What's happening at Superbooth 2023
Superbooth is an annual exhibition and festival that celebrates the world of electronic music and modular synthesizers. Held in Berlin, Germany, this vibrant event brings together artists, manufacturers, and enthusiasts from around the globe to explore the latest innovations, trends, and performances in the rapidly evolving field of synthesis and sound design. Offering an immersive experience, Superbooth provides an unparalleled platform for networking, learning, and creative inspiration.
Superbooth 2023 Highlights
NEW FROM ELEKTRON
The Analog Heat +FX is a comprehensive tool for sound modulation and manipulation, providing a broad spectrum of effects for endless processing possibilities. This all-around sound coloring box allows users to explore and experiment with their unique timbres and signal flow. From subtle enhancements to complete destruction, the Analog Heat +FX accommodates any sound source and destination. Its features include eight fully analog stereo distortion circuits, each with its distinct sound processing characteristic, and digital effects, like Warble, Chorus, Delay, Reverb, Bit & Sample rate reduction, Compressor, and Bass Focus, designed to add texture, movement, and unique tonal qualities to your sound.
The device is equipped with a Flow page where users can rearrange, mute, and unmute effects to create their own sound timbres. With a storage capacity for 512 presets, users can easily save and recall their sonic explorations. To shape the frequency and overtone content, the Analog Heat +FX offers a resonant multi-mode filter and a 2-band adaptable EQ. The modulation options in the Mod page, including envelope follower and 3 multi-waveform LFOs, provide more depth for sound exploration. The device also supports a variety of control inputs, MIDI options, and USB connection for seamless integration with other devices and computer systems. The Analog Heat +FX not only excels in enhancing individual tracks but also shines on the master bus, and can double as a sound card, making it a perfect addition to any studio setup.
NEW FROM POLYEND
The Polyend Tracker Mini is the latest and most advanced addition to the Tracker series, offering a compact and standalone audio workstation. With eight tracks for sequencing stereo audio or MIDI, audio-over-USB capabilities, and a built-in battery and microphone, this device boasts high-quality buttons and an array of cutting-edge sampling and sound design tools. Improved signal pathways ensure increased headroom and crystal-clear audio playback, while genre-specific sample packs facilitate a smooth introduction to music production.
Perfect for hybrid setups, the Tracker Mini quadruples the sampling time of its predecessor and provides USB MIDI functionality. Users can apply individual track effects, record directly to a laptop, or mix and master in a DAW. The onboard battery offers up to 8 hours of playtime, allowing you to transform any environment into a musical landscape. With the provided travel case, the Tracker Mini is ready to accompany you on any adventure, inspiring creativity and breaking free from traditional studio confines.
NEW FROM TEENAGE ENGINEERING
Teenage Engineering adds to their Field line with the CM-15, a portable large-diaphragm condenser microphone, perfect for on-the-go recording needs. This all-in-1 mic boasts a combination of 48v phantom powered mini XLR, USB-audio interface and preamp, 3.5 mm line output, and battery power. Large-diaphragm capsules, typically reserved for professional recording, are a rarity in portable equipment, but the CM-15 breaks that mold. Featuring an ESS Sabre analog-to-digital converter, it preserves high-fidelity sound and captures exceptional detail in any recording situation.
The CM-15 delivers a clean, rich, transparent, and natural sound, with a gain switch on the back to cater to various recording environments. Battery-powered and equipped with an integrated audio interface and preamp, this lean-operation mic is always ready for use. The large-diaphragm condenser capsule ensures less noise and better depth of sound, making it incredibly versatile both inside and outside the studio. With multiple outputs, including mini XLR, 3.5 mm jack, and USB-C, the CM-15 offers simultaneous connectivity options and automatically detects the right power source for your device.
The Teenage Engineering TP-7 is the latest addition to the portable Field system, an ultra-compact digital recorder designed to fit comfortably in the user's hand. The control layout is intuitive, with functions like fast forward, rewind, record, and mode select assigned to different fingers. A standout feature is the motorized tape reel, powered by a finely engineered brushed motor with ball bearings and a sensitive hall sensor. This reel allows users to interact with their recordings in a tactile way, being used for scrubbing, pausing, menu navigation, and providing visual feedback during playback and recording.
