The Best of Knobcon 2022

Knobcon—the Midwest's greatest synth convention—convened once again this year outside of Chicago, Illinois. We were there to take in all the sights and sounds, and to get our hands on the latest and greatest synths from far and wide.

From new Eurorack modules to one of the largest synths I've ever had the pleasure to play, there was no shortage of great gear at the show. Here are more highlights.

If you were at Knobcon, what were your own favorites? Let us know.

Modbap Modular Trinity

Check out Modbap Modular's intro video for the Trinity.

Modbap Modular's Trinity is a three-channel drum synth array with four drum synth voices per channel: Neon for FM-based drum hits, Arcade for chiptune-type drums, Block for a traditional subtractive synth voice, and Heap for additive synthesis—something not often seen on drum machines.

For each voice, you have up to 11 controls for tweaking drum sounds to your liking, including the Character knob, which can add various timbres particular to the respective voice, and a sweep knob for increasing transients.

Trinity is great for creating full beats and for creating your own drum samples (you can just fiddle with a few knobs and find a drum sound that best suits your style). Modbap also includes trigger buttons for each channel, allowing you to trigger your drum sounds on the module without needing a gate or trigger sequencer.

Be sure to save this search to be in the know as soon as it's available on Reverb.

Schlappi Engineering Three Body

Hear the Three Body in Schlappi's own overview here.

Schlappi Engineering has been developing its newest oscillator module for four years—and because of recent shortages of critical components, it almost couldn't be completed. But now, the Three Body is here, and what a thrill it is.

Three Body is more than just a complex oscillator; Eric Schlappi describes it as a phase and frequency modulation toolkit, designed to bring digital techniques to an analog interface.

This 30 HP module is based on an FPGA core with three independent oscillators, each with its own v/oct input that can be used independently but with normalized connections to facilitate phase and frequency modulation exploration. Each oscillator can run independently or be ratioed, making this particularly useful for producing chords.

Save this search to see when the Three Body becomes available on Reverb.

Weston Precision Audio SF1 Dual/Stereo Filter

Weston Precision Audio is a newer brand out of Portland, Oregon, founded in 2020 by Devin Weston. The company gained attention for its unique TS0 Analog Time Segment Oscillator and has since released three additional oscillators that utilize through-zero linear FM and phase modulation.

The new SF1 filter is a dual mono/stereo four-pole filter that can create hundreds of different timbres, thanks to pole mixing. It also features knobs with a click reset at unity gain, which is a nice touch for sweeps.

The SF1 filter is an excellent match for their oscillators and opens up even more creative sound design options. The voltage controllable pan and crossfader provide yet another layer of versatility to what is already a strong module. There is no timeline for availability yet, but save this search to be notified when they become available.

Save this search to see when the SF1 becomes available on Reverb.

Tangible Waves' Affordable Modular

Hear Tangible Waves' Starter System 2 in this intro video.

Tangible Waves is a company that created modular synthesizers in a way you don't often see: making them affordable to just about everyone. A few years ago, Tangible Waves unveiled its AE system via Kickstarter. Since then, it has created 80 modules ranging from oscillators, filters, envelopes, and sequencers at prices under 100 USD.

What makes Tangible Waves different? The catch with Tangible Waves is that their modules use patch wires that are smaller than the standard Eurorack patch cables, and they operate at a range of voltage from 0 to +5. This makes them incompatible with other Eurorack brands without the use of converters. However, their prices are unbeatable, and the modules sound great.

You can shop all Tangible Waves modules right here on Reverb through Noisebug's shop.

Synthstrom's Deluge Gets an OLED Screen

Watch Synthstrom's overview of what the OLED screen means for Deluge users.

Deluge—a popular and powerful standalone sampler workstation with synth engines, CV and midi sequencer, looper, song arranger, and effects—is now being shipped with a new OLED display. This change will allow hardware users to see parameter names and values on the screen to better understand which features they are tweaking. Deluge's samples and preset packs can also be viewed on this display.

The best part is that owners of the original Deluge can upgrade to the new OLED display for only $149, plus shipping. We typically have a few lightly used Deluges available for purchase, so you can get a deal on a used Deluge and then upgrade to the new display.

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