A wavetable synth plugin replacement for my beloved Microwave?

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zerocrossing wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 4:39 pm
egbert101 wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 11:41 am All you need to do is add the wavetables from your Microwave and then use them in whatever wavetable synthesizer supports them. Of course, they won't sound exactly the same because it's a different synth, so if you must have the sound of a microwave then use a microwave.

Here is an example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_poQaAPt54
I’ve been doing this for a while with mixed results. There’s something about how the PPG plays back wavetables that makes it different, though the PPG 3 plugin does a surprisingly decent job of it. From a-b comparisons I’ve seen, the software is a bit smoother sounding. Fewer digital artifacts. In a way, it’s actually a bit of an improvement.

Using the same wavetable in Dune 3 and on my M results in a more similar result. Of course, Dune doesn’t have an emulation of that same filter, VCA, etc, so it’s never going to be an exact match. If you aren’t hyper focused on getting an exact match, you’ll probably find that you can get equally great results. Making sure each voice has slightly different filter cutoff is really helpful in capturing that hardware sound.

I posted some PPG 3 vs 3rd Wave examples for two dudes who assured me that PPG 3 sucked in comparison. Neither one of them ventured to guess which was the hardware. Only one person in the tread posted and only to admit that he couldn’t tell me which one was the hardware. The two others made some lame comments about the posts were somehow flawed in a way. They contained a raw oscillator, filter sweep and full on complex preset comparison.

The truth is, modern software is very good. Any differences are almost always neutral in terms of quality. I love hardware synths, but I’m not delusional about them. I own the 3rd Wave more because of how far it goes beyond PPG 3, not because it sounds more like a PPG Wave.
Which DUNE3 filter did you use? As I understand it, the Polaris filter is modelled on a CEM filter that is closely related to the Microwave analogue filter.
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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Supercollider wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 5:09 pm
This fellow Ian Dixon is an absolute saint. All of the modwave sound banks he has created and basically made available for free (although a donation is always welcome) are rather remarkable.

But his "PPG" sound set doesn't sound anything like a real PPG or even a Microwave, IMO. That's not his fault. It's just that the modwave is super thin and digital-sounding by comparison.

FYI, I own the modwave native plugin and do find it useful for some things. But as a Microwave replacement, it's not even close.
No, it doesn't sound like a PPG at all. And the Modwave is probably the only synthesizer I can say that I dislike the sound of. I am not trying to be provocative, I love the Wavestate and Opsix (I owned both, but sold them as they were too plasticky, terrible keyboard and underpowered CPU compared to the VST's), but there is just something with the sound of the Modwave that just ticks off all the wrong boxes for me.
Not sure if it is the cold and harsh filter or something else. But then again I have not heard any non PPG/Waldorf wavetable that comes near the original PPG wavetables.

Maybe because I am super used to those wavetables, but anything else by another manufacturer just sounds.... not quite right.
Brought to you by The Letter Z

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This thread made me look at what the Microwave has to offer since it was off my radar, initially it sounded brittle, very harsh, but the tweak ability is of the charts. It produces very unique sounds.
An official vst could prove reasonably popular but might be viewed as low hanging fruit?

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cytospur wrote: Thu May 30, 2024 2:47 am
zerocrossing wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 4:39 pm
egbert101 wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 11:41 am All you need to do is add the wavetables from your Microwave and then use them in whatever wavetable synthesizer supports them. Of course, they won't sound exactly the same because it's a different synth, so if you must have the sound of a microwave then use a microwave.

Here is an example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_poQaAPt54
I’ve been doing this for a while with mixed results. There’s something about how the PPG plays back wavetables that makes it different, though the PPG 3 plugin does a surprisingly decent job of it. From a-b comparisons I’ve seen, the software is a bit smoother sounding. Fewer digital artifacts. In a way, it’s actually a bit of an improvement.

Using the same wavetable in Dune 3 and on my M results in a more similar result. Of course, Dune doesn’t have an emulation of that same filter, VCA, etc, so it’s never going to be an exact match. If you aren’t hyper focused on getting an exact match, you’ll probably find that you can get equally great results. Making sure each voice has slightly different filter cutoff is really helpful in capturing that hardware sound.

I posted some PPG 3 vs 3rd Wave examples for two dudes who assured me that PPG 3 sucked in comparison. Neither one of them ventured to guess which was the hardware. Only one person in the tread posted and only to admit that he couldn’t tell me which one was the hardware. The two others made some lame comments about the posts were somehow flawed in a way. They contained a raw oscillator, filter sweep and full on complex preset comparison.

