ok I really like both boards. the waldorf blofeld and the studiologic/waldorf sledge. say the cost is 800 for the blo and 1000 for the sledge. that's what I'd pay used, in good condition.
I have heard that the sledge is the same engine as the blofeld. and although the user interface rocks (wich I love btw) it's not as "meaty" as the blofeld. kind of how the ion has more s**t outside and the micron has more s**t inside. so basically are these 2 keyboards sonically the same? or is the blofeld more of a "micron" inside?
I don't care about color, i don't own a mopho so i wouldn't mind having a yellow board, and I love the interface on the sledge, and would really like to snag up 1 of these 2 boards for my new years keyboard hunt.
(Bearing in mind I have not actually used a Sledge...) as far as I can tell from the panel and from articles I've read, the Sledge seems like it's inferior in almost every department other than the (admittedly rockin') control surface--only one of the oscillators has wavetables, whereas two of the Blofeld's do; it's missing the second filter and attendant routing options, as well as several filter types (notch, + and - comb, and the frankly exquisite "PPG" lowpass filter); far more limited FM; no ring modulator; it has half the number of envelopes, and much simpler ones at that; fewer LFOs; only one filter drive algorithm and no filter FM; I presume the Sledge has no sample loading or user wavetables; no mod matrix (the Blofeld's is one of the best I've seen in hardware or software); a smaller display (although the rest of the interface probably more than makes up for that); I understand the Sledge fewer voices, although I believe that in both machines, polyphony is contingent upon how much is going on in the patch; fewer effects; the Sledge is monotimbral and has, or so I've read, a rather useless unison mode; probably other stuff as well. I could be mistaken, but it seems like a no-brainer to me. I would be quite interested to know how the sound of the Sledge differs from the Blofeld (if at all, notwithstanding its limitations), and whether there are any unique strengths I'm unaware of.
thanx big gnome! u broke down some very eye opening stuff, and being that u have a blo I'm almost positive you know what you are talking about although the sledge has one of the best hands one tweakability I have seen on a board besides the gaia (and that's another example of great hands on knobs on a mediocre synth!) I have been looking a lot at the blofeld and I also really dig that the desktop is exactly the same as the full keys and half as much. I got plenty of keyboards so I'm getting a desktop blofeld. if anyone does want a sledge there is one going for 900 bucks on ebay 11-30. just fyi.
oh big gnome btw, if u see this msg, I see u have one so do u suggest getting an ensoniq esq-1? I love the unique sounds it makes, but was a bit wary of it being a b***h to make your own patches (and I guess I always hoped a fizmo would come my way)
Well, I know what I'm talking about regarding the Blofeld, not so much the Sledge, but y'know, take that for what it's worth. Keep in mind that for the desktop version, sample loading requires a $100 license (it's included standard in the keyboard version). Your mileage may vary, but for me it was a very worthwhile purchase. But yeah, if you're cool with the matrix editing thing (which isn't my favorite, but, eh, it's okay), you do get massively more bang for your buck with a Blofeld.
Love, love, love my ESQ, and recommend it like crazy. Actually, Ensoniq's system of grouped parameters-soft buttons-data entry is easily the most sensible and painless "80's interface" I've come across--seriously, don't let the interface scare you off. It's great. What should concern you if you feel inclined towards getting one is the physical condition--bear in mind Ensoniq was a fairly budget-conscious manufacturer, and consequently most of their models had plastic chassis and shoddier internals than you'd see in, say, a Yamaha of the same vintage, so take care to find one that's actually in decent shape (note that my "near mint" unit arrived with sticky brown s**t all over the right side of the control panel and keyboard and was otherwise in a miserable state, and took several bouts of rigorous cleaning and general maintenance to get it up and running). Also, unless the battery has been recently replaced, it's pretty much guaranteed to be dead at this point. That's a simple and inexpensive fix, but worth bearing in mind--like, I wouldn't recommend it as first soldering project. By the way, I also recommend installing Rainer Buchty's hacked OS--it's identical to the most recent revision (3.5, I think?), but removes the upper bound for the oscillators' waveform selection, so you can get some really wacky, glitchy sounds by scanning through the wave ROM in ways that it wasn't designed for if you wish. For example, the rhythmic "whispering" toward the beginning of this track is exactly that, doubletracked and panned out--
I had a Blofeld Desktop... had nothing but problems with it The last OS update I did bricked it and I had to send it back to Waldorf for a fix. I sold it soon after.
I got the Sledge a few weeks ago for £620 (Perfect condition - "Shop soiled"). I have to say that, although It can't compete with many VA's in terms of modulation destinations - you can only send LFO modulation to ONE destination at a time which is a real shame, but other than that It's a great board.
It oozes power in a way that many VA's don't, and I love the simplicity of the UI, what you see is what you get, so It's very quick and easy to use. I've coaxed some GREAT Mini Moog patches from it!
I don't think it's fair to compare the Sledge with the Blofeld, they are different engines after all.
There are some bugs remaining (I know of 3), but I've been in contact with Studiologic, and apparently they are working with Waldorf to fix them (there is a way to put it into Unison Mode AND detune it, but it's not stable )
just fyi to anyone and everyone. I recently bought a desktop blofeld off ebay. and I can say I am deff not disappointed!!! it is such a kick a*s little beast, I love it. and I got it for a fraction of what a sledge would of cost me. (although if they made a desktop sledge it would be huge) thanx everyone for the helpful advice. cheers. merry x mass
My Sledge is running OS 1.5 - I'm not sure what bugs there were before 1.5, but the few I've discovered all seem to connect to the Amp Envelope release pot.
In Mono Mode, switch on glide and set the Amp Env release to zero, play a few notes (release your fingers between each note) hey! no glide! Gradually increase the release control above 30ish and the glide kicks in (You HAVE to play LEGATO if the release control is below 30 to get glide).
Very similar problem with the LFO RAMP - it doesn't retrigger correctly if the Amp Env release control is MORE than 30.
In Poly Mode (and SOME instances in Mono) all oscillators start at the same phase (apart from saw wave!!). Saw waves are correct, in that they appear to be "free running". In Mono mode the Amp Env release (again!) needs to be more than 30 for the correct "free running" mode… It's all very, very weird.
I've been told that Studiologic are aware of the bugs, and are working with Waldorf to iron things out.