Waldorf Streichfett String Synthesizer

Polyphonic Synth String Module with 2 Sound Engines and Onboard Effects
Waldorf Streichfett String Synthesizer image 1
Waldorf Streichfett String Synthesizer image 1
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Waldorf Streichfett String Synthesizer
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Next-gen String Machine

Back in the late '70s, synthesists desperately tried replicating strings, failed miserably, and came up with many of the most iconic synth sounds of all time. The Waldorf Streichfett synth string module delivers this same kind of sound in a way few of us at Sweetwater have seen in decades, and it's absolutely astonishing. From solo sounds to massive layered ensembles, the Streichfett gives you an impressive range of tone and character, while onboard effects give you unlimited freedom to explore your creativity. And with both MIDI and USB connectivity, integrating a Waldorf Streichfett into you rig is a piece of cake.

Waldorf Streichfett Synth String Module at a Glance:
  • Build a rich and lush sound bed with the Strings section
  • Add definition to your program with the Solo section
  • Get crazy and creative with the Effects section
Build a rich and lush sound bed with the Strings section

Smoothly morph through a set of five sounds styles as well as a combination of voices with the use of a single knob in the String section, one of two sound engines onboard the Waldorf Streichfett synth module. It's amazing how broad the Streichfett's range is with just this single control, and yet you can further define the sound by adjusting the Crescendo (attack) and Release knobs, and a dedicated Ensemble control lets you add incredible dimension to the sound by running it through either a string machine effect, a chorus effect, or both. All told, the Strings section is one of the most powerful yet totally intuitive synthesizers you're likely to ever play with.

Add definition to your program with the Solo section

On the Solo side of the Streichfett, you'll find another continuously variable tone control that lets you morph between five classic synth voices, allowing you to create leads, basses, or other more defined sounds. A 1-knob tremolo control lets you add energy into the solo sound, and a set of envelope controls let you set the attack and release plus two decay/sustain options, so you can dial in a range from fast and percussive to long and languishing tones. One of the things Sweetwater synth nuts find particularly cool about the Streichfett's Solo section is the Split control, which lets you define any key as either the high or low cutoff for the Solo tone, allowing you to get two separate instruments when you play.

Get crazy and creative with the Effects section

The Streichfett's Effects section may look simple, but Waldorf certainly didn't scrimp on the sound-enhancing mojo. There are three effects settings, Animate, Phaser, and Reverb, plus a single knob to control the intensity of the effect. The Animate effect adds an LFO modulation to the Strings section's Registration control, shifting the character of the base sound faster and more dramatically as you push the Depth knob. The Phaser setting works the same way, increasing the feedback, depth, and rate with a single control to add anything from a subtle shimmer to pure insanity to your sound. Lastly, there's a lush reverb onboard to add dimension to your tone. And to top it all off, the Memory section next door gives you 12 slots to save your favorite sounds.

Waldorf Streichfett Synth String Module Features:
  • Fully polyphonic synth module that gives you a world of classic synth strings and more
  • Blend between two sound engines to create anything from edgy solo voices to rich ensembles
  • The Strings section lets you create wide and full string section sounds
  • The Solo section lets you add a separate lead or bass sound to the mix in a layer or split
  • Enhance your sound with one of three cool onboard effects (in addition to tremolo on the Solo voice)
  • Save your favorite sounds in 12 memory slots
  • USB and MIDI connectivity provides ample integration options
Add a world of synth string sounds to your rig with the Waldorf Streichfett!

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) Modeling
Polyphony 128 Notes
Number of Effects 4
Effects Types Tremolo, Phaser, Reverb, LFO
Analog Outputs 1 x 1/8", 2 x 1/4"
USB 1 x Type B
Power Supply USB
Height 2.56"
Width 7.28"
Depth 7.28"
Weight 1.98 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number WDF-STR-1

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
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Waldorf Streichfett

A wonderful device that recreates those 70s string sounds in a small form factor and great price. Although it's a virtual analog (va), it faithfully generates those sounds that I've always wanted to have without filling my room with old synths. The editability is spot on. The quality of the gear is decent. There are some limitations to it, but for the price is well worth it. Super happy with this buy!

Best Pink Floyd Strings Since my JX-8P

So, I've trying to reproduce those old analog string machine sounds, since my ARP Solina, then ARP Omni II died. I haven't been able to reproduce "that sound," since that time. Back in those days, I "upgraded" from ARP and the string machines in my synth rig that was kicking serious string booty on Floyd's Wish You Were Here, was either a Grumar Performer or my Roland JX-8P, and then they puked after 30+ years of hard road work and several trips to the tech shop for "tune-ups/repairs." What's a man to do? Recently, Waldorf introduced the Streichfett. Hokey smokies. This machine was my ticket back to the "good old days," without having to have: a soldering iron, soldering wire, and several screwdrivers in my gig bag to keep my string machines going through another gig! This is an amazing string synthesizer. I like the fact that you can morph the string sounds to add choir and it instantly transports you back into the Mellotron days of Rick Wakeman's Six Wives of Henry the VIII. Given the fact that it also has memory and some handy presets to store your patches, it is an amazing piece of work. If you like to tweak knobs and flip switches, then you can really get giggy with this bad boy. If you don't like the fact that it is a string machine in a box, do what I did and Velcro tape/attach it to one side of a 47 or 61-key Midi Controller keyboard and kind-of forget that it isn't an actual String Machine keyboard from the past...and voila! You're back to playing: Welcome My Son, Welcome to the Machine. Where have you been? Its alright, we know where you've been.

