Waldorf Iridium Synthesizer Now Available

Waldorf has officially introduced the Iridium synthesizer, a new desktop synth design that shares many of the features of their flagship Quantum synthesizer, plus some added extras.

The Waldorf Iridium is a 16-voice duo-timbral polyphonic synthesizer. Each voice features three oscillators, which can be any of five different oscillator types, dual stereo digital filters and a wide range of performance controls.

The Iridium offers twice the polyphony of the Quantum, but offers digital filters vs the Quantum’s analog filters.

The Iridium also offers a wide range of connectivity options, including dual inputs and outputs, DIN MIDI, USB MIDI, USB Host support, a MicroSD slot & 8 cv/gate connections.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“The mighty synth engine from Quantum is now available in a compact form. Tracing the footsteps of its bigger brother, Iridium features all the synthesis elements of Quantum as well in a rack-compatible format. The combination of the powerful engine, incredible flexibility and detailed sound shaping facilities creates sheer endless possibilities of sound.

Yet, the comprehensive layout and easy-to-understand structure lets you design your own sounds in no time. Sporting a solid metal casing and the same high level of craftsmanship like Quantum, Iridium is now ready to take over studios and stages throughout the world.”

Iridium features three digital filters per voice. Two in the Dual Filter section and another one in the Digital Former. Several types are available to choose from:

  • 12 or 24dB and Lowpass/Highpass/Bandpass with optional saturation or dirtiness.
  • Various filter models are available including those from Waldorf Nave, Largo and PPG 3V.
  • The Dual Filter section can be controlled independently or together in several different link modes.
  • The Digital Former offers all the filter types and models from the Dual Filter plus unusual models like Comb, Drive, Bitcrusher and more in addition.

Audio Demo:

Specifications:

Waldorf Iridium

  • 16-voice polyphony, duo-timbral
  • Compatible with the Waldorf Quantum synth engine

3 Oscillators
Oscillator Modes:

  • Wavetable
  • Waveform (VA)
  • Particle (Sampling and Granular Sampling)
  • Resonator
  • Kernels (up to 6 sub-oscillators which can be interlinked through FM at audio rate)

3 Stereo Filters per voice
True stereo path

Dual Digital Filter:

  • Two filters with independable modes
  • 12/24dB LP/HP/BP in all combinations
  • Nave, Largo, PPG, Quantum and StateVariable models

Digital Former:

  • Filter models from Waldorf Nave, Largo and PPG in HP/LP/BP/Notch
  • Comb filter
  • Bitcrusher
  • Drive
  • RingMod
  • StateVariable mode
  • Analyzer displayed in Filter view
  • Filter curve moves when modulated (optional)
  • Sophisticated filter routing options with modulatable panning and levels

Modulators:

  • 6 Envelopes
  • 6 LFOs
  • Komplex Modulator (LFO/Envelope combination with user-definable shape)

Mod Matrix:

  • 40 slots
  • Fast assign mode
  • One additional control amount per slot
  • Identical Sources and Destinations can be used multiple times until the matrix is full

Pads:

  • 4×4 silicon pad matrix with RGB backlights
  • Pads can play notes, chords, arpeggios and sequences
  • Latch mode

Performance features:

  • Arpeggiator
  • Step sequencer with up to 32 steps for notes and parameters
  • Favorites screen for quick patch recall
  • Onscreen Mod Wheel, Pitch Bend and Aftertouch

Screen:

  • Industrial-grade highly responsive touch screen

Patches:

  • Over 1000 factory sounds
  • Capacity of 7000 patch memory slots (numbers 0000-9999 can be used)
  • Patches from Quantum can be loaded and vice-versa
  • Category filter for patch list
  • 2GB user sample flash memory

Connections:

  • 2x TS output
  • 2x TS input
  • Headphones output with Gain control
  • DIN MIDI In/Out/Thru
  • USB MIDI
  • USB host for storage and MIDI devices
  • MicroSD slot
  • Kensington lock

CV connections:

  • 4 CV inputs plus Gate In, Trigger In, Clock In, Clock Out
  • Inputs can be used as modulation sources in the Mod Matrix

Overall:

  • Sturdy metal case with aluminum knobs
  • Dimensions: 440mm wide by 305mm depth by 85mm height (including controls)
  • Weight: 5.4kg
  • 19″ rack assembly parts available in near future
  • MSRP: 1960€ (not including taxes)

Pricing and Availability

The Iridium Synthesizer is available now for €1,960.00 EUR (excluding tax).

46 thoughts on “Waldorf Iridium Synthesizer Now Available

  1. Waldorf appears to be finally on top and serious again. Certainly an interesting price considering what you get for it. Consider parting with my Microwave 1 (first owner) after all these years!

    1. only Access, elektron and some roland machines have audio over usb (Directly to a plug-in, not just audio interface built in) It’s not yet a standard, I do hope it will be.
      nick from sonic state always stating in his reviews ” usb midi only” so maybe someone will listen 🙂

        1. there is a big difference between synth that support audio through a plug-in and a synth with build in audio interface,
          with the first you control everything from a plug-in and don’t need to connect audio cables at all, the audio from the synth sent directly to the plug-in (like access, elektron…)
          the second is a just a package of a synth and a sound card you can use to record what ever(like the old novation keyboards)
          The first group can do the later but not the other way around

  2. I just don’t understand why some people complain about the move to digital filters. In digital synths with such complex and extensive synth engines like this, analogue filters would only restrain routing possibilities or just drive the price crazy high. Look at the feature list for filters. This would be ridiculously hard to reproduce in the analogue domain. If you want analogue, just buy analogue.

