Ace Of Hearts…Introduced in Frankfurt 2013 in its almost final version, Pulse 2 marks the return of Waldorf to its analog passions. The brand recently lent us one, just when its first commercial models are hitting the market... gulp! Read more…
I wanted to extend my digital oriented keyboards (Yamaha MOTIF, TX81Z) with a truly analog synth. Some key reasons to go for Pulse 2: 3 oscillators; Synch; Paraphonic Pulse; Pulse modulation; Feedback; extensive modulation matrix; Arpeggio.
Obviously one needs to be able to cope with the matrix editing approach. I think it is pretty straightforward. I used the machine for over 1 year now, my key experience.
Quality and versatility are a real bargain for the $$. I prefer this to synths that have more knobs but are so much more limited for the same $$, or even minimoog.
The sound is great, really strong in bass, warm sound, great to use as minimoog or other classic analog synths
Endless possibilities, still unexplored. Both in modulation matrix, voice routing and arpeggio
Paraphonic pulse and Unison really allow to use this as a poly synth, string machine
Small form factor allows to easily add to master keyboard as extra synth, it takes no space and many patches make it great for live performance
Lack of public patches, this machine has lots of possibilities, there should be many more programming guru's trying this out.
Lack of a good software librarian, there are a few editors but they lack good patch management. This is linked to the weak patch selection on the Pulse 2, a favorites tag is dearly missing with 500 patches available
Arpeggio hard to program, the modes (reset, Oct, ..) seem to be more designed to puzzle rather than create arpeggios. Also some bugs, like not being able to add repeated notes.
The Ext in is noisy, there is clear hiss following the amp envelope
No simple reverb and delay, should be so easy to add
Conclusion: worth every penny, great sound and inspires every day to create new sounds. I think it is underrated by the pro's.
I've been using it intensively for several months in different manners: With Ableton sequences, with Machinedrum sequences or played with a midi keyboard. It's awesome in all cases!
It's simple, ever since I got it, it's almost the only thing I use. It really offers amazing synthesis possibilities. Its sound is precise under all circumstances with a very present character so that you cling to it, but discreet enough so that you don't get tired of it. The arpeggio is pretty mad (swing, time, glide, different events, trigger delay, loading other patches' patterns or random generation....). The paraphonic mode has its charm (it sounds pretty vintage with the detuned unison) and it can come in handy, although I don't use it much.
The modulation matrix allows lots of things, although I would've loved to have more destinations.
There's not much to say about the filters, other that they are precise and capable of many things. I sometimes input some beats and what comes out its truly great! As for the envelopes, they are fast enough to make drums and, once again, very precise, like everything else.
- Less expensive and cheaper than competing products, there's nothing to envy similar products from other brands at this price point for
- Everything goes pretty fast with some practice, because everything is quickly accessible, with almost no submenus
- The sound! Personally, I love it. It sounds, fat, cold, warm, metallic, organic, anything you want, all at the same time :P
It's fantastic if you know some synthesis basics!
- The volume cancels out when you increase the filter's resonance, which is good to know to anticipate the creation of a patch
- It lacks different triggering modes for the LFOs and only the second one can be thinned down, which is a pity
- It still has some MIDI bugs, particularly with the arpeggio, but the final OS version is not available yet, and I trust Waldorf will fix it quickly enough
Did you find this review helpful?yesno
Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"A "must have""
characteristics listed on AF:
3 analog oscillators + 1 noise generator
Pulse width modulation
Filter FM from Oscillator 3
Ring Modulation from Oscillator 3
XOR Osc Mode
8/4 Voice Paraphonic modes
24dB/12db Lowpass, 12db Highpass / Bandpass filter modes
8-slot Modulation Matrix
External analog signal input
Stereo line out
Backwards-compatible with classic Pulse
128x64 backlit LCD character
8 stainless steel knobs
500 Sound Programs
Electron-absorbing black box
Simple configuration, a well thought out interface (inspired by Blofeld) and a bit of logic possible to go very fast in the sound design.
The module therefore has all the characteristics of an analog subtractive synthesizer, the big plus is well into its pesky paraphonic modes (I really do not understand this magic, but it works very well).
Access to functions is via the matrix interface copied to the "Blofeld" digital module and the most common functions implemented by logical groups can be found (osc / lfo / env / arp / vcf / vca) via d 'button dedicated access to the left of each section.
