvf0

I still have my 12" single of "See You" in my storage unit, btw. It's still wrapped in a plastic album cover and has probably only been played a few times. I would always record every vinyl record I purchased onto cassette in order to maintain the pristine quality of the record. I was so unbelievably OCD back then. Hahaha.

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The PPG Wave 2.3 was introduced two years later, so just the plain Wave 2 for Mr. Gore on that album. :-)

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Well by your own admission you're gullible and easily persuaded, so all I can really do is offer you some valuable advice: all of your problems will be solved if you transfer Serum and Phase Plant to me.

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I haven't tried Serum but I think the closest soundalike would be Vital.

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Supercollider wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 1:13 pm But aren't there a whole host (no pun intended) of legal issues surrounding something like this? It seems a bit "shady" on the surface. I suppose no shadier than cracks but still something that might give one pause.

Of course, in the case of a Microwave II/XT "emulation" (for lack of a better word,) this isn't a current product. So what's the harm? I highly doubt an emulator of this sort would impact sales of the current Waldorf M or Iridium.
Any DSP 56300 based synth should in theory be mapped with this project they've made, so Microwave XT should happens at some point. It should also includes nord leads 2 and so on.

As for legal issue, its exactly the same as for any console emulation. The code to emulate, as long as it's not shipped with the rom, is legal. What isn't, is to get the rom if you dont own the hardware (you're supposed to take the rom from your own machine).
Which of course many people do, as everyone knows.

As for the Virus, it's discontinued.

As for the microwave XT, I've read the source code was lost by Waldorf and that was the main reason why a microwave XT has no chance to exists again... At least someone claims that here (Monotremata - 10 october 2020):

https://gearspace.com/board/electronic- ... 0-a-2.html
Supercollider wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 2:25 am Everyone has their own tastes, of course. But the Microwave sounds freaking amazing to me. If I had to pick just one synth (in terms of sound alone,) it would be the Microwave.
I always had difficulty to program it personally, I, once in a while, arrive at a very good spot not really knowing what I did differently vs the other 10 patches i didnt like :D

Still, its a very good synth, very unique, and once I get something I like, Im definitely happy, so it's a keeper :)

But if you got some tips, definitely happy to hear from you :)

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Deisss wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 6:01 am Still, its a very good synth, very unique, and once I get something I like, Im definitely happy, so it's a keeper :)

But if you got some tips, definitely happy to hear from you :)
I own, or I should say "owned" up until a few days ago, the original Access (yes, that Access) Microwave programmer. Those programmers are selling for insane amounts of money these days and which is how I was able to sell my Microwave and the programmer for a "boatload" of money (which I've now spent on a Waldorf M with cash to spare).

Even though the Access programmer offered only a handful of knobs (but actually nearly as many as on the new(is) Waldorf M,) it made quick patch edits a breeze. Of course, most of the power of the Microwave lies in its various modulation sources and destinations. And so the Access programmer was of no help in that regard.

Once SoundDiver stopped working on the Mac, I was back trying to program all of these complex modulations from the front panel of the Microwave with its single encoder which is pure torture.

So even though the lo-res screen on the Waldorf M is way too small and uses silly, cryptic abbreviations throughout, it's still light years easier to use than programming sounds from the front panel of an original rackmount Microwave.

Anyway, long story short, my only advice, such as it is, is if you are on a Mac, just jump ship and buy an M. If you are on a PC, then consider using the SoundTower Microwave software editor/librarian. That program is SERIOUSLY showing its age, however. There are multiple screens that make using it really, really tedious, IMO. But it's better than using the hardware itself.

Incidentally, I would love for someone to tell me they are successfully using MidiQuest Pro 13 on an Apple Silicon Mac to program and organize sounds on their Microwave and other vintage MIDI synths. I stopped using MidiQuest Pro at v10 because it was a crash-prone POS. It was completely unusable on my 27" Intel iMac and then 15" MacBook Pro.

I might have actually kept my Microwave if I could have been reassured that MiniQuest works flawlessly on the latest Apple Silicon Macs like my M1 Max MacBook Pro. But there was no way in hell I was going to spend $250 (!) on the upgrade without that assurance.

