Waldorf Nave ‘The Most Impressive iOS Synth’ Yet

Waldorf has announced the availability of Nave, its first synthesizer app for the iPad.

Created by a power trio of Stefan Stenzel (audio algorithms), Rolf Wöhrmann (iOS development), and Axel Hartmann (graphic design), Nave turns the iPad into an advanced wavetable synthesizer.

Sound designer Richard Devine – who created presets for the new synth – calls Nave “the most impressive iOS synthesizer I have laid my hands on to date.”

Here’s a video preview of Waldorf Nave and its synthesis capabilities:

The video features Nave sounds, with no external FX or external processing.  All sound examples were directly recorded in Nave´s 4 track recorder.

This next video looks at programming sounds in Nave:

Here’s what Waldorf has to say about Nave and its synth architecture:

The Nave sound engine includes two novel Wavetable oscillators with sonic possibilities way beyond the scope of conventional wavetable synthesis. While the spectrum of a sound can be transposed independently of its pitch, the waves can be rendered from perfectly periodic to very noisy and anywhere in between. Especially sounds with an accent on formants can be produced easily, which made us integrate a speech synthesizer for the easy creation of wavetables, enabling Nave to talk and sing.

Nave comes complete with over 500 presets from highly acclaimed sound designers like Richard Devine, Sacha Dikiciyan (of Sonic Mayhem fame), Laurence Rapaccioli (Arksun), David Boldini (7 Skies), and Fletcher Kaufman (Sunsine Audio), amongst many others. All seriously showcase the depth and diversity of this impressive and inspirational iOS synthesizer – so much so, in fact, that Richard Devine was suitably moved to create no fewer than 95 presets alone, all of which are included in Nave.

The clearly structured GUI invites both beginners and advanced users alike to experiment both sonically and musically while the hosting iPad’s generous display helps make wavetable creation and editing a blast. Besides integrated speech synthesis, wavetables can also be formed from analysing audio files. Furthermore, stretching, rotating, and shifting in the spectral domain allows wavetables to be refined or distorted. Several 3D views in the fullscreen Wavetable Edit Page make editing easy and visually appealing. All factory Wavetables from Microwave, Wave and Blofeld are included, complemented by new ones that make extensive use of the enhanced possibilities.

In addition to the Wavetable Oscillators, Nave offers an oscillator module featuring the novel Überwave that can fatten your sound by up to eight detuned oscillators.

The filter offers the familiar outstanding Waldorf sound, featuring lowpass, bandpass and highpass with either 12dB or 24dB slope.

The Drive section offers different characteristics, and it can be positioned in the signal path: before or after the filter, or as a summing overdrive before or after the equalizer – for those who prefer harsh screaming sounds over delicate Wavetable sweeps.

An extended modulation matrix and diverse real time control functionality is waiting for animating Nave sounds in any desired direction.

Besides the classic virtual chromatic keyboard, Nave can be played with the “Blades” that allow for dynamic triggering of polyphonic modulation by sliding the fingers in x or y direction.

The 4-track recorder can be used to build your own Nave songs or to simply sketch your music, inspired by the sounds of Nave.


Waldorf Nave Specifications:

Per Voice:

  • Two independent advanced Wavetable Oscillators
  • Osc module with up to 8 oscillator Überosc, shapes sawtooth, triangle, PWM, white or pink noise
  • Two Ring Modulators
  • Multimode Filter with LP,BP and HP, each either 12 dB or 24 dB
  • 3 Envelopes
  • 2 LFO
  • 10 Modulation Matrix Entries
  • Drive with adjustable curve, depth and position


  • Modulation Effect with either Chorus, Flanger or Phaser
  • Delay
  • High Quality Reverb
  • Three band parametric Equalizer
  • Compressor

Additional Features:

  • Keyboard with adjustable size, scrolling and glissando modes
  • Blades with musical scales and optional chord mode
  • Polyphonic X/Y finger modulation on keyboard and blades
  • Modulation Wheel and Pitch Bender
  • Up to three X/Y Control Pads
  • Four Track Recorder with clip based editing
  • Core MIDI in/out support
  • MIDI device manager for external hardware and virtual connections
  • Sync to MIDI Clock or WIST
  • MIDI Learn
  • Audiobus compatible
  • Background Audio
  • Arpeggiator
  • Polyphonic Unisono
  • Speech Synthesizer for Wavetables
  • 3D Wavetable Editing
  • Generation of Wavetables from external audio files
  • BeatMaker & Sonoma Audio Copy / Paste Support
  • Patch Management with unlimited user banks and categories
  • Import / Export audio and sound patches from iTunes

System Requirements:

  • iOS 6 or higher
  • iPad 2 or higher

Waldorf Nave is now available in the App Store, with an intro price of US $11.99 (normally $19.99).

80 thoughts on “Waldorf Nave ‘The Most Impressive iOS Synth’ Yet

  1. All the presets? @K Theres 500 presets.
    I dont like being forced to register nave with my email to get the manual. I didnt register.
    I would like the manual. Annoying.

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  2. I agree with some of the other reviews that the presets are all a bit “in your face”, but I was able to get some really nice sounds after just a few minutes of playing around.

    The biggest, and killer, issue is that it crashes after more than about 30 seconds of recording. As I don’t have an alternative way of recording the output, that’s pretty much a deal breaker, and unless an upgrade comes out soon to fix this, I’ll likely have to ask for a refund.

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  3. Same problem here, Nave freezes with iPad 2 when recording, first there are some clicks and pops in audio. Hopefully will be fixed soon…

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