But beating at M’s musical heart as an eight-voice polyphonic, four-part multitimbral WAVETABLE SYNTHESIZER — as boldly blazoned in red across its full-metal blue- coloured casing, itself hinting at its illustrious Microwave heritage — are two wavetable oscillators with independent wavetable-generating Classic Microwave 1 and Modern Microwave II/XT modes, meaning that the wavetable oscillators behave differently in both of those modes (accessible by pressing the Mode button beside the helpful high-resolution graphic display with four endless encoders for yet more hands-on control). Consequently, there is no hard Sync or ring modulation available in the Classic Microwave I mode, where 16-bit wavetables are bit-reduced to 8-bit and a 240 kHz non-anti-aliased sample rate is offered, whereas the Modern Microwave II/XT mode offers a 40 kHz sample rate with band-limited wavetables, although both oscillators — OSC 1 and OSC 2 — offer the same panel parameters.
Two LFOs are generating a periodic waveform with adjustable frequency Rate and Shape that can be used for modulation purposes, are also always at hand. However, unlike other Waldorf synthesizers, there is no classic modulation matrix in M. Making a conscious design decision to set up M’s modulation facilities directly on the corresponding display page, to paying tribute to the 1989-vintage Microwave.
Back in the here and now, M takes performance to a whole new level, thanks to that advanced ARP with 16 preset patterns, chord mode, and an ability to synchronise to MIDI clock. Furthermore, four programmable ENVELOPES allow adventurous users to manipulate sound parameters via rate or timed modulations.
Musically making a connection to the outside world is important to any synthesizer, so M offers five (rear panel-positioned) stereo analogue outputs — arranged as MAIN OUT (L/Mono and R) and AUX OUT (A, B, C, and D), the latter of which can be used to route each of the four Multi (multitimbral) parts to different outputs, if desired; a stereo headphone output (with an associated Volume knob in addition to the topside Master Volume knob); 5-pin MIDI IN, OUT, and THRU DIN connectors, complimented by a USB 2.0 MIDI port (for computer connection to transmit and receive MIDI data); an SD Card slot (for updating M’s firmware, importing/saving sound patches, and importing/saving M-specific data, such as user wavetables); and — last but not least — a Kensington® compatible security lock slot.