Studiologic Sledge 2.0 Offers More Synth For Less Money

studiologic-sledge-2

At the 2015 NAMM Show, Studiologic introduced Sledge 2.0 – an updated version of its vintage-inspired digital keyboard that offers a lot more synth for less money.

With Sledge 2.0, Studiologic and Waldorf Labs (working as a team) have made it more flexible as a pure synthesizer, added Dual mode for Split/Layer functions, introduced support for user samples, expanded the instrument’s polyphony from 8 notes to 24 and improved its effects engine.

Meanwhile, they’ve dropped the street price by about $600. Here are the details: 

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Sledge 2.0 Key Features:

  • Auto Dual mode: Sledge 2.0 can now play two sounds at the same time, in Split or Layer mode; the feature is controlled by a new page of the Global function and allows to simply keep one note (for Split) or more notes (for Layer) and then select a new sound, that will be added to the previous sound; as any other sound, also Dual Sound combinations can be permanently stored in any of the 1.000 available presets;
  • Sample Player: sound samples and new waves can be loaded in the internal 60 megabyte of Flash memory, played by OSC 1 and modifiable by all parameters of the control panel, adding other oscillators, setting filters, envelopes and effects. This feature can constantly expands the instrument’s sounds and create a totally new combination of synthesis and sampling.
  • Pitch & Hold controls: a new Global page allows to enable the Pitch and the Hold separately for the Lower and Upper sounds in Dual Mode, allowing to use the Pitch bend on the Upper sound (i.e. for solo parts) and the Hold pedal to control only the Lower (to keep playing a Drums groove or as a Damper for a Piano sound) and vice versa, or to enable Pitch Bend and Hold on both Upper and Lower sounds;
  • Reverb+Delay: a new function allows to mix both effects; the Reverb keeps the setting previously selected, while the real time controls (time and level) allows to set the parameters of Delay also when mixed.
  • Enhanced Polyphony: the total maximum number or notes that can be played at the same time have been expanded to 24, allowing to get a better real time control over the new sound possibilities obtainable from synthesis and sampling together.
  • Sledge Spectre: samples can be edited (keyboard range, tuning and other parameters) and transmitted to Sledge 2.0 by the USB port, with a sample editor that allows to first load and play the samples on your Computer and then download them into the instrument’s memory.

Specifications:

  • Keyboard 61 keys + Aftertouch
  • 2 Pots – 3 “chicken head” rotary switches (7 positions) – 1 rotary encoder + push function
  • 2 x 16 digits backlit LCD
  • High Quality Pitch and Mod Wheels
  • Up to 999 programmable Sounds
  • Fast and efficient sound selection via numeric keypad

Modulation

  • 2 fast LFOs per voice with adjustable Speed and Depth
  • 1 extra modulation routing for Mod Wheel, with adjustable Speed and Depth
    – LFO Shape: Sawtooth, Rectangular, Triangle, Sine, Sample & Hold, Ramp
    – Destination: Osc 1, Osc2, Ocs3, PWM / Wave / FM, Volume, Filter Cutoff

Sound Generation

  • 24 Voices polyphony – Monophonic mode with single or multiple trigger
  • 3 Oscillators per voice OSC1/OSC2/OSC3
    – Range from 64′ to 1′ with Semitone ant Detune controls
    – Shapes: Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, Sine, Pulse (with Pulse Width Modulation)
    – OSC 1 with 66 Original PPG Wavetables + Sample Player (60MB internal memory)
  • FM – Frequency Modulation of Sine and Triangle – Oscillator Hard sync (OSC 2 to OSC 3)
  • Noise Generator – White and Pink noise
  • Mixer with Volume and On/Off switch for each Oscillator and Noise
  • AUTO DUAL MODE : Split or Layer mode – prog. split point for each Program

