A Covid-enforced scheduling change meant that the 2021 version of the Berlin-based music technology event only happened around eight months ago, but Superbooth is now back in its regular springtime slot, and we were there to bring you all the hottest news.
And the winners are...
Superbooth 2022 - the biggest stories so far
• Teenage Engineering announces new OP-1 field - “louder, thinner and 100 times better”
• Bitwig Studio 4.3 arrives with new convolution and delay effects
• Oberheim is back with the OB-X8, an analogue love letter to its ‘80s synths
• “Let’s Play” - Polyend releases super-flexible sample and MIDI groovebox
• All the superbooth 2022 stories in one place >>
Oberheim is back with the OB-X8, an analogue love letter to its ‘80s synths
It’s official: Oberheim is back and it’s releasing a new version of the OB-X synth for the 21st century. The OB-X8 takes the best bits of the OB-X, OB-Xa and OB-8 - manufactured between 1979 and 1985 - and packs them into a new eight-voice analogue synth.
The auditorium gearing up for the first performances of the weekend.
Teenage Engineering announces new OP-1 field - “louder, thinner and 100 times better”
It’s one of the most iconic music technology products of the past decade, and now Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 - a portable synth, sampler and controller - finally has a successor: OP-1 field
“Let’s Play” - Polyend releases super-flexible sample and MIDI groovebox
If Polyend’s Tracker was a little esoteric for you, then perhaps Play - the company’s new sample- and MIDI-based groovebox - will be more to your tastes.
Promising an ‘open sandbox’ approach to playing, performing and sequencing, this includes more than 30 sample kits to start jamming with right away, and offers eight audio tracks and eight polyphonic MIDI tracks. So, as well as being a standalone groovebox, it can also serve as a controller for other gear.
Arturia’s V Collection 9 gets a Korg MS-20 and reboots some old favourites
Arturia’s V Collection is now firmly established as the go-to software bundle for lovers of classic synths and keyboards, and with the launch of version 9, it’s getting even bigger.
Soma Labs taking its quest to produce “organic” sounds very literally with the new TERRA synthesizer.
Gamechanger Audio revs up for a second lap with the Motor Synth MK II.
Announced today, Dreadbox’s Dysmetria aims to make gritty analogue grooves more accessible at a price point in reach of beginners on a budget.
An absolute beast over in Erica Synths’ techno chamber.
IK Multimedia’s Uno Synth Pro is back in black
We’d be lying if we told you that IK Multimedia has brought an all-new synth to Superbooth, but it has brought a limited-edition version of an existing one. Uno Synth Pro Black Edition is - surprise surprise - a black edition of the Uno Synth Pro, the sparky little touch synth that landed last year.
A legend returns. Making its debut at Superbooth 2022, the eight-voice analogue OB-X8 sounds as good as it looks, packing the classic Oberheim tone into a contemporary synth with a vintage pedigree.
Elektron’s latest fun-sized groovebox delivers all the instant sonic gratification we expected it might - capable of complex sequencing and some pretty impressive synthesis, this one is a definite all-rounder, despite the lack of sampling capabilities.
The all-black Rhodes MK8 simply exudes swagger. Just don’t ask for the price.
Superbooth 2022 day 2 dawns... stay tuned for the latest synth and FX news from Berlin.
Soma Labs' ENNER
It's not the first Superbooth for Soma Laboratory's ENNER but we still can't resist it. It might look like an abstract painting, but there's method in the madness: each of these splodges is a touch-sensitive contact pad that controls various parameters of an analogue synthesizer, while the knobs act as both conventional pots and as inputs and outputs that patch the electric current of the synth's audio signal through the player's hands and body.
Meanwhile, things are getting industrial in the Erica Synths booth as they demo their performance-oriented modular set-up, the Black System III, comprised of all of their techno-ready Black Series modules in a single self-contained rig.
We need to torque about Gamechanger Audio’s Motor Synth MkII
Gamechanger Audio has been tinkering away in its workshop and come up with Motor Synth MkII, a new version of the instrument that was released in 2019.
This is powered by a unique motor oscillator engine, a system of electro-motors that are able to instantly change their rotation speed and produce musical notes. These motors can produce sine, saw, square and M waveforms, the latter being created by a set of electromagnetic pickups that are placed next to each motor’s rotating inner coils.
Dreadbox Dysmestria sound demo
We teased some sonic filth from Dreadbox's brand-new analogue groove synth. Available as a kit, it packs two analogue oscillators and a noise generator harnessed by a voltage-controlled mixer and FM section.
Polyend Play sound demo
We got up-close and personal with Polyend's new sample- and MIDI-based groovebox, and it's looking and sounding spectacular. Read all about it here >>
Modal's Cobalt 55
Modal Electronics Cobalt 5S delivers an impressive range of sounds from its virtual analogue architecture, reaching sonic heights more reminiscent of a wavetable synthesizer.
Bitwig Studio 4.3 arrives with new convolution and delay effects
Bitwig loves a point release update, and its latest - Bitwig Studio 4.3 - includes a couple of new headline effects, Convolution and Delay+, as well as more modules for Polymer and The Grid.
Read about Bastl's tasty Pizza module here, and check out its Softpop SP2 below.
All aboard the Teenage Engineering field bus...
Dreadbox has a dirty little DIY groove synth called Dysmetria
Dreadbox has captured the spirit of Superbooth with Dysmetria, a build-it-yourself analogue groove synthesizer. Designed for creating rhythms and basslines, it can be used on your desktop or in your Eurorack rig, and is said to be ideal for inexperienced DIYers.
