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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Waldorf Q Rack 16 voice polyphonic synthesizer

via this auction
"The yellow monster. For many years the flagship instrument of the Waldorf synthesizer company. It has too many features to list, but here's a sampling:
It's 16 voice polyphonic. Unlike the microq and the blofeld, these are not dynamically allocated so there are always 16 available, regardless of the patch's complexity. Each voice can have:
- up to 5 oscillators (two of the oscillators feature subharmonic oscillators) selectable from analogue modelled oscillators and 2 different wavetables
- 2 filters from a large variety of different types (including a PPG emulation and some the meatiest comb filters ever coded). These can be freely arranged in any routing from serial to parallel and can be placed at different (and modulatable) pan positions for proper stereo sounds
- 3 LFOs, 4 envelopes, a step sequencer and an amazingly well specified arpeggiator
- 2 effects units

It was marketed as a virtual analogue but imo that's selling it short. While it is primarily desiged as a subtractive synthesizer, there are so many audio rate modulation possibilties that it could have been sold as an FM synth, too. It has a hard, bright sound that is both clear and penetrating yet also gritty and weighty. It is capable of some of the most complex sounds you'll hear outside of a genuinely modular environment. It is running operating system 3.02."

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