emulating mWave I patches on Blofeld

I wanted to see how close I could get my Blofeld to sound like some patches on my MicroWave, so first I made some notes for the settings of the original patch for reference. To understand what values I’m translating from and to follow along at home, you’ll need to reference the table of parameters at the end of the entry.

In general, things seemed to work out one-to-one, for example a 10 filter cutoff on MW roughly equals a 10 on Blofeld as they both go from 0-127. First set both octaves to -16, the equivalent of -1 on mW. Set osc 2 wavetable to #46 PWM Pulse and osc 1 to pulse. As for osc volume, the mWave has 0-7 for wave volume, so a 2 would equal about 36 (around 18 per step) on BF’s 0-127 scale and that translates to about 38-45 on osc 1 and 127 on osc 2, both routed to the same 24dB LPF. To translate the “startwave” and “startsample” wavetable parameters to the Blo, according to the manual

When a wavetable is selected, the parameters Pulsewidth and PWM serve to select the start point of the waves.

so that’s where I’ll be headed in osc 2 to start getting them close. I have the two synths set up and are playing them side by side to get a feel for how close I’m getting, and I have a feeling these are the key settings to get correct.

As it turns out you have to fiddle with the PW and PW Amount a lot to get it close to the sorta overtone but a 30 startwave was about a 30 PW and wasn’t quite sure where 87 startsample was, but a couple of locations in PW Amount near to the extremes seem to get closest, although it’s still not quite right, missing some brash overtones in the mid to upper register even with brightness turned all the way up. The MW also uses stepped (non-interpolated) settings for its wavetable and since the Blofeld is not stepped it would probably take a fair amount of modulations to get that part closer. I think the MW is being overdriven in the wave stage so that’s perfect for dialing in drive on the filter, tube or clipping at 19 or so. Here are my attempts, the first one is MW, and the second is Blofeld. Good headphones or speakers will be necessary to pick up the nuances when the filter is opened a little wider with velocity.

the original MW1 patch

the Blofeld recreation

Even though the tone is sorta there, to me the Blofeld sounds “rounder” on the attack, and the velocity doesn’t seem to open the filter as much. To address those, I changed the filter type to PPG LP,  added a little more filter env, modded the amp decay by ampEnv to give a more linear shape to the stage, and added a little pitch mod from filtEnv and got this. Sorry I played it a half step up haha 🙂

same Blofeld sound with linear envelopes/PPG filter

It’s still missing some mid/upper harmonics and the tone isn’t quite right but I think it’s closer than in the previous one in the lows and low-mids. I don’t really think the Blofeld is capable of fully emulating the natural tone of the microWave, there’s just something in the fullness of the basic tone that seems rounder on the Blo, that doesn’t “cut” as well as the MW, but in the context of a track, the patches will perform the same purpose. Below is a chart of the main values of the patch I was trying to emulate. Tell me what you think in the comments!

mWave patch: JCJ LOW BASS

 Wave1Wave2 Osc1Osc2 AmpEnvFiltEnv LFO1 Vol Filt
ShapesquarePWM Pulse R66Octave-1-1Delayn/a0ShapesinEnv Amt63Cutoff10
Startwave6230Semitone00Attack10Rate1Env Velo63Env Amt11
Startsample5287Detune-13Decay1428Symmetry0Keytrack0Env Vel52
Env Amount210Bend Range00Sustain182HumanizeoffMod 10Keytrack0
Velocity00Pitch ModenormalnormalRelease2813Level Mod SrcKeytrack Mod 20Mod 10
Keytrack00Delay1Mod 20
Mod 1linkMod 1Src: LFO1
Ctrl: Modwheel
Amt: 63
linkAttack50Resonance0
Mod 2Src: Filt Envelope
Amt: -2
linkMod 2Src: LFO1
Amt: 17
Quantize: 0
linkDecay0Res Mod0
Volume27

more Blofeld arpeggiator tips

Let’s see if I can re-create this drum pattern, TNGHT’s “Higher Ground,”  using the Blofeld’s onboard arpeggiators. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m sure it’s possible, and probably in more than one way. First thing I did was listen to the original track in super slo-mo and mapped out the basic pattern of kick, snare, & clap and put them into a 16th note grid. There is also a hi-hat, a few different snare patterns and rolls, a vocal sample and a lead that I’ll need to add, but I’ll start with the basic stuff.

The kick pattern above sounds like a big 808 kick drum with a long decay and  is on a 16th note pattern, but in the last measure, there is a high version of the kick that lands between the beats. It sounds like a triplet to me, so somehow I’ll need to make a kick pattern that has both a regular beat and then a triplet beat at the end. I had already made some of the other parts, the snares, the claps, and one of the snare rolls, along with the sample, but I still couldn’t get that last kick measure right, pitched up an octave and syncopated against the beat, presumably with a triplet pattern.

My first effort was to just make a triplet beat to see if it sounded right. So to make sure I set up a 4/4 kick and then laid a 1/8T beat, no user pattern, with a hihat sound over it. Yes, that worked. Then to try and make the beats land properly according to the grid, I made the 1/8T beat a 12 step user pattern like in the photo and it seemed to work well, coming around when it should against the 4/4 beat, so, I thought, just change the sound for this arp pattern to a kick, and try to lay a straight beat over it for the other sounds. Well, that didn’t work because the kick would come around too soon, essentially it’s in 3/4 and everything else is in 4/4 so I couldn’t get everything in the proper time.

Then I hit on it…I could just trigger the last two notes as a separate arp at the end of the measure. So I set up a copy of the original kick pattern with arp set to 1/8T…and it didn’t quite sound right. Then I changed to 1/8., or a dotted eight note and it sounded I thought exactly correct. Turns out it probably wasn’t a eight note triplet, it was a dotted eighth note. I left the last measure of the original kick pattern blank and trigger this 1/8. pattern for one measure at the end. It may be possible to latch the high triplet kick pattern so that it syncs with the other main kick pattern, but the closest I got was setting clock to 1/4T, note length 1/16, pattern length 12, with notes triggered on step 11 & 12, but that’s not quiiite right, although it’s close. Gotta keep working on it!