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Waldorf MicrowaveXT vs. Nord Lead 3


Goldberg

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I've decided to look into buying a virtual analogue and the two that caught my eye were, well, the MicrowaveXT and NL3. I can't find either of these at nearby music stores so I'm turning to you lot for some help. I'm sort of new to the V.A. market, so I'm not looking for anything too specific yet. I do want a synth that is unique, however, and is very powerful and more in-depth than say the MS2000. The type of sounds I'll be using it for will most likely be pads, but still, standard V.A. sounds like leads and bass sounds will also be important. Finally, I'll most likely be using the synth as a controller in live situations for my 1080. While I don't think the number of keys will be very important, the actual quality will be. So my question is: which synth of the two has better keys that can withstand some pounding (obviously I'm not going to be playing Beethoven or anything on it), and also which synth is actually built better and is more reliable? Also if it's possible I'd appreciate sort of a brief compare/contrast thing between the two sounds-which each one is best for. Thanks!
"Bach is ever new"-Glenn Gould
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I think the Waldorf may have slightly beefier keys than the Nord, which has slightly undersized keys. The Waldorf XT is not really a virtual analog, though. It's a wavetable synth a la PPG. I think it's one of the most unique instruments out there right now.

 

If you want a V.A. synth with a seriously nice keybed, check out the Virus KB or Novation Supernova. Leagues above any other synth-action.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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After hours and hours of playing around in keyboard departments between Kentucky and Florida I tend to agree with the above post. For a "keyboard" I liked the Supernove II or the Virus. For total versatility and fun factor I like the Nord Modular Rack. I don't know that I would recommend it for a first time user of VA's, but from an educational stand point, it comes with a great manual and the web site has some very nice tutorials on modular programming. Just recently I have changed my design technique and zeroed in on some of the old SEM and Chroma patches I wanted. Still not exact, but the feel is there.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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Well I've looked into the Supernova 2 and think that looks very cool! According to many reviews it's fairly easy to use, so I just might go for one. Now, because I'm still on such a tight budget it may be better to go for the Nova 2 instead of the Supernova 2. Can anyone help me with the main differences here? Again, my principle needs are good keys (it'll be a master keyboard out of the studio) and an easy to maneuver interface. Now, I've heard the Supernova has great keys, but they didn't get cheap on the Nova and downgrade its key quality, did they?
"Bach is ever new"-Glenn Gould
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As Steve points out, the XT isn't really marketed as a VA synth. Waldorf's Q is more of an apples-to-apples comparison w/the Nord, and you'll want to check it out along with the other synths suggested in this thread.

 

The Nord action doesn't do it for me. either. The Access KB has a great feel, and the Q is pretty good, too. I never seriously shopped the Supernova--for some reason the panel layout wasn't really doing it for me in replicating the experience of playing an analog synth.

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Originally posted by Striker1080:

Again, my principle needs are good keys (it'll be a master keyboard out of the studio) and an easy to maneuver interface.

 

I have no comment on key quality, but if user interface is important, I think nothing beats the NL3. In my opinion, that has to be one of the nicest user interfaces in synthesizer history, I can't think of any analog or virtual analog synth that beats it. To me, that's way more important than keyboard quality, although to have both would be nice. But everyone has their own criteria.

 

Since the NL3 has no UI competition (in my opinion), for me it comes down to how the NL3's sound stacks up to everything else, but I've posted that question on another thread.

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