Waldorf Pulse 2 Analog Synth Now Available

Waldorf_Pulse_2Today German synth-maker Waldorf announced that their latest analog synthesizer, the Pulse 2, is now available, spinning the long-awaited synth’s debut as “proof positive that good things can come to those that wait.”

We first told you about the Pulse 2 almost two years ago, at the 2012 NAMM Show. At that time, Waldorf was promoting the Pulse 2 as the reincarnation of its “legendary” ancestor, the Waldorf Pulse, that was a constant presence in the electronic music of the 1990s.

Waldorf Pulse 2 Features:

Pulse 2 boasts three analog oscillators with a VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter). The filter circuits in the Pulse 2 offer 12dB Highpass and Bandpass modes, in addition to 24dB/12dB Lowpass for “strengthened sound-sculpting flexibility.”

Waldorf has also added analogue Filter FM, two Overdrive circuits, and Ring Modulation from OSC 3, together with Paraphonic and Unison modes allowing up to eight-voice chords, a feature found on Waldorf’s recently-released Rocket Synthesizer.

pulse_2_WaldorfLike Waldorf’s popular Blofeld before it, the Pulse 2 analog synth is housed in a sturdy metal desktop casing, and features a 128×64-character backlit LCD, eight stainless steel knobs for navigation.

The Pulse 2′s connectivity comes via USB, MIDI In, MIDI Out, Ext In (external analogue signal input), line OUT, and headphone output. The synth also has CV Out (supporting both the V/octave and Hz/V standards) and Gate Out (V-Trigger- and S-Trigger-compatible), to allow “suitably equipped” older/other synths to connect to the Pulse 2, to mirror whatever MIDI ‘note’ information is being played by the Pulse 2, including the output of its powerful ARP (arpeggiator). The CV Out can also be modulated in the eight-slot modulation Matrix.

Alongside analogue must-haves like a noise generator, Pulsewidth modulation, and hard Sync, other features include:

  • an Alternating Pulsewidth Modulation mode (offering a dense PWM sound without affecting perceived loudness),
  • an XOR Osc mode (which is a binary XOR combination of two PWM oscillators with two distinct output levels — high and low only — capable of producing in-harmonic spectra unlike anything associated with any analogue synthesizer other than Waldorf’s original Pulse)
  • 500 onboard sound programs, and
  • backwards compatibility with the original Pulse series, so original Pulse owners can quickly transfer sounds from the old gear to new Pulse 2 via MIDI (dump).

Pricing and Availability. Waldorf’s Pulse 2 Analog Synthesizer is available to purchase from Waldorf dealers worldwide with at a suggested retail price of 461.00 EUR ($610.00 US), excluding tax. For more information, consult the Waldorf website.


41 thoughts on “Waldorf Pulse 2 Analog Synth Now Available

    • I dunno at 800 . Personally I’d rather get something playable at that price (or a bit more).

      It’s a shame they couldn’t work any of the Blofeld or Nave into it. Dump the Blofeld’s multitimbrality. (Or fix it!), effects and even sampling if you like. Digital + analog filters and distortion is awesome. That’s something I’d be will to pay more than 800 for, myself. There’s not much competition in this range, maybe an indication of market interest, but people will come around! Monoevolver is discontinued. Shruthi is DIY. What else?

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      • Desktop evolvers are certainly not discontinued, and compete much more directly with this, with both at the $600 price point. The pulse 2 sounds really good, and quite different, but the evolver, even after all these years, probably offers better bang-for-buck (wavetables, tuned feedback, true stereo path, 3 delay lines, etc.)

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  1. I had a Blofeld and thought it wasn’t warm enough – nice design and good for crystally sounds and noises but just sounded digital. Had a Pulse and it was great – simple and the filters behaved like they should, so this looks like real move forward. I like the matrix design. Its quick. If this is proper analogue and not virtual (like some companies like to pretend) IE like CEM/Curtis or similar then this could be on my top list. Is this multi-timbral? If its only omni -midi I will be disappointed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    • This is actually what I love about my Blofeld. In a generation of entry level “VA” synths all trying to claim authenticity, the Blofeld has a refreshing, unashamedly digital sound to it. It has more character than pretty much any other mass market synth in the price range.

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      • i respect people that get down with the blo but i was totally uninmpressed. and hated the encoders.
        infact i see no plus of having it over software. pulse on the other hand has balls.

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    • Usually a synth has X voices and Y oscillators per voice. I don’t know much about the Pulse 2 right now, but a synth could have 8 voices each with 3 oscillators per voice. They say it’s paraphonic, so unlike a fully polyphonic synths, the voices are sharing a filter and/or envelope between them, rather than each voice having its own. This will probably lead to similar behavior as observed for the Volca Keys in the Sonic State reviews, where playing a new note causes the filter/amp of the already on notes to jump.