Does What it Says on The Tin

Okay, I know some people don't get the point of a 'string synth' and if you don't - if you are after realistic strings - please don't get this synth and don't knock it. That is not what it is for. If however you are a product of the 70s and 80s when these things were used all the time in music production - and you have been seeking an easy way to recreate that sound pallet for your music without going vintage or VST - then you have found your hardware solution. I am not interested in debating VST vs hardware or any other such nonsense. Some of us just like hardware and will pay more for something we can touch and hookup to other devices without a computer. I have been wanting something like this for a long time. Would I prefer it if it were actually analog? Yup. I can often hear the difference between analog and digital. But this thing does a great job of imparting a vintage string synth vibe to whatever production you are doing and it sounds right at home along with real analog synths, so I can't complain. The fact that it is digital is probably what allows it to have built in effects and I have to say I think they are pretty perfect for what you would want on this synth. So if you 'get it' go out and get it. A hardware synth to effortlessly dial in those Cure, Joy Division, and Vangelis sounds you grew up with. Yes there are other ways to get that sound including programing your own patches. But that is not what these artists did. The string synth was a 'go to' synth for a specific sound and now the modern producer and musician has that option again. BTW I also love the sounds that come from the 'solo' section. I think they sound cheesy in just the right vintage way. Again if you get it you get it. They sound 'bad' but bad like a Mellotron sounds bad at recreating an orchestra. Bad like a Farfisa sounds nothing like a Hammond. Again it is a go to to bring in a little nostalgia, a different texture that was very common at one point and time and now is usually only found on vintage instruments that require quite bit of maintenance. So thank you Walforf for filling this gap in the marketplace. I hope you continue to do this with this rocket format you have created. Some ideas would be: a box like this that does transistor organ sounds; a mellotron in this small format; and an effects box. I think these would all be welcomed by the market place as hardware and I would buy each.
Music background: Recording Artist

Astonishing sound but needs kid gloves

In the early 1980s I owned a Yamaha SS-30 string synthesizer. Since then I have never heard anything digital come close to replicating the sound of that amazing machine. Until now, that is. Within five minutes of turning the Streichfett on I was blown away by its rich seemingly analogue sound. The strings section is exactly what I've been searching for all these years. But that's not all it has to offer. There's a whole range of sounds available, but unlike the old machines the sounds are not switched, they are continuously variable, one sound morphing into the next as you rotate a knob. The choir sound is really interesting. It doesn't sound like those boring old choir samples, but more like some sort of formant modelling. That's just the left side of the box. On the right side there's a solo section which is like a whole mini-synth on its own which can be blended with the strings section. The reverb effect on this unit is very nice indeed, with a full stereo spread of reflections. Although it can make some great sounds, it's a little limited in some ways. For example, the phaser has only one control which changes both speed and depth according to some kind of preset sequence around the dial. The same goes for the tremolo control. Unfortunately the unit has one problem which is the quality of some of the components. It uses very fragile pots that are not bolted to the front panel. I found this out when it slipped and one of the pots got bumped. This control still works fine but it's now a bit wobbly. So if you like to throw your gear in the back of a van and drive it to gigs, you'll want to pack this one carefully in its box or it will get totally destroyed.
Music background: Bedroom musician since 1977

Go Waldorf!

I have often found myself painted into a corner when I am working on some tune where I really wish I had a polysynth. Specifically one of those late 70's early 80's synths like the JXP3 Poly 6 or any of the many stringers from various Japanese and Italian companies. You just can only go so far with monophonic synths! When I've been up against the wall I relent and instantiate a virtual instrument. After all Apple was nice enough to put plenty of those in Logic. However I just can never really get into playing a virtual instrument. Now I know what you are thinking. The Streichfett, like most Waldorf gear, is digital through and through. Sure, but you can also fiddle with the knobs as you are playing until it gets right where you want it. This is a major advantage over virtual synths. Sure you can map your midi control surface to wiggle parameters in your virtual instruments. But I have always found that to be tedious, and the act of instantiating a virtual synth, getting the controller to point at it, and paging through the params remotely is just enough to kick the chair out from under my creativity. The Streichfett sounds amazing. It utterly nails certain early Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Jarre tones. I also found one preset to have been cunningly crafted to evoke Gary Numan's 'Cars'. Pulled up a YouTube of the song and played along. I was 12 years old again! I commend Waldorf for making the effects section 'go to 11'. It is actually very useful to make the strings way too wooshy with the phaser or way too verby with the reverb. The only drawback to this box is that it screams for a software editor. I know I was just up on my soapbox about how much it sucks to be 'in the box', but sometimes you just wish you could reach in there to mess with one parameter. For instance, I'd really like better control over the split between the two sections. Such that when I am playing the solo section as bass I'd like to be able to push the string section an octave or two higher. It would also be great to be able to have a little more control over the effects. Mostly to be able to change the LFO speed of the phaser/animate and tremelo. Overall, I'd buy it again if it was broken or stolen.
Music background: playing and recording forever.
See also: Waldorf, Waldorf Synthesizers