This is a 42HP device that offers two analogue oscillators, a voltage-controlled mixer, a noise generator and a voltage-controlled FM section. You’ll also find a 2-pole resonant filter with low-pass and band-pass outputs, plus two decay envelopes.
Teenage Engineering OP-1 field and TX-6
Teenage Engineering’s long-awaited successor to the OP-1, the OP-1 field, is here at Superbooth in all its glory - and we can confirm that it is every bit as exquisite as you’d expect. The TE team walked us through a few of the field’s new features, including a new FM synth engine, new drum kits, expanded recording capabilities and a stunning additional reverb.
Also part of TE’s ‘field’ family of products, the TX-6 mixer (below) is tiny, feature-packed and built to last. It’s also capable of sound generation, as the TE team demonstrated by triggering the mixer’s internal drum sounds wirelessly over Bluetooth MIDI from the new OP-1.
Mystic Circuits promises instantly accessible Aphex-esque glitchery for those of a lower IQ with their latest module, the IDUM.
Cre8audio’s NiftyKEYZ stays true to its name by providing a nifty solution to those on a budget looking for a decent Eurorack case that doubles as a keyboard.
New at Superbooth, the East Beast from Cre8audio is a semi-modular synth that can squeeze into your Eurorack set-up or function as a standalone unit. Serious squelch coming from this one in the Cre8 tent.
Gamechanger Motor Synth Mk2 demoed
Gamechanger Audio's latest iteration of its Motor Synth is powered by a unique motor oscillator engine, a system of electro-motors that are able to instantly change their rotation speed and produce musical notes.
And this is what it sounds like.
Bastl's Softpop II and Pizza sound demoed at Superbooth 2022
Teenage Engineering OP-1 field and TX-6 caught on camera
Video evidence of our visit to Teenage Engineering's fun bus, with demos of OP-1 field and the TX-6 mixer caught on camera.
The one you've been waiting for
Superbooth 22's biggest reveal was the return of Oberheim, and its all-new offering the OB-X8, which takes the best bits of the OB-X, OB-Xa and OB-8 - manufactured between 1979 and 1985 - and packs them into a new eight-voice analogue synth.
Back, in black
The Uno Synth Pro from IK Multimedia is back in black this year, with the new colourway looking like it’s just entered its goth phase.
Hapax from Squarp Instruments is a polychronic sequencer, giving performers the ability to seamlessly morph between varied patterns, arrangements and songs without pressing pause.
Winter is coming (again, with Plankton)
Zaps from Winter Electronics and Plankton Modular was a clear highlight from last year’s show - they’ve returned in 2022 with a new look and some essential tweaks and fixes for this highly powerful percussion synth.
Bitwiggy with it
The good folks at Bitwig walked us through their latest update, processing a Moog Grandmother with the newly developed Delay+ device and Convolution reverb.
The headline for ALM Busy Circuits this year is their new sequencer module, the ASQ-1. Going for an old-school look with a chunky retro keyboard, it delivers two channels of melody and four channels of triggers. ALM let us know that they’re not looking to reinvent the wheel with this one, opting instead for a pleasingly hands-on approach that lets synthesists punch in patterns quickly and easily.
We nipped over to Elektron's (super) booth to get hands-on with the recently revealed Syntakt. A 12-track drum machine and synthesizer that utilizes a hybrid of analogue and digital synthesis, the Syntakt is described by Elektron as a "drum specialist" that's geared towards complex drum synthesis and sequencing.
Moog get ready to demonstrate the Etherwave Theremin inside their walk-in art installation, where visitors are encouraged to scrawl on the walls. We were too busy playing with the Subharmonicon.
New from Erica Synths, the SYNTRX 2 is a twisted reimagining of the famed EMS Synthi, complete with a recordable joystick, built in piano roll sequencer, and their signature matrix mixer.
More news from the Erica Synths crew: they’ve transformed their popular standalone LXR-02 drum machine into a new module, putting advanced digital drum synthesis in the hands of Eurorack users. This versatile percussive powerhouse offers 6 voices, 3 of which can be used for bass tones.
And the winners are...
the ‘Booth has delivered the goods – and then some. From behemoth synths to inspiring beatmakers, via some serious oddities and – of course – a whole mass of modular. Let’s crown the cream of this year’s offerings...
Made by Knobula, Kickain is a module that’s aimed at making the classic sound of a sidechained kick quicker and easier to achieve in Eurorack. Run your mix through Kickain at the final stage, and it’ll add a kick drum while sidechaining the envelope to its compressor to create the pumping dynamics favoured by techno and house producers.
According to Korg, the NTS-2 is a Swiss Army knife for electronic musicians. The 4-channel oscilloscope offers dual stereo inputs, which enable you to study, compare and overlap up to four signals at once.
There are multiple colour display modes, and an interface that can be navigated with menu buttons and a clickable encoder. There’s also an FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) mode with a real-time spectrum analyser, along with a dual waveform generator.
Each of the two oscillators can create sine, square, triangle, sawtooth, pulse and noise waveforms.
Eventide’s Misha is one of the most innovative new products we’ve spotted at this year’s Superbooth. The Eurorack-compatible sequencer operates using tone rows, a concept drawn from serialist music, and takes an interval-based approach to generating unexpected and unfamiliar melodies and patterns.
Error Instruments gave us a serious case of rig envy. They also gave us a look at the Imaginary Friend, their new synthesizer module that’s aimed at experimentally minded producers.
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