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      • Thanks for the reply. I didn’t realize it had multiple voices with 3 oscs each, I thought from looking at the specs it was a single voice with 3 oscillators. But that’s pretty cool! Makes this thing seem like a good deal. Can’t wait to see some demos pop up online.

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        • As I say, I don’t know a lot about the Pulse 2 specifically, I actually struggled to understand what Waldorf is saying here myself, so I could be wrong. What they wrote is not clear at all IMO.

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          • Ok, found the manual where it states, which provides a little clarification:

            “OSC 1 creates an unison in polyphonic mode by using a cluster of eight pulse oscillators. If you trigger one note only, all eight oscillators will be played with the same root pitch. If you trigger eight different notes, every oscillators plays its own pitch.”

            Interesting.

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            • Yeah, the information around this synth is not very clear. This sounds like it’s eight-parts polyphonic, or at least paraphonic, but then earlier press releases from Waldorf said specifically “MONOPHONIC analog synth.” Also, I can’t figure out what they’re talking about with the “XOR Osc mode” feature.

              I gotta say, since we’ve been waiting for the Pulse 2, we’ve seen the Minibrute, MS-20 Mini, Bass Station 2, SubPhatty, A4, Mopho X4, and the Volca series. . . I think Waldorf may have delayed so long that they sort of missed the analog renaissance boat with this one.

              I’d have to see/hear some pretty amazing sound and functionality demos to be at all interested.

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            • Just read most of the manual. Interesting stuff indeed. Like this tidbit: “randomly tweaking the Pulse’s knobs can lead to unexpectedly good results, whereas twerking the knobs might cause the unit to overheat.”

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      • The Waldorf Rocket uses this same chord technique, which is hard for me to wrap my head around, as it is not note robbing like most mono-synths do. While I think there are some drawbacks to the
        Rocket’s design, it sounds great and is quite versatile. I think the Pulse 2 sounds great, and while it is more expensive than the minibrute, slim-phatty or bass station 2, it has a different character than those other synths and I think it is worth considering.

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  2. The specs on Waldorf site say: “analog MONOPHONIC synthesizer”. (caps are mine).
    So I guess that the “paraphonic” mode is some kind of divide-down organ-like technology?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • yes, it’s a desktop synth module, there’s no keyboard and very few sliders/knobs on the unit itself but a shit ton of parameters are directly accessible by midi CC via a DAW or midi controller. You can download the manual in PDF on their website, there’s a chapter about that.

      I would also think that since, it will most likely be, a popular synth , waldorf or somebody else will make a custom made VST/App to control it more deeply: like preset backup/upload, easier program changes and stuff harder to program than by CC# (ie midi nrpn). Waldorf did an ipad app for the rocket that does just that and this is higher end product, it have to be awesomer!

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  3. Man … I’ve been waiting AGES for this to get out… I’ve never witnessed a poorer marketing than with this device, being delayed more than a year!

    Alright! … better late than never I guess… and it sounds quite good… Pulse 1 has been one of my favourites of all time, so it’ll go thru quite a comparison with me to see if I can let the older one go, and keep this instead… somehow I have a feeling I’ll end up with them both.

    One thing I hate about the Pulse 2 though is that desktop scheme… tey take up so much deskspace all of these desktop modules these days… I’d REALLY wish that manufacturers begin making rackmountable gear again…

    And then those encoders… not a big fan of encoders either…

    mixed feelings about this… but I just can’t resist… :O)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. Wow! a Minimoog & a Poly800 / String Machine for $700
    Who cares if it’s ugly or cute?
    Actually it looks like a Waldorf ……..which is nice

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  5. Been waiting for this, but I noticed in the Modulation list it has CV output as a destination, does that mean I can route a midi LFO to the CV output and modulate something on my Modular? If so, there are 8 modulation slots, I could have a mix of LFO’s and velocity ADSR’s going to my Euro rack, in effect giving me a programable modulation section to my gear.

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  6. I’ll wait and see what Nick from Sonicstate has to say about it when he reviews it.
    Desk space is prime real estate now.

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  7. I owned a pulse and yes they are great.
    The pulse two looks really good and has an interesting detailin the arpeg which is accent?
    I wonder of this can be used in a 303 kind of way. hardly any manufactureres seem to pick up on the way the 303′s accent control really adds a freaky and very musical dimension to the sound. That combined with the slide and filter. I hope the Pulse two delivers. A pulse poly would be incredible.
    What is all the paraphonic thing about? It is boasted about but I can’t seem to to see what that is about?

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  8. I have the orig pulse+ and a blofeld and really love them both for different reasons. it’s hard to imagine how this wouldn’t be a great synth. very tempting to sell the original pulse+ for the new version but I really wish Waldorf would work with sound tower or just make a good vsti editor. an ios editor with some fresh approach would be more than welcome as well.

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  9. Can it transmit all its CC values on a button push like I believe the Rocket does? This would be ever so useful to update editors and hardware led knobs that can display parameter feedback .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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