The set is quite successful, and programming is really fluid.
The lfos and envelopes are also very successful, the LFO's have a working width very comfortable and are suddenly very versatile.
No big fancy Roland in envelopes but different modes of loopage those above, which opens up the field of possible benefit when we know that the envelopes are also used as source (or destination) for the modulation matrix .
The modulation matrix is the secret garden of the desktop, you must have a great imagination to say that they have toured the capacity of the equipment, it is not possible for me to give the details here, I think you me understand, but basically everything (or almost) can be modulated by all (or almost).
However, and this is the big HIC, use, redundant bugs appear, especially at (and this is not new to waldorf) arpeggiator which on paper offers downright lethal functions ( almost between the sequencer and arpeggiator, in fact, as the blofeld, a little). Basically impossible to stall peacefully with other machines noon, he went to lollipop. In addition, it is sometimes necessary (for me) to send cc123 because sometimes notes are maintained.
The access to various menus "global" "utility" and others will be done through a button that serves style "shift", they are also quite fluid and it does not take itself cabbage looking for ages, although the system input preset name is not the most practical.
Screen printing is very pretty but impractical, I do not compose my music under a neon surgical operating room, in a cozy environment there not see much, ca can be a hassle if you do not have to loupiotte extra pincer (ikea, super convenient 9 balls) in benefits.
I do not know how the animal responds to the large flow of info pm (if it is controlled externally with a bcr for example), this is a point that few have its importance, however, given the small problems and sync notes held.
Wholesale BIG (big) sound, which should probably many lovers of the synthesis. The paraphonic modes are unstoppable, what a pleasure to play chords with an analog at this price! The color of this synth is pretty good mast, both modern and vintage as it sounds a beautiful gray mast and can happen to scrape too, thanks to its distortion (drive) to the filter ass.
The speed of lfos also provides a kind of saturation, which may be a function of the violent waveform chosen for lfo.
The pulse also has a noise generator that works wonders on the sounds of snares type hats or sfx example.
In terms of bass sounds, I feel like an old synth "Update" in terms of grain, I am a big candy case with "square", I'm really difficult, frankly here is clean powerful, well-defined and bold at the same time and sometimes it crackles a little if you want, congratulations to the Teutonic firm (I like saying that!)
I like especially the rendering of pads and other non-static sounds, the Pulse is great comfort in this register also, it will fedora (can be choruser with lfos) to post apocalyptic if desired, thank you modulations and distortion, as well as the filter and the noise generator. We can find hot coldness of some old Roland synth also in ground and stretched sounds (thank you paraphonie) with this modern side more.
Special mention to the filter section whose very distinctive grain and different modes allow for a wide field of possibilities filtering, remaining always musical and "creamy" if you know what I mean. I tried a volcanic beat and 707 in the input and the lfo matched the tempo, it's great for stutteriser, especially if pti analog delay like the memory boy Derche on hold!
It will be comfortable in current production, no doubt, but given its presence, we can find next to instruments loaded in the spectrum, such as electric guitars, it will not sound riquiqui in the mix, rather .
Desktop format does not suit me particularly, but considering its price, its sonic possibilities and finally the rugged look he has is a synth that I use very often. As usual, I (a little, sir) open to see inside, we do not laugh at us in terms of finish, everything is well thought out, the MB is super charged ( size forces) so I do not amuse myself soldering but the whole exudes confidence, I do not know about you, but me being reassured ben ca reassures me!
In conclusion, we can blame the team to Germany to defeat the flanks death of their 2 cousins Sync modules (Blofeld / Pulse), but it stops about there. For the rest, it's a Swiss Army knife luxury that Pulse 2, a bit like the "leatherman" synthesis, which as always with Waldorf particular person, although it can sometimes be confused with a classic .
The synth sounds so strong as it looks and its great potential for manipulation make it comfortable in many registers (funk, techno, hip hop, rock, jazz etc. ..) Its color and its grain although very Waldorf (cold / warm gray mast) sounds a bit different from other synth brand. The module fits particularly well in a mix which also allows this beast to be the "lead" a track to Gesloten Circle (Twisted Balloon) or Dj Overdose Housing (The House), for those who know.