When it first appeared in the early ’80s, the Roland SH-101 became an instant classic in sound and design. Portable, incredibly functional. Heck, you could even turn it into a keytar. This kind of design principle has clearly informed Superlative’s SB01.
But to say there’s a twist would be an understatement. It takes on a similar scale and shape to the Roland but adds future-focussed features like milled aluminium construction, an ultra-slim form factor and the ability to recharge via USB-C.
The Superlative SB01 has one foot the past and one in the future. It’s all analog, yet thin enough to slot into a backpack. Plus, it’s rechargeable.
Yes, the headline features are the sleek aesthetic – sans plastic – and the ability to charge it up next to your phone for true portability. But how does it perform as a synth?
Superlative worked with Open Music Labs to bring the analog synth engine to life. They used a 3340 VCO – which was favoured by many of the major synth makers of the ’80s, including Roland, Moog, Oberheim and more – that feeds a four-pole OTA filter.
You have the ability to save up to 256 step sequences, that can be chained or even interweaved in MODULO mode.
But if you still have your doubts, check out the demo below:
Head over to the SB01 Kickstarter page for more info.