Content by Products
MicroWave I & WaveSlave
MicroWave II / XT series
D-Pole (VST/AU Plug-In)
Attack (VSTi/AU Plug-In)
PPG 2.v/3.v (VSTi/AU Plug-In)
What to do if the WAVE doesn't boot anymore?
A: Is there an OS disk in the disk drive?
If there is a disk inside, make sure it got the 2 system files on it:
What do do if the WAVE lost storage information when turned of or produce random like values?
A: Check the RAM supporting battery inside the WAVE. Therefor you have to open the WAVE's back, find the battery and replace it with a matching (CR 2032 type) new one. You might want to buy one or two before you and your WAVE starts a world tour :-)
How open the WAVE and change the WAVE inside battery?
A: Don't try this at home unless you are a bit experienced in doing repair jobs !
* Pull the power cord first !
* unlock the pneumatic bumpers that hold the panel by unlocking the omega (Ω) shaped "washers" that fix the bumbers to the bold at the panel. Take care not to let the fall into the WAVE. And fix the panel by having someone holding it till you are done. Take care not to let it bent over to the key (would cause extra strain to the cables that drive the panel) or to fall onto your fingers while worink in the boot of the WAVE.
* unscrew the screws that fix the big metal plate that it burried under the panel (not the back of the panel itself). There should be 18 (!) screws.
* lift up the hood gently.
* don't dare to touch a thing unless you know what you are doing !
* And this is what you will see (from left to right if you stand in the back of the WAVE):
o the analog voice boards (vertically mounted).
o the the voice board controller including the digital oscillator and wavetable stuff. Two or three stacked on one another if you open a 32 or 48 voice WAVE.
o the main CPU board with the battery clearly visible.
o the power supply under a isolating cover
* the battery is on the main board. Its a CR2032 (3 volt).
How to do screenshots of the WAVE display ?
A: There is a hidden feature that saves the current screen as TIFF File on disk: Hold and press Shift-Cancel-OK in this order.
(thanks to Stefan Stenzel for this information !)
You will here the disk writting a file.
The resulting file is about 4 kB in size and of cause black and white only. It will be named WAVE001.TIF for the first screenshots on this disk. The number will count upwards for each next screenshot stored onto the same disk.
Now we know how they did the screenshots in the manual.
How to import samples for resynthesis into the WAVE using the disk drive?
A: For OS versions below 1.8:
There is a Mac OS X shareware tool that will convert most available sound file formates into others. Including the SoundDesigner 1 (.sd1) formate that a WAVE like to see for the resynthesis function, if the data is read from the disk and not by sloooow MIDI sample dump.
I don't know a toll for the PC world yet. Please let me know if you know one (email@example.com)
For the non Waldorf OS version 1.8 and above:
The import of WAV files via disk is now possible. See
how to get this new OS.
What is inside a WAVE ?
A: 16 x AD 7545 D/A converter
16 x CEM PD508 Multiplexer / S&H
16 x CEM 3387 VCF / VCA (analog! 24 db lowpass & 12 db highpass filter and panning) Was also inside the SCI Prophet 3000 and the later MicroWave I revision
16 x SSM 2024 Quad current controlled Class A amplifier with S/N > 82dB
2 x Motorola 68000 16 MHz CPU (1 x mainboard, 1 x per 16 voice slaveboard)
2 x Waldorf custom ASICs
(a sub frame of
Where to get the pneumatic lifters ?
A: Company: Bansbach, Germany
Company: ACE, Germany
Type; GS-15-30-AA-K5067 F=100N (build to order)
How to exchange the shock absorbers / pneumatic lifters?
A: 1. Do it together with a friend if possible
2. There is a snap ring that prohibits the eyelet of the gas spring to jump out of the bolt mounted at the panel. You have to remove this snap ring from both gas springs. Use a screw driver but take care that these snap ring do not fly away.
3. Now you can remove the gas springs from the bolt of the panel but take care since the panel will not be kept upright anymore (therefore a second person should held the panel vertically)
4. Remove all the screws from cover of the body (about 12 or more screws) to access the second bolt where the gas spring is mounted. Use a Philips screwdriver. If you have a standard keyboard equipped Wave, you might note the two special screws which are only accessible both sides through the trench beside the hinge that links the panel to the body of the instrument. I use a magnetic screwdriver for this purpose (it needs some exercising ).
Then remove the cover of the body of the instrument. You will see all the nice electronics ;-)
5. Again remove the other snap rings from the bolds at the second eyelet. Now you can replace the the gas springs.
The rest is procedure 5 to 1 backward. Please take care that the snap ring will be inserted again just for security. This is easy since you can do it with pure hand. You will note that you have to use a screw driver or something similar to lift the gas spring out of the trench when you have attached the cover (maybe is works with slim fingers).
Why do some synths produce clicks?
A: Chapter 1: The click in theory
A click is produced when a very fast level change in the audio signal
occurs. You can easily check that on your home stereo when you play
back a CD and switch the Source Selector back and forth between CD
and a source that doesn't play anything.
The brightness of the click depends on the speed of the level change.
The faster the level changes, the brighter is the click. So, the
level change speed can be compared with the cutoff of a lowpass
filter. There is an easy formula for it:
Let's consider a level change from full to zero (or from zero to
full) output from one sample to another on a machine that uses
44.1kHz sample rate. So, we first transfer the sample to milli
1 sample equals 1/44100 second, which is = 0.02267573696ms.
To calculate the cutoff frequency of the click, just use this formula:
Cutoff (Hz) = 1000 / Level Change Time (ms)
which in the example results in:
44100Hz = 1000 / 0.02267573696ms
Whoops? This the sampling frequency and, err, very bright.
