Category Archives: Synthesizers

Apple M1 is the new DAW performance minimum

The performance of Apple silicon IS the standard today

I’ve been using Intel based PCs for 35 years, but it no longer makes sense. Apple innovation has flown above and beyond Intel.

I would suggest at the barest minimum, an entry level Apple M1 (Air, Pro, Mini, iMac) if you are serious about your music. A brand new M1 Mac mini can be had from Apple starting at $699.00, or as low as $569.99 at Micro Center. MacBooks and iMacs can be had for reasonable costs too. Choose what you’re comfortable with, but do it.

Maybe a less than 10 year old Intel-based system with enough RAM and SSD might be able to run Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Reason, Cubase, or the DAW of your choice. But will the older Intel-based systems run your software great or without issues? Probably not, though a lot of people are going to rationalize going with less even if it isn’t the right choice.

Apple silicon is the standard. The developers of your DAW and plugins are going to use the power available to them. If your Intel-based hardware isn’t dogging now, it will be soon.

Video is another area that Apple silicon excels at and will be of increasing importance for creators.

Most musicians, obsessed as we can be, have thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars of gear. A sufficient DAW should be a prioritized part of whatever you have, and if your DAW is your gear, it’s even more critical. Your DAW should not be the choke point. System performance frustration or software limitations should never be part of the creative process. Think about it. Do some research. Watch some videos. You’ll be amazed at how even the entry level Apple silicon leaps ahead of Intel without a hiccup.

If your budget allows better than M1, be sure to read the reviews and resources of the MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max, Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra, and Mac Pro M2 Series.

Thanks!
–Yehuda

Apple related posts
March 22, 2022 – Apple M1 is the new DAW performance minimum
March 9, 2022 – Changed MacBook order to Mac Studio M1 Ultra
February 20, 2022 – Finally a MacBook Pro M1 with all the wanted features

Apple related pages
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Pro M2 Series
Updated periodically – Apple M1 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M2 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Miscellaneous
Updated periodically – Apple Technology YouTube Critique
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Display
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Pro Display
Updated periodically – Apple M Series External USB-C SSD Options

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The ultimate amplification system for synthesizers?

What would today’s ultimate mid-level amplification system for synthesizer, guitar & bass musicians be?

What is your -singular- amplification solution for recording, jamming or even live performances?

A few days ago I bought myself a Gibson SG Standard electric guitar. Promptly, I started to think about an amplifier and effects.

Full disclosure, I’m 95%+ all about keyboards and synthesis, a home producer, and even then more of a sound curator and programmer than a talented musician. Most of the time, my music world is a Sequential Prophet X, a Sequential Pro 3, a Waldorf Quantum, a Focusrite interface, an Ableton Live DAW, and a set of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. I also have a set of Tannoy studio monitors that I would love to get rid of, that I use for minimal open air analysis of my Anxiety Forest tracks. The mass majority of the time, it’s a headphone world for me.

Back to the guitar, I have a Blackstar ID Core 20 amp, which for $159.99 is a practice amplifier with a little bit of everything: solid state stereo; 6 variable overdrives; phaser, chorus/flanger, and tremolo modulations; linear, analogue, tape, and multi delays; and room, hall, spring, and plate reverbs. It is what I consider a great training amplifier. You can play it open air, with headphones or send it to your mixer/interface line level for recording. It is useless for gigging or jamming with friends though.

OK, now the macho in me, the emotional harkening back to my youth, wants a tube amplifier stack. I do want to jam live with some friends in a post-virus world. My crazy brain imagines a tube Blackstar stack with hundreds of watts and $5000 worth of pedals. Of course, this will never happen and it’s as useless as the training amplifier for my needs anyway. I need something in the middle.

I’m not even thinking about synthesizer amplification yet. I should also mention, I do have acoustic guitar recording/amplification needs as well.

I think it is impossible to come up with a multi-instrument gig/stack level type amplification system. At that level you are just going to need instrument specific equipment. If you are playing auditoriums, you are just not going to be moving equipment from your living room to the auditorium, so we’ll completely skip that angle.

So the moderate in me (what me moderate?), decides I could get a Blackstar HT Stage 60 MK2 combo tube amp with 60 watts OR 6 watts and direct out, maybe in the summer. That should be enough to record well with and flood the various room sizes available to jam with friends… then I keep thinking about effects, maybe modeling instead of tube or some combination.

