Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer Sneak Preview


It looks like the new Waldorf Quantum hybrid synthesizer will soon be available.

We have not seen an official announcement yet, but several music retailers now list the Quantum as being available in January – in time for the 2018 NAMM Show.

The Quantum is a hybrid analog + digital design, featuring powerful digital oscillators, two analog lowpass filters per voice and digital effects.

Here are the preliminary specifications for the Quantum:

  • 8-voice Hybrid Synthesizer
  • 61 keys Fatar FP 8 keys
  • 5 master effects with separate sections for each timbral
  • Compressor for the main output
  • 3 digital oscillators each voice: selectable from: wavetable, classical Waveforms, Granular sampler, Resonator
  • 6 LFOs in polyphonic and global mode
  • 2 analog Lowpass Filter each voice
  • Load and Save presets and samples from the USB and SD-Card
  • 4 GB Internal Flash memory for samples, presets and wavetable
  • Import from Nave preset
  • Connections:
    • 2x Line-Output ¼” Jack
    • 2x Line-Input ¼ Jack
    • Headphone Out 6.3mm ¼” Jack stereo
    • 1x Sustain/footswitch input
    • 1x expression pedal input
    • USB Host Connection
    • USB (MIDI)
    • MIDI In/Out/Thru
    • Integrated Power Supply

Pricing and Availability

Official specifications and pricing are to be announced, but Thomann lists the Quantum with a street price of $3,975 & Juno UK lists it for$4,449.

via Goat Monster

75 thoughts on “Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer Sneak Preview

  1. Ya, maybe they can slim it down to 25 keys and trim down some of the knobs and make it about 2000.00. Looks like the Waldorf Nave app which is a great fucking app. Would love to have even a few of those features in a hardware device.

  2. Granular had me, price lost me.

    Will someone at namm introduce an affordable hardware granular synth, or am I going to have to save my pennies and bite on the tasty chips?

        1. It’s hardware without knobs.

          Most hardware synths these days are just apps and you’re paying for knobs. There are some places that makes a lot of sense, but touchscreens make a great interface for granular synths.

            1. Sorry, but analog filters don’t have anything to do with granular synthesis!

              Have fun saving $4,000 for the Quantum.

              In the meantime, you can get granular synths that are just as powerful for next to nothing in the app store.

              1. You don’t use a filter in your music? Must sound pretty basic then. Don’t you modulate anything? If you’re not doing that you’re losing a huge amount of the point of using synthesis

                1. Um…… I dont use any filter in my whole modular system… make noise b and g… i disagree thats the point.

                  Additive and FM dont usually use filters either.

                  way to go on being derogatory for the sake of making others feel less informed, though! Especially when they are offering positive and helpful advice!

                  1. It’s not positive and helpful advice at all. The operative word was ***hardware***. I am well aware of the bevy of software granular synths out there. I have never used a softsynth before, and I don’t intend to start now.

                    1. You don’t use softsynths in your music? Must sound pretty basic then. Don’t you modulate anything? If you’re not doing that you’re losing a huge amount of the possible soundcreation on offer.

                    2. Yup, because all music made before there was softsynths sounded SOOOOO basic. All of it. LITERALLY everything ever created or recorded before the mid nineties. Great logic there in that statement.

                    3. point is, stating that filters are integral to synthesis displays major deficit in your understanding. ill repeat, since it seems to have been missed:

                      filters are in no way necessary for synthesis- i find that comment pointless and argumentative for the sake of arguing.

                      Again: as anyone using a WestCoast centric synthesis system would agree with, only subtractive synthesis relies heavily on the filter: there are many other forms of synthesis that dont require one.

                    4. and, ummmmmm: of course i use modulation. dont know where you got, from anyone, that they dont….. seems youre the only person who brought it up (fun fact- softsynths can use modulation, too). and the modular synth i referred to is not software. not sure what your responding to.

                2. You can send the audio from the iPad back into almost any Analogue synths filter if “really” wanted to add an analogue filter to you digitally produced audio stream.

            1. LOL. I guess my Jupiter 6 isn’t real hardware then. It has an OS, has been plenty stable, and retained it’s functionality and usability over many many years.

              1. Do the Mini moog, PPG, Jupiter 8, D50, DX7, DX99, Prophet 5, CS80 have a (replacable) Operating System? Does the Jupiter 6 have an operating system?
                Please tell me what the OS is then? I know hardware and software, I know the synths just mentioned from the inside out and they do not have an operating system.

                1. I had a Jupiter 6 with the Europa mod and it was wonderful! I sold it for other stuff because I wasn’t using it at the time but it was a good instrument.

                  I think the word ‘replaceable’ is key in your statement.

                  I know some folks that have upgraded older synths with the Kiwi mod and are really happy with their Kiwi 3p, etc. It’s uncommon but not non-existent.