The truth is, modern software is very good. Any differences are almost always neutral in terms of quality. I love hardware synths, but I’m not delusional about them. I own the 3rd Wave more because of how far it goes beyond PPG 3, not because it sounds more like a PPG Wave.
Which DUNE3 filter did you use? As I understand it, the Polaris filter is modelled on a CEM filter that is closely related to the Microwave analogue filter.
I believe it was the Polaris filter, though I’m not sure. I’ll check my “Microwave” template preset later, when I get into my studio.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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I just don't think that works. I've had many VSTs that had actual Virus wavetables. None of them sounds like a Virus. Not saying they were bad, but a wavetable doesn't make a synth.

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Z wrote: Thu May 30, 2024 4:29 am
Supercollider wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 5:09 pm
This fellow Ian Dixon is an absolute saint. All of the modwave sound banks he has created and basically made available for free (although a donation is always welcome) are rather remarkable.

But his "PPG" sound set doesn't sound anything like a real PPG or even a Microwave, IMO. That's not his fault. It's just that the modwave is super thin and digital-sounding by comparison.

FYI, I own the modwave native plugin and do find it useful for some things. But as a Microwave replacement, it's not even close.
No, it doesn't sound like a PPG at all. And the Modwave is probably the only synthesizer I can say that I dislike the sound of. I am not trying to be provocative, I love the Wavestate and Opsix (I owned both, but sold them as they were too plasticky, terrible keyboard and underpowered CPU compared to the VST's), but there is just something with the sound of the Modwave that just ticks off all the wrong boxes for me.
Not sure if it is the cold and harsh filter or something else. But then again I have not heard any non PPG/Waldorf wavetable that comes near the original PPG wavetables.

Maybe because I am super used to those wavetables, but anything else by another manufacturer just sounds.... not quite right.
I have to laugh when I read posts like this, because the analog modeled filters in the Modwave are actually quite good. I thought the MS20 sounded too tame at first, until a nice fellow from Korg who worked on the development suggested that I didn’t understand how the gain control worked. To my credit, it’s fairly unintuitive, but when I selected the right option, the filter got nice and screamy, just like the real MS20.

The filter emulations aren’t what keeps the Modwave from sounding like a PPG, it’s how the wavetable is rendered. First off, no interpolation. Any smooth transition between waves comes from the way the wavetable is made. I can’t remember the specific details, but the PPG did something like play an 8 bit wavetable but at a high, variable sample rate. Changing the pitch by varying the sample rate has the benefit of creating digital artifacts that are harmonically related to the note being played, which is different than most aliasing which is harmonically unrelated and is often dissonant. I might be wrong about that description, but that’s how I remember it from someone very familiar with the PPG technology. The short of it is that you get artifacts that add harmonics in an interesting way, especially when using lower notes. If anyone knows the specifics, I’d be happy to be corrected, but the result is a different type of sound from the same wavetable run in a different synth. The Microwave sounds rougher and more dissonant due to how the wavetable is played back. From my limited experiments, the way most plugins render a wavetable is closer to how the Microwave/M works.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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osiris wrote: Thu May 30, 2024 5:33 am I just don't think that works. I've had many VSTs that had actual Virus wavetables. None of them sounds like a Virus. Not saying they were bad, but a wavetable doesn't make a synth.
Of course this is true. No analog synth is just its oscillators, either. All synths are a sum of their parts. Even how the wavetable is played back has a big impact on the sound.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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Sure same type of filter is necessary. But I bet with a Match EQ and a Saturator you can make Soft Wavetable Synths damn close sounding to the Waldorf Microwave. Warm and fuzzy at the same time. :wink:

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zerocrossing wrote: Thu May 30, 2024 5:33 am
cytospur wrote: Thu May 30, 2024 2:47 am
zerocrossing wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 4:39 pm
egbert101 wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 11:41 am All you need to do is add the wavetables from your Microwave and then use them in whatever wavetable synthesizer supports them. Of course, they won't sound exactly the same because it's a different synth, so if you must have the sound of a microwave then use a microwave.

Here is an example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_poQaAPt54
I’ve been doing this for a while with mixed results. There’s something about how the PPG plays back wavetables that makes it different, though the PPG 3 plugin does a surprisingly decent job of it. From a-b comparisons I’ve seen, the software is a bit smoother sounding. Fewer digital artifacts. In a way, it’s actually a bit of an improvement.

