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Syntonovo Pan: Biggest sounding synth of the Superbooth?
Old 12th May 2019
  #1
Syntonovo Pan: Biggest sounding synth of the Superbooth?

Syntonovo is the new company from Felix Visser and Bert Vermeulen. Two of the people originally involved in the Synton synthesizer company (link).

So, they've created a brandnew synthesizer. Last year, they were showing the "Pan" prototype, but this is a different looking production model

It's obviously a synth that beckons to be played. It has that XYZ keyboard (see this video from 2017. It has those two black rectangle-shaped touchplate controllers (just like on the original Synton Syrinx from 1983) but now has a large screen with tactile controls next to it, to access the parameters.

What's under the hood? I would advise to watch our upcoming video, in which you can also hear it. (we'll link it here when that is up) Let's say they're doing the synthesizer thing a little different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert Vermeulen
"Let's make a monophonic synth. Let's give it eight oscillators. Yeah that should be enough".
How does it sound? It has a clear, big sound. When you think "that's it" then that turns out to be just a part of what it can do. Bert is laughing in that video because of the face I must've pulled when hearing it for the first time. Obiviously they worked very hard for years towards this result (two very different complex synths).

Here's the video. Please note this is a "first look" from a busy trade floor, and there's some distortion in the sound (at 4:40 minutes in) that is due to the gear I used (iPhone with Roland Mix:ONE Pro), not the synth. (the Pan sounds fine).


In my opinion it was worth it. There's no measuring stick for "huge synth sound" but this one is at the very top. That, with the flexible, innovative synthesis architecture, the easy access to all the parameters, that the synth physically is not that large and heavy (as some polyphonic monsters), and with the inviting playabliity of the big, precise knobs, the touchplates and the XYZ Keyboard they invented, makes this a well balanced combination. It's not just some experiment, this is a serious, innovative musical instrument.

Check out their website for information about availability and pricing.
Attached Thumbnails
Syntonovo Pan: Biggest sounding synth of the Superbooth?-syntonovo-groen-kleurtjes.jpg   Syntonovo Pan: Biggest sounding synth of the Superbooth?-syntonovo-groen.jpg   Syntonovo Pan: Biggest sounding synth of the Superbooth?-syntonovo-kleurtjes.jpg   Syntonovo Pan: Biggest sounding synth of the Superbooth?-syntonovo-zijkant.jpg  
Old 12th May 2019
  #2
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markodarko's Avatar
 

How bizarre. I was literally going to post a question to ask “whatever happened to the Pan synth” and then this thread appears!

Stop reading my mind!

Do they still have the unlimited LFOs and EGs etc too?
Old 12th May 2019
  #3
I think it is, but, I'll try to do better, and try get Bert and Felix to answer questions in this thread?
Old 12th May 2019
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Really looking forward to the video. I was initially put off by the new knobs compared to what they showed in 2018, so looking forward to understanding more about how they improve matters. Replies from Bert and Felix would be wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
Old 12th May 2019
  #5
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yeah man, can't wait for the video. It's hard to believe all the stuff I wanted to see has hardly any coverage
Old 13th May 2019
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by pelican View Post
yeah man, can't wait for the video. It's hard to believe all the stuff I wanted to see has hardly any coverage
There's a reason for that:
Superbooth is huge now. (220 booths) The multiple-person reporter crews have to make choices. Often they do before the show even starts. They then focus on the popular, big name manufacturers who have marketing strategies and targets, or only one part of the gear available (for example only report about eurorack modules) And because a lot of manufacurers don't even have a proper functioning media representation (and are super busy getting it all ready and working in the weeks before and don't advertise) often, nothing can be planned there, because they just don't have the time to spend on that.
That is part of what makes Superbooth great, though.. There's an equal opportunity to present the gear for both big and small.

