Waldorf Pulse by Don Edgar
This is my first analogue synth, so some of my observations regarding envelopes etc. may be obvious to people who already own analogues.
I was looking for a Synth that was completely controllable via Midi CC's, because i want to keep everything controllable via DAW.
I bought this synth for 275€ used, and the guy who sold it told me, he had blown a friend's speakers once with it, so i was very excited about
Well, i can perfectly understand how you could blow your speakers with this. The Bass this thing produces is huge:
let's get to the individual parts of this:
Oscillators: Well they are DCOs, and you can hear it. The beating you get when slightly detuning the oscillators is very stable, unlike what i've heard from Demos of VCO Synths. I think some VA Plug-ins do this better. The overall sound of the OSCs is really harsh, but i was expecting it. A nice feature is that you can overdrive the
Sounds nice. Only Problem is that Volume gets reduced when turning up the resonance:
A lot of the Bass Power this synth has gets reduced when turning up the resonance. The resonance for itself sounds nice though:
AnalogGuy pointed out to me that the Envelopes in the Pulse are digital. Well, seems like a classic autosuggestion thing
Anyway, I found something interesting about the Envelopes (and LFOs) in the SOS review (this part is written by Wolfram Franke from Waldorf):
Envelopes are snappy as hell. I love those things. You tweak them and they suddeny do unexpected things. When i was listening to demos of analogue synths i focussed a lot on the Oscs and the filters, but you don't get the magic of analogue envelopes until you sit in front of them and actually hear what they're doing in relation to what you are doing. They're great for percussive stuff, especially when you make extensive use of the
It let's you route basically everything to everything, i wish you could route certain things to individual parts of the envelopes, but there are Softsynths which let you do that if you really need it. Here's an example of the use of the modulation matrix for percussive FX sequences:
Sometimes you get caught by the possibilities and end up with crazy but unusable sounds. This one shows also the aggresive overall sound of this thing:
Another example of extensive use of the modulation matrix, a sync sound:
Ease of Use:
I made a control map for my Novation SL Mk2, but in the end i ended tweaking the synth with it's own matrix. That's possibly just a psycholgical thing, because it feels better to do parameter changes at the synth itself. The encoders don't have a pickup mode, so everytime you start turning a knob, the parameter you want to change jumps to the value the (non-endless) encoder is on. That's just plain stupid, but i got used to it. There's also a way to look at the value the parameter you want to change is in, but i never used that. As i said, you get used to the jumpy encoders.
Well, it has everything you need for basic monophonic stuff, and some more. It's fully midi controllable, has an extensive modulation matrix, 3 Oscs, 2 LFOs (one has only a triangle waveform and a Delay, can be heard in the Sync Sound example), 2 Envelopes and a VCA (Pan can be modulated too, as you hear in some examples).
Bang for Buck:
used prices range between 250-300€, for that price you can get also a good VA Plug-In, but i recommend to just try it for yourself. The used prices are usually stable or go up (depending on what people on this site write about it heh), so you can always resell it if you don't find it's worth it. I for myself am lusting for other analogues after i tried my first one!
Depeche Mode - New Life Cover made entirely with the Pulse: