Waldorf Quantum 8-Voice Hybrid Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

At Musikmesse 2017, Waldorf is introducing the Quantum 8-voice hybrid synthesizer.

The Waldorf Quantum is an 8-voice polyphonic keyboard, with an architecture that uses three digital oscillators per voice paired with analog filters. 

The advantage of the digital oscillators is that they can go beyond basic waveforms, with wavetables, particle sampling and more.

In the video, via Sonic State, Rolf Wöhrmann demonstrates a prototype of the new Quantum synth, giving an overview of the new keyboard, discussing its architecture and demoing its capabilities.

Pricing and Availability

The Waldorf Quantum is under development, with a target release date of Q4 2017. Pricing is to be announced.

71 thoughts on “Waldorf Quantum 8-Voice Hybrid Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

    1. You mean Uli Berhinger synth? Well its overpriced and uli will copy and undetcut, fake news, only 8 voice , saad news, booring, dm12 voice uli will rule uli for total
      Dictator in music maker, china and total war, no more synth, cheap german chaise, waldorf pupet.

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  1. You mean to tell me one can actually have a large display whereby one needn’t work in the blind and be confused by where one is and or menu dive endlessly and click 40 times to reach a simple function? Someone should show this synth to Elektron.

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      1. That’s just silly, since having a larger and more informative screen makes one more childlike? You feel ‘hard’ and ‘tough’ because of all of your small screens? You carry on with your tough smallness.

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  2. What did he say about Nave?? If this thing is compatible with sounds built and exported from Nave, consider me sold!

    Also… potential replacement for Virus TI2??

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    1. Ya, the Nave is a beast. Always wished that was hardware. But then I’d be about 5 grand broker.

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  3. This is super interesting, I’d love to hear more examples of how the sampling works. A beautiful design too!

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    1. been wondering why nobody builds a custom controller for Nave ever since it got released, actually

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    1. I suspect that it will being such a beast of a synth. Basically if it’s fully multi-timbral, which is seems to be by the sounds of it, then it should work nicely with MPE controllers so long as you restrict your MIDI channel output to 8 channels (1 per voice)

      This is all speculation anyways, crossing my fingers!

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  4. Nice to see a new flagship synth from Waldorf, though there’s one glaring omission that has become a defining characteristic of their classics: they need to reintroduce that screaming red jog wheel.

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  5. LOOK AT THE SCREEN! AMAZING! Its like they appreciate the usability of a premium screen on a synth with so many features behind the screen. The only reason I didnt pick up a Deepmind was because of the gameboy they put on that thing. When its 2017 and your menu-diving on a gameboy, just doesn’t connect. Then you pick up your phone and its like a laser show in comparison.

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  6. the speech synth/filter is awesome. and it does usb hosting too…. C’MON MANUFACTURERS PAY ATTENTION AND ADD USB HOSTS TO SYNTHS!!!!!!

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    1. I don’t think this will be a mass sold device due to the price tag.
      The format is not ergonomically for small studios and you can get many other interesting synthesizers for lesser, than 3000 + EU.

      Let’s see, maybe they make a rack and desktop version too.

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  7. Nice if a little digital sounding, which of course most of it is. Waldorf always make lovely clean sounding synths.

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  8. Well, with a price tag above 3,000 Euros/Dollars, I’m not really sure to want a digital synth with a pair of analog filters. Don’t get me wrong, it could be a great synth, but the early price guesstimation is far from what I’d love to.

    For a budget north of 3,000-3,500 bucks, you can easily buy a Prophet 8 Rev 2 (8 voices), a Behringer DeepMind 12 (12 voices), the coming Model D (1 voice) and a Waldorf Blofeld (25 voices) and probably still have some change to buy Nave app for the iPad…

    So if I have to choose, sorry Waldorf, but it’s not gonna be a Quantum. That’s also the kind of things we have to worry. I love Axel Hartmann (always nice design), but somehow, a lot of synth he did contribute did end up by being a vaporware or being discontinued… I don’t know if he’s cursed or so, but I wouldn’t take the risk…

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    1. All good point. When he said the price, it was like dammit. Once a synth goes about 2k, your out of range for most home producers who enjoy making music for passions sake.