Concurrently, in a semi-private Facebook conversation, my friend Jason Cooper, admin of the Sequential Pro 3 Synth Facebook group really cracks my head open by suggesting the Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx III MKII Preamp/FX Processor pictured in the header image on this post. This is cool, but it is pricey and sold direct only to my knowledge, so no credit terms. Seems like a lot for just my guitar needs. Still, it lights my fire, ha!

So now the concept of FRFR speakers (full range, flat response), studio monitors, and PA speakers is back in my head, and I think well, if I’m gonna go there, I might as well include my synthesizer amplification and effects needs…

AND just how many amps and speakers do I want in my relatively small studio area? AND what about something portable for jamming?

ARGH!!!

The synthesizer world is mostly a studio phenomenon, live amplification is probably the most under-discussed subject

I’m cool on headphones and studio monitors in the studio, however there is no portability or live performance usefulness. Most of the time when I think of portability or jamming, I’m thinking of a combo amp with two 12″ speakers or a single 15″ speaker. For guitars and bass, plenty of options. Of course, the effects pedal rabbit hole still exists, and face it, pedals can be messy and pricey collectively. For synths, there are not a lot of options that I know of for a dual 12″ or single 15″ combo amp. Roland has some keyboard amps. Know of any others? If you want grab and run combo amps, there seems to be little option other than instrument specific.

What are you gonna do though, have 4 combo amps?

One each for guitar, bass, acoustic, and synthesizers? Not in my world or room.

So far, the best solutions or compromises I can think of or know about, are something like that Axe-FX III, a pair of powered PA speakers and maybe a subwoofer, along with a pair of studio monitors for the studio. It’s still difficult for me to shed my traditional yearn for stacks or combo amps… but there is no simple solution I know of.

To save money, the Axe-FX III does have a smaller sibling, the FM3 and the Line 6 Helix family has a range of modeling/multi-effects for line level output and of course, pedal options.

And there is a wide range of power and price in PA speakers.

What do you think? What do you do?

Please share your thoughts, experiences and solutions! If we can expand my preliminary thinking, we’ll do a follow up post.

Thanks!
–Yehuda

Studio related pages
Updated periodically – Ableton Live
Updated periodically – Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra

Gear related pages
Updated periodically – Wavetable Synth Comparisons
Updated periodically – Sequential Pro 3 or Pro 2
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X or Waldorf Quantum?
Updated periodically – Wavetable Editing Tools
Updated periodically – SampleRobot Pro

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Common used Waldorf Quantum issues

Common hardware issues to look for when purchasing a used, b-stock or unopened 2018-2019 Waldorf Quantum

The Waldorf Quantum is so unique and so amazing, it is worth a few rough edges in my opinion. Nonetheless, a consumer should be aware of product characteristics, good and bad. If you are going to buy a new or used Quantum made in 2018-2019, you should be aware of some common hardware issues.

I stress these issues do not apply to Quantums manufactured after 2019. All computer based technology including the greatest synthesizers ever made, of which the Waldorf Quantum is one, have probably a 1% defect rate. This post is not about standard technology defects and it is not about firmware issues either. Ordinarily, if you have a brand new synth of any type that is DOA or has some hardware flaw in at least the first 30 days, send it back to the reseller for an exchange or refund. If they won’t do that, cease doing business with them in the future.

I had 2 Quantums manufactured in 2019. The first one fell into that 1% defect rate, and went back for reseller exchange right way. Initially I was reasonably satisfied with the replacement. After 8 months however, I chose to send my mid-2019 purchased Quantum in for repair in February 2020 to protect my resale value. The following is quoted from my post 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum, It is important to note point 1 below is super easy to resolve, point 2 would be easy to ignore and point 3 you probably wouldn’t know if I didn’t tell you.