The TP-7 is designed with versatility in mind, serving as an excellent tool for conducting interviews, podcasting, voice memos, field recording, and live performances. It can connect up to three external mics, or use the internal mic, and monitors audio levels with a VU meter and headphones. The device also features an internal mic, three input jacks, a 7-hour rechargeable battery, making it perfect for recording samples and ideas on the go. Other specifications include 3x stereo two-way jack input/output/headset connectors, a stereo headphones connector, an internal microphone and speaker, 128GB of internal storage, a 24-bit/96 kHz USB audio interface, Bluetooth Low Energy, and a 64x32 pixel monochrome display.
NEW FROM OBERHEIM AND SEQUENTIAL
The OB-X8, now available as a powerful and portable desktop module, brings the legendary analog synth sound back after more than 40 years. This compact version, ideal for any studio, music, and lifestyle, offers the same sound engine as the keyboard version, featuring an all-analog signal path with discrete VCOs, VCAs, and filters. It provides a knob-per-function sound designing experience for easy and precise sound creation. While the paddles and keybed are absent in the module version, the Arpeggiator and Keyboard Split & Double functionality are preserved, making the OB-X8 desktop ready to use with your favorite controller.
The OB-X8 delivers the classic OB sound, filled with warmth and punch that made tracks by artists like Prince, Van Halen, and Rush so iconic. It comes with the classic OB-series factory sounds and includes new sounds crafted by world-class sound designers. The OB-X8 combines the three different voice architectures of the OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8 into one instrument, replicating their individual filter types and other unique characteristics. It also allows mixing elements of different models for new sound possibilities. The design team painstakingly analyzed and recreated the complex interactions between the various components of each OB-series synth to capture their nuances and character. The 2022 Page 2 parameters include additional SEM filter modes, per-voice panning, LFO keyboard tracking, Mod delay time and envelope inversion, independent pulse width control, and more.
NEW FROM ROLAND
The S-1 Tweak Synth is a powerful micro polysynth, inspired by the iconic Roland SH-101, capable of producing expressive leads and snappy basses, while also offering futuristic wave manipulation, onboard sequencing, and unique performance features. It merges retro spirit with advanced capabilities, featuring the company's evolving Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, delivering authentic tones of the 80s monosynth. The S-1 is a compact, portable device that extends the original's design with four-voice polyphony and a plethora of innovative features, making synthesis exploration accessible for musicians of any skill level.
Designed as a sound design and performance powerhouse, the S-1 is equipped with tactile controls that enable lavish tones creation through oscillator, envelope, filter, and LFO sections. With a 64-step sequencer, 64 patterns, and 26 multi-function pads, it offers a keyboard with a two-plus octave range, step sequencer interface, and a variety of creative options. It pushes classic SH tones into new dimensions with its OSC Draw and OSC Chop functions. The S-1 also offers a selection of classic Roland effects and comprehensive connectivity for sync with other devices or DAWs, making it an ideal standalone sound module or a component of a larger performance rig. Its lithium-ion battery ensures up to 4.5 hours of runtime per charge, promising instant inspiration anytime and anywhere.
NEW FROM MAKE NOISE
The Make Noise/soundhack Spectraphon is a dual Spectral Oscillator devised by Tom Erbe of soundhack. It leverages real-time spectral analysis and resynthesis to generate unique sounds from existing ones, drawing inspiration from past electronic musical instruments like spectral processors, additive synthesis, vocoders, and resonators, specifically the Buchla 296 and Touché. The Spectraphon takes a form closer to the classic analog dual complex oscillator, following the lineage of the Buchla 259 and the Make Noise DPO. Constructed on Make Noise's new digital hardware platform, the Spectraphon offers more I/O at higher resolutions and a lower noise floor, enabling the full potential of Tom Erbe’s DSP code.
The Spectraphon has two nearly identical sides, A and B, that oscillate in either Spectral Amplitude Modulation (SAM) or Spectral Array Oscillation (SAO) modes. In SAM, sound at the Spectraphon’s input modulates the amplitude of a set of harmonics, whereas in SAO mode, the Spectraphon oscillates continuously, using stored spectra arrays. The Slide and Focus controls are mode-dependent, controlling the Spectraphon's response to input sound in SAM, and modulating the Array in SAO mode. Regardless of the mode, the Partials control serves as a combined amplitude and timbre gate for the Odd and Even harmonic output, and the FM Bus creates high-definition internal frequency modulation. The two sides can also interact via the internal FM Bus, Follow and Sync modes, or by patching them together, showcasing the Spectraphon's versatility.
