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)
MW II / XT series
Q: How does the effects work in multimode?
Q: What are the differences of the different MWII/XT versions ?
Q: How to erase/reset the MWII/XT flash ROM ?
Q: What kind of funny humourous words are on the back of a XTk?
Q: XT display light up but no characters visible?
Q: What helps if the XT(k) screen has gone blank?
Q: Is there a tutorial?
Q: How to play the XTk demo sounds and song
Q: What to do if storing a sound appears not to work anymore?
Q: What size (diameter) and type are the encoder caps of the XT(k) knobs?
Q: What can I do with the binary modifiers?
Q: Do you have some examples for using the modifiers?
Q: Where to find Q, XT or microQ spare part encoders?
Q: How to repair a non working big red encoder?
Q: Checksum Error on OS dump?
Q: Where to get the semi transparent knobs?
Q: Why do some synths produce clicks?
Q: What freeware software to load updates and sounds to Waldorf synths?
Q: were do we find Waldorf support technicians worldwide?
How does the effects work in multimode?
A: Instrument 1-3 can each have different settings. On Instruments 4 - 8 you'll have to choose one of the effects that you have already used on Instruments 1-3.
NB! Keep in mind that all tracks can have chorus (Though you can't edit it, it's just ON/OFF).
What are the differences of the different MWII/XT versions ?
A: The older XT had this "Perspex" or whatever it was called elliptical plexiglass
stuff to cover the LC display, which is missing on newer ones.
They changed the surface from "Nextel" (rusty "fluffy" orange) to paint (bright
They changed the knobs.
With the release of the XT, which is a MWII plus lots more knobs, more DSP ram
and delay FX were introduced. Later XTs got a differen/better output DAC.
This makes 3 board revisions.
Later MWIIs were shipped with the XT boards.
So in table form this would look like
DSP ram/Delay DAC MWII XT
Rev 1 no old yes no Rev 2 yes old yes yes Rev 3 yes new yes yes
Thats what I know, hopefully right :-)
How to erase/reset the MWII/XT flash ROM ?
A: Press and hold UTILITY + UNDO during powering up the synth.
This will erease all sounds and data inside the MWII/XT. You will have to upload the OS then to use it again.
What kind of funny humourous words are on the back of a XTk?
A: "Achtung: In diesem Gehäuse tummeln sich erschreckende Auswüchse digitaler Mikroelektronik, die selbst für den versierten Heimwerker eine nicht zu unterschätzende Gefährdung seiner sämtlichen Gerätschaften
inclusive seines irdischen Daseins darstellen. Wir bitten Sie daher inständig, das Gerät weder Feuchtigkeit, noch Schmutz oder Schmodder auszusetzen und speziell das Innere des Geräts strikt zu meiden. Wir gehen - in Ihrem ureigenen Interesse - sogar so weit, sämtliche Garantieansprüche bei Zuwiderhandlung zu negieren. Wenn Sie jedoch dem Drang, das Gehäuse trotz dieser Warnung zu öffnen, nachweislich widerstanden haben, schicken wir Ihnen mit größter Freude eine große Tüte Gummibärchen. Übrigens - Sie schauen ganz verdreht..."
"A word to the wise: This device is home to terrifyingly complex clutter of digital microelectronics, which, even if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, pose a great danger to all the rest of your gear, not to mention your earthly existence. Ergo, we implore you to expose this device to neither moisture nor dust and dirt, and particularly, to avoid the interior of the device like you would the plague. We'll even go as far - in your best interest of course - to void the warranty should you fail to comply. Incidentally - you look somewhat bewildered..."
The two paragraphs above run the entire length of the backplate in parallel, with the last sentence ending in a curl. The english is not a direct translation of the german, in particular the offer to send a big pack of jelly bears if you've resisted the temptation to open the case is missing.
XT display light up but no characters visible?
A: Perhaps your contrast level is out of adjustment...
Try sending this sysex to the XT
F0 3E 0E 7F 24 12 7F F7
fyi this sends a Global parameter to the XT regardless of device id.
tested and working
if you cannot send an sysex message:
- reboot the XT
- press the Global button 5 times
- adjust the 3rd display knob (2nd from right)
(Thanks .rEs !)
What helps if the XT(k) screen has gone blank?
A: After switching on the unit, press 5 times the GLOBAL/UTILITY button, then turn the 3rd softdial (Sound/Multi) to adjust contrast again.
Or try this:
Hit the UTILITY button (the LED should light), turn the red dial clockwise 2 turns (to make sure you're on the last page), then two nudges back, then the Sound/Multi encoder (the third encoder from the left) under the display all the way clockwise. You can take that literally. :-)
Is there a tutorial?
A: Yes !
It was called "microwave II/XT - Cookbook".
Dimensions: 20 cm x 10 cm (7.8" x 3.9")
You find the german and the english version at the link given below.
Thanks to Holger "tsching" Steinbrink for allowing us to show it here.
How to play the XTk demo sounds and song
A: To switch into the demo mode, press the number buttons 9 and 0 together when the unit is already powered.
The Sounds A001 to A020 will be changed temporarily (No sound will be overwritten) to the demo sounds.
The Multis 001 and 002 are complex examples.
And finally select the Multi 003.
The demo song made by Holger "Tsching" Steinbrink should start now.
What the LCD for thanks to all the good old Waldorf stuff then. And of cause some well known other names. Including our "swissdoc" Georg.
To leave the demo mode or to stop the demo song, just switch the instrument off and on again.