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Supercollider wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 6:24 am Once SoundDiver stopped working on the Mac....I was back trying to program all of these complex modulations from the front panel of the Microwave with its single encoder which is pure torture......Anyway, long story short. My only advice, such as it is, is if you are on a Mac, just jump ship and buy an M.....Incidentally, I would love for someone to tell me they are successfully using MidiQuest Pro 13 on an Apple Silicon Mac to program and organize sounds on their Microwave and other vintage MIDI synths. I stopped using MidiQuest Pro at v10 because it was a crash-prone POS. Completely unusable on my system.

I might have actually kept my Microwave if I could have been reassured that MiniQuest works flawlessly on the latest Apple Silicon Macs. But there was no way I was going to spend $250 (!) on the upgrade without that assurance.
Maybe just not be beholden to all things Apple? Obviously Apple seems to be your issue here

Why not just get a cheap Windows laptop and use that as a dedicated synth programmer instead?

Or better yet, ditch Apple and not be beholden to the whims of Apple breaking your software

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Supercollider wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 10:41 am
zerocrossing wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 9:57 am That said, your claims of various plugins, including Waldorf’s PPG 3, sounding “shrill” or “unmusical” is nonsense. I recently posted a few comparisons between it and my 3rd Wave and only one person ventured to guess, and they couldn’t pick out the hardware. There’s also a good PPG Wave 2.2 vs PPG 3 comparison on YouTube that shows how remarkably close the software gets. Where it misses is that the software sounds a lot cleaner on lower notes. In a sense, I’d argue that the cleaner sound is more to my liking.
I still think the closest you are ever going to get to a "software Microwave" is probably Waldorf's own Largo plugin because it's basically "just' a Blofeld. I actually have a set of Largo patches that someone apparently painstakingly recreated from the Blofeld that sound surprisingly Microwave-like. Not like a PPG, but like an actual Microwave.

This person apparently spent months and months creating this free (!) Largo patch set. It was truly a labor of love. I guess I'm a lazy f***er because I would never invest that amount of time and energy into "proving" that Largo can sound "just as good as" a Microwave. But still, these patches are pretty damn impressive.

Sadly, any time I've tried to program sounds in Largo I've given up in frustration because Largo does sound "thin, weak, and shrill" to me. The "base sound" just isn't pleasing to my ears.

I do own the following Largo patches which sound amazing to me even though they don't sound anything like the Microwave:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6PpN2ZBi_E
I’m going to put you down as “unable to detect reality,” and “gullible.” Cheerio!
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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Have you tried Synapse Audio DUNE 3? It has an analogue modelled filter based on the CEM 3372, which I read somewhere is similar to the CEM 3389 found in the first Microwave.
Wavetables for DUNE2/3, Blofeld, IL Harmor, Hive and Serum etc: http://charlesdickens.neocities.org/
£10 for lifetime updates including wavetable editor for Windows.

Music: https://soundcloud.com/markholt

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cytospur wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 7:04 am Have you tried Synapse Audio DUNE 3? It has an analogue modelled filter based on the CEM 3372, which I read somewhere is similar to the CEM 3389 found in the first Microwave.
Outside of the filter, if im not wrong a part of the grit of the Microwave XT are the osc in 8 bits...

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IvyBirds wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 6:29 am Maybe just not be beholden to all things Apple? Obviously Apple seems to be your issue here

Why not just get a cheap Windows laptop and use that as a dedicated synth programmer instead?

Or better yet, ditch Apple and not be beholden to the whims of Apple breaking your software
Now why did you have to go and open Pandora's box? This was all perfectly civil until you just had to grind your axe. F*ck me. Do I really need to describe reality to you?

I did actually have a Vienna Ensemble PC in my studio (and still do although it doesn't get much use these days given how powerful Apple Silicon Macs are).

I had rigged up this insanely complicated setup using more than dozen (!) MiDI merge and thru boxes (24 in total) so I could use my PC running SoundDiver to communicate with my synths while I used my reliable and stable Mac to run Logic.

If you could have seen behind my rack at the ridiculous spaghetti mess of MIDI cables you would have probably both laughed and been equally impressed by my ingenuity. It was terribly clever if I do say so myself.

But it was just stupid in the end. I spent about $1,000 on this ridiculous pile of MIDI merge and thru boxes just to run SoundDiver. That's next level insane.

But what was the alternative, use a POS PC that would crash constantly? Or get rid of all of my beloved vintage hardware synths?

I finally just gave up and decided to unload all of these 1980s' era hardware synths and replace them with modern equivalents like swapping the Microwave for the M.

You can of course continue to use a single shitty PC and crappy plugins if you so choose. Whatever "works" for you.

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