Synth Site: Waldorf: MicroQ: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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boose44 a part-time user from Orlando, FL writes:
A great addition to anyone's collection, the MicroQ has a sonic arsenal unlike anything else you'll find for the $$.

25 note polyphony combined with wavetable/FM, comb filter, and 16 parts make this a can-do beast. Asking the MicroQ to perform regular VA synthesis is like telling Robin Williams just to read the lines from the script...

Mod Matrix and editing take some effort to get your mind around for newbies, but well worth the extra effort. For computer geeks, there's two shareware editors available for it, one free, and one so cheap it might as well be free. SoundDiver also has a module for it, though I haven't used it.

There's really nothing like the Q sound, and the MicroQ has it in spades. Great user support which has just released a 300 patch soundset, and regular updates to the temperamental OS from gremlins at the Waldorf Castle.

It will probably always be the big Q's little bastard brother in terms of upgrades from Waldorf, but the recent release of the new MicroQ keyboard version will no doubt speed up OS updates.

A lot of people have become frustrated with the MicroQ making them easy pickings to find used. I picked mine up for less than $600 in mint condition.

You have to accept the MicroQ for what it is, and on it's own terms. Don't expect it to be a do-all, be-all kind of synth. It's yellow, it's ugly, and it's in your face.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-27-2001 at 07:48
Rob a part-time user from Rochester, NY, USA writes:
Well, just got mine a week ago, and love it. I got my first VA about a year ago, and delved rather quickly into deep sound design. I decided that my old synth just wasn't able to the harshness I needed from it, so I traded it in for part of the microQ. Can't say I hate the old synth, but I definetly like the microQ better. This is definetly not a synth for introduction to synthesis. Much too complicated, and a non-intuitive interface. I don't slam the interface, just you have to know what you are doing before hand to really get the sound you want, but the lack of buttons saves tons of $$$, which was important to me. Sonically I love it, it can do warm (warm enough for me, some would differ) and it can do nasty. I'm still learning some of the more complicated modulation schemes, and how to effectively use the FM capabilities to really get some rich sounds out of it. All in all best purchase I've ever made.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Jul-30-2001 at 10:15
Roj a part-time user from USA writes:
I must be one of 5 people in the world who actually like the bright yellow surface of the q products!

This synth is the bomb. Lush, evolving pads, thick basses, incredible percussive noises, a very flexible arpeggiator. Couldn't ask for anything more from a single unit. Does convincing analogue emulation if you know how to program, and does crazy digital wavetable stuff too.

I love this thing. It's a programmers synth, for sure. Not for those who "flipped through the presets and they sukked! Couldn't get a decent 303..."

This things plays well with my Pulse.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-27-2001 at 17:59
Peter Grenader a part-time user from Los Angeles writes:
The Micro Q is a terrific unit for the money they are asking it for.

On the upside: From one who was very used to modular analog synthesis, the Waldorf mod matrix runs very very deep - I was quite impressed. Comparing this matrix to Novation's is almost laughable. the Q takes it hands down. There is no comparison

Their Arpeggiator is also quite programmable with full control of phrasing, order, note length, and a host of other parameters - including randomization - a very important yet too often overlooked feature in the second emergance of analog sequencers and arpeggiators.

The Q can be tame and is can shreek. I will make noises you would not expect from a musical instrument. Flexible in the regard. I f I could only have one, I would probably leave my Supernova behind.

Also, when they do a software OS upgrade, they don't fool around. Usually they incorporate huge improvements in flexibility or sonic options.

The Downside: IT"S UGLY!!!! The designers at Waldorf hit a grand slam with every other product they make, accept for the Q rack and Micro Q. Way over designed faceplate with a lack of style as compared to their other products, and a color combination I would have been thrown out of design school for using.

On the audio side, the filters are a little brassy. It's fine and if you have another system with warmer filters you will welcome the Waldorf's edge - but it could be limiting if these babies were the only you had in your rack. For techno, they are perfect. For pads though they need to be calmed down, just a touch. Good thing is, this could all be fixed with a software upgrade.

All in all, I give this machine a 9.

We LOVE modular!

We HATE patch chords!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-27-2001 at 19:58
Bruce S a professional user from United States writes:
I don't understand why people complain about the microQ. There are some bugs which should be addressed in the next OS which is currently being worked on but for the most part I've had few problems sequencing with it. The filters break up a bit (a known bug) but it is easy to create programs that won't break up and still have plenty of filter headroom.

As several others have noted the microQ has a hybrid kind of sound. To my ears it is somewhat harsh compared to a Novation Nova II/Supernova II which is fine. I think it's good that the current crop of VAs have their own sound.

As a Nova II owner the microQ works beautifully with it. We revere analog synths like the Juno, Prophet, 303 and Oberhiem. Why? Because they have a sound that is unique to them. It's the same with many of the VAs.

To the people thinking this is a surrogate microWave, sorry, the wavetables in the Q series are there for sonic flavor.

The microQ is great for experimental and progressive thinking musicians just as it is good for several genres of techno and electronic. This is a bargain of a synth. It is very powerful and if there were no features added (unlikely) it would be a excellent 2nd or 3rd synth in your arsenal. The effects are acceptable and personally I'd prefer any processing power directed to synthesis. Effects processors are cheap and plentiful.

I also agree the matrix programming interface is simple and effective. What's out there that is multitimbral, has an excellent synth engine, reasonable polyphony? You can easily get 12 - 16 notes of polyphony using fairly complex patches. You can simplify and still get 25 notes of polyphony with good sounds.

The microQ is a great synth that will hold up well after trends die out. It is timeless like the synths it suggests, not emulates.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jun-19-2001 at 06:23
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