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      1. Exactly! Generally, for anything, from Synth to Guitars, to Amps, to audio interface, etc… anything that is above $2,000 really needs a good reason and justification, otherwise I’m not interested anymore. I bought, owned and used a ton of very high-end gear and instruments in the past, but today, we have a very broad choice and a lot of more affordable solutions that will get the job done just as good. I wouldn’t have any problem if it would be a full analog 8 voice synth, but here, it’s a digital 8 voices with just a pair of analog filters. Sure, it’s nicely design, and it does some granular, etc… but I just can’t find the reason to be over $2,000. To each his own…

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  9. Requests; smooth random as an available lfo waveshape (in addition to the standard s&h stepped random).
    Live sampling of external soundsources for the granular component.
    As much Nave stuff as possible. A hardware Nave would be a dream come true, and this seems to promise that and more, so don’t disappoint.

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  10. Fascinating on many levels, sonic potential, user interface… but no one would ever call this warm, even with analog filters. Would make an interesting companion to the OB6!

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  11. Been waiting for Waldorf to deliver something serious for ages now.
    Love and respect Waldorf!

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    1. _Sort of_ not really like the Q+ did shortly before they went under? 🙁 I hope this will be more successful. To be fair, they went bust shortly after everything else did in the wake of the dotcom bust.

      Anyone remember the Stromberg that was announced and then never seen again once the 2008 financial crisis hit?

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      1. It seems Waldorf has learned soms lessons from that. I expect they sold lots of Rockets and Streichfetts. And of course that cheap but solid sounding Pulse 2. And what to think of the Blofeld, not that expensive but man, it has sounds in it. Those 4 synths together will cost you in Europe around €1200,- Add iOS Nave to that for €20,- and you have possibilities in sounds that no other company offers you for that amount of money.

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        1. > It seems Waldorf has learned soms lessons from that.

          I sure hope so! I should have mentioned I’m rooting for them. 🙂 I love my Microwave XT and Pulse 2. I was a little worried about the Eurorack announcements (crowded market) and the silence that followed. But now this? Go Waldorf!

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    2. Are you serious? It sure ain’t cheap but it’s pretty outstanding. This thing is a dream come true for lots of synthesists. Modal is way more expensive and they don’t seem to be bancrupt. The Prophet 6 is also pretty expensive, especially for what it offers but it’s still selling. The Quantum is far beyond that and will of course sell, too. The filter architecture is amazing, I love those vowel type sounds. Reminds me of the Jomox Sunsyn. Then you have 3 oscillators with either wavetables, resonators or your own samples funked up granular style. This means the possibilities are endless! If they don’t f%#k up the OS and also have the mighty power of the first Microwave in the bass department, this thing will be a major hit. Even though I can’t afford it I love it already.

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  12. Waldorf are a great company and I loved their Pulse. There are one or two very top end synths coming onto the market . I have now over thirty years synth experience and to be honest in spite of all the promises , I don’t hear much difference between synths . The design of this looks good etc I remember seeing sh101’s new in shops etc all the way through to the Z plane Morpheus, etc etc each promising a new dimension in sound synthesis etc I for some reason like seeing Waldorf products but like I say , I do not see anything or more importantly…I do not ‘hear’ much new on the synth market that grabs my attention. But respect to those working away . Do not forget the lower end of the market!!

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    1. Waldorf is selling more synths which are not that expensive I thought. The Rocket, Streichfett, Blofeld, Pulse 2 and iOS Nave are together ca. €1250,- I think. You can hardly call that expensive. And you get a lot of sound possibilities which you won’t find with Moog, DSI to name a few.

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  13. Well I am amazed.

    It has EVERYTHING!!!

    Well almost. Could I get just one little thing more;
    I would love to have a step sequencer in it.

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  14. Digital oscillators with analogue filters is a great sound. The demo wasn’t great but I have hope!

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  15. What do you think the chances are that we can see the introduction of a new synth these days without people automatically bringing Behringer into the argument? This is all about quality, a concept that hasn’t entered the Behringer way of thinking yet, and for that you HAVE to pay. As for Polyphony I don’t see anyone moaning about the CS80, JP8, Memorymoog etc… never mind the monosynths that are going for 4k plus… AGAIN quality not quantity….. (People rarely have a good word to say about he last breed of S&S synths and they were up at 64, 128, 256 note poly…..)

