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Blofeld (or any others) as a step-up after Minilogue XD module?
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Blofeld (or any others) as a step-up after Minilogue XD module?

Hey folks. I am a synth player using Minilogue XD module live extensively. I use an Arturia Keylab Essential 61 for versatility. But I am getting a little bored of subtractive systhesis and want to try something else, like FM, wavetable or even sampling (maybe from my VSTs Wink) but still needs subtractive stuff extensively. So here are pros and cons of Minilogue XD module from my experience:

Pros:

  1. Of great value. 4-voice poly analog synth with digital fx and osc. I mean like, what more can I ask for in that price range?

  2. Hands-on controls. I feel 90% of the time I don’t need to menu dive, unless I want to tweak the digital osc extensively. It saves time as a convenient workflow.

  3. Third party osc and fx. This really extend the synth’s ability way beyond a subtractive synth. Many free osc and fx are already amazing to play with.

  4. Portability. The module is smallish to carry with.

  5. MIDI out. I use it as a centre piece of MIDI Program Change for my setup.

Cons:

  1. Not versatile enough. The basis structure is still subtractive with only one filter mode and only AD filter envelope. No modulation matrix (basically the biggest limitation, though I know it is not designed for that). The digital units are limited by menus and also the performance of the internal processor. There is essentially no good workflow to do non-subtractive stuff.

  2. Too long. I cannot fit it into my case. The outer frame is really too long to be necessary.

  3. No MIDI thru. I can work with that anyway but just saying.

So as you can see, my requirements are in short: more versatile than XD, portable, not too expensive. I know Iridium can do it all but hey, if I got the cash, I would not have even posted here Wink And here are some if my options and failures:

  • Hydrasynth Desktop. I have actually bought it to replace the XD. Everyone knows it is an gem for modulation fan. But the problem is that I cannot take it live with me because it is too bulky and heavy, given I still got other stuff to take with me. So I gave up on it eventually.

  • Arturia Microfreak. I have also tried it a long time ago. I probably thought the virtual analog is too limited (with only 2 osc I remember?) And it does not has any onboard fx.

  • Korg Wavestate also was a strong candidate although it is essentially a rompler. But it is too huge… Man oh man, even after cutting the keyboard off, the thing is still monster size.

  • 1010music Blackbox is also considered. The only downside is that it is only a sampler. You cannot extensively edit the sound coming out of the multisample pads. And it maybe has performance issues with too many polyphonies. Still considering it.

  • The new Roland SH-4d also caught me eye. Very versatile but not yet available in my area. Anyone has already got it?

  • Then I have rediscovered Waldorf Blofeld today. It looks too good to be true at first glance: 25 voices, 16 part multi timbral (wtf??), 3 osc per voice, wavetable, FM, a bunch of LFOs and envelopes, and also a super versatile modulation matrix. And it can also import user wavetables and multisamples (wtf again??). It is a surprising pro to let it make any sound I want.

But so far I also have some cons for Blofeld. First of all, it is now a dinosaur synth imo. Menu diving is inevitable. And I am not sure if I can see the screen clearly on stage. I also heard the knobs are easy to fail and it is easy to wipe out presets accidentally. The sample importing is super slow (and requires extra $$). And no MIDI out (come on!)

Do you have any other cons for Blofeld? Do you think it is a good choice? Or do you have any other recommendations? Any help is appreciated!

submitted by /u/MisterAdler
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