  1. Squeaky keys – This one is the easiest to fix. You don’t have to tolerate it or take pass on a used machine with the issue. This condition is common to many brands which use Fatar keybeds. The keybed just needs lubrication, check with Waldorf support or your dealer.
  2. Touch screen sensitivity and/or dead zone – Most of the issues with this are firmware design, fixed in OS 2.0+. You may notice in the image above, the 6 control areas on the left and right sides of the screen are redesigned to reflect more accurately that there are no buttons for selections like normal and mod; the whole rectangular area is a touch area/button, which once you understand that, makes selection a snap. The middle selector knob between save and previous has been programmed to scroll through selection choices much more accurately and easier than previous touch only selections. You could get a new screen through warranty that is purported to be more sensitive, however the firmware changes make a world of difference and you may not care. Likewise, many Quantums have a dead spot on the right 1/4″ of the screen that can be fixed with a screen firmware update (not to be confused with the OS firmware, this is completely distinct and not currently upgradable from SD or USB. A user upgradable screen firmware may become available in the future, but there is no guarantee at this point). I think many people will not bother to deal with repair of these screen issues since the beta take almost all the pain away. To replace the screen or update the screen firmware, you will need to ship the synth to a warranty center.
  3. Touch screen bubble – I’ve heard no reports of this visual bubble underneath the top layer of the screen affecting the operation of the screen, but it is annoying. Ultimately, it is what pushed me to send my Quantum to be repaired.
  4. Voices with inconsistent resonance – See image above. I wouldn’t have even noticed this if I hadn’t read about it. Thanks to Paul Cotton, who provided these issue confirmation instructions and .wav files: Boot, load a patch > Init the patch > Turn off OSC1 in the OSC MIX (so audio will be just filter self resonance) > Left of the screen, change analog filter 1 cutoff to 67 and resonance to 85.5 , then repeatedly play middle c to cycle the voices. Before fix .wav / After fix .wav To fix this, you will need to ship the synth to a warranty center.

In repair, my Quantum was swapped out for a new one. This Waldorf Quantum rocks. It looks and feels like all $4000 of it should. Be sure to read New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty for more details. More than 6 months later from that post, I can tell you I am still in awe of my Quantum. Currently I am running a beta version of OS 3.0 and that awe continues to grow.

I want to stress that I believe all currently manufactured Quantums are at this same level of high quality control. I would not hesitate to buy a new Quantum today. Waldorf is a top notch company, I have nothing but high regard for them and the Quantum. The true mark of a company is what happens when there are problems. Waldorf and Sweetwater pass with flying colors.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Apple systems pages
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra

Waldorf related posts
Jun 30, 2019 – Waldorf Quantum joins “Studio”
Jul 28, 2019 – First month thoughts about Waldorf Quantum
Oct 2, 2019 – Inside the Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer
Dec 15, 2019 – 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum
Apr 20, 2020 – New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty

Waldorf related pages
Updated periodically – Wavetable Synth Comparisons
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X or Waldorf Quantum?
Updated periodically – Wavetable Editing Tools
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Presets
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Wavetables & Utilities
Updated periodically – Waldorf Quantum Keyboard
Updated periodically – Waldorf Iridium Desktop
Updated periodically – Waldorf Iridium Keyboard

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Sequential Pro 3 joins studio

Deluded musician thinks he has enough synthesizers now

Will 4 flagship level synths satisfy?

Think so, hope so.

Adding the Sequential Pro 3 to the Sequential Pro 2, Sequential Prophet X and Waldorf Quantum really touches all sound worlds I need to touch. Now I desperately need some Jaspar stands and new studio monitors.

Like any synthesizer addict, I’d love to have hundreds of all synth persuasions, but space is at a premium, as is time to effectively learn and use the synths.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Join: Oberheim Users Facebook Group
Join: Sequential Pro 3 Synth Facebook Group
Join: Sequential Prophet X/XL Facebook Group
Join: Sequential Take 5 Facebook Group

Apple systems pages
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra

Sequential Pro 3 related posts
Jun 19, 2020 – Sequential Pro 3 joins studio

Sequential Pro 3 related pages
Updated periodically – Sequential Pro 3
Updated periodically – Pro 3 Presets
Updated periodically – Pro 3 Yehuda Wavetables
Updated periodically – Pro 3 Wavetables & Utilities
Updated periodically – Pro 3 SE Gallery

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Replacing the Sequential Prophet X Keybed

Replacing the Prophet X keybed is very easy

Removing and/or replacing the keybed on the Sequential Prophet X synthesizer is a relatively simple process involving nothing more than a screwdriver.

