by Adam Douglas | 4,0 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 5 Minutes
Best Synths of Superbooth 2024

Best synths of Superbooth 2024  ·  Source: Melbourne Instruments/Superbooth

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Big polys dominated the show floor with the best synths of Superbooth24 coming from Arturia, Melbourne Instruments and Oberheim… but what about Moog?

This year’s Superbooth was quite a show. What was once a small and Eurorack-focussed affair has grown into the synthesizer event of the year, even surpassing NAMM for sheer synth-related announcements.

May 16 to 18 saw Superbooth24 dominated by polyphonic synthesizers, with more flagships on display than Fleet Week. Arturia’s PolyBrute 12, Oberheim’s TEO-5 and Melbourne Instruments’ Delia were just a few of the impressive instruments on hand. 

It being Superbooth, there were plenty of Eurorack modules and boutique devices on display as well.

What follows are my picks for the best synths of Superbooth24. These are the instruments that wowed me the most. Although given the sheer number of incredible machines on tables this year, I can’t feature nearly as many as I’d like to here.

Best Synths of Superbooth24: Polyphonic Power

With all of the big bad polys – many analogue – at Superbooth24, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the late 1970s again. Here are the ones that pricked up my ears.

The biggest surprise for me was Melbourne Instruments’ Delia. A six-voice/12-note poly with virtual analogue and wavetable oscillators, analogue and digital filters plus those fantastic motorized faders, it sounds as fantastic as it looks. However, the only let-down is it doesn’t have polyphonic aftertouch. You can’t have everything though.

Melbourne Instruments Delia
Melbourne Instruments Delia · Source: Melbourne Instruments
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Another surprise was the Oberheim TEO-5. Oberheim’s most affordable synth ever, it squeezes Obie oscillators and a SEM filter into the Take 5 form factor. Even at 87 years old, Tom keeps delivering.

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Oberheim TEO-5
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Oberheim TEO-5
Oberheim TEO-5 · Source: Oberheim

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The biggest jaw-dropper of the show had to be Arturia’s PolyBrute 12. Absolutely gorgeous in Axel Hartmann-designed chunky cream, it really churned up the waters with its bold look and bolder sound. Our own Rob Puricelli in his review said, “I truly believe that the Arturia PolyBrute 12 is the most natural successor to the Yamaha CS-80”. All that and MPE too.

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Another big surprise at the long Berlin weekend was UDO Audio’s Super 8. The 16-voice hybrid analogue joins the Super 6 and Super Gemini as one of the best-sounding synths on the market. And yes, it has polyphonic aftertouch. Fingers at the ready.

UDO Audio Super 8
UDO Audio Super 8 · Source: UDO Audio

My pick for the best-looking synth is Dreadbox’s Murmux Adept Edition (sorry Crum2, you’re a very close second). I mean, the eight-voice, limited edition desktop poly has tweed trim. Tweed, I say! The sound is anything but twee though. And yes, it’s sadly already sold out.

Dreadbox Murmux Adept
Dreadbox Murmux Adept · Source: Thomann

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Finally, Korg Berlin wowed us with the Acoustic Synthesis_phase8, the latest iteration of its electroacoustic device. Hurry up and release it, already!

Korg Acoustic Synthesis_phase8
Korg Acoustic Synthesis_phase8 · Source: Korg

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Best Synths of Superbooth24: Modular Mania

Of course, the booths wouldn’t be super without Eurorack, modular and semimodular offerings. It’s part of what makes the annual Berlin show so great. Sure, there are big-ticket items to get excited about but tomorrow’s synthesis advancements are happening here at the small-run level. Let’s get excited. 

Pittsburgh Modular is unstoppable. First the Taiga Keyboard and now Voltage Lab 2. Another gorgeous semimodular monster, it’s packed with the kinds of unique analogue synthesis functionality that Pittsburgh is famous for.

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Pittsburgh Modular Voltage Lab 2
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Moog finally brought its vocoder Spectravox to market after debuting at Moogfest in 2019. However, Moog was most conspicuous for what it didn’t show: the recently leaked Labyrinth and Muse. The latter was particularly surprising given the recent social media drip feed of photo teases. Maybe NAMM?

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Moog Spectravox
Moog Spectravox · Source: Moog

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Black Corp dropped the ISE-NIN Voice, a single voice from its lovely Jupiter-8-style ISE-NIN. It pairs with a Breakout panel to add complete control over all parameters. They also debuted the Kijimi MKII.

Black Corporation ISE-NIN Voice & Breakout
Black Corporation ISE-NIN Voice & Breakout · Source: Black Corporation

Speaking of complete voices, Befaco’s Oneiroi is a drone-oriented Eurorack module with a supersaw stereo oscillator (plus wavetables), a multimode filter and a three-band resonator, amongst other fun things.

Befaco Oneroi
Befaco Oneroi · Source: Befaco

It’s time to give the drummer some. Vermona has taken the kick channel from its DRM1 MKIV drum synthesizer and made it into a Eurorack module. Called Bass-Drum, the still-prototype module has V/Oct input with precise tracking over several octaves while Decay, Pitch, and Wave parameters each have a CV input with an attenuator.

Vermona Bass-Drum and TRANSfourMER
Vermona Bass-Drum and TRANSfourMER · Source: Vermona

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Speaking of drums, BASTL Instruments’ Pizza Crust is a “hard-hitting drum voice” for Eurorack developed out from the digital Pizza platform. It has a variety of oscillator configurations, a transient shaper, a fast envelope and clipping.

Bastl Instruments Pizza Crust
Bastl Instruments Pizza Crust · Source: Bastl Instruments

Best Synths of Superbooth24: The Best of the Rest

There was lots more on hand to tempt and tantalize at Superbooth24. Here are a few of the boutique machines that I particularly liked.

Like a Moog DFAM for Front 242 fans, Body Synths Metal Fetishist is a noisy, digital percussion synth.

Body Synths Metal Fetishist
Body Synths Metal Fetishist · Source: Body Synths

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The first of two FM synths that modulated my carrier was First LOVE FM Synthesizer. Super cute like a medical device with a touchscreen, it has a synthesis engine with four simultaneous timbres, each a 4-op FM synth with its own MIDI channel.

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The other was Twisted Electrons’ Twist FM. Big and beefy with more sliders than Jerry O’Connell, it’s an eight-voice polyphonic FM synthesizer based on YMF262 Sound Blaster Chips. It’s also got an analogue filter and dual layers. It sounds a monster too.

Twisted Electrons Twist FM
Twisted Electrons Twist FM · Source: GEARNEWS

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Finally, I was intrigued by Tangible Waves’s IMDI-compatible modules for the AE Modular system. IMDI is a new protocol that transmits MIDI over the same cables as CV signals. Something to keep an eye on.

Tangible Waves IMDI
Tangible Waves IMDI · Source: Tangible Waves

What grabbed your attention at Superbooth24? Let me know in the comments section.

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Best Synths of Superbooth 2024

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One response to “Best Synths of Superbooth24”

    Ab. says:
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    You are missing one of the 3 best synth of the show : the supercritical redshift

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