    1. Hopefully we are getting past analog vs. digital, because there is a whole new world of sounds happening on the digital side… When I hear it do I get goosebumps? That’s my criteria that has replaced A vs D.

      1. I am fortunate enough to own a very nice collection of analog, hybrid and digital synthesizers, and I love them all. However, if I had to choose, I will take an analog filter over an excellent digital filter every day of the week. I can’t really tell you why, but analog filters are just more pleasing to my ears. That said, I adore all of my digital synths. They do things my analog synths will never do.

    2. Because I own products of them with their digital filter algorithms. And sorry to say, they don’t cut it. And safe to say, they won’t have reinvented the wheel there.

    3. If you can make it 100% in plugin i prefer to use the plugin.
      I for one don’t care about twisting knobs, workflow on DAW is much more complex, comfortable and easier/faster for me.
      waldorf AFB16 was my ideal product, but considering they almost “close the doors” after it’s launch, i guess not many appreciate it like i do.

  3. Waldorf may have officially announced it, but I don’t see where it is available. Sweetwater, for example, are not usually shy about taking orders for things that are not actually shipping. A search there turns up nothing.

  4. 2000 Euros + Tax for a digital module….this will have to sound a lot better than Serum/Pigments/Rapid etc to be worth that!

    1. From a practical standpoint I completely agree with you. Why pay over 2k for a digital hardware synth when I have excellent vst synths for a tiny fraction of the price. I’d go even further to say there’s most likely not many sounds you could create with this synth that couldn’t be reasonably duplicated with a complex vst like Zebra or Serum. That being said there is still a unique sound quality that I find in high end DSP hardware synths like my Virus TI that I rarely find in man vst synths. There is a real pristine, sharp quality that I find in (some) digital hardware that I absolutely love. Now to the average listener, the difference would be pretty much negligible, but to a synthesizer enthusiast the difference is definitely noticeable. You have to understand that the processor in a synth like this is very powerful and it’s sole existence is to run highly complex DSP calculations that focus specifically on the signal and (practically) nothing else. For that reason I would love something like this, but since I’m not wealthy, i will also stick to synths like Serum and Pigments lol.

      1. I agree wholeheartedly. I’m not hearing anything better than what I can do in the box with a myriad of VSTs. Not sure about their target market but it sure ain’t me.

    2. That is true. For instance, Omnisphere + piano/orchestral libraries can rival, if not outperform, the most expensive workstation in the market.

  5. I’m sold!! Great price! Glad this system has been offered up
    as a desktop as well. The digital filters doesn’t influence my
    Decision to purchase it. With all its capabilities, the touch screen,
    and CV inputs….I’ll mate it up with my Eurorack systems!

  6. Strong impression that the Hydrasynth does the same for 3 times cheaper… Waldorf is always not overpriced, but hugely overpriced.

    1. waldorf was always reasonably priced for what you gets. most people don’t know how to estimate a price of manufacturing a product, they usually ignore build quality, country of origin and much of the feature they don’t think are relevant.
      hydrasynth is not a relevant compresent, it is much more simpler product, i will not be surprised if asm have better margins then waldorf, this is usually the case when compering product made in china with made in germany

      1. In this case, the price of the hardware part of this synth is no more than 20 or 25 percent. The remaining part is software, taxes, royalties etc. Don’t tell me that ASM has better margin only because they assemble in China. Of course you know that Iridium contains many parts manufactured also in China.

        1. nobody wants to compete with behringer prices so they prefer to make an high end product.
          non of us know the cost of manufacturing a specific product but for a companies labor of manufacturing is usually much more expensive then the parts.
          asm manufacturing in china to have a better margins with lower price tag. so as everyone else who are not based in china

        2. you based what you are saying on nothing. you don’t know the cost of any expense of this two synth yet you think you know what is over priced and what not

    2. why are you sitting here making comments about the Hydrasynth? go play with your hydrasynth. guarantee the iridium has a much further reach than hydrasynth. I’d rather own a waldorf product any day.

  7. While I like the fact that that the Iridium rack-mountable, it will also take up a lot of space in a rack: 7U according to the specs, plus almost certainly 1U because the connectors are not recessed. 8U in total.

    Since the Kyra seems to have the same enclosure, it will hopefully become rack-mountable in the future, too.

  8. Since when was over 2000 grand for a digital desktop module “a great price”?!?! It has the same 100% Waldorf tax that killed the Kyra. I’ll pass.

  9. Alex & morkin are both right, really. Dave Smith once said that a lot of his work involved sourcing parts. If you saw the full list of metals, custom sub-assemblies, chip-mold price structures & promo budget on top of Alex’s list, your eyes would cross. Managing all of that makes just designing the synth seem easy. Big prices may sting a bit, but you get generally get real power out of it. Just don’t use it as a drink caddy.

  10. As a comparison, Blofeld is a much older synth with simpler spec, but it can still produce some very intriguing sounds, and it is very affordable.

  11. I know it is a long shot, but I would like to see a $500ish Waldorf synth that was just the Particle engine.

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