Filter & Amplifier

  • 1 Multi Mode Filter per voice – 24 / 12dB – Lowpass – Highpass – Bandpass
    – Resonance up to Self-Oscillation and beyond – Adjustable Key track and Drive
  • 2 fast Envelopes per voice (Filter-Amplifier) with Amount and Velocity control (Filter+Ampli)

Arpeggiator

  • Powerful Arpeggiator – Latch mode – syncable to MIDI Clock
    – Direction Up, Down, Alternate – Range up to 10 Octaves

Effects

  • 2 simultaneous Effects
    – Effect 1: Chorus / Phaser / Flanger
    – Effect 2: Reverb / Delay / Reverb+Delay

Controls & Connections

  • Master Volume Control
  • Power Switch
  • Stereo line output
  • Headphone output
  • Expression pedal input
  • MIDI IN / OUT
  • USB connector for MIDI IN/ OUT, Firmware Update, Samples Loading (with Spectre)
    – uses standard USB MIDI driver provided by host computer OS
    – Windows ME minimum, Windows XP or newer recommended
    – Mac OS X 10.2 minimum, Mac OS X 10.3 or newer recommended
  • Built in power supply

Size & Weight

  • 97 cm x 40,5 cm x 11 cm
  • 38,19″ x 15,94″ x 4,33″
  • 8,3 Kg | 18,3 lbs

Additional Package Content

  • Power Cord
  • CD Manual

The Studiologic Sledge synthesizer has a street price of about $1,000.

If you’ve used the Studiologic Sledge, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!

via Rainer

54 thoughts on “Studiologic Sledge 2.0 Offers More Synth For Less Money

    1. How about a rack mount module for those of us still mired in the past? I don’t get these kids these days who seem to have infinite amounts of desk space. I guess, what?, no one uses paper any more since the smart phone?

  1. O.K. where can I buy a Sledge for 600 bucks (in Germany it´s 875€:-(), like it´s stated in the article? Will there be a firmware update for the Sledge 1 or is it a new hardware? When available?

    1. “Meanwhile, they’ve dropped the street price by about $600.”
      It’s 1000$ street price, I guess it used to be 1600$.

      1. Jeez, 8 down votes for misreading something? What’s the matter with this place! I too clicked through because I thought it said “dropped the price to $600”. Caught my mistake once I clicked through but it’s easy enough to miss, particularly if English isn’t your first language.

        I mean, who the fuck ever heard of synth bullies? I thought we were the peaceful, smart ones.

  2. not got one but had a tinkle on one and liked it, would buy it just for the yellow and the huge nob layout that is impressive.

  3. I checked the first one out in London and loved it , I really was impressed. If the price is good I would like one. The layout and fundamentally the sound is stunning, ten out of ten for me.

  4. SonicState did a pretty thorough review when it came out after 2013 NAMM. It does sound really nice and all of those controls make it much easier to edit than a Blofeld. However, this is not a Blofeld. From what I was told at the StudioLogic booth back then, the Sledge has a dedicated soundboard made for this synth.

    I suggested they consider a black version (Sledge Stealth?). They said they wanted it to stand out. Which it does. I wonder which would sell more? Perhaps a Synthtopia poll would shed some light on that?

    With the addition of user samples and the price drop this becomes a very serious alternative for anyone looking at VA synths. It sounds really good and has lots of real time control.

    1. I thank the synth gods this isn’t black. Yellow is a great colour, I take notice of the synth because the colour helps it stand out. Another black synth would be boring. Now they have to work on the from panel and knobs…….

    1. Yes, but the sample memory part requires you to purchase a License SL license from Waldorf, similar to the Blofeld desktop module. It kind of sucks, especially since new Sledges come with it.

  5. Great price for this. Are the sounds a basic Waldolf Blofeld sound, or is something added other than per knob function? But, that makes me think they should do a Waldolf Pulse II version of this synth. But this is nice bit of kit without me dreaming on.

