Waldorf Iridium


16-Voice Synthesizer

  • 3 Digital oscillators per voice
  • Choice between the following sound generators: Wavetable, classic waveforms, granular sampler, resonator, kernel
  • 2 Digital stereo filters in different modes and configurations
  • 6 LFOs in poly and global mode
  • 6 Envelopes
  • Master effects rack with 5 slots
  • Master compressor
  • Modulation matrix with 40 slots
  • Load and save presets via USB and SD card
  • 2 GB internal memory
  • Import possibility of Nave presets
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 440 x 305 x 85 mm
  • Weight: 5.7 kg
  • Suitable case: Art.511332 (not included)


  • Main output: 2 x 6.3 mm jack
  • Line input 2 x 6.3 mm jack
  • Headphone output: 6.3 mm stereo jack
  • USB host connection
  • USB (MIDI)
  • MIDI in / out / thru
  • 4 CV inputs for connecting EuroRack modules
  • CV Clock input and output
  • CV Gate
  • CV Start
available since June 2020
Item number 495345
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Design Desktop
Polyphony 16
Sound Generation Digital
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out, 1x Thru
Storage Medium SD Card
USB-port Yes
Effects Yes
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 2
Digital Output No
Display Yes
Optional Expansions No
Special Features N/A
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The final frontier
1 BPM 01.05.2021
After 4 decades of synths I have finally arrived at the final frontier. I use this synth primarily for ambient alien dark sci-fi soundscapes. THE GOOD: All glitches (of the first release) but one have been cleaned-out, except for the infamous occasional blank screen, but power off/on brings it where left off. No wonky knobs, no light leak, lovely structured file management, touch screen (I left the foil on top) responds well (a slightly moist fingertip really does help). The user interface is easy as never seen before. I yet need to open the manual. Also import is a piece of cake, no computer utility needed! Already only playing one note on the first patch and tweaking made my jaw drop. Never experienced such depth of sound tweaking. I do not use any keyboard, just three analog old school sequencers (Doepfer Dark Time from Thomann DE thank you Thomann) to control both Iridium layers and one other wave synth. There's a latch button to keep the gate pitch open constantly, by pressing one of the pads once. THE BAD: Occasionally the lcd screen goes completely blank white and the machine stops. Okay, power off/on and the machine continuous where left off. Not good when playing live. So it is a studio machine only, too bad. The internal BPM range starts at 20 BPM, but I need to go even below 1 BPM for my soundscapes. So I use a modular clock with clock divider/multiplier to control the BPM. I wish the internal BPM could go as low as 1, seriously, it would give lovely sequencing. THE UGLY: The pads leds are hideous those colours that do not contribute in any way to music making. No keyboard classic or modern not even a telephone has coloured keys, just black&white, so why coloured pads beats me. Yes I can dim or turn off all leds, but heck then nothing lights up to remind me what button I have pushed. Why Waldorf not let us separately switch off/on the pads coloured leds, well, I mailed them but no reply. Why having pads at all, they're useless. Everybody has already MIDI keys, no? So I'm gonna stick self adhesive black furniture pads onto the Iridium pads. Better have a simple drone switch. THE VERDICT: Of course there's always something to complain about, but in the end it is the sound that matters. And I can tell you that after 4 decades of synthing, this Iridium produces very good hi-fi sound, the best I have ever heard from over a hundred synths I have played with. Yes it is all digital this Iridium, but you know, if I only take into account the filters, they are so clean and pure that make the Iridium as the highest standard for sound quality. So now I'm gonna go from this frontier to boldly go sound design where no synth has taken me before.


Incredibile, una tonnellata di suoni e di possibilità
Stefano Genova 07.03.2022
Superlativo, facile da programmare intuitivo e lineare, solo il motore kernel deve essere studiato per essere capito ( e non è detto che lo si capisca appieno ), fare modulazione carrier con una wavetable ha dei risultati difficilmente prevedibili ma questa è la sua magia. Fosse stato multitimbrico a 4 parti avrebbe toccato la perfezione.
Non eccezionalmente solidi i 6 encoder a lato del display. a voler essere pignoli è l'unica pecca, ma stiamo parlando di una macchina davvero libidinosa


Amazing sound design tool with a few sharp edges
AnotherMattW 22.01.2021
Iridium is an imperfect masterpiece. Despite the significant complexity of the available synthesis algorithms, sound shapers, audio effects, etc. the UI never feels cluttered or overwhelming, and it often leads you to the right place if you pay attention. Synthesis flexibility is as good as it gets - after six months of ownership and hundreds of patches created, I still feel like I'm at the surface of the sounds Iridium is capable of producing. Even synthesis methods that don't appear to be directly included (ex. multiple operator FM) actually are, in the form of kernels that allow you to define 8 oscillators (wavetable, granular synthesis, or VA) with independent amplitude EGs within each of a voice's 3 oscillators, and to define modulation (phase FM, true FM, etc) between them and even in feedback. The downsides: CV interaction works well, but unlike Hydrasynth, Iridium can't trigger an envelope from an external gate (too bad). The mod matrix is remarkable and powerful, but it can be clunky to set up a new modulation
(again, vs. Hydrasynth's shortcut mechanism, Iridium leaves something on the table here). Browsing the patch library is painful, and sample management even moreso. But! But. The sounds it makes are simply incredible. Once you click with it and start to figure out how it wants you to work with it, you may also find yourself forgiving Iridium its little frustrating issues because of the incredible sounds you are able to make with it.


Fantastic synth
tsn 22.05.2021
What a beast this synth is! I hesitated a little after reading some horror stories about quality and white screens but am very happy that I went for it. My iridium doesn't have any quality issues; it's built like a tank, a hefty peace of equipment. During the past three weeks in operation it only crashed (white screen) on me twice.

- Very knobby interface - easy to change parameters on the fly
- Pretty intuitive for such a deep synth engine, the UI is very helpfull
- The granular implementation is a blast; load a sample tweak and get instant results
- It imports DX7 patches; just stick some sysex files on a usb thumbdrive and you can import them straight away!
- It's got close to 2.5 GB of flash RAM to store your own samples

- You spend hours tweaking and loose track of time
- Program change only works for 128 "favorite" patches; this could be improved in a firmware update hopefully.
- Like with so many other offerings sysex seems to be abandoned; I'd love to be able to dump the current selected patch to a DAW to store it as part of the project I'm working on.


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