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MicroQ At a Glance
User rating: 4.5/5 | Read reviews (60)
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|AdamT () writes:|
Well, I think that anone interested will have read the Q review (or tried one), so for the main I`ll stick with the things physically different to the MicroQ..
Firstly, it is exactly the same size and shape as a pulse so it won`t take up much depth and has a headphone socket on the front, unfortunately, the audio input is on the rear so some form of breakout may need cobbling up for the easy connection and disconnection of a microphone should you want to use the Vocoder. the unit like the Microwave XT runs from a 12V Line lump and has the Q/XT`s soft "standby " switch, I really will have to build a 1u 12V powersupply to feed this, my two pulses and the XT.. If you`ve laughed or cried at Waldorf`s packaging in the past, wait for this howler, the MicroQ is Bubblepacked to a piece of cardboard!, luckily in a box which is a bit more substantial than the "Chinese Fireworks" box the Microwave XT came in ;). well if it helped to bring the cost down, I ain`t complaining.
Layout is very pulselike, though using four knobs to access parameters and a "cursor" pad to move up and down / left & right to access more functions for the specific line such as selecting Filter lines / the different oscillators etc, this is far removed from the Q Keyboard`s intuitive layout but not that much more of a pain than the Qrack. the readout, two knobs and 4-Inst buttons are standard Q fare as is the wonderful "Peek" button to see the current parameter for any twiddled knob. Extra functions require menu delving accessed by pressing the Edit button and using the big red knob to page through the different pages, Microwave-II style..
Being used to the pulse, I adapted to the Q`s programming quickly and was creating big washes and powerful evolving sounds in minutes without recourse to the manual and only referred to it to confirm how to store patches and access the FX processor`s settings..
If you have heard a Q, you know what to expect and agree with Gordon Reid, Steveo etc about it being more of a wonderful complex digital synth than a "VA" in the JP8000 / Virus / Nord etc mould, it CAN make analogesque type sounds easily, but then so can the Microwave XT, the flexible filter routing, 3-Oscs, 4EGs, audio speed LFOs and FM/Filter FM capabilties and that damn Comb filter are what IMO make the Q series special and it`s now available for less money than the original launch price of the Pulse or indeed the MS2000R if you look carefully!.. Unlike the other Qs, the Micro has dynamic polyphony allocation, this means that if you don`t use processor intensive functions like FM , fast modulations, the FX Processor etc, the Polyphony goes up, up to 25 in fact!. this means that you on occasion can have your cake and eat it, massive 3-Osc pads, basses and sweeps survive nicely with just a bit of reverb (not in the Q`s repotoire) only one filter, simple modulation etc so you get not only sheer power BUT a rise in polyphny also allowing longer release times and more notes or even UNISON Dual mode (giving 6-oscs with STILL more than a QRack would allow in the same mode) good stuff!.
My own personal feeling is that the MicroQ negates the need for the Qrack which hasn`t the control surface of the keyboard version or the compactness / price advantage of the MicroQ and in Germany, the Q-Keyboard is only £300 dearer than the Qrack, the uQ however is £400 cheaper than the Qrack.. What do you lose??. well one of the FX processors is global (and selected by the patch in the first slot) rather like the XT. The lame XMorph function is missing which is no great loss as it was only available to the mod wheel or aftertouch anyway, NOT the mod matrix. The filters are either serial or parallel, where the Q has 127 steps between them (I`d have liked that) and of course the Step sequencer is missing which really is only of any great use to the keyboard version anyway (Who plays with these things when bolted into a rack). The Micro is still expandable where 75 notes of polyphony is possible (the current record for a standalone DSP synth).
It is possible that due to the Micro-Q`s lack of DSP horsepower, the Q might evolve beyond it`s capabilities in the synthesis department, but we all know Waldorf and can`t see this happening. It`s best to buy a synth for what is there now, not what may be in the future and on this score, the Micro-Q is about the biggest bargain out there..
Links for the Waldorf MicroQ
Try the Waldorf links page for more..