***Thanks to Tom Fabinski for his keybed sacrifices and sharing the info and images for this post!

To start, unplug all power/audio/MIDI/USB cables

Instructions for replacing the key bed are as follows.

  1. Unscrew the screws in the wood ends (see WoodRightSide.jpg and WoodLeftSide.jpg above)
  2. Flip the instrument over and place it face down on a soft material.
  3. Unscrew the two screws which hold the wheel assembly to the bottom metal work (see WheelToMetalScrews.jpg above)
  4. Flip the instrument back over and remove the screws in the sides of the metal housing (see ScrewsRightSide.jpg and ScrewLeftSide.jpg above)
  5. The front panel can now be opened, it is hinged at its rear.
  6. Remove the key bed connectors and aftertouch cable connector from the main PC board (see MainBoard.jpg above, the cables outlined in red)
  7. Close the front panel and flip the instrument face down again.
  8. Remove the 10 screws which hold the key bed to the bottom metal work (see KeybedScrews.jpg above)
  9. While holding the front panel closed, and the key bed to the bottom metal work, carefully flip the instrument front side up. Open the front panel, and remove the key bed.
  10. Remove the aftertouch extension cable from the old key bed to install on the new key bed. It is taped in place.
  11. Install the new key bed and reassemble the synth in the reverse order of disassembly. Take care when re-installing the key bed screws as they can strip the key bed standoffs if they are overly tightened.

IMPORTANT: The keybed standoffs are plastic. To avoid over-tightening and stripping standoffs when installing the keybed, DO NOT use an electric or powered screwdriver.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Join: Oberheim Users Facebook Group
Join: Sequential Prophet X/XL Facebook Group
Join: Sequential Pro 3 Synth Facebook Group
Join: Sequential Take 5 Facebook Group

Apple systems pages
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra

Sequential Prophet X posts
Jun 1, 2020 – Replacing the Sequential Prophet X Keybed

Sequential Prophet X pages
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X or Waldorf Quantum?
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X/XL
Updated periodically – Prophet X Patches & Samples
Updated periodically – Prophet X Utilities
Updated periodically – Prophet X Gallery

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New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty

3rd one is a charm, this Quantum is righteous

Yay, my Quantum is back from “repair”. It was gone one day shy of 2 months, which was faster than expected, especially with COVID-19 virus world in full bang…

Waldorf service (via Sweetwater, then Korg the USA service center) gave me a completely new synthesizer. The screen is a beauty. It has the touch sensitivity I would expect, the XY pad will blow your mind. There is no bubble in the middle or dead spot on the right edge. The keyboard has quiet keys, and the panel has all the right buttons, even the Komplex Modulator has a printed line under it.

This Waldorf Quantum rocks. It looks and feels like all $4000 of it should.

I want to stress that I believe all currently manufactured Quantums are at this same level of high quality control. I would not hesitate to buy a new Quantum today. Waldorf is a top notch company, I have nothing but high marks for them. Even more so, kudos to Sweetwater.

I’m retired now, but most of my pre-retirement career was in technology related industries. It’s a fact that 1% of technology products are going to arrive DOA, with some elemental flaw or go down in the 1st 30 days. It is so important to choose who you buy technology from wisely. Most of the time your dealer is going to take your money, ship you the product and that’s that. It’s that rare moment when something goes wrong that resellers really show what they are made of.

I’ve never had a defective musical product in my life before, but my first Quantum was in that 1% experience, as I documented in First 48 hours – Waldorf Quantum joins “Studio”. It had a non-functional key, other keys were unacceptably noisy and one of the oscillators had 2 Resonator buttons instead of Particle and Resonator buttons. This was just past a time period where people were waiting months for Quantum preorders to fill. Immediately Sweetwater shipped out a replacement with prepaid shipping back for the old one.

A month later as I documented in Some first month thoughts about Waldorf Quantum I was very happy with my 2nd Quantum. In time I did become more aware of some screen characteristics, a bubble in the middle of the screen, a dead zone on the right edge and a general lack of the touch sensitivity I would expect.

