A Sky Level Overview of Superbooth 18

Superbooth is a German electronic music gear trade show rapidly growing in importance overseas. We gave it a small measure of coverage last year in the first edition of the TabMuse Synth News Digest. This time out we train our eye on a few intriguing synth announcements from Superbooth 18, as well as one from this year’s Moogfest.

I planned on publishing this article last Monday, but work on getting the soon-come Church of Hed album – Sandstoned – ready for release delayed things. Expect studio notes on the album in a future article. After all that, here’s our quick overview of what intrigued us at Superbooth 18.

Erica Synths Techno Drum System

Whoa. This is essentially a small to medium-sized modular synth dedicated to drum sounds. It really sounds great, with a ton of flexibility to dial-in and patch the drum machine sounds of your dreams. Check out Sonic State’s video overview of this Erica Synths behemoth.

Behringer announces a TR-808 Clone

The synth clone wars continue unabated. Count Uli at Behringer introduced a few new clones at this year’s Superbooth, with the RD-808 garnering a lot of buzz. Considering the praise awarded on the Behringer’s clone of the Minimoog Model D, the RD-808 belongs on the shortlist of anyone looking for an old school drum machine.

Uli and his elves hope to release the RD-808 in August. Here’s Sonic State’s take.

More Behringer Replicants

Two other Behringer synth clone announcements caught my eye. First off is their take on the ARP Odyssey. While this is a cool concept, Korg’s own line of authorized Odyssey synths stabilized the atmosphere for this clone. It does include full-sized keys, however.

The announcement of the Behringer Pro-One intrigued me a bit more. A clone of the classic Sequential Circuits synth; a desktop Pro-One fills a need in my studio. They brought a prototype to Superbooth, and Uli’s team still hopes to get it to market by the end of the year. Check out Sonic State’s quick look at the Pro-One.

Moog introduces a GILP at Moogfest

One of the highlights of this year’s Moogfest, which should still be located in Asheville, was the announcement of the new Moog Grandmother synth. A semi-modular analog synth with a keyboard, the Grandmother features a color scheme reminiscent of the Moog Radio Shack synth from those halcyon days of yore. Nonetheless, great sounds abound.

Moog Grandmother

The Moog Grandmother. Photo copyright Moog Music Inc.

Another intriguing feature of the Grandmother is its little spring reverb circuit, modeled after the vintage Moog 905. In fact, each component in the synth finds its parentage from a vintage Moog design. Two oscillators, ladder filter, LFO, ADSR envelope, arpeggiator, sequencer, and a multitude of patch points round out the Grandmother’s architecture.

Buy one for everybody on your gift list. While the Grandmother intrigues, Ye Olde Sub 37 still wins the war in our space-constrained studio. However, I’d strongly consider the G before the Subsequent 37 if buying either three today.

So that’s it for our quick Superbooth 18 overview, with the Moog Grandmother also making an appearance. Perhaps one of these new (or cloned) synth designs intrigues you as well. There also were a host of new Eurorack module announcements as well if that’s how your synth rumbles!