NEW FROM PWM INSTRUMENTS
The PWM Instruments Mantis Duophonic Hybrid Analog Digital Synthesizer is a duophonic hybrid-analog synthesizer designed by Chris Huggett and PWM. It has a modernized design architecture based on the WASP, with an OSCar style filter designed by Chris Huggett. The synthesizer has 37 full-sized semi-weighted keys that support both velocity and aftertouch, and a USB-MIDI control. It features two driftable digital oscillators and two independent voices, each with two oscillators plus sub-oscillator per voice. The Mantis has a pure analog signal path and multi-mode state variable VCA filters. Additionally, it has an arpeggiator with six modes, tap tempo, swing, and sync, and a unique duophonic arp mode.
NEW FROM TIP TOP AUDIO - The ART System
TipTop Audio has introduced a revolutionary concept in the form of the ART control system. The crux of this paradigm shift lies in the innovative ART control signal, which paves the way for enhanced possibilities in sound and music production. This system's innovative approach redefines conventional module design and operation, offering a fresh perspective and previously unattainable capabilities. The ART control system brings to life a new generation of modules, underlining TipTop Audio's commitment to pushing the boundaries of the audio technology industry.
This new generation of modules, enabled by the ART signal, symbolizes a significant leap in the audio and music production landscape. These modules, which were merely a dream prior to the introduction of the ART system, are now a reality. They provide unprecedented possibilities and enrich the user experience by offering a wider array of options for music creation. In essence, TipTop Audio's ART control system breathes life into a future that was once only imaginable, reinforcing their reputation as industry pioneers.
NEW FROM ARTURIA
As if the wonderfully popular MicroFreak could get any better, Arturia releases an all new "Stellar" edition along with a powerful new firmware that includes granular synthesis. The MicroFreak Stellar is an incredibly versatile music creation tool with 512 preset slots, 320 factory presets, and 21 digital oscillator modes. The modes range from wavetable to sample playback and granular processing, and it includes engines from Mutable Instruments and Noise Engineering, as well as a Vocoder mode. It features an Analog State Variable Filter, an ADSR envelope, and a Cycling Envelope with two modes, offering a variety of sound manipulation possibilities. With a modulation matrix incorporating five sources and seven destinations, the MicroFreak Stellar provides a wide range of modulation options. It supports Monophonic, Paraphonic, or Unison modes with up to 4 voices and includes a Chord mode for programming and playing chord shapes.
The user-friendly design of the MicroFreak Stellar includes a 25-key capacitive keybed with polyphonic aftertouch and a capacitive touch strip. For ease of operation, there's a crisp OLED display for editing and viewing parameter values. It's equipped with a powerful arpeggiator with Up, Order, Random, and Pattern modes, and Spice & Dice Gate randomizers. Its 64-step sequencer allows for complex musical arrangement with 2 patterns per preset and 4 automation tracks per preset. The Scale Quantize function simplifies the creative process by setting a specific scale for the keys. For interfacing with other equipment, it offers CV/Gate/Pressure outputs, USB, Clock, and MIDI in and out, and has both 6.35mm master and 3.5mm headphone outputs.
NEW FROM CRITTER AND GUITARI
Introducing Critter and Guitari 5 Moons, a multitrack recorder housed in a wooden enclosure that serves as both a creative recording tool and a gateway to explore new sounds. With layering, looping, and bounce down functions, 5 Moons allows for rich recordings and endless sonic experimentation. Its high-fidelity electronics and sleek user interface make it an attractive and versatile tool. The bounce down feature lets you combine tracks, while the USB-C port enables power and data transfer, allowing you to save, edit, and remix your recordings on a computer. The wood enclosure provides an aesthetically pleasing and inspiring base for your creations.
NEW FROM MODBAP
Meridian, a 14hp digital dual multimode stereo filter array by Modbap, offers users a versatile eurorack filter module for creating unique sound textures and sonic landscapes. With 4 selectable filter types and modes per side, 2 effects (drive & phase shift), and adjustable parameters, Meridian conveys balance, harmony, and unity while clearly separating sonic elements. Compatible with stereo and mono configurations, it features various filters such as Ladder, OTA, Comb, and vocal formant, alongside Phase Shifter and Drive effects. Designed for tweakability and performance, Meridian can be modulated via CV inputs and serves as the perfect companion for Modbap Osiris, making it an indispensable addition to your eurorack setup.