            2. guess you never owned anything from waldorf. i’ve got a blofeld with an arp that can’t keep time. going cheap.
              4000 sheets for 8 lm324’s. lol

              1. F.y.i my Microwave 1 is still fantastic and one instrument I will not part with. So what’s your statement? Waldorf good or bad? When you’re not content with your Blofeld why don’t you change it for something else?

                1. Microwave 1 looks like a good bit of kit. yep, i need to swap my blofed for something. the arp on it is a shame. who knows what i’ll get next. not a quantum tho

      1. Agree with you that iOS has become a must have platform for musicians. There are so much quality apps for so little money that you’re a thief of your own wallet when you let that platform go by.

      2. don’t you know? hardware and software are the exact same thing, ya turkeys. hardware is just software with knobs! (also what’s a transistor plz help)

    1. It doesn’t do granular. Doesn’t have keys, doesn’t have a compressor, only has 2 LFOs, only has 3 effects vs 5 here, 1 filter per voice (but yes, it does have three types), and it’s mono-timbral.

      In short, it’s quite different. I have one, and I love it… but it’s not comparable.

    1. This looks very cool. Too much for me, but hopefully it’ll produce some trickle down products, like a mono or a new oscillator module based on the granular/sampling engine.

  3. Wow, wonderful! She’s a beauty!!! Looks very straight forward, but we know will be very deep. This ain’t no cheap boutique. It’s a real instrument. Can’t wait to hear it!!!

  4. It’s a fantastic synth, but the price is really overdone compared to the features, combined with 8-void polyphony and no multi-trimbral. That price will also allow (more or less) for a Prophet 12 combined with a MakeNoise system Concrete, which would be my choice.

  5. Well, it’s not cheap but if it’s well made, sounds awesome and works well, it could be amazing. It’s nice to have the option of buying a really premium instrument that does something at a really high level of quality with a wonderful interface. If you want the Waldorf sound for less, you can always try the excellent Blofeld, or even their software. Nave is a great synthesizer. Compare this to the System 8 which is a great sounding instrument, but lacks a 5 octave keyboard, aftertouch, and plasticky construction. Sometimes, I’d rather pay a bit more and get something that feels built up to a quality rather than down to a price.

      1. I had the P12 keyboard and sold it for the module. If you can’t stretch all the way to the keyboard version, the module is a decent choice. It’s not as knobby as their subsequent desktop instruments are, but it’s not THAT bad to get around on.

        It also maps very very well to the controls on a Pro-2, which is a combo I highly recommend. You save space, and you get the best of both worlds for about the price of a new Prophet 12 keyboard. You can start with one and then get the other when budget allows.

        1. Yep. A combo I own and love. I also originally had the kbd version and since I know the instrument inside out, I have zero trouble getting around it as it has a brilliant UI. Just as fast for me.

  6. I agree with most comments here. It’s a tad too much for just too little.
    It will most certainly be a good synth, but that alone doesn’t make a market these days.

  7. Why is relevant or why do you think focusing in the price tag number is worth to be discussed?. We all know there are people with Money and some other with not that much, it is like getting into a car forum where they present a new v12 sports car, but everybody complains that it does not have the same cost as a VW beetle?. If you are looking for a people’s car, and you can afford a people’s car, well invest your time and intellect on discussing around what you can afford (since apparently price is on the top priority of many people), same applies for those that can afford a v12 supercar. It will be worthless to “muck” on something “insulting” to their pocket.

    Dont get me wrong Im poor as a rock and have been unemployed for a couple of years. But for me reviewing post like this one are inspirational to not surrender on applying for jobs (if I want something like this). Just MHO.

    Thanks for taking the time reading my comment


  8. eh… people will buy it, be disappointed it doesn’t do their laundry and wash their car, and then list it on eBay virtually brand new for $3000 by April. Waiting for people to do this is how I got both of my Modals and saved $1500 each in the process. I may just apply the same strategy for this guy as well if I like what I hear when it’s production ready.

  9. This thread is pure comedy. So many here want a ferrari, but want to pay for a honda. Top of the line synths cost a lot of money for a reason. They inspire, they takes things to the next level, and they offer something that is usually unique. They are expensive to develop, and will always be expensive to sell. It’s just the way it is.

    I have been saving for this beautiful beast since it was announced, and am excited that she will be mine soon. Thank you waldorf. Thank you for giving us a modern day wave.

    🙂 <3

    1. It’s all about the workflow. Guess Waldorf will get that right with this one also, with a combination of an integrated tablet and real knobs. Right from their vision of course.

      We all know what happened to the Stromberg. Too ambitious for the small company which Waldorf is.

      Guess Waldorf could sell a lot more little synths like their Streichfett and Rocket. Those ones could be more profitabel for them.

  10. it is laughable that waldorf´s very own rolf wohrmann announced the quantum a felt year ago. i´m tired of this kind of bs marketing strategy. announce your product when it´s available – not one day earlier, for god´s sake!

