Vavra Is A FREE Emulation Of The Waldorf MicroQ Synthesizer

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Vavra, from the developer The Usual Suspects, is a plugin that supports emulations of the Waldorf MircoQ. 

I’ll come out and say I have a heavy bias regarding the work being done by The Usual Suspects. Osirus, OsTirus, and Vavra, today’s focus, all feature quite heavily in my productions.

There is something about the sounds of these synth emulations that goes a cut above some of the other soft synths in my arsenal.

Vavra emulates the Waldorf MicroQ, an unusual wavetable synthesizer with a fully digital signal path. To this end, if you have the proper firmware files to take advantage of it, you have a mighty and nostalgic synth.

The synth itself has a selection of common waveforms as well as some built-in wavetables. These aren’t likely to wow users looking to make the hot new Color Bass or dubstep tracks, but you can make some unusual and wonderful sounds with the synth.

I don’t have any presets installed with my version of Vavra, but you can readily find free banks all over the internet if you know where to look.

As with all things from The Usual Suspects, it is heavily recommended to read the official manual of the synth. This is in part because all features are emulated on a 1:1 basis, as opposed to the more creative interpretations you might see with other emulations.

On the plus side, this means that any programming tricks you find are likely to translate over identically.

Interestingly, I find Vavra works best, not for the trance and dance stylings it might have been intended for.

Instead, it is a wonderful ambient pad machine. The motion you can impart on the waveforms, the dual filters, and the stunning chorus and delay makes for a potent combination if you’re dialing in those 1990s digital pads.

Vavra works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and I’ll confirm installs on all 3 operating systems.

Just for a lark, I decided to install it on a Steam Deck alongside Renoise and saw zero issues once the file paths were properly defined. If you feel like supporting The Usual Suspects, I heavily recommend it, as it nets you early access to alpha versions of upcoming releases.

Download: Vavra (FREE)

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Liam is a producer, mixing engineer, and compressor aficionado. When not mixing, he can be found pretending to play guitar, as he has been doing for the last 20 years.

21 Comments

    • Mike Benson

      on

      I know where to get them, but I’m not sure how to load them yet…

      waldorfmusic.com / legacy-micro-q-series

      then click on “sounds”

  1. It looks like one can download the needed system file directly from Waldorf ?:

    waldorfmusic.com / legacy-micro-q-series

    • To get the patches, download the Sounds zip from Waldorf, unzip it, and go to the patch manager in Vavra, right click on Data Sources and select either Folders or Files to import the patches into Vavra.

      • Dimitrios V.

        on

        READ the second line of the above comment CAREFULLY! You were right all along.
        Pretty complex synth for me to process the sounds, right now. A little silent – cool, though.

        This time it is fully legal to use, if I understood correctly. I mean, we downloaded the sounds and firmware from the official site… (For a personal moral reason I have started to care about the legality of music software use.)

  2. Reality of music producer in 2010 – get a descent PC for music production $$$$, get a descent sound card $$$, get a DAW $$$, get a descent listening tools $$$$, get a synth $$$, get a sample pack $$$. Today reality of music producer get a PC $$$, get a descent sound card $$, get a daw – 0, sample pack – 0, synth – 0, descent set of listening tools – $$.
    I wander what future will bring. Best tiumes to be a music producer so far.

  3. Back at the start of the millennium mQknobs was essential as it let a user access the Micro Q via computer GUI interface, for hands-on control

    Now the Micro Q itself has snuck into the computer !

  4. Anyone else noticing stuck keys? I’m not even sure if that’s what it is… seems more universal and more like the note off messages aren’t firing. sometimes with certain ARPs, I’ll have my midi spaced out, say every 1/4 – so we should hear a fade in-between but it’s like it doesn’t register those gaps. Also, certain patches, keep playing even when I’ve stopped my main clock. I feel like this is somehow user error with loading of the .mid files for some reason… I noticed the “Forum #3 patches” came with a “patterns” folder and mid files. I tried loading those like the other presets but nothing shows up, so I removed them. Feel like these two things are connected but maybe not…

    • Some ARP patches use a Hold mode (sometimes called Latch on other synths/arp).
      In the FX/Arp tab, in the Arpeggiator section, check for Mode.
      Available modes are Off, On, One shot, and Hold. If it’s on Hold, make it On.

    • I’m getting stuck keys, and the sound is quite glitchy; similar to a low buffer rate and struggling cpu

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