The Waldorf Microwave Mk1 is the first version of a series of expanders born after the PPG project.
RACK two units height, blue or grey panel, a true essential German design.
Main panel has
a small 16 * 2 lines display, 6 buttons for edit + a big red wheel encoder for data entry.
Back panel has the following connections: double main audio out jacks + 4 individuals out assignable to stereo or mono and a MIDI interface.
Power supply is internal but it sticks out of the rack.
A bit of history PPG 2.2 was released around 1983 and 2.3 in 1985 introduced dynamic spectral dynamic process synthesis, then PPG went out of business ... but not the Wolfgang Palm Project that reincarnated a few years later in the MICROWAVE rack (the so-called "PPG 2.4"?)
VOICE main CPU Motorola 68000 manages 8 voices.
A basic patch is made by two detunable oscillators based on digital waves Dynamic Spectral Wavetable Synthesis PCM wich boasts variable spectrum and
harmonic contents; the DSWS features 32 wavetables each with 64 waves, same as PPG 2.2 or 2.3 but in different
order plus some extra wavetables position R31-R32.
There are 12 RAM wavetable slots user-free but relative edit is possible only by Midi Sysex.
WAVESCAN Technology reads waves at 64 different start positions cycles or random. The oscillator moves on the waves changing the harmonic content in real-time using a 8 stages Envelope with variable loop points. Wavetable ROM features 3 standard basic waveforms (Saw, Square and Triangle) + a white Noise circuit. Note that basic waveforms cannot be wavescanned.
INTERPOLATION sound results may results harsh with some digital artifact but an interpolation option smooths the transition values; nevertheless Raw or Stepped, sounds are defenetively interesting.
FILTER based on chip CEM 3389 for REVISION A and CEM3387 for B- VCF with a superb Lowpass 24 octave/slope resonant filter.
ENVELOPE Amplitude and Filter have a 4 segments ADSR while Wavescan has a special 8 stages EG with multi-split segment and loopable parts.
A good option for programming are the internal Macros: template presets for common sounds patch type for a quick edit.
cem 3389 filter
LFO two modulators with 4 destinations: Pitch, Amplitude, Cutoff and Wavescan EG.
The low oscilaltor can be synched to note trigger and features 6 different waveforms:
- Triangle with variable Symmetry
- Pulse with variable Width
MATRIX complex matrix modulation with flexible Midi parameters for parameters routing with sources and destinations.
MEMORY holds two A / B banks with each 32 sounds in RAM + 64 Performance multitimbral.
RAM works with an internal Lithium type CR-2032 battery and patches can be also saved on special external RAM cards or by Sysex dump.
MIDI up to 4 assignable Control changes W-X-Z-Y from Midi Control Change from 0 to 120.
battery replacement CR-2032
RELATED MICROWAVE 1 MODELS :
GREEN LIMITED EDITION cool green color as limited edition, may have high price on auctions.
HINT: Buy a green spray can, cheaper way.
WALDORF SLAVE also known as the GIMP :) OK it' s a slave one rack unit wave slave that can be linked to the Microwave doubling the voices. Slave does NOT work standalone.
Not much units sold and seems to pretty hard to find and technically it will NOT work with OS2.0
ACCESS PROGRAMMER quick editing of the most common parameters.
For deep programming you need an external computer or Controller with more Sysex parameters.
if you have some cool Microwave recordings, consider sharing them. Thanks
- great sound
- still affordable
- tiny LCD
Second hand price
"The sound is stunning raw and delicate: the analog filters boost and warm the sound better than any PPG successor of the wavetable series"