Blofeld Keyboard?

Anyone ever played one? Any good? Opinions?

I had the Blofeld module. I thought it was okay but what killed it for me was the very low volume output. My 12 in audio interface can only boost so much and its level just was never high enough to cut through the rest of the sound modules.

I sold it in the end.

I think the consensus here is that the old Microwave modules (especially the ones with analogue filtering) are the best.

My master keyboard and go-to synth. Unbeatable in its versality in that price range

I also have the original Microwave, but VA engine alone make Blofeld worth owning

I had both the keyboard and the desktop unit.
I actually really liked it. I like the sound of it, it’s really flexible, can be totally nasty and badass or soft and dreamy. Sometimes you hear that it’s digital, but I find that part of the appeal. If I want something analog, I get something analog.

I sold the keyboard because I didn’t know where to put it in my flat and for the desktop unit. Later i totally regret doing so, because sometimes it’s nice to have a keyboard you switch on and play some tunes on it. At least I like that. Now I can’t do that anymore.

The blofeld is built like a tank, very heavy, has a decent keybed (fatar) and has a good menu system. You control everything through encoders, which can be a bit of a mixed experience (did we have this topic already?). The problem in my opinion is that the synth can do really a lot and it feels like too much is crammed into an interface which only has a few controls. Despite the well designed menu system you end up jumping around a lot in menus and that gets a bit annoying sometimes.

feature-wise I think that there is a lot of cool stuff the Blofeld can do: wavetables, samples, comb filters, FM, filter FM and you also get a bunch of acceptable affects and a really nice arpeggiator.
The keyboard also has aftertouch and is multi-timbral. It can actually handle quite a lot of voices and timbres at the same time (good thing about being DSP-based).

I’m seriously considering to buy one again, as soon as I will have found a bigger flat!

Least worse product from the resurrected Waldorf Company :wink:

Would someone mind comparing it to Waldorf Largo ?
I’m interested in if there are any similarities or not :slight_smile:

Waldorf Largo lacks somehow a bit of a physical appearance?

Sound-wise, mr. Smartypants72 :wink:

I just recently sold my Blofeld module and can second everything said before. The sound is pretty great, specially for the price and the built quality is also decent. Sadly, as 6581punk said, the volume is very low.

Besides that, you can really do a lot with it and that for me also was part of why I sold it. The more “important” parameters are edited with the 4 encoders and a few buttons that change the sections like OSCs, filters and such. I think that works quite good in general.

But the secondary parameters all have to be edited via the screen and the 2 encoders beneath it. So you constantly have to switch between them and the 4 main encoders. I felt this was kinda off-putting and I never got used to it. I actually preferred using softsynths in regards of usability. And that shouldn’t happen when it comes to hardware synths. At least in my opinion.

Oh and one thing I should mention, which totally pissed me off right from the beginning:
The Blofeld comes with 999 preset slots and they are all filled with crap.

Now I understand that they have to put their crappy preset sounds on a synth, some people might even find them useful, but why fill the whole memory with them. Why not make it at least 50-50?

If you ever get a Blofeld I suggest you overwrite all the preset slots with an INIT preset. You won’t be able to audition all the sounds on it anyway, takes far too long and is far too frustrating.

@fcd72 Have you played with the Nave iPad app? It’s pretty nice.

Thanks for the feedback, very helpful. Does the Keyboard have the same low output volume issue as the desktop version?

@t2k
im lacking an iPad so sadly, no
Regarding the Blodeld low output - as if it was a problem to either crank up the gain on your mixer or just make a small booster amp out of an OpAmp and a piece of PerfBoard - you even could uses a BreadBoard Friend Audio Output for this….

@rumpelfilter I totally agree on all the preloaded Blofeld patches. I guess it’s one of those things when you can reason that there’s no downside of all those free patches, but I think the massive amount actually come in the way of creative sound sculpting. Also, I don’t care for the trance-like bias of the library. A matter of taste I guess.

@t2k: probably my mixer has a good gain, but I never noticed the low volume problem, not on the keyboard nor on the dektop.
Keep in mind that the keyboard version is just the desktop unit mounted into a keyboard case. Apparently if you open it you’ll find that they have put the same external PSU that comes with the desktop version inside :slight_smile:

@Bjarne: of course one can just ignore the presets, and as you say, you get them for free. But still I find it totally overwhelming to have such an immense amount of presets, and no free space to create your own, takes away the motivation to do some sound design for yourself.

@rumpelfilter Exactly!

FWIW I tend to delete all presets on every new synth I get.

Got a Blofeld module from the bay for very few bucks. I was interested how it sounds. The box is nice and heavy and I like the knobs! Tweaking the sound is working good.
It does have some surprises soundwise and can even sound really good. I found that turning off the internal FX improves the sound quality on some presets. The FX seem to have a certain “ring” in the mid frequency range that I find annoying.
The Blofeld has the typical sound character of the digital waldorfs (like the Q), they tend to sound a bit thin and have a kind of “excited”, fizzy high end.
But, especially given the price, it’s a very usable synth. I found a lot of nice pads. (Yes, way too much and too much bad presets…)
You could say, it’s the poor man’s Virus. :wink:
The only thing that really annoyed me are lots of clicks when you max out the voices. Access has found a lot better way to cut old notes without noticable clicks.
Owning a Virus TI2 (the plugin still sucks! They can’t seem to get it right. Just lots of latency, dropouts and sync problems. But standalone it’s great!) I have to say that the Virus beats the Blofeld by far. It sounds a lot better and more “expensive”. The technical details of the user interface are also much better.
But if you can’t afford a Virus, the Blofeld is a nice alternative. Definitely a nice synth and I hope that waldorf will finally continue to improve the firmware.

Yeah that’s been the problem with the Blofeld, the worlds largest and longest public beta test. Don’t buy one thinking it’s something you can use live.

I had a Blofeld Desktop for about 25 hrs. Software back then was more a sketch of a prerelease Beta, and sound wise it did not compete neither with the MicroWave nor the MicroQ so i sent it back.