Syntonovo Pan is something special. It's a keyboard player/synthesist's dream I think! And I'm happy we can offer a video soon.
Old 13th May 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
 

I cannot easily recall seeing or playing an analogue synth that was bilaterally symmetrical, and note that the expression pads on the left and right appear to have identical functionality. Further, the eight lower buttons on the right are labeled "Left Hand Favorites", and the corresponding buttons on the left are labeled "Right Hand Favorites". Are these for ease of use irrespective of the players' dominant hand? Does the Pan easily accommodate the ARP-2600 technique of inverting the keyboard pitch, such that the highest note is on the leftmost key and the lowest note on the rightmost key? (I recall reading somewhere that Josef Zawinul was fond of this)
Old 14th May 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatG View Post
I cannot easily recall seeing or playing an analogue synth that was bilaterally symmetrical, and note that the expression pads on the left and right appear to have identical functionality. Further, the eight lower buttons on the right are labeled "Left Hand Favorites", and the corresponding buttons on the left are labeled "Right Hand Favorites". Are these for ease of use irrespective of the players' dominant hand?
Yes.
And please check the video about the XYZ keyboard (linked above), it is something special!
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatG View Post
Does the Pan easily accommodate the ARP-2600 technique of inverting the keyboard pitch, such that the highest note is on the leftmost key and the lowest note on the rightmost key? (I recall reading somewhere that Josef Zawinul was fond of this)
Yes, he was.

Good question. I do not know the answer. I've invited the developers Bert and Felix to comment in this thread.
Please take into account that Superbooth is a very demanding adventure for small manufacturers and it will take some days for them to get everything home and back to normal again?
Old 14th May 2019
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Thank you for your continuing to follow up, Reptil. Last matter first, I will engage patience in respect to the ongoing efforts following the stresses of this event.

Looking at the photos offered as close as I can. There is a righthand potentiometer presently labeled "SPICING". Is this
a) randomized pitch modulation or waveform phase drift between the VCOs?
b) a degree of randomness applied to the currently selected editable parameter such as attack, decay, release, LFO depth or LFO speed?
c) a pun on "spacing", as applied to relative offset between cutoff frequency of the state variable filter versus the values of the four format filter values?
d) something else?

(time will tell when it is ready to so do)

A lefthand potentiometer is labeled with a non-standard font, and is the opposite of the arpeggiator controls on the right. What is its intended function?

First matter last: Thanks, will visit the link re: XYZ keyboard soon!
Old 14th May 2019
  #10
Video is uploaded
Old 14th May 2019
  #11
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Damn
Old 14th May 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for posting the video, a good brief overview. I look forward to news from Bert and Felix via the Syntonovo website. Cheers!
Old 15th May 2019
  #13
Gear Addict
 

If possible ask them for an ETA and price...
Old 15th May 2019
  #14
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markodarko's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Video is uploaded
Where abouts does it reside, master Reptil?

Can’t see a link here...
Old 15th May 2019
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by markodarko View Post
Where abouts does it reside, master Reptil?

Can’t see a link here...
hope you like: it's a "first look".
This is Bert Vermeulen, the designer of the Synton synths and now this one:


I will have to make a longer, more detailed video, later.
With someone who can play so I record. (I'm going to ask tonight)
It should be like the ACL video of last year.
Old 16th May 2019
  #16
Here below are the answers of Bert and Felix to your questions. They asked that you post questions here in this thread. These will then be collected and answered. Pls. check if already answered, and keep it short and direct? Answers in blue.

Quote:
1. still unlimited lfo’s, eg’s etc.?

in principle yes, we may, however, limit these to (still ridiculous) high numbers. it should not be forgotten that the more complex the presets, (large numbers of modulators) the more complex editing will become.

