Its predecessor was born way back in 1996. The build of it was a lot bigger and chunkier in size and was rack-mountable. But as you can see its modern brother is quite the opposite. The styling is very sleek and the unit itself is a lot smaller, thinner and is housed in a metal desktop casing. However one should not be deceived by its size, as this little fella has many features and packs quiet the punch.
The Pulse 2 interface is very simple to use. It incorporates a matrix style table to guide you through a plethora of possible patch sounds using its 6 steel rotary knobs. The use of a shift function assists too in the minimal design, to access its many functionalities and this all compliments the software editor, which has recently been developed to support more complex patches and editing. The LED screen offers a clear concise display and as has several smaller buttons for its output and navigation. This simplification of searching has its down side at times, and this can be seen when trying to perform accurate automation but can more than easily be solved using a midi controller.
The synthis powered by three digitally controller analogue oscillators and a noise source. There are 500 Presets stored, which can be abused to your liking and then can be overwritten and saved thus giving a great platform to begin your sound creation adventure. The oscillators included are the familiar saw, triangle and square wave, with additional shapes of pulse, alternate pulse wave (APW) and cross modulated PWM. For sculpting these, we have a multi mode analogue filter, which has a slope option of either 12dB & 24dB for the low pass and 12db for the high and a band pass.
Waldorf have again added a built in arpeggiator, which provides some beautiful variety to your patches should they nice to be spiced up. You can control tempo, beat division and its range using the rotary knobs provided, along with swing delay and pattern length. Couple this with the random generator; one can produce some off the wall sounds. At the rear it offers plenty of connectivity too. Along with USB, MIDI In & Out ports, and a headphone output. One particular nice feature is the CV Out (supporting both the V/octave and Hz/V standards) and Gate Out (V-Trigger- and S-Trigger-compatible) allowing it be integrated with other synths to control and to play identical MIDI patterns. The Pulse 2 as I have mentioned packs a punch with its internal sound engine. Waldorf have done a really good job to streamline the source information to get into the synth, to create some lovely warm analogue goodness. Sure there are limitations due to the design but for the price of £400 pounds can can be purchased here. I believe they are onto a winner. Once the user gets similar with the search engine and its idiosyncrasies, hours could be lost in it.