Using the same wavetable in Dune 3 and on my M results in a more similar result. Of course, Dune doesn’t have an emulation of that same filter, VCA, etc, so it’s never going to be an exact match. If you aren’t hyper focused on getting an exact match, you’ll probably find that you can get equally great results. Making sure each voice has slightly different filter cutoff is really helpful in capturing that hardware sound.

I posted some PPG 3 vs 3rd Wave examples for two dudes who assured me that PPG 3 sucked in comparison. Neither one of them ventured to guess which was the hardware. Only one person in the tread posted and only to admit that he couldn’t tell me which one was the hardware. The two others made some lame comments about the posts were somehow flawed in a way. They contained a raw oscillator, filter sweep and full on complex preset comparison.

The truth is, modern software is very good. Any differences are almost always neutral in terms of quality. I love hardware synths, but I’m not delusional about them. I own the 3rd Wave more because of how far it goes beyond PPG 3, not because it sounds more like a PPG Wave.
Which DUNE3 filter did you use? As I understand it, the Polaris filter is modelled on a CEM filter that is closely related to the Microwave analogue filter.
I believe it was the Polaris filter, though I’m not sure. I’ll check my “Microwave” template preset later, when I get into my studio.
I tested with the Polaris filter trying to dial up sounds from one of the videos posted. I thought it got pretty damned close.
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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You may actually want to try reaktor. Making a wavetable OSC that plays exactly how the microwave did it (I think it's just a set table length played back at whatever sample rate makes the proper pitch with very little or no interpolation and anti aliasing) shouldn't be a huge undertaking. I'm sure there's better technical info around for your research needs. A decent method for loading pre existing tables to your array might be more complicated (I've never been a big fan of how reaktor handles wav data). Then you could just run it through any of the very nice modelled filters out there and have complete control over pre/ post distortion and gain staging. Once you get the signal path you like you can save the whole thing and you'll be good to go. Just a suggestion. It would be some work, but far less work than trying every existing wavetable vst.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

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egbert101 wrote: Thu May 30, 2024 2:41 am
LFO8 wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 11:14 pm

😂

Quite blunt, but perhaps touches on some good cognitive biases the OP seems to display.

Somehow Serum can only make those god-awful dubstep sounds. A Waldorf Microwave can only make cream-de-la-creme sounds that instantly send you to Valhalla. Surely the Microwave could not make god-awful nasty sounds just like nearly any other wavetable synth on earth?

😜
More expensive = more elite sounding. It's one of the worst forms of bias in the synth world.
A lot of threads like this are bragging disguised as a legitimate question. They’re not looking for a replacement, they want adulation for being cool enough to be able to own a classic synth.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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Ah_Dziz wrote: Fri May 31, 2024 5:42 am You may actually want to try reaktor. Making a wavetable OSC that plays exactly how the microwave did it (I think it's just a set table length played back at whatever sample rate makes the proper pitch with very little or no interpolation and anti aliasing) shouldn't be a huge undertaking. I'm sure there's better technical info around for your research needs. A decent method for loading pre existing tables to your array might be more complicated (I've never been a big fan of how reaktor handles wav data). Then you could just run it through any of the very nice modelled filters out there and have complete control over pre/ post distortion and gain staging. Once you get the signal path you like you can save the whole thing and you'll be good to go. Just a suggestion. It would be some work, but far less work than trying every existing wavetable vst.
There is some Microwave emulation in the user library… but I don’t think it’s a Microwave 1. I think EvilDragon may have had something to do with it… I forget the details. If you search you should find it.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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If I started a thread: "An analogue synth to replace my beloved Minimoog" and then I dismissed all answers made because they don't sound like a minimoog. I think people would be rightly annoyed if they were trying to offer to solve a problem that is impossible to solve.

But, I don't think the OP is more annoying than anyone else, even though he was banned.
<list your stupid gear here>

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DSP56300 Emu - Xenia - Waldorf Microwave XT Demo


https://youtu.be/B6Kr07JyAfg
I'm not a musician, but I've designed sounds that others use to make music. http://soundcloud.com/obsidiananvil

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Shabdahbriah wrote: Fri May 31, 2024 6:48 am DSP56300 Emu - Xenia - Waldorf Microwave XT Demo


https://youtu.be/B6Kr07JyAfg
That looks good

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