  11. if I want digital wavetable ill use a vsti plugin synth. Thank you. Give me something I CANT get from a digital plugin. Like say…ANALOG. Or don’t bother replicating what my PC can already produce

  12. As some others have rightly pointed-out… iOS is the most powerful portable music platform and with the most affordable advanced range of synths. An iPad doesn’t have knobs but you can plug knobs in. My iPad has plug-innable knobs via Novation.

  13. I had the privilege to see it very close.

    And I got to say that quality has a price. It’s fully metallic, with aluminum sides.
    The pots are friggin’ solid, they don’t move a millimeter.

    The price is also related to the number of units you are going to sell: it they could sell 1000+ units, they would be able to drop the price. But we all know how the market is nowadays: people want small, affordable synthesizers. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s just the way it is. So at some point, why should they try to make compromises?

    Knowing this, do you even need to try to reduce the costs? Beyond a certain price tag, I would suppose people don’t even blink for one more grand. It’s just a matter of choice: it’s the market you aim at.

    The Wave everybody is praising was released in 1994… For 9000$. Which makes around 15.000$ with inflation. More than a Schmitt! And it was targeted for that market.

    Making high-end instruments has a cost. The no-compromise design pattern is the funniest part, so you need to make small and cheap synthesizers (which the Blofeld, the Streichfett and others are) in order to sell more units.

    I don’t even want to talk about similar stuff you could get on an Ipad. Of course it’s possible. But the principle of designing an instrument, sometimes, is to just make it, and don’t give a f*** about the price. We all know that buying an instrument is so much more than “getting that special sound”.

    I won’t buy it. But I’m just glad they made it if they wanted to.

  14. I own a microwave XT since 2003. It is a 100% digital synth and, in theory, I could have bought a soft version of it. What I know is that almost 15 years later, the same piece of matter is connected to my mixer and midi keyboard producing still massive sound, and having some patches that I designed in its memory since then. The same in software would had probably been lost, or rendered obsolete, or inoperable between OS and computer upgrades etc. I use both soft and hardware synths and I respect both. But the price that comes with a product like this is the value it retains thoughout the years, the fact that it will be still in the studio 20 years laters, and the connection you will have developed though this time; it is an actual instrument, much more than its embedded software. Just MHO – respect to all.

  15. In the last 7 years I’ve had, used and sold analog Oberheims, SCI, Waldorf, digital Virus, Nord, Korg, VA plugins, FM, NI Komplete, hybrid set ups…
    After all:
    I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to have kept the SEM and a couple more synths, but the Q rack/desktop is one of the few pieces of gear I’m not selling period. Never.
    Q+ is the only possible substitute.

    If the Quatum offers the same experience only taken to the 2018 Waldorf’s-wild-synth-dreams level, I can’t see why it wouldn’t worth it.

    In other words, if Quantum is today’s Q, then it must be The Tits.

    Can’t understand why all the whining.

  16. Hardware is unique in that it provides a timeless setting for use. Whereas software is directly reliant upon the computer at hand, which, unlike hardware instruments, is a victim of obsolescence. Music is what you make of it, a fart in the mic or a 5000 hybrid synth. What shouldn’t be are constant updates, finding oneself hunting down the road for OS versions that work. See what people will be using 10 years from now. Or, look even 10 years back. That rack synth still does it’s job without fuss and or question. I lost plugs and projects from barely 5 years ago do to constant revisionary methodology.

    Unfortunately, this rant will not make that Quantum any less expensive. *sigh*

  17. I have a Quantum Pre-ordered and not looking back. I have bought and sold a lot of low and high end synths over the years including Elektron, Waldorf, Access, Virus, Korg Z1, etc… Anyways the Hardware that I love stay in the studio and end up on the most songs I produce for bands and soundtracks. the other stuff goes. But with todays market and the ability to make budget payments even these high end synths can make it into your hands. I plan to sell my 3rd blofeld and Elektron A4 to help pay for this beast. for two reasons I need room on my studio desk and thats where the blofeld keys is right now (Ill downgrade back to desktop version) and the A4 just doesnt integrate well with my work flow.

    I am tired of seeing all these smaller one trick pony synthesizers coming out and or being constantly updated and becoming obsolete with software integration. I will say that I will and always will use vsts as staples to my projects. I tend to run them out to analog fx units like elektron heat and sherman filterbank and rnccompressor to keep the analog life in them. A user friendly physical wavetable and grainular synthesis is something I am more than happy to see. I think a lot of ppl turn to software because of the gui and easy to route capabilities. so when I see a physical synth that engineers really took the time to make for a rewarding workflow experience that is what you are paying for.

    As a sound designer you are looking for new ways to push the sound spectrum and this synth looks like it will deliver so many new sounds for future projects. Its easy to emulate old synths that are engineered and forms of synthesis its different when you try and introduce new methods to sound design and being out of the pc box.

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