The Wondrous New Gear of Superbooth 2022

The world's largest synth convention is underway, with all the various tribes of electronic gear heads and makers convening once again in Berlin for Superbooth.

The annual event has become the epicenter of new synth releases, with brands from Roland to Erica Synths to ALM/Busy Circuits using it as a launchpad for new gear announcements. And this year, there's also SooperGrail, a future-looking guitar show within the Superbooth grounds.

Reverb is on hand at Superbooth, soaking in the sine waves and getting hands-on with the latest and greatest new gear. We'll be updating this page throughout the convention with all the most exciting news and videos from the show.

Keep checking back as we update this page throughout the day and week.

Oberheim OB-X8

Our hands-on look at the OB-X8, from Superbooth 2022.

Synth pioneer Tom Oberheim is back at the helm of his namesake brand and to celebrate, he's doing a full reissue of one of his most legendary creations. Working with Sequential and Focusrite, Oberheim is releasing the OB-X8, a new version of the '80s staple OB-X with a ton of new options and modern features.

The OB-X8 includes three separate synth architectures—the OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8—in a similar way to how the newest Prophet-5s include the Rev1, Rev2, and Rev3 options. Retailing for $4,999, its features include:

  • 8-voice, pure-analog polyphony with saw, square/pulse, triangle, and noise
  • Two discrete SEM/OB-X-lineage VCOs per voice deliver classic punchy Oberheim tone
  • Discrete SEM-lineage VCFs deliver authentic OB-X-style tone and presence
  • Genuine Curtis filters add bold OB-Xa/OB-8 character
  • Bi-timbral capability allows two presets simultaneously for splits and doubles
  • 400-plus factory programs, including the full set of factory sounds for the OB-X, OB-SX, OB-Xa, and OB-8
  • High-resolution OLED display enables patch management and easy access to advanced features
  • Classic Oberheim Pitch and Mod levers allow expressive note bending, vibrato, and access to arpeggiator functions

ALM/Busy Circuits ASQ-1

First look at the 101-style multi-track sequencer.

While still in its prototype phase, the ASQ-1 looks like it's going to be something special. It's a CV/gate and trigger sequencer built with performance in mind. It's loosely based on the Roland SH-101 sequencer, and has thick computer keyboard-style buttons serving as its keys.

The idea is to create a vintage-style sequencer that brings out creative, hands-on track-building without too many modern bells and whistles. Nonetheless, it's also built to integrate seamlessly with ALM/Busy Circuit's other modules, like Pamela's New Workout and Squid Salmple.

Erica Synths Syntrx II and LXR Module

We get an introduction to the Syntrx II, Erica Synths' reimagining of the classic EMS Synthi.

When Erica Synths discontinued its EMS Synthi-inspired Syntrx, some of us thought that would be the end of the line. Instead, the Latvia-based brand has announced the Syntrx II, a reimagining that keeps what everyone loved about the Synthi while making it more of Erica Synths' own instrument.

The Syntrx II will retail for $2,179 (several hundred cheaper than the first Syntrx). Its features include:

  • Two main oscillators with CV controlled waveforms
  • Modulation oscillator with variable waveforms
  • Highpass and Lowpass filters in series
  • Free-running or gate-synced sample and hold circuit
  • Multi-color noise generator
  • Ring modulator of unique design
  • Signal meter with a dedicated audio/CV output
  • FX section with great sounding Delay and Reverb
  • Recordable Joystick
We get an introduction to the Syntrx II, Erica Synths' reimagining of the classic EMS Synthi.

In addition to the Syntrx II, we also got a chance to hear the LXR Module, a Eurorack version of Erica Synths' LXR-02 desktop drum machine. The LXR Module has all of the great features of the original LXR-02, but with assignable CV Control over parameters for better integration with modular rigs.

Modbap Modular Transit

Modbap founder and designer Corry Banks introduces his latest module.

Modbap Modular's newest module is the Transit, a two-channel stereo mixer. Operating in stereo or as a dual-mono mier, each channel of the Transit has its own input gain control, mute button, and ducking input, allowing you to set a perfect side-chaining effect on your signal, modulating the ducking effect via CV or trigger inputs. The module will be available in June.

Gamechanger Audio Motor Synth MKII

The Motor Synth MKII on the Superbooth 2022 floor.

Gamechanger Audio has been hard at work on the Motor Synth for a few years, toiling away in the garage to create a new model of their electro-mechanical oscillator engine. The motor oscillators create sine, saw, square, and M waveforms by spinning coils past a pickup, a truly unique design that only the minds at Gamechanger could come up with.

Since its debut in 2019, the Motor Synth has gone through many forms, from a pedal-sized chassis to what is now a hefty desktop enclosure, with a performance keyboard, arpeggiator, sequencer, modulation section, and other features built in. The MKII will be available sometime this year.

Bastl Instruments Pizza and Softpop SP2

We get to hear the Softpop SP2 and Pizza at Superbooth.

Bastl Instruments' latest is the Pizza FM & Wave-Shape Oscillator, a very rich and powerful combo, especially for its compact size. Its dual-operator FM and waveshaping functions lets you split and mold sounds in various ways. As just one example, Bastl Instruments recommends putting waveshaping through the main output for additive synthesis, while sending the Pulse or Osc Out signals to filters for classic subtractive sounds. The Pizza is available now for $270.

