Waldorf Blofeld issues

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
1 posts since 23 May, 2008

Post Fri May 23, 2008 1:43 am

Hi all, the Waldorf Blofeld is a nice little synth with great value, but....
I got mine some 3 months ago. Since then I have experienced each and every of the 'issues' and problems you can imagine.
Here is the (not exhaustive) list:
1. Imagine you are playing live and all of a sudden *all* your presets turn into the init preset (open filter, 1 oscillator), the kind of sound you use to tune your instruments. Is it a nighmare? yes, it happened to me. OS version 1.02 supposedly solved this problem. Nope.
2. Every once in a while the synth stops making sound and displays a message such as 'invalid wave data' or 'waiting for dsp'. You have to turn it off and on again.
3. If you are using USB for MIDI transmission you will face a lot of potential problems such as your system not recognizing the Blofeld sometimes, wich is really frustrating.
4. The Blofeld will not sync correctly to incoming MIDI Clock messages. That includes arpeggiator sync, delay sync, LFO sync, and so on. This is really bad because you simply cannot use all of its features when conected to your favourite host (cubase, etc.).
All of these issues have been posted in Waldorf forums, but (alas) most of them have been misteriously deleted.
Many of us who have posted this issues, who have contacted Waldorf and who have tried every possible means of solving the problem have been banned from posting new posts.
I don't know what is going on at Waldorf, but if this is the way they are doing bussiness I'm afraid they will not stay for long (yet again)
Of course I have sold the Blofeld in the second hand market and since then I have bought a Korg Radias with wich I am completely satisfied.
Best regards to all of you

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30715 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Fri May 23, 2008 1:53 am

I have to say Access are not a lot better. Really crappy support I've had from them so far.

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1263 posts since 6 May, 2005 from Michigan, USA

Post Fri May 23, 2008 5:58 am

I haven't encountered any of the first three issues myself, YET, but the MIDI clock sync issue wouldn't surprise me - I haven't had much luck thus far getting my MicroQ to sync to MIDI clock (haven't tried syncing the Blofeld yet). When I wanted to use a MicroQ arpeggiated pattern in a song recently, I just set the tempo on the mQ, recorded it into Sonar, and dragged the audio event a tiny bit to stretch it so that it lined up right with the end of the last bar. The time stretch was minimal enough not to produce much in the way of sonic degradation. That works fine for recording - obviously doesn't help for live use.

It does seem like some of the Waldorf stuff inherits not only a part of the PPG's sonic distinctiveness but also some of the PPG's quirkiness. I put up with it (as PPG Wave users did in the '80s, I suppose) because I like the sound so darned much and can't really get it anywhere else at this point. If a VST synth came along that really captured that sound - the wavetables, the filters, the ultra-fast envelopes, etc. - I'd be all over it.

20 posts since 5 May, 2008

Post Tue May 27, 2008 3:29 am

I haven't encountered those problems either with my Blofeld. (haven't tried midi sync). Sounds like yours was broken.

Windows didn't recognise it at first, but that turned out to be a problem with my Windows install and it worked fine ever since.

I do have the problem that sounddiver can't send patches over USB, but that again is a well known problem with Window's midi driver. Midi-Ox does work fine for this.

There are a few minor bugs left in the Blofeld, which are being worked on. The most unpleasant thing I experienced once was that during sound editing the Blofeld suddenly started emitting an insanely loud high pitched square wave sound. I was wearing headphones and it really hurt my ears.

I post bugs I find to the Waldorf mailing list, to see if anyone else experienced them. And then someone there can add it to Waldorf's internal bug list.

Apart from that it indeed has great sound quality and very flexible synthesis. I'm enjoying it a lot.

3 posts since 24 Jun, 2006

Post Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:12 pm

i bought a black blofeld keyboard 6 weeks ago online from a reputable company. i opened the box and plugged it in. i started auditioning the presets. i ran into NOTHING but bugs. It was like the AMAZON. i was so frustrated, yet the sounds that it WAS making were really outstanding.
ANYWAY, the company agreed to gladly replace the unit but i really had my doubts about any other unit.
well , i got my new unit. plugged it in and ive been using it for 3 days with only ONE lock up. personally i dont like even ONE lockup. i have a Korg Kronos and it has not locked up or made a funny sound ONCE in 2 months.
BUT THIS BLOFELD SOUNDS LIKE ONE MEAN LITTLE BITCH> it has INCREDIBLE FILTERS and a low end that has to be heard to believe. i have put it through a few hurdles and it flies relatively Flawless and again IT SOUNDS AMAZING. i mean REALLY GOOD. there is NO aliasing in the filters Whatsoever and if your looking for an aggressive synth this is the one. EDITING is not exactly INStANT but what they have done is pretty accessible.
I RECOMMEND THIS SYNTH to say the least.
i have an M-Audio Venom and although i have no complaints about that 400 dollar synth i have to say, it does NOT sound as HARD UP FRONT as the Blofeld.
once you get into the deeper editing you find a very complex and able synth.
and another BIG PLUS is that is is SOLID. its HEAVY for something so small. and they KEYBOARD FEELS AWESOME. it is currently my favorite action on a synth and the mod wheels really feel smooth too.
basically it is a tank.
i would not hesitate at all to take this synth onstage.
if you do need to reboot though, TURN DOWN THAT CHANNEL because it does make a solid POP when you turn it off or on.
it boots rather quickly too.
waldorf really does sound "a world all its own".