2. put off by the knobs vs previous model

Pan SB 2018 was equipped with Davies clones, boringly original, nor very practical either, colors alway just off.
plus: the use of led-code coloring preset tracks asks for transparency.
so far we have not found one single example of a decent off-the-shelf knob. usually they are tarnished, looking like used cigaret filters or rotting teeth (cheap plastics) and the injection molding process demanding certain cavities, were (by default) revealing ugly insides construction fins to prevent after-molding shrinking effects.
in particular disturbing when lighted, which to our opinion is the sole reason to make a knob translucent. Pan knobs are almost handcrafted, because they are lathed. so even in CNC they have a very personal touch. to anyone who does not like them we can only say: very sorry, TS, Pan’s not made for you...

PatG consistently refers to “potentiometers”. There are zero potentiometers on Pan, they are all encoders, hence no dials, hence our own design of a knob accommodating “2-speed” dialing. the sleeker part of the knob to rifle through menu’s, the part with the larger diameter to facilitate finer setting. the ratio is about 1: 2.5

3. bilateral symmetrical / pads appear to have identical functionality / LH and RH Favorites: meaning? / keyboard inversion possible? (ARP 2600, Joe Zawinul)

in terms of tactility and cosmetically the layout is symmetrical, mirrored if you like. the left hand larger knobs deal with the vco’s in a “direct access” way. i.e. without going into editing mode, during performance pitch parameters can be influenced directly - example: de-tuning to get tone beats.
the right hand larger knobs deal with filtering (direct access to frequency), amplitude and FX.

the pads can be patched to anything controllable, so each one can have its own function. example: theremin-like operation, drone variations, etc..

left and right hand favorites are labeled as such because when right hand licks are played, it’s handy to have your presets (if you want to quickly change them) at the free hand side. and the other way around.

keyboard inversion has not been on our list, but is possible to realise, like alternate tuning. these facilities may be, however, avaiable later as free sw upgrades.


re.: Zawinul. he was a particular genious, making almost any synth sound like an accordeon.

4. Looking at the photos offered as close as I can. There is a righthand potentiometer see above statement about encoders. presently labeled "SPICING". Is this
a) randomized pitch modulation or waveform phase drift between the VCOs?
b) a degree of randomness applied to the currently selected editable parameter such as attack, decay, release, LFO depth or LFO speed?
c) a pun on "spacing", as applied to relative offset between cutoff frequency of the state variable filter versus the values of the four format filter values?
d) something else?

left hand master-encoder: menus (label is obvious) right hand master-encoder: spicing, meaning adding salt and pepper (control indices) of the dish chosen in ‘menus’.

5. A lefthand potentiometer is labeled with a non-standard font, and is the opposite of the arpeggiator controls on the right. What is its intended function?

it reads ‘Eery’ and ‘Out of Z Box’ (upside down) it’s one of those things hard to label, controlled by any of the available modulators with a high degree of unpredictability… escaping from the grind.

let us finish by saying that people looking for easy, full-bodied, fat sounding, in fx drowning abletons (beautiful as they may be) should definitely not go for Pan. Pan is a sound desgner tool, as well as a performer instrument. for the one who insists on having his own sounds and a maximum of controllabilty over them.
Old 16th May 2019
  #17
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markodarko's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Here below are the answers of Bert and Felix to your questions.
Thank you for taking the time to do this, sir.

Old 16th May 2019
  #18
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unlimited LFOs and EGs does not fit at the screen . So it for now limited to 16 LFO and 16EGR.
Old 16th May 2019
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for all the new information. You didn't forget my question above right ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by phutureboy View Post
If possible ask them for an ETA and price...
Old 16th May 2019
  #20
Here for the gear
 

The right hands and left hand pads can be used for the same or different CV of the synths and the same with the favorites , same or different presets. Mayby it is usefull for left and right hand players
Old 16th May 2019
  #21
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Good questions

These knobs will have a proper name and function when the unit is ready
Old 16th May 2019
  #22
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schmuck's Avatar
wow!

thanks a lot for sharing, reptil!
Old 20th May 2019
  #23
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Pictus's Avatar
 

Very interesting synth, looks/sounds very promising!
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