Sound Technology at Superbooth 2018
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Sound Technology at Superbooth 2018

Berlin, Germany - This year, Sound Technology attended Superbooth 18 - a trade show for electronic musical instruments, with a leaning towards the modular synthesis and DIY community. It was held at FEZ-Berlin - Europe's largest youth centre, which is based in the leafy suburbs of the city. Superbooth is a relatively new trade show and has been gaining popularity since it began in 2016. It hosts a plethra of music hardware & software manufacturers from around the world. As well as showcasing new instruments, Superbooth also hosts performances, events and seminars related to electronic music

We checked in with Teenage Engineering, Nord, ROLI, Apogee and Kurzweil to find out more about what they were exhibiting this year.

Teenage Engineering - W310

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(1) In the spirit of Superbooth's modular side, Teenage Engineering were exhibiting a Eurorack integration kit for Pocket Operators. LPZW Modules designed the adapter boards, which can be bought pre-loaded with components or as blank pcbs. With some careful soldering, the adapter kit allows you to fit any Pocket Operator into a Eurorack system. It buffers Pocket Operators I/O, adds a connector for a power supply and converts clock signal to allow for synchronisation.


(2) Teenage Engineering have built even more anticipation for the OP-Z with further developments of the instrument. The release date is still to be confirmed, however it's looking to be available late July / early August this year. The pocket-sized polyphonic sequencer was on demo with Grant Smith (4) and Tobias von Hofsten who showed off its 'Photomatic' image sequencer and 'Dashboard' display using its unity 3D integration. 


(3)  Sound for the whole stand was provided by the OD-11 speaker system. The model pictured is the limited edition yellow version. The OD-11 is based on the original built by Stig Carlsson. The speaker's clever design emanates sound evenly throughout a space and worked really well to show off the OP-Z's sound quality.

ROLI - H306

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(1) ROLI’s station displayed the new Songmaker Kit, a complete bundle that includes a Seaboard Block, Lightpad M, Loop Block and snapcase to hold it all together. It was wirelessly connected to the ROLI's own music-making app ‘Noise’. The app has recently been upgraded to version 3.3, with the addition multi-dimensional FX. Delays, reverbs and beat repeat FX can be assigned to the each of the 4 channels in combination. The FX themselves are controlled with a Lightpad in XYZ mode. 


(2) The highly successful ROLI Seaboard RISE 25 was also on show at ROLI's booth. The controllers multi-dimensional touch was showcased with Equator, ROLI's MPE software instrument. The RISE has a superior silicon multi-touch surface and extra onboard controls, making it a truly expressive controller.


(3) ROLI were also displaying their controllers capability with hardware instruments. They had connected a Seaboard Block to an Endorphin.es modular system. The Endorphin.es 'Shuttle Control' module is able to process MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) signals and convert them into CV. This means each dimension of the Seaboard's surface could be utilised to control multiple parameters of the Endorphin.es system. 

Nord - H302

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(1) Nord provided a large selection of their keyboard range for demonstration on their stand (except for the much larger C2D). Here we see the Nord Lead 4, Lead A1 and Lead A1R synthesisers. The compact version of the Stage 3 and Electro 6D were also on show.


(2) The newest addition to the Nord Keyboard family, the Nord Piano 4, was also on display. The new piano has had some useful upgrades including greatly expanded polyphony (120 voices), seamless transitions, creative piano filters and larger internal storage to hold Nord's new Sample Library 3.0. The Piano 4 isn't yet available, but is expected Summer 2018.


(3) The Nord Electro 6 is the newest available keyboard from Nord. It debuted at winter NAMM at the start of this year. Like the Piano 4, the Electro 6 series has also seen upgrades from the previous 5 series. Extended polyphony, seamless transitions and expanded memory are just some of the new features. 

Apogee - H308

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(1 & 2) Apogee's stand showcased their range of rackmounted interfaces. The Element 88 is in the top slot the rack. It's part of Apogee's more accessible range. It's designed to be simple with streamlined operation, whilst retaining Apogee's high quality converters. Below this is the Ensemble interface. Compared with the Element 88 it has extended features and greater I/O. The Symphony I/O MkII is Apogee's flagship converter, with configurable I/O options depending on the user's system requirements. Apogee recently released the 2x6 SE configuration, which is quoted as their 'highest quality converter' with mastering engineers in mind. Sitting on top of the rack unit, the Apogee Control hardware remote was providing hands on control for the interfaces.

Kurzweil - H301

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(1) The SP6 is a new stage piano from Kurzweil, shown here on their Superbooth stand. It takes the sonic quality and performance from their top of the range keyboard workstations, and places them in a lightweight, simple to use keyboard.


(2) Kurzweil's Forte is their flagship workstation keyboard. The Forte 7 is the compact 76 key version, with all the features of the full size keyboard such as fully weighted keys and a 16gb library of onboard samples. The Forte 7 is shown here with the Sound Editor app, which allows intuitive and comprehensive control of the workstation's sound design tools. 

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This new blog is presented by the team at Sound Technology Ltd, a leading distributor of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the UK and ROI.