Waldorf Iridium Core, the full Iridium multi-synthesis in a compact, more affordable box

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Waldorf Iridium Core is the newest member of the Iridium synthesizer family, with the same engine but more compact and cheaper.

With the Quantum/Iridium synthesizers, Waldorf Music has built an ecosystem since 2017. All synthesizers use the same “Waldorf Synthesis Platform OS” featuring multiple synthesis concepts paired with creative features. These give you endless sound design possibilities, from granular sampling, wavetable, VA, and modular FM to experimental resonator synthesis.

Only the Quantum synths are hybrid and offer analog filters on top. The engine is super powerful, but at the same time, it’s not super affordable. Waldorf has also recognized this and is now offering a more affordable version with the Iridium Core.

Waldorf Iridum Core

Proudly ending on a high note, Waldorf Music CTO Rolf Wöhrmann puts Iridium Core — genuinely getting right to the heart of its Iridium synthesizer product line — into its rightful perspective: “Many performing musicians have asked us for a more compact and portable form factor for the incredible Iridium sound engine to pack into their travel bags or allow already densely-packed studio environments to more easily accommodate another hardware instrument.

Inspired by their feedback, we came up with the Iridium Core concept, and are very proud of the finished result. Indeed, it’s a thing of beauty, ready to be taken anywhere, and we can’t wait to hear all the music made with Iridium Core!” 

Waldorf Iridium Core Versus Iridium Desktop – What Are The Difference? 

The Iridium Core, as the name suggests, gives you the core of the Iridium synthesizers. That so many people love—this time in a much more compact form, with fewer knobs but cheaper. It has 2,2kg, has an all-metal enclosure, and merely measures 346 mm (W) x 200 mm (D) x 64 mm (H). So it fits into laptop-sized bags, perfect for taking it with you on the road. 

But there is a difference in the engine. Instead of 16 voices, the Iridium Core has 12 voices of polyphony and includes the two-layer setups. It also retains full patch compatibility with all other Iridium variants and Quantum synths.

The rest of the engine remains the same

  • 3 oscillators with different modes (wavetable, VA, particle, resonator, and Kernels) 
  • 3 stereo filters per voice 
  • digital former effects (filter models, comb filter, bit-crusher, drive, ring mod, and more)
  • modulators: six envelopes, six LFOs, and a komplex modulator 
  • modulation matrix with 40 slots and fast assign mode 
  • arpeggiator
  • step sequencer with up to 32 steps for notes and parameters 
  • mod Wheel, Pitch Bend and Poly-Aftertouch
  • MPE support

It impressively includes over 1,700 factory presets and samples from an array of sound designers, driving anyone’s sonic wanderlust with much in the way of inspirational fuel for their musical endeavours.

What is not known is whether the Iridium Core can also be used as a voice extension for the other synths. 

Waldorf Iridum Core


On the front panel, you can find the same (1024 x 600) touchscreen found on the Iridium Desktop and Keyboard versions. It hosts encoders at the sides and the main menu encoders below the screen.

Then, you also the best-known freely programmable pad matrix. In this, it’s available in a reduced form with 2×4 pads supported by six customizable macro buttons.


On the back, you can find a power supply input with a dedicated on/off switch, a headphone socket with a volume knob, and stereo inputs, and outputs on 6.3mm mono sockets,

Then, you get two CV-ins, clock in/out, and a MIDI interface (in/out) on TRS mini jacks adhering to the Type A standard. Why no big MIDI sockets, Waldorf? There are also USB computer and USB host ports, and a microSD card slot.

First Impression

At first glance, a nice new member of the Iridium family. This way more people can enjoy this huge engine. This core version isn’t super cheap, but it’s a good deal compared to the other Iridium synths and of course the big Quantum MK2. 

Waldorf Iridium Core is available now for an introductory price of 1849€ (incl. VAT) for four weeks. After, it will be available for 1941€ (incl. VAT)

More information here: Waldorf Music 

Available at my partner 


Hardware Synthesizer News


    • and let’s not forget that you are not a Waldorf employee 😉 (you don’t need to add every time your “Waldorf contact” details)

      • Never said I was. The mail address is the general mail address.
        The website address is in fact beneficial for Waldorf, it’s an advert.
        If my second name is Waldorf, then that’s what it is.

