On the last day of Superbooth 2019, MFB surprised everyone when they unpacked the prototype of the SYNTH 8 polyphonic analog synthesizer. It’s a polyphonic version of the SYNTH II, but with improved circuits and some new ideas. With three VCOs per voice, we can expect some thick and lush analog sounds!
MFB saved the best for last and waited until the final day of the show to unveil this beauty of a desktop synth module. The reason being that the prototype just wasn’t quite ready before, so it’s truly a work in progress. But it looks like the SYNTH 8 is going to be an exciting new entry in the market for analog polysynths. It certainly has some very promising features.
3 VCOs per voice
The MFB SYNTH 8 has three analog VCOs per voice, which can produce saw, pulse, and triangle waveforms. There’s also ring modulation and noise. All three VCOs can be frequency modulated, and oscillators 2 and 3 can sync to OSC 1. For a thick vintage sound, the VCOs use analog circuitry and components that resemble circuit designs of the 1970s. But there’s also a selectable DCO mode to control the oscillators’ tuning digitally, in case you run into tuning problems or are going after that 80s DCO sound.
The SYNTH 8 has two analog filters with different designs and characteristics. There’s a 24 dB low pass, and a 12 dB multi-mode filter, with the latter featuring an OTA design. The filters can be wired in series or parallel, and there’s a knob for blending their outputs. For modulation, the SYNTH 8 has two LFOs and three envelopes. Envelopes 1 and 2 are loopable ADSRs, while envelope 3 is a simple AD. All of the modulators are digital. This also applies to the SYNTH 8’s effects section.
The synth also has a step sequencer / arpeggiator, which seems to be comparable to the Dominion 1. Unfortunately, the sequencer is monophonic. On a poly synth like the SYNTH 8, it would have been really great to see a polyphonic sequencer along the lines of the newer Sequential synths like the REV2, or the Korg minilogue.
For storing patches and sequences, the MFB SYNTH 8 has 100 memory locations.
Price and availability
MFB says that the SYNTH 8 should be available in the fall of 2019. The company is expecting a price of just under 1000 Euros. Not bad at all!
- Manufacturer’s page (though no info on the SYNTH 8 yet)