Waldorf’s Quantum synth takes a big leap forward with a polyphonic aftertouch keyboard, increased polyphony and more storage

Waldorf Quantum MK2
(Image credit: Waldorf)

Released in 2018, Waldorf’s Quantum is a bona fide supersynth. Each of its three oscillators can draw on one of five synth algorithms - including the classic Waldorf-style wavetables - and you get both digital and analogue filters. A wealth of modulation possibilities is included, too.

Now, five years on, we have the Quantum MK2, a reimagining of the original synth that tweaks the already powerful formula in a variety of ways.

First up, there’s now polyphonic aftertouch. Quantum MK2 is the first instrument to feature a 61-key version of Fatar’s TP8/SK keybed, and enables you to assign aftertouch parameters on a per-key basis. As such, there’s huge potential for expression.

If you want to take your control a step further, you can also play the Quantum MK2 using an MPE controller. Just plug one in via the USB port and you should be good to go.

What’s more, you now have 16 voices of polyphony to play with. This has been achieved by combining the eight analogue filters with the digital dual multimode filters. A new set of allocation modes enables you to control what goes where.

Sample storage has been increased, too - from just 4GB to a whopping 59GB. This will come as great news to those who want to take full advantage of Quantum’s granular and multi-sampling engines, and gives sound designers much more room to flex their creative muscle.

Quantum ships with 2GB of sample content and presets from the likes of Richard Devine, Howard Scarr, Reinhold Heil, BT, Matt Johnson, Joerg Huettner, Kevin Schroeder, Sascha Dikiciyan, Kurt Ader, Mike Huckaby and Thorsten Quaeschning. You can also transfer sounds to and from Waldorf’s Iridium synth - in fact, we’re told that the new Quantum firmware (3.0) has been combined with the Iridium firmware to create what’s known as the Waldorf Synthesis Platform.

A few design tweaks have been made to Quantum, too - improved mounting of the touch display is said to mean wider viewing angles for example, and we’re promised a more intuitive way of controlling some of the synth’s more advanced features.

Quantum MK2 will be shipping at the end of this month priced at €4,819. Find out more on the Waldorf website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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