Waldorf Updates Quantum Synthesizer To Firmware 2.0 With A New Modular Kernel Engine

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Waldorf extends the Quantum Synthesizer in firmware 2.0 with a new super flexible kernel oscillator engine, new additions for existing features & improvements

Last year at NAMM, Waldorf showed the new firmware 2.0 for its flagship Synthesizer Quantum. Today the company from Remagen announced the official release. The biggest highlight of this is a new Kernel engine oscillator that offers a modular approach in which up to six Kernel operators can be freely combined into a single oscillator. It can be described as an oscillator construction kit that allows many different configurations.

Each of these 6 kernels can have a classic waveform, noise but also wavetable. You can combine, for example, three complex wavetables with a sine wave and noise within a single oscillator. A six-operator FM synth is quickly assembled but also more experimental synthesis designs. How to work with these 6 kernels is up to each user: either use ready-to-use templates with dedicated parameters or dive deep into the kernel adventure. In this mode, the real power of the engine is revealed.
Waldorf Quantum 2.0

Kernel Details

The full edit mode is a huge sound design playground:

  • individual audio rate modulations between kernels,
  • classic phase FM,
  • true FM,
  • wavetable position (allowing for strange structures in audio rate),
  • amplitude modulation,
  • ring modulation;
  • kernel self-feedback;
  • free patching of kernels into algorithms with up to three modulation inputs for each kernel;
  • classic FM algorithm presets
  • individual dual decay stage envelope for each kernel;
  • three-segment individual level scaling over key range for each kernel;
  • five macro parameters for each kernel oscillator; s
  • ix-slot modulation matrix control of macro parameters within each kernel oscillator (with modulation destinations for each kernel including Level, Pan, Pitch, Freq Offset, Feedback, Wavetable — allowing for cross-wavetable modulations, Attack, and Decay);
  • six-pitch modes for each kernel (Ratio, Sub-Ratio, Radio + Offset, Semitones, Fixed, and LFO); i
  • individual phase control for each kernel; and import of legacy FM format.

This kernel engine actually does what Korg’s multi-engine does. It allows the user to build new oscillators but with the difference that the user is the designer. But that’s not all that firmware 2.0 brings. The wavetable synthesis engine now comes with three new user interface display modes 3D, Wave, and Spectrum (with the latter two reflecting Phase, Position, Stepped, Limit, Spectrum, and Brilliance parameters). The particle engine maximizes its grain length to one second.

Sampling (in Particle’s non-granular mode and Resonator) features new (Forward and Backward) direction parameters and also respects Loop modes (including the newly-added PingPong) while there is also crossfade functionality for loops; sample start position can be used as a modulation destination in the Modulation Matrix; a new Edit screen for Particle and Resonator shows all individual settings for each sample entry in the Sample Map; various zooming and selection options are now available, and there is a fine-grained control for sample start and end points as well as loop start and end points.

There are also new Output Level and Pan parameters for the analog filter and digital former. The Routing display now shows effect type names and state. An auto-scaling Envelope curve is now shown. The Destination encoder can now be pushed for flipping through groups of Modulation Matrix destinations. There is a new Parameter-only Sequencer mode with up to eight parameter tracks, and Arp (arpeggiator) and Seq (sequencer) screens are now merged into a common screen. Sync now shows musical values for sync ratios.

Enhanced editing is enabled by pushing the Display encoder to toggle between Normal, Fine, and Super modes, and if a parameter from the bottom row is edited and in focus then that parameter can also be changed with the main encoder while in focus.

Other new features & improvements

  • File browsing now reacts to the main encoder for scrolling and when performing open/save routines, while pushing the main encoder also selects options when scrolling through menus.
  • USB storage devices are now supported.
  • Expanded AudioFile Editor functions include zooming, scrolling, selection, and editing (Various Normalize, Trim, Cut, Fade In/Out, Reverse, and Silence);
  • single-level Undo/Redo;
  • Record Trigger (Manual, Note, and Signal Threshold);
  • Input VU,
  • Input Monitor Level, and Physical Recording Level.
  • Patch management improvements include: a new feature filter for use with Arp, Seq, Mono, and Layered sounds, and more;
  • a new bulk delete action Load screen action menu;
  • an ability to export patches with samples — all related samples will be put into a Samples subdirectory within the export directory; samples matching patches in the Samples subdirectory will be imported, and if a sample already exists in the internal flash memory then it will not be copied.
  • A screen saver can be set to run after a selected number of minutes to protect the main display from burn-in if the Quantum Synthesizer is left running for hours on end without anything being touched.

Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is already available through Waldorf Music’s growing global network of distributors at an SRP (Suggested Reseller Price) of €3,550.00 EUR (excluding tax).

Quantum owners can download the firmware 2.0 for free from their Waldorf account including over 250 new patches for free.

More information here: Waldorf

Waldorf Quantum is available at our partner


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