My bubble wasn’t that bad, I didn’t even blog about it and I have seen more significant bubbles online. And though it didn’t impact use of the synth, the bubble was kind of like a coin sized dent on the hood of a brand new Ferrari. It sullied the shine of a state of the art machine just a bit. As I blogged about in 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum, the pain of the dead zone on the right edge and a general lack of the touch sensitivity was reduced by OS 2.0 beta redesigns, but it was still an issue I wanted resolved.

There is little doubt in my mind that the Quantum is so amazing and so unique that I could have lived with these ‘quirks’. Some luster was missing though, and I didn’t have that I want to buy another Waldorf product feeling like I do with Sequential products.

As 2020 arrived, two unrelated events cemented my decision to send Quantum #2 for repair. For one, at the beginning of February I was planning to buy a Sequential Prophet X, so I knew the pain of the Quantum gone bye-bye for 2-4 months would be less. For second, for business reasons in the middle of February, a few of us were making the 3 hour drive from Chicago to Sweetwater to take a tour of their operation.

Advice: Never visit Sweetwater. No wonder that place sold $850 million dollars worth of gear in 2019. What an amazing place, what great people. You will never want to buy musical equipment anywhere else after you visit there. Stay far far away.

Anyhoo, I missed the final stages of the Quantum OS 2.0 beta so I was anxious to see what the release version was like. So far so good! The sound packs are nice too.

My corner of the Waldorf Quantum world is better today, amen.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Apple systems pages
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra

Waldorf related posts
Jun 30, 2019 – Waldorf Quantum joins “Studio”
Jul 28, 2019 – First month thoughts about Waldorf Quantum
Oct 2, 2019 – Inside the Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer
Dec 15, 2019 – 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum
Apr 20, 2020 – New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty

Waldorf related pages
Updated periodically – Wavetable Synth Comparisons
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X or Waldorf Quantum?
Updated periodically – Wavetable Editing Tools
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Presets
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Wavetables & Utilities
Updated periodically – Waldorf Quantum Keyboard
Updated periodically – Waldorf Iridium Desktop
Updated periodically – Waldorf Iridium Keyboard

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Abusive Bully Mega-Millionaire Behringer Boycott

Harassment of journalist is the final straw – Spoiled brat Behringer music products removed from websites and permanently boycotted

It has to be said and acted upon. We may live in an age of out-of-control self-entitled billionaires and mega-millionaires like Donald Trump and Uli Behringer, but we don’t have to passively tolerate and encourage it.

It’s sad and potentially messy. Like wannabe fascist dictator Trump and his MAGA cult, in the online synthesizer world, Behringer has a great deal of mindless cult followers ready to rationalize, excuse and support any abuse Uli and his companies can dish out, as well as add some of their own bullying to the mix. Sigh.

I’ve never been fond enough of Behringer synths to actually buy one but I have tried to share in the joy that many feel brings synths at reasonable prices to the masses. Though there are some debatable and controversial aspects to Behringer products, the products themselves are not what the revolutionOSC boycott is about.

The hype about bringing synthesis to the masses is quite ironic, because Uli Behringer is the type of arrogant uber-wealthy person, that in past ages revolutionary guillotines were made for.

In typical right-wing conservative fashions, Behringer has used his power and money to war against free speech and corrupt legal processes to punish those journalists and even online users, who dare speak criticism of the mighty. All Behringer’s actions, going back years are documented and factual, there can be no rational debate about the actions themselves. I won’t repeat the history of Behringer’s abuse, Google will reveal a treasure trove of verifiable facts.

At this point it is safe to say Behringer is not likely to grow up and stop having his immature rich boy temper tantrums. His products have as much yuck factor as living in a Trump Tower or wearing Ivanka Trump clothes.

Effective immediately all Behringer product pages have been disabled. There are better alternatives to Behringer products, the physical products themselves and ethically.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Apple related pages
Updated periodically – Apple M1 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M2 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Miscellaneous
Updated periodically – Apple Technology YouTube Critique
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Pro M2 Series
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Display
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Pro Display

Technology related posts
Aug 6, 2020 – Hacking a Windows 10 administrator password
Jul 5, 2020 – The Facebook Scraper
Mar 5, 2020 – Abusive Bully Mega-Millionaire Behringer Boycott

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6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum

I would buy the Waldorf Quantum over and over

I think in my future synthesizer purchases, I will wait until a synth has been available for a year. Most of the time, issues will be firmware, but sometimes there are hardware revisions. That may be common knowledge but I’m an experience learner, ha! That said, critiques in this post should be properly weighted; the Waldorf Quantum is an amazing machine. Under my new 1 year policy, I would not hesitate to pull out my credit card and buy the Quantum today, and I have little to no regrets about having bought one 6 months ago.

