This could be the NAMM of modular synths in the Eurorack format. The question is, with vendors big and small crowding into this niche market, what will stand apart?

Waldorf’s answer is to draw on the company’s history (hello, wavetables!), and in an announcement this week, to offer up a range of modules that fit into a keyboard. The upshot: an all-in-one solution.

kb37

At the heart of this lineup is the kb37 controller keyboard. It’s a keyboard with slots for modules, with a 37-note full-sized Fatar keybed (with velocity and aftertouch), plus an onboard CV input as well as MIDI, plus pitch and mod wheels.

Making a Eurorack with a keyboard is sacrilege to some – their argument being the point of modular is open-ended sound and getting away from the conventional synth form factor. But clearly it can be a practical design.

KB37back

Now, theoretically, you can put in any Eurorack you like — 100HP worth. But Waldorf are hoping you’ll collect their three modules. The “Eurorack Pack” treats this suite as a single family.

mod1

mod1 modulator module handles envelopes, curves, and LFOs – all analog.

dvca1

dvca2 dual VCA module covers your analog amplifiers. Uniquely, there’s a ‘colour’ knob for getting creative with tone, plus loads of options.

cmp1

cmp1 compressor is an analog compressor with modulation and sidechaining.

KB37_complete_side

While the new stuff is on the show this week, Waldorf says they expect to ship later this year, in the third quarter. In the meanwhile, their excellent nw1 wavetable module is available now at €345 (including tax), which brings back the spirit of the Microwave and Wave.

http://waldorf-music.info

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