Waldorf Microwave XT
The Microwave is still is one of the best choices when you’re looking for that unusual and cut-through sound. It’s all in Waldorf’s wavetable synthesis, which is behind the success of the legendary PPG synthesizers, the Waldorf Microwave I and of course the Wave – a dream-machine in its own right.
About Wavetable Synthesis
The sound generation of the MicroWave II/XT/XTk is based on wavetable synthesis. This type of synthesis combines analog access and digital flexibility in a simple way. Although wavetable synthesis is a form of "sample playback" in principle, you should avoid this term because functionality, operation and results are totally different. The ROM area of the MicroWave II/XT/XTk currently consists of 65 wavetables, 31 locations are reserved for future ROM wavetables. The RAM area contains 32 user wavetables, which can be manipulated over MIDI via appropriate computer software.
A wavetable is a list made up of 64 entries. Each entry represents one wave, that can be either located in the ROM or RAM area of the MicroWave II/XT/XTk or calculated by an algorithm after selecting the wavetable. For the purpose of using a wavetable inside a sound program, it doesn’t matter what source the wavetable comes from. A wavetable itself contains no wave data, but is in fact a collection of up to 64 entries referencing up to 64 waves. Not all entries of the wavetable have to contain entries. When one or several sequential entries contain no reference, the MicroWave II/XT/XTk calculates the waves for these locations automatically.
The algorithm producing these "imaginary" waves uses an interpolation scheme that crossfades the "real" ones. E.g. when a wavetable contains entries in entry 95 RwkdTNpg8 1 and 5, the positions 2 to 4 are generated based on interpolation between the existing waves in entry 1 and 5. Please keep the terms "wavetable" and "wave" in mind. Don’t bring them into confusion.
Wavetable synthesis gives the MicroWave II/XT/XTk the unique sound character which makes it different from all other synthesizers and samplers. The principle of wavetable synthesis is not new, The PPG synthesizer, "Wavecomputer 360", "Wave 2", "Wave 2.2",and, "Wave 2.3", and, also the Waldorf MicroWave, (the first one) and, Waldorf Wave use this concept.
The MicroWave II/XT/XTk contains some enhancements to wavetable synthesis which improve the sonic quality in a remarkable way. An introduction to wavetable synthesis needs some attention because its operation principle is different to other sound generating systems. Nevertheless you should spend a little time in understanding the basics. You will gain more than the effort it takes.
Please note that you cannot create your own wavetables or waves with the MicroWave II/XT/XTk itself. To do so, you need a wavetable editor, a special computer program, that allows you to create and edit wavetables and waves.