7043 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:30 pm

Oh great, I just bought a used Blofeld, and was not aware of all these problems. I haven't experienced any of these yet, so fingers crossed... I also have a yellow Q keyboard, and just love the Waldorf sound!
Incomplete list of my gear: 110V AC to 12V DC 1.5A power supply (+ tip)

53 posts since 21 May, 2002

Post Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:27 am

I have latest version 1.15 installed and i agree, very strange playing , especally arpeggiators. I can set proper midi tempo , but plays very strange,
like not in sync, little yes, little no.
It's way different that Vst instruments, with rock solid sync , arps, sync effects, everything...

Aural Chaos
1107 posts since 31 Oct, 2002 from the high desert

Post Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:35 am

fidox wrote: It's way different that Vst instruments, with rock solid sync , arps, sync effects, everything...
Except of course Waldorf's VST instruments- same problem with arps not syncing.

53 posts since 21 May, 2002

Post Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:41 am

Aural Chaos wrote:
Except of course Waldorf's VST instruments- same problem with arps not syncing.

true and sad, i also own Largo

660 posts since 12 Sep, 2007 from Sweden

Post Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:25 am

1 and 2 sound like you have a defective unit (something dodgy with the DSP processor or the memory). Mine has never done that. If I got an error message like that, I would have the unit replaced.

#3 seems like a Windows issue. I've had that problem with Windows sometimes with everything from USB memory sticks to MIDI interfaces to game controllers. Older motherboards also have more USB problems than newer ones.

I've heard about #4 before but never been able to reproduce it myself. My Blofeld's arpeggiator is always in sync as are the LFOs, even when using ridiculously high tempos and time divisions. I'm using Reaper and have all the boxes under Midi Devices checked (Restrict MIDI hardware output to one thread, On stop play: Send all notes off, Reset pitch and Reset CC). MIDI sync is always tricky and sensitive to latencies throughout your system. I've read lots of reports of high latency and trouble with MIDI sync for users of the Virus and other synths too.

Don't forget to read the manual as there are many options relating to the LFO and arpeggiator. For example, "Synced" and "Clocked" are two completely different parameters that are not directly related. There are also parameters for phase, fade, delay etc.
Hardware: Akai MPK61, MFB-Synth II, Roland JX-8P, Virus TI Snow, KORG MS2000R, Roland SH-01
Favorite software: Sylenth1, Synth1, Messiah, ME80, OPX-Pro II, Zebra 2, Diva, Reason, Studio One V2 Pro

894 posts since 9 Aug, 2004 from Rome, Italy

Post Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:50 am

I see a lot of Blofeld machines in the italian secondhand market.
That means something, usually, even on such a low price tag... A.
"For some reason everyone on this site hates Roger Nichols, loves Zebra, doesn't need a Virus (unless it's TI), uses Reaper, and thinks the Kaoss pad is cool: remember these rules and you'll be popular." (blackboyrockinit)

Aural Chaos
1107 posts since 31 Oct, 2002 from the high desert

Post Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:09 am

I do love my Blofeld, but spend some time reading posts from the mailing list- there are WAY more issues than can be accounted for by defective units or user error.
It is by far the buggiest piece of hardware I've ever owned, although the times when it has just freaked out and started acting weird for no reason have luckily been few and far between.

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163 posts since 30 Mar, 2011 from Sweden

Post Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:51 pm

Now I've got a Blofeld, and I like it :love:
Here's a quick test I made to see if it worked.


3431 posts since 13 Jul, 2004 from Earth

Post Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:48 am

NON_73 wrote:Now I've got a Blofeld, and I like it :love:
Here's a quick test I made to see if it worked.

I bought one too but i got a broken one :/
Hope that it won't take too long to get it back.

Brand new from the shop and almost no sound on right output.
A few presets didn't even make a sound and other sounds made a high powered blowing sound that sounded like heavy wind in a microphone followed by a sharp whitenoise explosion.

That is my kind of luck.

Looking forward to get it back since the few sounds that worked sounded very good.

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17840 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:18 pm

OP's issue #1 is fixed by v1.16 beta OS.

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