MATRIXSYNTH: Waldorf Rack Attack • Drum Machine / FM Synthesizer Module SN

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Waldorf Rack Attack • Drum Machine / FM Synthesizer Module SN

via this auction

"Oh, boy.. this is one heck of a synthesizer.

Basically it’s a full-blown Micro-Q (2x25 oscillators, 25 part multitimbral) with a built-in step sequencer, and all the samples that were in the Roland 808/909 synths (cymbals). [Per Waldorf: "The RackAttack's virtual modeled circuitry synthesis is optimized for drums and percussion."] So it’s capable of emulating all the classic drum machines, (the Simmons is immaculate, plus there are unlikely ones in here like a Casio, some other 8-bits, of course all the old Roland kits..) and also extra capable of producing super far out and excellent modern, custom, wild kits. Plus it functions as a normal analogue modeling synth, not just a drum synth. Making basses, leads, pads, sound effects, whatever.. totally possible and really pretty simple. Same as any other Waldorf Q series.. maybe even easier, especially if you want crazy sounds. You can make it do one random sound, or an entire random program set, then play around and fine tune the results, all without overwriting the program you’re in until you’re ready to, the edit buffer is huge. Copy and paste sounds from any kit into any other kit.. get some FM noise and tweak it with the LFOs.. Oh, baby. Yes.

2 full and separate effects units are present. Includes a bit cruncher that can decimate any patch down to chiptune resolution — that’s really cool. Plus all the normal stuff, reverbs, chorus, flanger, phaser, distortion/overdrive, clock sync delays.. it’s all here in duplicate.

The FM on the oscillators is just sick. Not sure how else to describe it. It’s the key to producing drum sounds using analogue oscillators. The manual explains this in great detail, how they recreated the emulations of drums from the 80s. Crossing FM on 2 oscillators with any of the waveforms produces insane results. Making sounds that scream and cut through a mix is cake. Plus it has the Waldorf randomizer function that you can activate anywhere, any time to get a random patch generated.. it just turns every parameter at random, usually producing some jaw dropping or ear splitting tone. Use with caution! lol

So, yeah. We have 1 stereo input (to run anything through the filters and effects) and 6 programmable outs.. 1/4” of course, this isn’t a toy. Headphone jack on the front panel. MIDI in/out/thru. 12v power supply included. I have both the original German 220v and the original German 110v adapters, depending where it’s going, I’ll ship the appropriate one. I also have the original spiral bound manual (English version) which you’ll also get.

Let’s talk about the knobs on this, because it’s important: they are self-cleaning digital encoders, NOT potentiometers. So if they get janky, NEVER DO ANYTHING BUT TWIST THEM UNTIL THEY WORK SMOOTHLY AGAIN!! I see people buying and selling the Q series encoders on eBay all the time because they got antsy and sprayed contact cleaner in there and killed them. Don’t do that. Just twist them for maybe 30 seconds in each direction until you see a normal movement of the values on the screen. Also.. very sorry.. one of the knobs on this one went missing. But they’re easy to move around, I’ve always kept it clean, I normally leave knob 2 under the LCD screen as the absent one because I rarely touch it anyway. Replacing all the knobs with originals (there are some listed on this site right now) is just as easy as finding alternate knobs to slide on the encoders.. that’s if having one absent really bothers you.. personally, it never bothered me, neither cosmetically nor in programming / playing it. This is the only flaw on this unit, outside of that it looks and functions like the day I opened the box from Waldorf HQ in Germany.

I guess it’s highly coveted because it has the companion Waldorf Attack VST software to make programs in, then use this unit with its 6 outputs to slam the beats in a live or studio rig. Yes, you can completely program it using the interface with no computer. Of course. But people seem to like having that extra VST option (it is really cool). Look around forums, you’ll find people sharing kits for this going back to 2003. Chances are if you’re reading this, you already know exactly what it is and why you want it."

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