Waldorf Quantum MK2, a polyphonic aftertouch synth upgrade with firmware 3.0

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Waldorf overhauls its flagship hybrid polysynth with Quantum Mk2 adding a polyphonic aftertouch keybed, more memory, and 16-voice polyphony via firmware 3.0.

Korg, Yamaha, Roland, Kurzweil… all produce big Synthesizer workstations primarily characterized by gigabytes of sample-based sounds and lots of polyphony. With its Quantum, Waldorf takes a different synth workstation approach that is especially pleasing for Synthesizer sound designers.

Instead of countless multi-sampled acoustic strings, horns, pianos, etc., Waldorf focuses on deep synthesis. From granular, resonator, virtual analog, wavetables, to modular FM synthesis, Quantum covers a huge field of unique sound generation technologies. With the brand-new Quantum MK2, Waldorf expands its hybrid polysynth workstation in new directions.

Waldorf Quantum Mk2

Waldorf Quantum Mk2

The Quantum Mk1 has been on the market for five years. Now comes a hardware upgrade, a very logical one for me.

Last year, Waldorf released the Iridium keyboard, featuring a newly developed FATAR polyphonic aftertouch keybed for the first time. This is now also coming to the Quantum Mk2. It’s the first instrument with the new 61-key FATAR TP8/SK polyphonic aftertouch keybed.

Waldorf promises that you can explore the full potential of the Quantum multi-engine, especially its enormous modulation capabilities. Alternatively, you can still connect an MPE keyboard to the USB host port of the Quantum Mk2 and play the massive engine with multi-dimensional control.

Waldorf Quantum Mk2

More Polyphony, More Storage

At the same time as the new hardware release, Waldorf is also introducing firmware 3.0 for the Quantum MK1 and MK2. This unlocks 16-voice polyphony, a long-requested feature of the community. As a reminder,  Quantum relies on an 8-voice analog dual-filter (analog/digital) architecture.

The user can combine the analog and digital filters in any combination to create 16 voices. Plus, a new set of allocation modes gives the musicians easy control.

Then, Quantum MK2 users benefit from a major internal sampling storage upgrade. From a few GB, the new version now comes with up to 59GB of internal storage. This also allows sound designers to store even large numbers of complex sample-based sounds in the memory.

New Finish

Not only does the engine shine in improved clothes, but also the hardware. Waldorf’s designers (Axel Hartmann…) have also updated the mechanical design of the MK2 version.

It ships with a new mounting of the high-resolution touch display, providing wider viewing angles and an intuitive way of controlling the more advanced features. Further, the hardware chassis shines in a new classic naval blue finish.

Waldorf Quantum Mk2 backside

The new Waldorf Quantum also ships with sound content (2GB) and patches from worldwide sound designers, including Richard Devine, Howard Scarr, Joerg Huettner, Kevin Schroeder, Kurt Ader, and more.

Key Features

The other engine features remain the same as the Q Mk1. Same multi-timbral engine with three multi-synthesis oscillators, an analog-digital filter system, a huge modulation engine with 6 freely-assignable LFOs and envelopes, and more.

A solid upgrade for Waldorf’s flagship Synthesizer monster. I like the new navy blue color finish the polyphonic aftertouch keybed will lift the playing experience to a new level.

Waldorf Quantum MK2 is available now for 4819€ (incl. German VAT).

More information here: Waldorf Music 

Available at my partner

Thomann

Hardware Synthesizer News

13 Comments

  1. Replacing the MkI analog filters should have been on the list of updates as well. I love my Quantum but the analog filters bring nothing to the table. They have no character what so ever. I dare say the digital filters have more character.

  2. This synth or paying for rent/food/utilities for 2 months? Still undecided… Will probably take the worst decision of the 2… living expenses.

  3. This synth seems one of the most powerful ever made. Nice to see Waldorf continuing support for MK1 owners with OS updates too.

    Love the color!

  4. I wish it had 16 analog filters with a pluggable architecture like the Gotherman stuff or Studio Electronics. Also more analog inputs would be great.

    • 16 analog filters would also increase the price of the Quantum to probably over 6K. They also needed to redesign the hardware architecture and engine, not an easy task. Maybe in a “next-generation” Quantum

  5. Hmm, Waldurf. Spend thousands on a synth, watch development and support wither away after a year, then try and contact their support team and be rewarded with tumbleweed.
    I’ll pass.

  6. Waldorfs customer support was and it’s poor. the firmware support for their devices also. i’ve selled my Kyra after waiting 2 years for bugfixing and optimizing. they don’t get my money anymore!

    • I’ve actually found waldorf support to be superb. Problems with my quantum were addressed within days or even hours. Looking forward to seeing more updates for mine, shame I can’t get the key bed upgraded.

      • Nope, they’re garbage, they took $$$$$ from people for the Kyra then abandoned it, even worse, when you ask them, they straight up admit that you can go and suck it. Tough luck. We have your money. You have an unfinished product. Don’t expect anything from us.
        Think i’m joking, ask them yourselves.
        They’re a bunch of douchebags.

        • Bugs in complex machine doesn’t means it’s not a “finish products”, all complex instruments have some bugs, long after they discontinued. Being transparent about it is admirable, maybe you just use to have American sucked up style service?

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