The Quantum is definitely my stranded on an island with only one synthesizer (and electricity) choice. Even analog purists would be well advised to open their minds. Those without $4k to spend would be well advised to move mountains to get one. Those who are not ready to appreciate the value of a $4k synth yet, need to spend time with a Quantum. The Quantum is one of the few pinnacles of synthesis on the market today.

I think there are a few resolvable hardware issues in some 1st year Quantums. Aside from miscellaneous defects or QC issues which all new electronics are likely to have a 1% rate of, here are a few to be aware of.

  • Squeaky keys – This one is the easiest to fix. You don’t have to tolerate it or take pass on a used machine with the issue. This condition is common to many brands which use Fatar keybeds. The keybed just needs lubrication, check with Waldorf support or your dealer.
  • Touch screen sensitivity and/or dead zone – Most of the issues with this are firmware design, fixed in the 2.0 beta 9. You may notice in the image at top of this post, the 6 control areas on the left and right sides of the screen are redesigned to reflect more accurately that there are no buttons for selections like normal and mod; the whole rectangular area is a touch area/button, which once you understand that, makes selection a snap. The middle selector knob between save and previous has been programmed to scroll through selection choices much more accurately and easier than previous touch only selections. You could get a new screen through warranty that is purported to be more sensitive, however the firmware changes make a world of difference and you may not care. Likewise, many Quantums have a dead spot on the right 1/4″ of the screen that can be fixed with a screen firmware update (not to be confused with the OS firmware, this is completely distinct and not currently upgradable from SD or USB. A user upgradable screen firmware may become available in the future, but there is no guarantee at this point). I think most people will not bother to deal with repair of these screen issues since the beta take almost all the pain away. To replace the screen or update the screen firmware, you will need to ship the synth to a warranty center.
  • Touch screen bubble – I’ve heard no reports of this visual bubble underneath the top layer of the screen affecting the operation of the screen, but it is annoying. Ultimately, it is what pushed me to send my Quantum to be repaired.
  • Voices with inconsistent resonance – See image at top of this post. I wouldn’t have even noticed this if I hadn’t read about it. Thanks to Paul Cotton, who provided these issue confirmation instructions and .wav files: Boot, load a patch > Init the patch > Turn off OSC1 in the OSC MIX (so audio will be just filter self resonance) > Left of the screen, change analog filter 1 cutoff to 67 and resonance to 85.5 , then repeatedly play middle c to cycle the voices. Before fix .wav / After fix .wav To fix this, you will need to ship the synth to a warranty center.

So I’m sending my Quantum off to fix the 2nd, 3rd and 4th issues in February 2020, when I am buying a Sequential Prophet X and will be busy with that new synth for a bit and will have a fresh outer box to ship it in.

UPDATE: I did send it, it’s back and better than ever
New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty

The Quantum 2.0 firmware beta

What happens in the beta stays in the beta. I will say this though, the current 2.0 beta 9 firmware is more stable and polished than the the non-beta 1.3.0 firmware release. Don’t be shy or paranoid, get the beta, you won’t regret it!

The Waldorf Quantum factory patches

Like most Quantum owners I would imagine, I didn’t buy the Quantum to use presets primarily. I bought it for sound design so I didn’t really spend much time cruising the presets. After 5 months, I did start checking out the presets in more detail. I was pleasantly surprised, there are some amazing presets. Like all synths, some are basic and they could be expanded. There is more than meets the eyes initially though.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Apple systems pages
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra

Waldorf related posts
Jun 30, 2019 – Waldorf Quantum joins “Studio”
Jul 28, 2019 – First month thoughts about Waldorf Quantum
Oct 2, 2019 – Inside the Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer
Dec 15, 2019 – 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum
Apr 20, 2020 – New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty

