Waldorf Microwave II (Microwave 2)



"Microwave II" is a digital polyphonic synthesizer released in 1997 from Waldorf. As an ancestor, "Microwave" has digital oscillators and analog filter. More older "Wave" is very big and produces surprising sounds. Compared with those synths, Microwave II is not evaluated well. Microwave II has less high frequencies, I feel. However, some successors are well evaluated. "Microwave XT" has more knobs and buttons. "Microwave XTk" has keyboard. A synth mania who gave me a chance to touch Wave said that Microwave XT is his favorite.

OK, I would like to talk about my Microwave II. This synth has output weakness. Some mixers and amps do not match with my Microwave II. When connected to them, the sound is very poor, no power. If you get your Microwave II and dissapointed with the sound, I recommend you to try other devices. Microwave II has chorus effect, but no delay and reverb. Get nice delay machine. My Microwave II's front panel is dirty. However, no problem to play.


Sound: Index

Sound: Microwave II only

A001 A Trip WMF
Early digital synth sound. But never PCM. It may resemble KORG Wavestation. From this recording through "A010 Noisefloor S", I do not use external delay or reverb unit. Indeed.
A002 CS-80 WMF
The representative of Microwave II presets. Nice.
A003 Arpsono WD
Simple powerfull arpegio.
A004 97 Wave Ride DN
This is a digital sweep. It reminds me of Studiologic Sledge including Waldorf engine.
A005 Atmosphere 2 DN
Without reverb or delay, too rough.
A006 Switch Me WMF
Same as above.
A007 chaOSC T
Modulation wheel changes the pitch. I was not sure how to play.
A008 Ammalog W&W
This sound reminds me of Prophet. I do not own Prophet 5.
A009 Ping Pad WMF
Nice digital ping. A little bit dirtiness.
A010 Noisefloor S
Precise with digital technology. It is fun to play this sound.
A015 Stenzel's Chor S
Reverb added. Beautiful like samplers. Smoother than samplers. Modulation wheel changes filter cutoff, while not used in this recording.
I made this sound from scratch. One sawtooth, lower cutoff, slower attack. Some ways to get sawtooth. The easiest way is set "Startwave" parameter to "sawtooth". Here, I set "Wavetable" to "007 Saw-Sweep" and set "Startwave" to value "50". Maybe I can sweep the sawtooth. Most early digital synths do not have pulse width modulation function. But, Microwave II has wavetables. Good job. After making this sound, I understood that Microwave II can produce orthodox synth sound well. Not only for effects. Vibrato is controlled by aftertouch.
I set "Startwave" to "square". Portamento is on, portamento mode is "exp", time is "2". Good polyphonic portamento. If you want fingered portamento, you should switch to mono.
Startwave is "triangle". Good synth lead. My play is not modern.
I edited "B001 Full Moon T" a little. Aftertouch vibrato is my favorite. The easy way of aftertouch vibrato is setting moduration matrix source to "LFO*1Prs", destination to "Pitch". But, in this sound, LFO1 was already used. At modulation matrix #3, I set source to "LFO2", destination to "Pitch". At modulation matrix #4, source to "Pressure" and destination to "M3 Amount". You can use "Modifier", too. Microwave II has two oscillators. We can add vibrato to one oscillator. 2 LFOs enables to modulate 2 oscillators with 2 rates. LFO has sine wave. Perfect.
I modified "A002 CS-80 WMF". Aftertouch vibrato.
I modified "A008 Ammalog W&W". Aftertouch vibrato.
Detuned two saws and on/off chorus. Microwave II has two chorus effects. At "Amplifier" page, there is on/off chorus. At "Effect" page, there is chorus with speed/depth/mix adjust. Simple synth strings, but distinctive.
A brass sound with one sawtooth and moving filter. No special tech. Microwave II taste.

Sound: Coupled with other synths

DetuneChorusStr + Legato Strings 1
With E-mu E5000 Ultra, I loaded "Legato Strings 1" from "Super Strings" CD-ROM. I mixed it with Microwave II DetuneChorusStr above. PCM strings and no PCM digital.
DetuneChorusStr + CFX Stage
DetuneChorusStr and Yamaha MONTAGE "CFX Stage" acoustic piano. Nice mixture.
SawBrass1 + Legato Strings 1
Above "SawBrass1" and E5000 Ultra strings. Glissando down.

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©Hideo Harada 2010-2024 updated on 2024/02/05 16:13:38