Superbooth, Novation, Behringer, Propellerhead — Synth News Digest 1

This is the first installment of what I hope to be a regular series on TabMuse. Essentially, it collects recent interesting news stories and product announcements from the synthesizer and music technology worlds. Expect the occasional interjection of my own analysis and insights – for better or worse.

Superbooth 17 features New Synth Announcements from Novation, Behringer

The German synthesizer convention, Superbooth, continues to raise its profile. This year’s edition rivaled the more-established Musikmesse in overall buzz factor, at least within the music press I typically peruse. For my eyes, more interesting synth announcements seemed to come out of Superbooth 17 compared to its older cousin.

novation-peak

Novation’s new Peak polysynth looks to be a winner. Image copyright Novation.

In some respects, Novation stole the show with the announcement of its Peak desktop polysynth. Each of the Peak’s eight voices features three oscillators and a resonant analog filter. The “numerically controlled” oscillators combine the best of the analog and digital domains, with warm sound as well as the sonic flexibility provided by 17 wavetables.

The Circuit Mono Station was Novation’s other big reveal. A mashup of an analog monosynth with the sequencing functionality from the original Circuit, this looks to be a product of interest to the DJ and beatmaking communities. A paraphonic mode and CV I/O are two of its other attractive features.

Behringer introduced a desktop version of its DeepMind 12 analog synth as well as a six-voice keyboard model, imaginatively known as the DeepMind 6. They also caused a measure of buzz with a demo of their Eurorack Minimoog clone. The audio demos I heard were definitely enticing, but I’m not in the Eurorack market… yet.

Uli Behringer’s company receives a lot of flack in the music technology community for subpar quality. As an owner of a MX3282 32-channel 8-bus mixing board for nearly 20 years, I can say I’ve never had an issue with the unit. Your mileage may differ. We’ll see how Behringer’s entry into synthesizer manufacturing changes the perception of the organization over time.

Many other alluring synth announcements happened at Superbooth 17. Check out Synthtopia’s thorough coverage for more details.

Propellerhead Reason finally adds Support for the VST Standard

Propellerhead’s recent announcement that version 9.5 of its venerable Reason music production studio app finally supports the VST plugin standard almost seems like a case of “too little, too late.” Way back at the turn of the century, I considered Reason as a natural upgrade to my beloved Rebirth. Instead, the lack of VST support made me head down the FL Studio path for my beatmaking needs.

Long-time Reason fans used to its workflow and skeuomorphic interface will now enjoy a veritable cornucopia of new synths and effects. Reason 9.5 hits the market on May 29 and current owners are able to upgrade to the new version for free when available. I may need to reconsider Reason, as one can’t have too many audio workstation applications.

Plugin Alliance 354e Multiband Compressor Plugin

The Plugin Alliance is a consortium of different audio companies under a “virtual roof.” One partner, Lindell Audio, recently announced the 354e – a mastering plugin modeling the venerable Neve 2254ETM diode bridge compressor. 354e supports most of the popular plugin formats and looks to be something of interest to anyone looking for great sounding masters without spending thousands on vintage hardware.

For more information, check out the following Plugin Alliance web page.

Wide Blue Sound Orbit and Eclipse

KONTAKT and MASCHINE users searching for a great new virtual synth need to check out Orbit and Eclipse from Wide Blue Sound. The company states “ORBIT and ECLIPSE are the perfect powerhouses for creating stunning synth sounds, driving pulses, and atmospheric worlds, thanks to their critically-acclaimed interface and world-class sound design.” Both synths include seamless integration with KOMPLETE KONTROL S-series keyboards as well as MASCHINE models. In short, anything supporting Native Instruments’ NKS standard.

The otherworldly sounds revealed in the video demos of the synths make me want to get my own KONTROL S-series unit. Of course, all major plugin formats are supported, so those without a NKS-ready controller can still travel the outer reaches.

Audified Studio Bundle

Plugin maker, Audified, recently released Studio Bundle, a convenient package including a variety of the company’s latest products in most popular plugin formats. The bundle includes Mix Checker, the U73b Compressor, the U78 Saturator, and the TNT Voice Executor. All in all a great deal for those interested in checking out some of Audified more popular virtual effects.


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  1. […] News Digest. If you are interested in checking out our last music technology news report, simply click on this link. As always, thanks for […]

  2. […] with its support for VST plugins – became my go-to beatmaker. Because of its lack of VST support until recently I never bothered with Reason, Propellerhead’s successor to Rebirth. The iOS version of Rebirth is […]

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