NEW FROM SOMA SYNTHS
Soma's newest synthesizer was recently unveiled, they call it TERRA, a highly conceptual device, brings together the unity of nature and technology in perfect balance. This complex polyphonic, microtonal synthesizer boasts a broad and flexible sound palette, ranging from classical beautiful tones to complex atonal noise, and offers smooth transitions between these extremes. With an innovative keyboard design, TERRA covers the full range of a grand piano and allows users to tune each note with an accuracy of 125 steps per semitone. This unique system of pitch shifting employs four additional sensors, enabling 16 variations of keyboard transposing, such as up to 3 octaves up and down, fifth, fourth, third, and tone.
TERRA's keyboard comprises 12-note sensors with velocity and pressure sensitivity, 4 dynamic sensors for timbre modification and control, 4 pitch-shifting sensors, and 2 hold sensors for holding the state of the timbre and note sensors. A built-in three-axis motion sensor allows for creating various modulations through intuitive hand and body movements. TERRA's 32 complex synthesis algorithms provide flexibility and versatility while eliminating the need for exhaustive programming. The housing is crafted from a solid piece of wood, making each instrument unique. TERRA embodies a vision for a future where technology enhances our connection to nature and serves as an extension of our feelings and spirit.
NEW MODULES FROM INSTRUO
We've got 2 new modules from the clever folks at Instruō the tágh and àradh – two eurorack modules designed to cater to all your modulation and sound-shaping needs. The tágh is a 4 HP "Swiss Army Knife" modulation source boasting an analog sample and hold, white noise generator, digital random voltage generator, morphing LFO, and probabilistic trigger generator. With six meticulously curated algorithms, including Classic Stepped Random, Repeatable Stepped Random, Chaos, LFO, Probability-Synced LFO, and Downsampled LFO, the tágh is an essential modulation workhorse for both small and large systems.
On the other hand, the Instruō àradh is a versatile 6 HP successor to the popular tràigh ladder filter. This innovative module includes a VCA with pre or post-filter routing options, an envelope follower, a comparator gate, a strike input with variable decay time, and a wide range of user-definable voltage-controlled parameter combinations. Perfect for voltage-controlled resonance, pre-gain filter saturation, noise gate functionality, dynamics processing, or envelope following, the àradh is a true sound-shaping powerhouse that will elevate your eurorack experience to new heights.
NEW FROM ENDORPHINES
A common theme amongst modular synthesizer companies is their history as pedal developers first, however Endorphines went the other way, eurorack first and now guitar pedals.
Discover new tone-shaping possibilities with the GHOST, a groundbreaking guitar and synth pedal that pushes the boundaries of conventional effects. Featuring a state-of-the-art flexible audio routing chain, GHOST offers a wide range of sounds from subharmonics and distorted drones to shimmering reverbs. The intuitive UI, hands-on control, and preset storage let you focus on your performance. With unique features like real-time modulation display, line or high-impedance JFET guitar inputs, cabinet simulator, full MIDI control, true relay stereo, buffered and trails bypass modes, bipolar LFO and expression pedal assignments, multiple reverb and filter types, reverb freeze, delay looper, spring reverb, and three footswitches for parameter changes, preset selection, and bypass, GHOST is the ultimate tool for adventurous sound designers and demanding musicians.
Not only did GHOST get the full pedal treatment, the GOLDEN MASTER is also now in Pedal format. Golden Master is a multiband processor pedal inspired by the eurorack module and designed for live concerts and venues. This pedal delivers high-pressure audio without overloading the master limiter. It features a multiband processor with EQ, compressor, and mid-side, 24-bit 96kHz audio I/O, 32-bit internal processing, and a stereo enhancer for each of the three bands. The high impedance inputs and pseudo-balanced outputs also function as a DI-box on stage. The intuitive one-knob compressor per band, global threshold, dedicated expression pedal for master volume control, and two footswitches for preset selection and bypass make GOLDEN MASTER a powerful and user-friendly tool for live performances.
NEW GAMECHANGER AUDIO
The MOTOR Synth MK2 is a cutting-edge synthesizer featuring a unique Motor oscillator engine that uses electro-motors to change rotation speeds and produce musical notes. Capable of generating four distinct waveforms, this versatile instrument offers two separate MOTOR Voices with four Electromotor oscillators, operating in mono, unison, or four-note polyphonic mode, and an additional high-quality digital engine (DCO) for classic waveforms or noise generation. With individual controls for various parameters, configurable stereo output, three assignable LFOs, cross-modulation and detune options, and a built-in monophonic sequencer engine, the MOTOR Synth is compatible with MIDI and CV, making it the perfect instrument for musicians and producers seeking versatility and innovation.