Waldorf related pages
Updated periodically – Wavetable Synth Comparisons
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X or Waldorf Quantum?
Updated periodically – Wavetable Editing Tools
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Presets
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Wavetables & Utilities
Updated periodically – Waldorf Quantum Keyboard
Updated periodically – Waldorf Iridium Desktop
Updated periodically – Waldorf Iridium Keyboard

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Follow on Twitter: @CryptoMvskoke
Follow on Instagram: @YehudaRothschild

Inside the Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer

Rear view upside down with bottom panel tilted back

The Waldorf Quantum in all its inner glory.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Apple systems pages
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra

Waldorf related posts
Jun 30, 2019 – Waldorf Quantum joins “Studio”
Jul 28, 2019 – First month thoughts about Waldorf Quantum
Oct 2, 2019 – Inside the Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer
Dec 15, 2019 – 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum
Apr 20, 2020 – New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty

Waldorf related pages
Updated periodically – Wavetable Synth Comparisons
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X or Waldorf Quantum?
Updated periodically – Wavetable Editing Tools
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Presets
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Wavetables & Utilities
Updated periodically – Waldorf Quantum Keyboard
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Sequential Pro 2 gets all new wood ends + front strip

A great support experience and better than new wood

One day I was being lazy, and I leaned my bicycle up against my synths and wouldn’t you know it, somehow I scratched the front strip of my beloved Sequential Pro 2 synthesizer. Yeah, I know it was a fairly insignificant scratch but it just bugged me, so I decided to order replacement parts from Sequential. I ordered the end pieces too, just to be sure the wood stain/finish all matched since I was already going full on OCD, ha! I’m glad I did too, because the replacements looked a lot better than the originals. Darker and a little more sheen to them. Anyhoo, it was a great support experience from Mark Kono at Sequential Support. $75 total including freight for the left+right end pieces and the front strip (including Pro 2 badge) and now, better than new.

The wood ends are a snap to replace, but the front strip is a tad more complicated – fortunately Mark gave me instructions, which follows these images of my parts replacement.

Note: This would be essentially the same procedure to replace the keybed.

Sequential instructions:

You’ll need to remove the keybed as there are screws holding the front wood strip from the bottom of the keyboard as well as from the inside (you’ll see them under the lip of the front once the keybed is removed).

Removing and/or replacing the keybed on the Pro 2 is a relatively simple process involving nothing more than a screwdriver. Here are instructions for replacing the keybed:

To start, unplug all power/audio/MIDI/USB cables.

  1. Unscrew the two screws in each of the wooden sides.
  2. Once the wooden sides are removed, 3 additional screws on the left and 2 additional screws on the right side will be revealed. Remove these as well.
  3. Next, lay down some padding like a towel or a pillow and flip the Pro 2 over. Remove the 2 black screws to the right of the left front rubber foot. They are smaller than the other black screws, they have no flanges, and will be slightly lower than the foot, not directly inline.
  4. Flip the Pro 2 back over and with it facing you place your hands on the sides, on top half of the metalwork, and lift up and away from you. The lid will hinge open and stay open resting on the attached lanyard. You will be looking at the main board in the tray above the keybed.
  5. Remove the 2-wire aftertouch connector from the main board, it is located in the lower left corner. Pull straight up on the connector, DO NOT pull the wires themselves.
  6. Remove the keybed’s ribbon connector, it is located in the lower right of the main board. There are locking tabs holding the ribbon cable in but they are easily opened by prying the tabs away from each other in a horizontal motion with your thumbs or fingers; the cable will just pop out. Only medium force is required.
    • When reinstalling the ribbon with the tabs open, just push the connector straight down and the tabs will close behind it. Push the tabs together to make sure the cable is firmly seated.
  7. With the two connectors detached, close the lid and flip the unit over, face down, and rest the keys on a soft surface.
  8. Remove the 10 screws holding the keybed in from the bottom of the Pro 2. The screws are aligned in 2 horizontal rows of 5 black screws each, located just above the lower rubber feet. The keybed is now detached. Hold the keybed in place and flip the unit back over. The keybed can now be removed.
  9. Reassemble the Pro 2 in the reverse order.

IMPORTANT: The keybed standoffs are plastic. To avoid over-tightening and stripping standoffs when installing the keybed, DO NOT use an electric or powered screwdriver.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

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