    So this Waldorf? I think what you hear on the demo isn’t great, but as he said there’s been no sound design going on here yet…. but the PROMISE of what it can do is VAST… This will be a biggie.

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  16. LETS GOOOO!!!!!

    This is a very nice news!!!

    The Waldorf Wave heir.

    Of course they ask a lot of money.
    They ‘re right.
    It is worth.
    They spent in research and development,
    this is not a cheap clone.

    8 Voice are enough.

    WALDORF RULES . ALWAYS.

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  17. Hopefully they let some humans program the factory presets on this thing. I bought their Blofeld desktop literally 5 days ago after hearing some extremely beautuful sounding demos of it on the tube. When I got it set up and started preset diving I was shocked! Not only were a good portion of the presets useless, but many of them made the unit sound like it was broken .. horrible clipping, crackling, distortion, levels all over the map, etc. Then I did something I haven’t done in 30 years .. I read the manual .. they recommend turning on auto edit, and admit that is how they came up with msny of their presets in the sound banks .. seems like like Mr. Blofeld Auto edit thinks the filter drive type called ‘clipping’ is a good thing lol. A complete over writing of the soundsets with third party soundsets made by musicians turned it into the killer sounding synth I had heard demoed. The DAC gives it a character I don’t get with my VST softsynths that I much like. So I’m watching this new synth of theirs with keen interest now.

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  18. This is an awesome synthesizer. I have a Microwave XT and wish it had analogue filters, they make a remarkable difference.

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  19. Just from the potential, I want this synth. Who’s done hardware granular synthesis seriously? I love the UI design and it seems like it will be a beast for sound design work.

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  20. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot like the sound of Waldorf’s digital stuff. After buying more of it than I ever should have. It’s very cool/beautiful looking from a UI standpoint though.

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  21. That’s one gorgeous looking synth! Very elegant looking with high def display. Wonderful sound!

    I will save up for this synth. Great job Waldorf! 🙂

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  22. Nice sounding, but uninspiring synth that will cost more than $3,500 US.
    Sorry to say though but, my NI Komplete Ultimate will do much, much more and sound much, much better for quarter of this price…
    I’ll pass on this one,

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  23. Hey Synthhead,
    Why does it take 5 hours to see the post posted..?!
    This is totally screwed up system that you’ve adopted.
    A year or so ago, you e removed “down votes”, fair enough, but than you’ve followed up with “waiting for moderation” crap.. 🙁
    What gives…?!
    What’s the reason for making it so difficult to post on this site..?
    I don’t think I’ll be visiting Synthtopia any more… 🙁
    Kind regards,
    Leslie

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    1. You have a history of making personal attacks as ‘Leslie’, which means your comments will have a higher likelihood of being flagged for moderation.

      People that use a consistent identity and make constructive comments minimize the likelihood that their comments will need to be moderated.

      Synthtopia gets much more discussion on its posts than comparable synth news sites, while also being relatively free of spam and personal attacks. This validates that our approach works.

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  24. How does the Quantum stack up against the DSI Prophet 12? I know that they are different beasts, but they both have the digital oscillators/analog filter combo.

    The Quantum = Three oscillators

    The Prophet 12 = Four oscillators

    Thoughts?

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    1. The Prophet 12 (I have a Pro 2) has some digital waveforms with some need tricks you can use with them to get more out of them. The Quantum has waveforms, wavetables, sampler and resonator. Totally different animal. The Waldorf Quantum will do a lot more of the synthesis in the oscillator than the DSI Prophet 12.

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  25. Sounds metallic…and beautiful …and metallic…….and beautiful…..but it is metallic…..but sounds good…..metallic………….

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  26. It’s probably too expensive for me, but – the demo sounds are very, very nice! I’m reminded of the first time I heard the Wavestation (and I mean that in a good way).

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  27. Just wondering if there’s any comparison to Roland’s V-Synth XT, which, though only 2 oscillator, does sampling, time stretch (?=granular), synth waves and multiple filter types. I was blown away by Quantum’s first sound set; that digital edginess will cut through a mix like a chainsaw. Having lusted after past Waldorf synths, this may be “the one”, and I’m going to be in line for trying one myself, on the headphone test.

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