by Adam Douglas | 4,6 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 5 Minutes
Melbourne Instruments Delia angle

Melbourne Instruments Delia  ·  Source: Melbourne Instruments

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[Update 17 May 2024] Update from Superbooth24! Delia is a four-oscillator VA/wavetable synth with new multi-mode analogue and digital filters, 3-stage overdrive and of course motorized knobs.

Melbourne Instruments Delia Is More Exciting Than We Hoped

Earlier this week I posted about a leak on Instagram showing a new keyboard synth from Melbourne Instruments (below). We now have confirmation that it is indeed called Delia. It’s related to Nina, the company’s tabletop synth with the famous motorized knobs. While Delia shares some similarities with Nina, it most definitely is not just a Nina with a 49-key Fatar keybed.

Melbourne Instruments Delia
Melbourne Instruments Delia · Source: Melbourne Instruments

4 Digital Oscillators, Analogue and Digital Filters

Delia is bi-timbral with four digital oscillators per voice. These include virtual analogue modelled VCOs, wavetable and noise/XOR/external audio. There are six analogue voice circuits with a 12-note mode that retains four oscillators per voice (but maxes out filters at six). 

Melbourne Instruments Delia front and back
Melbourne Instruments Delia · Source: Melbourne Instruments

The filter section is rather unique. It starts with an analogue low-pass Ladder filter with selectable 12dB and 24dB slopes plus a three-stage analogue overdrive. There’s also a VA high-pass Ladder filter. Both high- and low-pass filters are resonant with separate controls, meaning you can dial in bandpass-like vowel sounds. In fact, you can link the two together for bandpass and even notch filter control.

Analogue VCA and Wild Modulation

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The VCAs are 4-Quadrant Analog (carried over from Nina), with three LFOs (sine, triangle, square, ramp up, ramp down, random) and three envelopes (VCA, VCF, aux).

Delia also has a MOD Mode which works in concert with the moving knobs, motorizing the modulation matrix setup. “As you move between the 20 modulation sources, every knob changes position to display its modulation amount,” the product site says. “No need to tweak the panel every time you switch sources or destinations, no matter how many modulations or slots are active.”

Mighty Morphing Delia

Delia also has a Morph function (like Nina), which lets you sweep between two different parameters. Additionally, Morph can be a mod destination, giving you control over the change via aftertouch, mod wheel and expression. Neat!

Other features include two digital effects processors with delay, chorus and reverb which can be run in series or parallel. There’s also sequencer phrase looping and overdubbing.

It doesn’t seem to have polyphonic aftertouch/MPE, unfortunately, but it does look really cool. It sounds nice too – check out the video below.

Available summer 2024 for €2399 excluding tax.

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[Update 11 May 2024] Confirmed! More than just a Nina with keys, Melbourne Instruments Delia will have four oscillators per voice.

Yesterday we told you about Delia, an upcoming synth that showed up on maker Melbourne Instruments’ Instagram Stories. Today we have some more information on Delia, this time from Tonelab.

“Here we have a new Nina-like synth but, this time, with Fatar Keybed… and a new engine too!” Tonelab said on their Instagram.

Melbourne Instruments Delia
Melbourne Instruments Delia · Source: Melbourne Instruments

According to the post, Delia will have not three oscillators like Nina but four. Whether they will all be analogue or partly wavetable is not mentioned. As for polyphony, it’s set to have six voices “with (a) 12-voice option via analog filter circuits,” the post says.

Other features mentioned are optical rotary knobs with recall, true analogue filters and stereo VCA, three LFOs, three envelopes and the 49-key Fatar keybed. Also: “the ‘Morph’ knob, found on the Nina, makes a return!” Yay!

No mention of MPE/polyphonic aftertouch but hopefully all will be revealed at Superbooth.

[10 May 2024] Melbourne Instruments Delia keyboard synth gets teased on the company’s Instagram. Will it have polyphonic aftertouch?

Melbourne Instruments Delia

Ahead of Superbooth24, Melbourne Instruments have teased the Delia. It showed up on the company’s Instagram Stories with a little audio and text saying it would be at Superbooth Berlin.

Melbourne Instruments Delia
Melbourne Instruments Delia · Source: Melbourne Instruments

While there’s no real information at this time, the smart money is on Delia being a keyboard version of Nina (which also appears in the rear of the video). Nina, as you may know, is the desktop synth with the motorized knobs. It wowed us at NAMM in 2022 – and now Delia looks to do the same at Superbooth later this month.

What’s Different From Nina?

Nina is a 12-voice hybrid polysynth with two analogue oscillators and a wavetable one. It’s mostly famous for its proprietary, motorized knobs, which are based on drone technology

Looking at the photo of Delia (named after Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, perhaps?), we can see that there are fewer potentiometers than on Nina. It could be that Melbourne Instruments has reduced the amount of hands-on control to bring down the price. Nina is not cheap and adding a four-octave keyboard and larger chassis would certainly increase costs. It’s possible there could be some menu diving involved.

Will It Have Polyphonic Aftertouch?

Nina supports MPE. Adding a keybed implies that Delia could feature polyphonic aftertouch. Considering that Nina is about as famous for its rich sound as it is for having spinning knobs, MPE would be a cool thing to have.

Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers right now. Hopefully, all will be revealed at Superbooth24 on May 16. We’ll have boots on the ground there so come back for updates. I for one can’t wait to hear how Delia sounds.

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Melbourne Instruments Delia angle

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