This article describes the general function of the “Free” button as well as how to lock sustain for drone work.
Extra Buttons on Keyboard Edition of Blofeld
The keyboard version of the Waldorf Blofeld has 3 extra buttons on the front panel – 1) Octave Down 2) Octave Up 3) Free.
P. 17 of the Manual describes the Free button
Free Button Just for fun we added an additional button with assignable function. The functions are accessible from Global Menu.
Set the Function of the Free Button
- Press and hold “Shift” + “Global” button to enter Global Menu
- Rotate “Display” knob to find the “Free Button / Pedal” page. On the current OS, it’s the last page – so just crank the knob get their quickly.
- Use the left-most “Display Dial” to rotate through the possible options for the “Free” button. The button can be assigned to 6 different functional states as shown below. For the purposes of this article – select “Sust. toggle“.
- off – nothing happens when you press the Free button.
- Sustain – The button acts like a sustain pedal. But please use your fingers!
- Sust. toggle – Also sustain, but it acts like an on/off switch.
- Control W, X, Y, Z – the corresponding controller is sent to internal sound engine and MIDI out.
- C. W, X, Y, Z toggle – Emits the assigned controller but acts like an on/off switch.
- mute – mutes Blofeld while pressed.
- Press the “Play” button to return to patch selection and play mode
Drone Machine Usage
The “Free” button can now be used as a toggle to latch sustain thereby turning your Blofled keyboard into a “West Coast” style drone machine.
Presets with No Arpeggiator
On presets without the Arp enabled, toggling the “Free” button simply gives you infinite sustain without having to hold a pedal down. This is perfect for both sound design work and real-time drone performances. Hit “Free” and start working the matrix!
Presets with Arpeggiator
The arpeggiator has the following modes:
- One Shot
If the mode is set to #3 “Hold” – the Arp is already latched and will hold by default. If you would like instead to toggle holds without menu diving to get this parameter (which is burred pretty deep) – set the value to option #2 – “On”. Now if you toggle the “Free” button, the arp will hold. Press the “Free” button again to toggle the Arp off.
More Articles on the Waldorf Blofeld
Check out some of the many articles I’ve written on the Waldorf Blofeld here https://modulatethis.com/category/blofeld/.
Subscribe to Modulate This! via WordPress, Email, or RSS.
Composer, Synthesist, Electronic Musician & Multimedia Artist | Sr. Systems Analyst | Founder of the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup