Waldorf Rocket – Gearjunkies First Impressions

Now and then we are getting very lucky here at Gearjunkies. Because in our techlab we have got the brand spanking new Waldorf Rocket, an analogue desktop synthesizer for just under 250 Euro! First thought would be: “that can’t be any good!” But, … is it?

When I opened the box it immediately felt bigger then expected. It does feel a bit plastic, but we are going for its sound right? The device has audio IN and OUT, MIDI IN and OUT, and a headphone OUT with volume setting. Like I said it looks a bit plastic however the knobs all feel very solid. Next move, hooking it up and take it for a spin!

The Rocket is the absence of ADSR! It only has a switch with Attack and Decay. This will do as you do get an envelop and are able to make one. For bass sounds, leads and even pad like sounds. The envelop has a boost knob so you can overdrive it. To me it didn’t do much to the sound but it did add some ‘richness’ to the sound. A nice addition!

The analogue VCA has a switch for choosing three types of filter. The filters do sound typically Waldorf! Nicely open, fairly deep and can sound lovely screeching… I liked the sound. The Rocket isn’t one of those synths that needs to prove how low it can go. A filter can make or break a synth. And in this case it’s clearly a matter of MAKE!

The oscillator part is pretty much straight forward. A bit like any Moog you can’t choose your waveform but you can (sort of) construct your waveform with a rotary button. This rotary lets you detune your sound and it even has a chord setting for those oldskool house sounds. When you use Glide in combination with the arpeggio, which by the way can go very fast, you’ll get these typical arpeggio melodies that give this lovely undertone to your productions.

Something else I noticed when having the Rocket in my hands were some notches at the underside. It almost seemed you will be able to link different modules together in the future. Making it one bigger module. So maybe in the future there will be more modules or maybe even a drum module? We will see!

Unfortunately I only had a few hours to spend with this baby, but I can say now: this will be mine! Especially when you look at the price! Producers who would like to take their first steps into analogue synthesis this synth would be perfect.Because of the ease of use ánd that price!

Marc van den Hurk




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