But why is our Tsching spelled "Dzingh" here?
What to do if storing a sound appears not to work anymore?
A: Reorganize the memory:
dial to "Reorganize Memory"
and press Shift+Utility.
What size (diameter) and type are the encoder caps of the XT(k) knobs?
A: 6mm diameter, D-type push-fit.
What can I do with the binary modifiers?
A: To make modulations "saw" (cycle) while the mod source is swept:
modsource AND constant (x)
x= 1 alternating between 0 and 1
x= 3 0,1,2,3,0,1,2,3,....
x= 7 you got the idea? if not, route that modifier to pitch
To make modulations more steppy (1st version, including 0, but not MAXIMUM):
modsource AND constant (x)
x=62 only every second step
x=60 only every fourth
x=56 only every eighth
x=48 only every 16th
x=32 only every 32nd
To make modulations more steppy (2nd version, including MAXIMUM, but not 0):
modsource OR constant (x)
x= 1 only every second step
x= 3 only every fourth
x= 7 only every eighth
x=15 only every 16th
x=31 only every 32nd
x=63 nah, that is silly
Overlay a reverse saw on a modulator sweep:
modsource XOR constant (x)
x is the same as above. For x=63 the original modulation is inverted.
Oh, and then of course you can chain modifiers and make inverted saws and stuff like that.
Do you have some examples for using the modifiers?
A: These were contributed by Stefan Trippler (DocT):
1. Using modifiers to generate 2 independent mod sources from the pitchbender:
src2: constant = 0
This function compares the 2 sources and delivers the maximum value of either of the sources. If the pitchbend is positive the result will be the pitchbend value, if pitchbend is negative, the result will be 0, because the constant 0 is greater than a negative value.
src2: constant = 0
This function will deliver a negative value if you pitch down, but 0 if you move the bender in the positive "up" region
You have now generated 2 modulation sources that you can route to quite different destinations. For example pitch up can now control the filter cutoff and pitch down the noise level.
2. Combining mod sources
operator: * (multiply)
If you route this modifier to the pitch of an oscillator, pitch will be varied with the LFO rhythm with ascending amount in the envelope attack phase and descending amount in decay phase.
For fast LFO it would be better to route the LFO to Pitch via the M1F or M2F slot of the Fast Mod Matrix and modulate the M1F Amount or M2F Amount destination from the Standard Mod Matrix. Since the scaling is not linear, this is not exactly the same as a multiplication, but allows for much faster LFO speeds to be used. If the destination is indeed oscillator pitch, then you should really try to use the LFO as an FM source and modulate the Osc FM Amount with the Envelope via the Mod Matrix.
3. "Shifting" a mod source
If you route keytrack to osc volume with max amount all notes above the center key (E3) will increase in volume, notes below the center key will fade out. Use a modifier to shift the center key:
operator: + or -
With the help of these modifiers you can setup a patch where osc1 is mainly audible in the lower third of the keyboard, osc 2 in the middle range and osc 3 in the upper key range.
If the resulting modifier is routed to pitch with an amount of 56, the center key is shifted in whole notes per increment of the constant, i.e. +6 shifts up one octave.
Mod#1 = Keytrack - 6
MxS = Mod#1*56 -> whatever
Semitone tuning can be achieved if the mod amount is set to 48 and the original keytrack is also routed to the destination with an amount of 48.
Mod#1 = Keytrack - 12
MxS = 48*Mod#1 -> whatever
MyS = 48*Keytrack -> whatever
4. Define 2 LFOs with pulse shape and different pretty low speeds
Set up a modifier as follows:
src1: LFO 1
src2: LFO 2
operator AND, OR, XOR
Route this modifier to the volume of an LFO and enjoy the different resulting rhythms...
Where to find Q, XT or microQ spare part encoders?
A: Here are the exact Q/XT Encoder part #35-847-45 at ELFA. Made by ALPS
Note one that clicks, one doesn't.
How to repair a non working big red encoder?
A: Open the MW (unplug the mains!!!) and carefully open the encoder housing by gently bend the four metal brackets that hold it together a little bit.
Once open, clean the encoder's inside. You may use Q-tips (not the Waldorf Q tips & tricks), and some alcohol to do so. Maybe greese the axis a little bit.
Assemble everything together and gently bend the encoder metal brackets back in place. Shut the MW and you are done.
Checksum Error on OS dump?
A: Please check first:
* slow down your sequencer (120 bpm should work fine, but lower to 90 bpm when you get trouble)
* make sure midi clock is not sent
* make sure no other midi events (metronome etc.) are sent at the same time
Then check this:
* make sure you have no MIDI loop. If in doubt unplug the MIDI out from the synth.
* when downloading with Netscape make sure to use the latest version (some older versions mangled the download file)
* when using a Mac make sure to use the latest unzip software because there have been problems with the unzip
* if all does not help try to download the unzipped version at the ftp server.
Some midi hardware causes problems with SysEx. When I recall right it was one piece from Mark Of The Unicorn (MOTU) that caused lots of trouble.
Where to get the semi transparent knobs?
A: The german company ALBS sell them under the name "Drehknopf DK16-190V3 A.6/4,5 AT=14,5 schwarz soft-transparent klar" with the article number 863063. Minimum order is 50,- € without VAT.
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.")
were do we find Waldorf support technicians worldwide?
Achim Lenzgen [licenced to solder! :-) ]
12041 burbank blvd
north hollywood ca
ph 818 506 4055
[ Home ]
23.03.2018 21:23:48 Waldorf Time