AWESOME NEWS FROM WMD!
WMD, a prominent manufacturer of Eurorack modules, has made an unexpected comeback after announcing closure in 2022 due to a chip shortage and escalating production costs. Now under a new management, the company has plans to recommence production of Eurorack modules, with an upgraded version of the popular Performance Mixer set to be their first release. This new Performance Mixer Mk2, expected to be revealed soon, is designed with significant user feedback in mind and is anticipated to be a hit among modular artists.
As a part of WMD's renaissance strategy, it will bifurcate into two divisions. The newly formed AMMT (pronounced "AMPED") will concentrate on the development of the Metron suite and a digital drum line, with a digital Hi-Hat as its inaugural release. AMMT will be under the stewardship of WMD's founder, William Mathewson, for whom WMD is named ("William Mathewson Devices"), and will be assisted by three members from WMD's original design team. The goal is to perpetuate the innovative spirit embodied in the Metron, a sophisticated trigger sequencer launched in 2019 that gave rise to pioneering percussion modules like the Kraken.
NEW FROM BUCHLA
The Buchla Music Easel, one of the first portable electronic music instruments, is set for its third release in 50 years. Originating in 1973, the Music Easel uniquely combined various musical dimensions such as timbre, melody, rhythm, and time, offering a new realm of sonic exploration that transcended traditional acoustics. Its updated version, the Easel Command, has expanded MIDI and USB capability, and the 218 Touch Activated Voltage Source provides optimal input facility. Far from just a nostalgic piece, the Music Easel is a forward-looking technology that fosters expression and exploration. Pre-orders begin in June, with delivery expected in early October 2023, marking a significant milestone in the convergence of art, technology, and music.
The Anniversary Easel, a nod to the original Buchla Music Easel from 1973, is a unique and revolutionary electronic music instrument now available for orders. Housed in a powder blue aluminum case and featuring gold keys on the 218 touch surface, it brings back the charm of the original, which revolutionized music by enabling control over virtually every musical dimension through signals and voltage. The Easel incorporated rapid patching and program storage, real-time communication through the 218 touch plate, and an unmatched level of portability. Far from being a mere retro novelty, the Music Easel still signifies a future of expressive, engaging technology and holds immense potential for sonic exploration, living at the intersection of art and science.
NEW FROM BEFACO
The Fx Boy from Befaco, a unique 12 HP multi-FX module incorporating CV controllable EQ and Dry wet, has an intriguing feature where each FX is housed within a Gameboy cartridge. Several other Eurorack manufacturers, including Feedback Modules, Making Sound Machines, Tesseract, Touel Skouarn, XOR Electronics, and Befaco themselves, have been assembled to design these cartridges. These will deliver a range of audio effects from vintage-style flangers to aggressive folders, grungy bitcrushers, and intense distortions. Fx Boy is set to be released in the summer of 2023, with options for both pre-assembled and DIY modules. Pricing details are yet to be announced.
The Befaco 7u Case, designed to be a powerful solution for modular synth enthusiasts, offers a 7u 104 HP layout with the flexibility of positioning a 1u row either at the top or the center. It boasts a robust power supply and a variety of connectivity options including six 6.5" jack connectors, two USB A ports, MIDI IN, OUT and Thru, and a USB type B device port. Other features include VESA connector compatibility, a Kensington lock, and an included plastic cover and 150W adapter. Available as both a fully assembled case and a DIY kit with availability slated for the end of June. The company also plans to separately release the case power supply in June, again offering both assembled and DIY kit options.
NEW FROM THE MAKERS OF VECTOR SYNTH
Tempera, a new granular instrument from the creators of the Vector Synth, is an innovative tool that embraces granular synthesis, a method that dissects sound into tiny particles or 'grains'. Each of these grains can be individually manipulated and then recombined, creating complex and unique soundscapes. This instrument boasts eight polyphonic sample slots, represented by vertical columns, and four granular emitters, which help in generating and shaping the grains. Additionally, it provides envelopes and low-frequency oscillators (LFOs) for modulating the sound, along with a filter for tonal shaping, and a reverb for spatial effects. All these features work together to create an array of rich and textured sounds, making Tempera an exciting tool for advanced sound design.