        As for this idea that Waldorf abandoning Kyra customers is in any way justified is hilarious, the idea that they can be divorced from the ‘developer’ is also farcical.
        Let’s just hope that any future Waldorf customers don’t suffer the same fate with current or future products, as the amount of humble-pie being eaten on this forum alone will cause a few heart attacks.

      • As much as I respect what you do Tom, I do believe you must understand that your true source of income are the users of this site, that drive revenue from many of the manufacturers whom advertise on your site. Thus you should be more interested in supporting the interest of your customers as much as your clients! And this is from a developer.

        That said, if you employ some of your ‘vast’ journalistic resources, you would know that Manuel Caballero whom developed the Valkyrie that would later be renamed the Kyra by Waldorf once they acquired the rights, was underdeveloped from the onset. Furthermore, Manuel’s current employer is also a major manufacturer of pro audio equipment (Harman). The issues stemmed from a lack of proper development, Waldorf’s mismanagement of the release and support, poor sales, and now a conflict of interest due to Manuel’s position with his new and current employer. I hope this helps.

        • If someone constantly claims to be a “Waldorf employee” with an waldorf mail and its not, I must intervene here. This has nothing to do with community but with false facts. Otherwise everyone can write whatever they want as long as it’s not political, hate, etc. And about Waldorfs mismanagement, I also wrote in my initial Kyra article. Cheers

          • On that note, I concur completely. I sympathise that your task to report, inform, moderate, and delve and determine truth from fiction are increasingly more difficult, especially in a climate when people can hardly agree if it’s day or night. Thank you again for attempting to make this forum civil and pleasant.


          • Let’s be specific here.
            Where. EXACTLY. Have I ever claimed to be a Waldorf employee?

            I have, as all Kyra customers have, have been treated disgracefully by Waldorf.
            It’s important, actually a duty, to warn others.
            Spending thousands of dollars with them is seemingly no barrier to treat people with utter disrespect.
            Why do I say this?
            Because it’s true, it’s what actually happened.
            And if you think you’re exempt…then dream on.
            It’s a warning, and it’s based on facts.
            End of story.

          • Dear Barry, I’m not mentioning you because of the Kyra criticism. All fine. Just that you click in my comment section with the name Waldorf, the official Waldorf website and official Waldorf email. By doing this you are pretending that you are working for Waldorf. That’s why I saying this and deleting this transmitted data.

    • Waldorf has provided excellent support for instruments like the Blofeld, Iridium, Quantum, Streichfett and Pulse 2. The fact that the Kyra is not being updated suggests that the developer abandoned it, most likely because it didn’t sell well.

      Your repeated attacks on Waldorf won’t change the Kyra support situation, but they might cause customers to shy away from the company and buy something else. If enough people listened to you, Waldorf would end up out of business and *none* of us would receive updates for our instruments and there would be no future Waldorf products.

      • “but they might cause customers to shy away from the company and buy something else”

        Let me take €2000 off you, abond the product, and when you’re desperate to get issues resolved I’ll send you a rude email basically giving you the finger.
        That’s Waldorf. That’s what they actually did.

    • As a Quantum owner from the beginning and a beta tester, I would like to counter this comment with how great Rolf has been about updates. He has implemented suggestions and passed down massive updates to the user. I have 60+ synths and cannot think of another synth in my studio that has gotten so many game changing updates.

      • Then you haven’t been on the end of the rude emails Waldorf have sent out to customers who having spent thousands of euros have been told to essentially ‘suck it up’ as far as the Kyra is concerned.
        lucky you.

  1. Looks pretty!
    I like what Waldorf is doing, building more and more the Quantum / Iridium lineup.

    I hope they support their OS for a long time, I’d like to own one at some point. These synths have so much synthesis capabilities.

  2. The iridium prices are a bit strange the desktop £1995 the keyboard £2190 and the core will be approx £1674 , i wanted an iridium ages ago but stories of dodgy screens falling out and other problems put me off ,let’s hope this one is glued in properly !!!!!

  3. Are you sure you weren’t rude from the get go? I only ask given the tone of your comments here. They have been nothing but polite to me. They fixed my Pulse 2 for free and mailed it back to me for free. The issue wasn’t even Waldorf’s fault, but rather other gear. I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience.

    • Yes, that’s what I thought too. Showing his excellent communication skills here, one can only imagine what kind of emails he wrote to them.

  4. after reading so many comments on iriduim screen failing to over heating.and other people on cutomer support on kyra, has totaly put me off buying anything from waldorf..cheers for saving me at least £4000

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