At Superbooth, Bastl Instruments also had the previously announced Softpop SP2, a desktop analog synth with a digital sequencer and quantizer on board. In addition to a full range of its own subtractive synth sounds, it has an external input that allows you to play any other kind of instrument through its filter and VCA. The Softpop SP2 is also available now, for around $600.

Squarp Instruments Hapax

Our hands-on look at the Hapax, from Superbooth 2022.

The Squarp Instruments Hapax was first announced back in March, and interest in the sequencer was so intense that the first run sold out almost immediately. Once you've gotten your head around the Hapax's features, it's easy to see why. It's the only sequencer of its kind that supports MPE, meaning that it offers levels of expressivity you simply can't find in other devices. And with two processors on board, you can work on multiple projects independently. If you're intrigued, the next batch will be available this summer.

Polyend Play

Polyend's announcement video for the Play.

Poland's Polyend had an enormous hit on their hands with the Tracker, which revived the tracker style of sequencing for a new generation. The Polyend Play is roughly the same size as the Tracker, but is more of a standard groovebox and sampler workstation, somewhere between the Synthstrom Deluge and the Akai MPC One. Its features include: an 8×20 trigger pad matrix, live/step automation recording, and independent effects tracks.

Teenage Engineering OP-1 Field

Teenage Enginering's introduction to the new OP-1 Field.

Calling it a full successor to the decade-old OP-1, Teenage Engineering has unveiled the OP-1 Field. What sets it apart from the best-selling original? Well, according to the company it has "100 new features" including new synth engines, 160 minutes of sample storage, high-res display, a 24-hour battery, and more, all in a smaller frame.

The biggest knock anyone's ever had on the original is the price, which, this time around, will be even higher, retailing for just a dollar shy of $2,000.

Deimel Guitarworks Spark and Firestar Synchronizers

What's all going on here? Deimel Guitarworks has created an outrageous guitar that makes other futuristic models look tame by comparison. The electric-acoustic has plenty traditional sounds, from unadorned acoustic resonance to a Jazzmaster-style single coil pickup. But it also includes an array of piezo contact mics, internal springs, and many ways to combine all of the various sound sources. With CV inputs and outputs, you can also use it to interface with modular synths and other CV gear.

At the SooperGrail guitar show within Superbooth, Deimel also displayed its Firestar Synchronizer. Like the Spark, it has a number of pickup options, including a behind-the-bridge pickup, piezos on the headstock and body, and plenty of switches to combine at will. The Firestar Synchronizer is also fully CV capable, able to send and receive CV signals thanks to its LesLee pickups and Synchronizer unit.

Roland AIRA Compacts: T-8, J-6 & E-4

Roland's intro video for AIRA Compacts.

What's a downside to a vintage 808 or a Juno synth? You can't throw them in your backpack and make music on-the-go. Roland's new AIRA Compact line seeks to remedy this with a group of small devices that sound as powerful and large as their inspirations.

The T-8 Beat Machine is a drum machine and sequencer with 808, 909, and 606 drum sounds, and a 303 bass synth. The J-6 is a Juno-style synth with a chord generator for sequencer. And the E-4 is a vocal transformer (with Auto-Pitch, Harmony, Vocoder, Scatter, looper, and more) with a 1/4" mic input and built-in reverb.

Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-2 Oscilloscope Kit

The NTS-2 assembly video from Korg.

Following the Nu:Tekt NTS-1 synth kit, the NTS-2 is next in Korg's line of DIY builds. The NTS-2 is a four-channel oscilloscope that analyzes the sounds coming from other instruments, and can be incorporated into a desktop setup or a modular rig. While viewing your waveforms can be fun (and you can even learn how to create visual art using the X and Y axis), it's also a great way to learn more about synthesis and sound design.

In addition to the oscilloscope function, the NTS-2 can be a sound generator, with its two onboard oscillators and an LFO, as well as a tuner. The kit also ships with a copy of Patch & Tweak With Korg, a guide to semi-modular synthesis through Korg and ARP gear. The NTS-2 is available now for $229.99.

Eventide Misha

Eventide's announcement video for the Misha.

Eventide continues its Eurorack line with Misha, an "interval-based instrument and sequencer" that Eventide says "makes music in a way unlike any instrument before it." Its built around a tone row sequencer, based off of serial composition techniques like the 12-tone system used by Arnold Schoenberg.

Available as early as this summer, its other features include:

  • Make sound three ways via MIDI, control voltage (with three independent gate/cv pairs) or outputting waveforms via the audio jack
  • External control templates for MIDI and QWERTY keyboards
  • 100 factory scales and additional slots for up to 100 user/custom scales (Scala support)
  • Comprehensive control of sequence playback to easily manipulate and expand upon your musical ideas
  • Polyphony via 3 CV outputs or MIDI

Serge Siegfried VC Resonant EQ

Serge by Random Source's new soon-to-be-released module is the Siegfried, a resonant EQ. In the short clip above, you can hear Hainbach use it alongside the SQP4+ sequencer. The Siegfried is an 8x4 module (the classic height of Serge devices) and is a CV-controlled take on the original Resonant Equalizer 10-band filter. Random Source says production will begin soon after Superbooth is over.

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