19 thoughts on “Waldorf Rocket Synthesizer Review

  1. Thanks for the demo. However I still find this to be purely a toy. I did however receive an email from Holger of Waldorf stating that they are still releasing the Pulse II and it is still slated for a spring to late spring release.

    1. I suppose I have had a change of heart of sorts. No it is not for me, yet whether a tool or a toy that is entirely user dependent. Thanks to the thoughtful comments by Fungo, I am indeed looking at it differently.

      And hey, for the more serious minded, the Pulse 2 is coming soon.

    2. I have to say that my position has softened by the thoughtful post by ‘Fungo’. Tool or a toy, that has to be determined by the end user.

      For me, this is not something I would consider. However it may interest someone else.

  2. Meh… My one question is about the flashing light labeled “Launch:” is that all it is? I was really hoping that the “Rocket” would have a “Launch” button… maybe trigger some crazy modulation or something…

  3. Quite a lot of disappointment here too. Also, why the hell limit the oscillator section so much if you’re using digital oscillators anyway, they could have done a lot more imho with this thing… I understand the whole philosophy of keeping it simple and fun to use, but still… I’m afraid you might get bored quite quickly by it.

  4. Thanks for this review! One of the best reviews I’ve seen.. Your honesty and straightforwardness let us see the synth for what it is.

  5. Hey, a lot of people WANT super-simple tools. Most are not seeking to be composers in a serious sense. A much larger number are competent musicians, but not music-career-minded. Consumer electronics have created a third group who sort of dabble in it with varying results, some surprisingly fun. They ARE composing and performing in a sense, but it often lacks my idea of greater passion because its being done for the simple pleasure of it. And so what? Who said everything had to be some huge opus or be dripping with a *message*? I prefer music that demands more of me, such as King Crimson or Ligeti, but that doesn’t auto-invalidate the merits of just fooling around. Like petting a dog or cat, its good for you. I feel better after merely poking around and personalizing a patch set. If somebody likes the Rocket because its solid to their eye and ear, more power to them.

    1. I agree… The limitations of a tool is not detrimental to creativity and/or fun
      Googling: “David Byrne Powerpoint” develops on this and is entertaining .

      But I think, someone, going for some hardware synth, to plug on midi controller, already passed steep complexity thresholds.

      Maybe it’s also my lack of disposable income, but I don’t see a market this rocket could be targeting. For fooling around a not caring about anologue street-cred, VST or fun and crappy keyboards seems a bit more cost effective. I’m way more interested by the Blofeld and Pulse2, I would feel my money better used even if it cost twice as much.

    2. Fungo, I have to say that I was going to give you a thumbs down, however when I came to the line about “petting a dog or cat”…..my position softened. You are right. I have 6 dogs….and I love them dearly. And no matter I upset I may be at times, they always make me smile. Any animal specie for that matter….they are all truly wonderful.

      And you are right, whether a tool or a toy, that is the for the end user to determine. The ‘Rocket’ is not for me….yet it may very well serve as someone else. The Pulse 2 is something I am somewhat interested in, yet we shall see.

      Good post.


    3. Well said. Play and experimentation is the key to musical development. Making music on crap equipment gave us Detroit Techno,
      Electro and synthpop. The gear great music has been made on is a tenth of the ‘sonic arsenal’ available now.
      It is about what brings pleasure to us via our ears, not the price and spec of the equipment.

      1. A slice of american cheese in a burger is not kosher,
        more cowbells and quantized claps either… But so good,
        so is questioning orthodoxy and most social constructs.

        I won’t talk about adding bacon to stuff.

  6. After reading the manual my view on this thing is more positive than before.
    I like the launch button to dump sysex ,can be nice for workflow ,at least its better than diving into some menu’s.
    I’m taking my words back from before and wait till I know that the rocket is working like it should be without bugs or something.
    In the end,it’s a hardware synth and for me it’s still more fun than software synths so….
    I’m taking my …. back!

  7. This is not a toy, besides only the Rocket and the Dark Energy offer a multimode VCF (remember that they can filter external audio sources) under 600 bills and only the Rocket offers 24db/oct LPF as well, and I think it’s a discreete design (?). Overdrive-able BTW.

  8. After using the rocket for a few days! I must say the sound is not too bad but I find the outputs annoyingly noisy which defeats the idea of using the external input to use the analog filter.
    I think the problem is that with the rocket you can’t completely cancel the occilators. And the pulse to its minimum still produces a little needle noise. Does anyone elese experience the same?

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