Synth Site: Waldorf: Pulse: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Kev a hobbyist user from United States writes:
I have had a Pulse in my posession for about the last 6 years, most recently getting a Plus version a few years back. The sound has really grown on me, and after trying various other analog synths I keep coming back to the Pulse when I play. Like another poster here, I saved up for the Moog holy grail... for me this was a Voyager. I finally have one of those, and at 1400 dollars more it still sounds weaker to my ears than the Pulse. Some describe the tone as sterile, and maybe it is, but for sure its a real nice sounding "sterile". It has character no doubt ... hard hitting at times and capable of bizarre rough textures. I have to say I prefer it this way. The sound didnt mesh incredibly well with the Moog I have, so the Voyager may be sold and another pulse purchased. The editing matrix is nice, but I have noticed using a freeware editor makes patch creating more fun, particularly with the modulation section where sources and destinations are referred to by name instead of numbered charts in puny text. I may be getting a midi controller bank to play with more parameters in real time at some point. All in all a great synthesizer. I'll be looking to get a second if I can.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Feb-07-2007 at 23:20
Negatek a professional user from NEW YORK writes:
The Pulse was my first analog synth. I was blown away by it at first, then I worked in vintage keyboard stores for a few years and now I have a Micromoog, SH-101, Yamaha CS-5, Juno 6, Juno 2, etc. I can't stand software synths, and most VA's cost more than the vintage stuff and are mediocre at best. I still use the pulse, it's the only analog I have with midi besides the Juno 2. That's pretty much the only reason I use it. The sound character can be extremely sparkly and bubbly and does that amazingly. It can also do whacked out and aggressive, but not nearly as well as the Micromoog or Juno 6. The filter is pretty boring, and the interface is clunky. It is somewhat sterile sounding, but don't ever mistake that with being thin. If you need monstrous basses and sparkling arpeggios all synced to midi, this is the shit. I do frequently wish I had the plus though, midi to cv would be nice. If I ever get around to picking up a really good midi to cv box, this might go. Or not. I lost my analog virginity to this thing, I may never be able to get rid of it.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-23-2007 at 11:36
DGERRY a part-time user from USA writes:
OKAY...judging by the comments there seems to be confusion concerning the oscillators: DCO or VCO? Any stepping/zipper you hear when using the Pulse is because everything is under MIDI 0-127 range...before NRPN's(1000's of increments) were ever invented!!!!

The Pulse has V. C. O.'s . It's true.

Wolfram Franke at Waldorf says: "the three waveforms are made differently, and only have one thing in common -- they aren't processed by a D/A converter. The oscillators are not digital, but analogue. The pulse waveform is controlled digitally; the clock stipulates when the pulse waveform has to be at its maximum or minimum point. If you use pulse width modulation or cross modulation, this is also generated by the clock itself. The clock has only a 0 and 1 position, so the Pulse's cross modulation is mathematically identical with ring modulation. The sawtooth waveform is voltage-controlled; the voltage is generated from the D/A-converted clock signal, with additional parts creating the ramp. The triangular waveform is the most complex one; it's a combination between the sawtooth waveform and additional parts that process the down-ramp. "

I think some people are under the impression that a VCO always sounds wobbly and "warm". Not so. If an OLD VCO synth sounds warm and creamy (like a Minimoog) it is because IT WILL NOT STAY IN TUNE! That is the only reason DCOs were invented - to stay in tune. It's not like a VCO on a mini has a gain control or something to make it "warmer". IT'S OLD and out of your control.

The PULSE sounds different because it is newly engineered for MIDI control of everything, pre-NRPN. It is far more stable than 70's analogs. Yet with correct programming this thing can sound HUGER THAN A MINIMOOG when you use the LFO's and MOD properly. The Pulse's VCOs are THICK.

Yes, the PULSE has it's shortcomings - the filter resonance produces too much volume drop and always has the same throaty character no matter how it's set...the envelopes suffer from software control, but they ARE snappy and fast, just not as flexible as say, a Pro One or a Mini.

But for the money...you can't lose.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-27-2006 at 10:30
[A][D][D] a professional user from USA writes:
Hmmm... Well the Pulse is a good synth, but I agree with a previous reviewer in that I just just don't mesh well with it. The presets are crap, so don't bother with them. Makes great lead sounds, and the bass is quite punchy, but something about it just doesn't 'do it' for me. I actually think the Micro Q is much better for bass. It would be nice if it had a -12db filter instead of the -24bd. Sometimes it can sound too 'muddy' for lack of a better word. I think the interface is decent, and actually like it better than the Novation synths, which have a lot more knobs. It would be nice if it had a power switch and internal power supply too. I got mine for $300 used, so it's a good low-buck bass machine, but I just don't use it to the extent of my other gear. I haven't sold it however, so that must say something.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-27-2006 at 15:42
DrDream9 from Philadelphia writes:
I bought a used Pulse_+ on E-bay for $400. It was in very nice condition. Pre-occupied with checking out it's synth sound I have'nt gotten around to test it's midi/cv conversion, intended to drive an SH-101. The midi/cv converter was a big factor in deciding on the Pulse_+. Also, I have'nt gotten to it's signal-in filtering. I'm expecting success with both funtions. (fingers crossed...)

The Pulse has osc./env. controls common to most analog synths. It's basic, making it possible to start making sounds without a 3 week course with the manual.

Some reviews have mentioned it's near to, but not quite, early analog synth sound. It is close, and perhaps can get closer after getting to know it's "sweet spots". However, finding it's "sweet spots" is not as easy as with older multi-knob, analog synths. The Pulse has six knobs/pots/encoders? that control all the synth parameters. The parameters are spread out on 6 six different step/levels. This constant level jumping does not help with the "sweet spot" search. In fact... it hampers it. In 1985 I bought a Moog Source for it's stored program feature. However, creating sounds was just too much work with it's "One!" control wheel/knob and keypad parameter access. I was used to a knob for every parameter. I was so dissapointed when I sold the Moog. A holy grail, wanting, not so holy. At least the Pulse has 6 knobs. It's midi/cv converter was a big selling point for me, making it a keeper.

Beware of the Pulse's knobs. They feel fragile. As if soldered to a cicuit board in back without being secured to the front panel.

The Pulse uses a wall wart power supply with a lead that plugs in the back. That's an accepted flaw. Having no power switch, front or back is not acceptable. Inside the Pulse are jumpers carrying the wart power that can be interupted. A 1/4" hole was drilled to front panel, a small profile toggle switch mounted and wire leads from switch to the internal power jumpers. An easy job for anyone with a little modification experience.

When I bought the Pulse I knew I was'nt buying a Mini Moog or a Pro One ect. Perfect analog "sweet spots" may prove allusive with the Pulse. It's in the ball park and able to knock a few homers.

And it's rare.... getting rarer..... ;)~

the Dr says .... "Play Ball...!"

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Jun-13-2005 at 16:48
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