As a quick glance at the tantalising 12 VOICE POLYPHONIC BINAURAL ANALOG-HYBRID SYNTHESIZER WITH SUPER-WAVE TECHNOLOGY wording boldly blazoned across an angled ‘step’ up to its terraced front panel plainly puts out there, the Super 6 Desktop is also a new take on the traditional analog synthesizer. But by taking its design cues from its keyboard-based Super 6 sibling, similarly it offers an irresistible combination of a powerful and accessible musical instrument with large-format, high-quality potentiometers and switches for unparalleled tactile feel and exemplary lifespan — facilitating flexible and immediate control, gorgeous analog sound, and unrivalled build quality, in other words. Being billed as a beautifully re-engineered full-featured Super 6, that striking Super 6 Desktop design duly delivers versatile integration into any studio or stage setup courtesy of an ergonomic feature set, such as VESA mount compliance, optional 7U rack ears, and robust flip-up feet. Fantastic features such as a DRIFT control, independent control of the analog HPF, PAN spread control, advanced ENVELOPES, and polyphonic aftertouch — all above and beyond the Super 6’s initial, albeit already superlative, specification — are also included. Indeed, a future update will also add a tremendous 24-voice polychain option (with the Super 6) and MPE operability.
Of course, those already superlative Super 6 features — themselves truly representing a new take on the traditional analog synthesizer — are also included in the Super 6 Desktop: superior build quality and intuitive hands-on control for expressive performances with no menus or menu-diving distractions; state-of-the-art FPGA-based oscillators featuring DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) and downloadable waveforms, with DDS 1 (oscillator1) being an FPGA-based super-wave oscillator core sampled at 50MHz with a centroid oscillator and six sister oscillators that can be dynamically de-phased in the stereo field — hence highlighted in that BINAURAL and SUPER-WAVE wording; real analog VCF, reprising the SSM2044 of legacy chipmaker Solid State Micro Technology (believed by many to be the best-sounding analog synthesis IC ever produced),VCA, and modulators; loop-able ENVELOPES, LFOs, and modulators with audio rate modulation; MIDI-syncable, multi-mode ARPEGGIATOR / SEQUENCER— straightforward in use; dual-mode stereoB CHORUS and syncable and modulate-able stereo DELAY— both with 24-bit/192kHz processing... all are but the ‘edited highlights’ of both instruments’ impressive specification.
Clear-cut form factor differences notwithstanding, the rear panel-positioned running order of the Super 6 Desktop’s I/O connectivity is identical to that of its Super 6sibling, starting with USB I/O for MIDI, plus patch, sequence, and waveform management (via simple USB ‘memory stick’ type interface with no extra drivers or applications required), as well as easy OS upgrade;MIDI IN,OUT, and THRU on DIN connectors; self-explanatory CONTROL and SUSTAIN PEDALS inputs; AUDIO IN for stereo 1⁄4” jack — allowing users to process an external audio signal through the synthesizer’s signal path and threshold-based envelope and LFO triggering; main RandL outputs for unbalanced 1⁄4” jacks; and a high-quality stereo headphone power amplifier output.
It is little wonder, then, that the British musical instrument company has once again excelled itself by bringing about a different take on its new take on the traditional analog synthesizer — with a little help from Axel Hartmann, the go-to industrial designer in the music industry for over 30 years. Yet, just like the Super 6before it, the Super 6 Desktop is a labour of love — an instrument designed to look and feel as good as it sounds. Says Super 6 designer — and UDO founder —George Hearn: “I'm honoured and humbled to bring the Super 6 Desktop to musicians around the world. I love its solid and efficient construction, compact yet curiously spacious design, and great flexibility it offers as a practical hardware instrument. The Super 6 has brought me a lot of joy to create and play, and I’m hoping that the Super 6 Desktop will help us share our love and enthusiasm for these products with an even wider audience of brilliant and creative people we are lucky to have in the global community that is music.”
Musically and physically, the Super 6 Desktop— designed to take a beautifully re-engineered full-featured Super 6 to an even wider audience by bringing its flexible and immediate control, gorgeous analog sound, and unrivalled build quality into a more compact package, perfectly housed in an all-metal chassis that also encompasses ergonomic features — has surely succeeded in its mission: making the exploration of new territory for sound design with binaural synthesis’ integration into any studio or stage setup where space is limited or portability paramount the best possible fit for anyone’s needs. Needless to say, whether positioning on a desktop (using those robust flip-up feet or otherwise), using a VESA mount, or rack mounting, making the most convenient choice just got a whole lot easier. And all thanks to that striking Super 6 Desktop design.