SUPERBOOTH24 – Synth Expo Berlin (Part 2)

Didn’t I see dust somewhere?

Honestly, it’s not easy for the organizers of Superbooth to fit the mega event for the synthesizer scene into May, which is packed with public holidays. This time, the trade fair took place from May 16 to 18. Relatively late and therefore blessed with an abundance of pollen, which was all too evident on some instruments, especially the black ones!

It remains to be seen whether and to what extent image processing can remedy this. But you can forgive the exhibitors if they didn’t use a duster every minute.


The trade press and the relevant internet channels, and of course here at Greatsynthesizers, have reported extensively on the trade fair innovations in detail. But were there any trends to be observed? Things that have already been started are being refined and expanded. Examples include the upgraded versions of the Hydrasynth, the Arturia PolyBrute 12, voice-doubled and with polyphonic aftertouch, or Nina, the 12-voice hybrid desktop synth from Melbourne Instruments, which joins Delia, the first analogue synthesizer with motorized pots, Jomox also presented the long-awaited Alphabase II, and Sequential followed up its Take 5 with the TEO-5, a much-acclaimed Volks-Oberheim.

And anyone who thought that an end to modular brand start-ups would finally be reached (… the number of forges has long since become unmanageably large), was surely disappointed. The integration of computers on the one hand and hardware on the other is still in full swing. Whereby hardware has to be very clearly defined, because it can be motorized toys, record players and, of course, new and old, revived ergonomic controllers.

With Flux, Soma has taken the good old theremin principle and verticalized it. It’s also worth mentioning that Korg had the first keyboard with MIDI 2.0 here too. Another trend is the looping of acoustic instruments (usually resonators) into the electric-electronic signal path. Korg is also pursuing such an approach with its Acoustic Synthesis Project, which has now reached Phase8 and makes electromechanical sound generation (similar to a Fender Rhodes) electronically controllable (sequencer, MIDI…).

The excursions into the past have a similar effect to the relaxing greenery on some of the paths. In this case, two rarities of electronic instrument making from the GDR were on display in the studio of the Akademie der Künste. One was the Subharchord, a synth based on the trautonium and built in small series between 1959 and 1968, which works with subharmonics and formant filters, and the other was an amber-colored, two-part modular system built for teaching purposes shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Relaxed atmosphere

The weather was kind to those running the fair. It only rained a few drops. So the atmosphere was good. Perhaps even a little more relaxed than usual, as there was a clearly perceptible smell of cannabis in the air outside as a result of liberalization!

Another sad piece of news reached us one day before the start of Superbooth 24: On May 7, 2024, Gert Jalass, the operator of Moon Modular, died unexpectedly of a heart attack while on vacation in Denmark. Gert was an active, always open and very helpful person who will be greatly missed by the modular scene.

As Gert was Moon Modular’s boss and the only employee in one person, the brand’s future in the 5U modular market is rather unlikely. We’ll see what’s gonna happen …

Following these last impressions there’s not much more to say than: “I’m already looking forward to Superbooth25!”

Filed under 2024, General, Stories

Lesindes ist einer der großen Synthesizer-Experten und Klangkünstler unserer Zeit. Er lebt in Berlin, im Schnittpunkt der elektronischen Musikszene ... _________________________________________________________ Lesindes is one of the great synthesizer experts and sound artists of our time. He lives in Berlin, in the heart of the (German) electronic music scene, so to speak ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.