A great time was had by all at the Burbank, CA synth show last week, and here are the receipts
UPDATE: Synth and Software contributor Mark Jenkins surprised us with a more detailed report of his own. Please check back this week to see his take on the show.
We admit to having been surprised at how many companies and people were at Synplex this year.
The show is back after a covid absence last year. If there’s a takeaway, it’s that the resurgence of hardware synths is… durable. (It goes without saying that software isn’t going away, but hardware did for a while.)
Synthplex is spearheaded by Michael Boddicker, who’s best known for being a Los Angeles studio musician who played synths on “everything.”
But guess again if you’re picturing a couple of tables in a room in a Marriott hotel across from the Burbank Airport. And here are the pictures to show it.
One of the highlights is at the end of this story – a pop-up synth museum. Don’t miss that!
Athan Billias talks MIDI 2.0
Our contributor Mark Jenkins (came all the way from London), Dave Rossum (famous designer, known for his work at E-mu), and Reek Havoc showing their new SP1200 drum machine recreation
There’s Mark again. Mike Metlay (former editor of Recording magazine) is showing his new book.
Centrance makes fantastic, high quality audio knick-knacks. That’s the new Bouncer recording mixer.
The Earae Touch MIDI 2 controller caught our eye – and our hands when we played it with drum sticks. It can be reconfigured to be drum pads, faders, and much more.
Mark Jenkins is surrounded by black and white. That’s the $40,000 keyboard made famous by Lady Gaga’s keyboard player. There aren’t many of them in existence.
That turquoise and silver keyboard controller has a wonderful feel. It has thin keys, the idea being that women and men with small hands will like the longer reach. He’s planning on a model for those of us with muscle memory for standard-sized keys.
That’s Glenn Darcey with his Ashun Sound Machine synths. They’re impressive.
Inside the synth museum: Marcus Ryle, who started Line 6 (and has since sold the company) is here talking to… we think that’s virtuoso synth programmer Drew Schlesinger. Marcus is now working with Tom Oberheim in his new company (see below).
Synthgeek is right.
The synth museum was arranged in chronological order. We’re in the ’70s here.
You saw the software recreation, here’s the hardware.
It’s a Melotron. No really, it is.
Even the Ultimate Support A-frame stands are now vintage.
And here it is: the new Oberheim OB-X8 from Tom Oberheim’s new eponymous company.