Chapter 2: The click in the real world
Now, how could this knowledge help you and what has it to do with
Waldorf synthesizers? Easy:
When you play a sine wave sound, only the base frequency (the
fundamental or the 1st harmonic) is present. That means, when you
play note A=110Hz, no other frequencies are involved except this
Now, what happens when you abruptly cut the sine wave to zero when it
just is at its maximum level? You get the same effect as with your
From one sample to the next, the waveform is brought from maximum to
zero, resulting in the forementioned bright click.
The same applies when the opposite happens. On Waldorf synthesizers,
you can setup the oscillators so that their phases start randomly
when a new note is played. So, you never know at which level the sine
wave is when you hit a note.
Consider it would be at the maximum level, you would get an immediate
change from zero to maximum when the amp envelope's attack rate is
set to 0.
BTW: the effect is the same, when you have a bright waveform but
filter it so that it is very hollow.
Chapter 3: In which situations does the click occur on my Waldorf synth?
There are several situations when you can get a click and when you
know where they happen, you can try to prevent them:
* Amp Envelope Attack. On digital Waldorf synthesizers like the MWII
and the Q, the Attack rate can be as short as 1 sample. This means
that the amp volume of a note can change from zero to maximum in one
sample, or in ms: 0.02267573696ms. This results in a very bright
On the Pulse, we chose a minimum attack rate of 1.9ms, resulting in a
click with a maximum cutoff of around 526Hz. When you own a Pulse,
you probably know of the 1.9ms number from the user's manual, because
that's the update speed of all CVs that are used in it.
So, when you hear a click on note start every now and then, just
increase the Amp Envelope Attack rate until you don't hear a click
* Amp Envelope Release. Here, the same as with the Attack rate applies.
When you hear a click when you release a note, increase the Amp
Envelope's Release rate.
If the click still persists, you should also check the Release rate
of the Filter Envelope. Maybe the filter closes very fast, which can
result in a click, too.
* Voice Stealing. We know that this is the most annoying situation.
But, the click helps you: When you hear a click at a certain position
in your song, you know that a voice stealing happened and you can
easily shorten or delete notes in the editors of your sequencer.
When you count the notes and say that they don't exceed the maximum
number of voices of your synthesizer, just keep in mind that other
notes might still be in their release phases and therefore have to be
* Mono mode. In Mono mode, a click might occur when any envelopes
(Amp or maybe Filter, too) are set to retrigger on new notes. When
the Attack rate of a sound is greater than 0, they are brought to
zero so that they can go up to their full level again. This rapid
change to zero results in a click.
* Unisono sounds. Here, a click might occur even heavier. Unisono
sounds easily exceed the maximum number of voices and because they
steal not only one but **several** notes at once, a click can be a
lot more present. It is louder and happens more often. You should
check several points on unisono sounds to lower clicks as much as
possible: are the envelope rates set to reasonable values, are the
oscillator phases set to free, is filter keytrack set to 0% (because
this can also be a rapid change) and so on.
Chapter 4: Why does my synth xy (insert product name here) produce no clicks
Should I really answer that? Because it is slooooow.
Some japanese manufacturers (I don't say names here) prevent voice
stealing clicks by fading out voices slowly before they start new
notes. Hey, brillant idea, why doesn't Waldorf do that? Because it
ends up in a very bad MIDI timing (and those japanese synths are
**well-known** for that).
Furthermore, most of these synths are sample-based, which means that
their attack behaviour is stored in the sample that they should play.
So, a click on note start is also not possible because the sample
somehow gradually fades from zero to maximum.
If those synths allow you to change the sample start position, they
hopefully produce clicks, too (if not, they also have slow envelopes
which we don't hope).
A couple of days ago, someone mentioned the Matrix 12 producing no
clicks on retriggering envelopes. Yes, that's correct, because the
Matrix 12's minimum attack rate is around 20ms. Or in other words:
its envelopes are among the slowest you can find in a synthesizer.
The same applies to all synthesizers of the Matrix series, because
they all used Curtis chips that had an automatic smoothing filter to
prevent steppiness. The older Oberheim synths like the 4-Voice were
Also, the Waldorf Microwave and the Waldorf Wave used those Curtis
chips, but when the Attack rates of the envelopes were set to 0, this
smoothing filter was temporarily switched off, resulting in an abrupt
change. Attack 1 there is the same as minimum attack on a Matrix
Chapter 5: Conclusion
You know that we at Waldorf could prevent clicks by increasing the
minimum envelope rates or allowing bad MIDI timing. We could also
prevent that the filter resonance can destroy your hearing ability or
that you could play a C major chord. But who are we that we could
decide what **you** want from a synthesizer. Clicks can even be
musically useful and add a kind of randomness to a song that brings
it to live. A very good example is the bad, ugly, annoying, but
famous and beloved keyclick on Hammond organs.
Recently I bought the latest Art Of Noise album "the seduction of
Claude Debussy" produced by Trevor Horn and played by the creme de la
creme (even including Lol Creme of 10CC and Godley&Creme) of
musicians and I heard a lot of clicks during a couple of tracks. I am
even quite sure that they came from Waldorf synths but I don't know
if. You can easily imagine that I had a smile on my face.
I hope you now have even more fun with your "clicking" Waldorf synth.
What freeware software to load updates and sounds to Waldorf synths?
A: "Midi-OX" for PC (95/NT/98/Me/2000/XP)
("MIDI-OX is copyrighted freeware, for non-commercial use.")
"SysEx Librarian" for Mac OS X (10.1. or later)
("SysEx Librarian is FREE to download and use.")
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16.05.2021 13:00:58 Waldorf Time