    1. The LFO can be used as a simple envelope by using the ramp waveform. It basically turns the LFO rate knob into an attack knob, and the LFO depth sets the peak level; and it just stays at that peak.

  6. Update has greatly ramped up its appeal, I hope the development work and new price point is reflected in sales. Always saw it as a undeserved sleeper..

    1. The sledge isn’t exactly that- more like a stripped down Blofeld (only one filter per voice, fewer filter types, less LFOs and modulation slots)

    1. There is. If ou select “ramp” in the LFO, it only does a single cycle, like a mini envelope with just one ATTACK phase. And of course you route it to a desired (or all) oscillator(s).

  7. The Studiologic Sledge was designed by Axel Hartmann, who has handled the hardware design for a bunch of great synths (Alesis Andromeda, Access Virus, Moog Little Phatty, etc).

    His designs are always distinctive and the bright color on this definitely fits the bill on that. It may not be your 1st color choice, but a Sledge will never get mistaken for anything else.

    I like how the front panel has the ‘feel’ of a vintage knob-filled synth, which has a lot to do with how much fun a synth is to use.

  8. Whos the virgin troll down-voting every comment? There is one down vote on almost every comment whether its praise or just a question. Get a life!

    Cool update btw to a cool synth

    1. Just reading comments here and I was thinking just that. I don’t really mind a thumbs up or thumbs down personally, any feedback is good in a desensitized world. But reading sane rational comments here, and simple questions from people, and they are getting 4 thumbsup and 3 thumbs down for asking a question!? Here is my post from above: “Great price for this. Are the sounds a basic Waldolf Blofeld sound, or is something added other than per knob function? But, that makes me think they should do a Waldolf Pulse II version of this synth. But this is nice bit of kit without me dreaming on.” That seems reasonable to me, mild praise followed by a simple question and the musings of a Pulse version – harmless. But it gets 3 thumbs up and 2 thumbs down – How does someone get so offended by normal rational comments to then take the time and effort to respond negatively? How does a person get to such a low point to engage like that? To actually be riled about nothing particularly to a level to take action to publicly dislike it – that is pathetic.

      1. It does excite me that me they care to have a massive hardon for me – and a desire to express that arousal as they predictably commune with my backside. Thank you, boys – you are so easy to play.

  9. i was about to buy a 61 note MIDI-keyboard to add some synth action to my FA-08 for live gigs, but I think I’ll buy this one instead. It weighs next to nothing and the update makes it really attractive. I wonder when it will be hitting the shops here in Norway.

  10. Nice upgrade. The Sledge is more of a contender now, but I have to wonder why you only get a mere 60 Mb of user memory when an 8 Gb memory stick is $5 or $6. I wouldn’t expect for it to be a sampler, but it’d be a lot more appealing as a centerpiece if you could have a heftier personalized section. Just a minor point. Otherwise, they’ve amped it up enough to keep it from being a dusty item on ebay after one season.

  11. Also, is this thing all presets or are there blank/emtpy patches for the user to create from scratch? If the latter, then how many presets vs how many user patches?

  12. Have updated and added the sampler option – works really well and can get some insane sounds from it.

    Now we just need some more free soundsets from Waldorf

  13. For people asking about the release date, it’s got an estimated arrival date at US resellers around May 7th, 2015. Pre-ordered, here. 🙂

    Best of both worlds…firmware softsynth, but onboard realtime programming like the good old days. Cuts out the downsides of the delicate analog electronics, but gives you a lot of synth power. It does way more than VA, too. I’ve read VA, subtractive, additive, and FM, as well as the new sampling.

    Compare this to the Prophet 6 in terms of cost:features. This wins, hands-down. I’m convinced you’re paying for the Sequential name with the Prophet 6.

  14. OK so I just want to make this clear to myself and anyone else who is wondering, so I’ll ask for a clear answer: is there LFO sync between notes now? This is a really obvious feature that it should have, and I know that in its original build it did not have this simple quality.

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