Waldorf M Wavetable Synthesizer Review
Wavetable synthesis was a groundbreaking technology when it was introduced in 1978, and Waldorf Electronics has become synonymous with wavetable synthesis through its range of wavetable synths, including the classic Microwave. The Waldorf M is a modern recreation of the original Microwave, with a few updates and improvements.
One of the standout features of the M is its spacious front panel, which offers plenty of hands-on control, including a 3-inch color display and a range of buttons to speed up navigation. It is also 4-part multitimbral and includes USB and MIDI connectivity, as well as an SD card slot for wavetable import, patch backup, and OS updates.
The M includes two wavetable oscillators, each of which can load a different wavetable, and a 24dB/oct ladder filter. It also has analogue VCAs, four envelopes, and two LFOs. While it lacks some of the features of later Microwave models, such as a modulation matrix and effects, it does offer oscillator sync and ring modulation in Microwave II mode.
One of the key differences between the M and the original Microwave is that the M includes wavetables from the entire Waldorf range, rather than just the original wavetables. This means that users have access to a much wider range of sounds, including those from the Microwave II, Microwave XT, Wave, Blofeld, Largo, Nave, Quantum, and Iridium.
In addition to the standard wavetables, the M also includes a range of new wavetables, including some designed specifically for the M. These new wavetables offer even more sound design possibilities and allow users to create a wider range of sounds than was possible with the original Microwave.
One of the key strengths of the M is its sound quality. The combination of digital oscillators and analogue filters gives it a warm, rich sound that is characteristic of Waldorf synths. The analogue VCAs add further depth and character to the sound, and the 24dB/oct ladder filter adds a classic flavour to the sound.
The M is also very easy to use, with a straightforward interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate. The 3-inch color display is clear and easy to read, and the various buttons and knobs are well laid out and easy to use
- Classic wavetable synthesis sound.
- Spacious front panel with 3-inch color display and buttons for quick navigation.
- Can load a different wavetable for each oscillator.
- Four-part multitimbral capability.
- 24dB/oct filter with smooth analogue design, analogue VCAs.
- Four envelopes and two LFOs for modulation.
- Optional voice expansion card for 16 voices.
- Traditional MIDI DIN and USB Type B ports for MIDI.
- Sleek, modern design and easy to use.
- Lacks features of Microwave II/XT such as modulation matrix, FM, and effects.
- Only has sync and ring modulation in Microwave II oscillator mode.
- May not be as versatile as some other synthesizers.
- Expensive for some users.
- Type: Desktop Synthesizer
- Analog/Digital: Hybrid
- Polyphony: 8 Notes (16 with expansion board)
- Presets: 2048 x Factory Presets, 128 x Multis
- Oscillators: 2 x Wavetable Oscillators
- Waveforms: 96 x Factory Wavetables, 32 x User Wavetables, Sawtooth, Square, Triangle
- Noise Generator: Pink Noise
- Envelope Generator: 4 x Programmable EG (attack, decay, sustain, release), Delay, Loop
- LFO: 2 x LFO (sine, triangle, pulse, random, sample and hold)
- VCA: Analog Stereo VCA per Voice
- Filter: Analog 24dB/octave Lowpass SSI 2144 Ladder
- Sample and Hold: Yes
- Arpeggiator: 16 Patterns, Chord Mode, MIDI Clock Sync
- Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4” TS (L/mono, R), 4 x 1/4” (aux out)
- Headphones: 1 x 1/4”
- MIDI I/O: In/Out/Thru/USB
- USB: 1 x Type B
- Memory: SD Card Slot
- Power Supply: 12V DC power supply (included)
- Height: 3.34”
- Width: 17.32”
- Depth: 12.00”
- Weight: 12.56 lbs.
- Manufacturer Part Number: WALDORFM
- Retail: $2,100