Superbooth 24: "The ultimate analogue modular system": This colossal £15,000 synth was specially designed for Hans Zimmer, but you can buy one too

SUPERBOOTH 2024: Not many of us have a spare £15,000 down the back of the sofa, but if you've got cash to burn and a penchant for unwieldy modular synthesizers, you can now purchase a recreation of a beastly modular system designed specially for Hans Zimmer's relaunch of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. 

Manufactured by AJH Synth, the RadioPhonic System was commissioned by Zimmer to take "pride of place" in the composer's forthcoming recreation of the BBC's legendary studio, which played host to some of the most pioneering figures in early electronic music. 

The RadioPhonic System was inspired by both the EMS VCS 3 and Synthi 100, two synths that were used extensively at the Workshop; Zimmer told AJH that the VCS 3 was the first synth he ever owned.

The synth hosts 48 AJH modules in a handcrafted walnut and cherry case, including seven MiniMod VCOs, two MiniMod Transistor Ladder Filters, a Gemini 2412 Dual VCF filter, and Discrete Cascaded VCA, a two-stage amplifier that uses early Minimoog circuitry. 

The possibilities for modulation are extensive, with two Tap Tempo LFO modules and two of AJH's Dual LFO with VCA modules, along with the Multi Burst envelope generator and Dual RVG, a recreation of the original EMS Random Voltage Generator. 

You'll also find a number of effects modules, including Ring SM, an "award-winning" ring modulator, a 12-stage phaser and a mixer/VCA module that's capable of adding smooth drive and distortion. 

In an interview with AJH, Zimmer discussed his motivations for rebuilding the Radiophonic Workshop. "Friends of mine and I made the stupid (or maybe it’s not so stupid) decision - it just had to be done," he told AJH. 

"BBC Maida Vale Studios came up for sale and of course that was the home of the original Radiophonic Workshop, and I don't think any of us electronic musicians would be anywhere without it. It sort of went by the wayside - so one of my ambitions is to recreate the Radiophonic Workshop in its original place at BBC Maida Vale Studios."

Find out more over at AJH's website.

ajh synth

(Image credit: AJH Synth)
Matt Mullen
Tech Editor

I'm the Tech Editor for MusicRadar, working across everything from artist interviews to product news to tech tutorials. I love electronic music and I'm endlessly fascinated by the tools we use to make it. When I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard, carefully crafting the beginnings of another project that I'll ultimately abandon to the creative graveyard that is my overstuffed hard drive.

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