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.
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
- 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.
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.
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
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