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$170,697
pledged of $101,000pledged of $101,000 goal
193
backers
58hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 21 2019 6:34 PM UTC +00:00.

SB01: Analog Synthesizer of the Future

Iconic sound. Machined aluminum construction. Rechargeable power. All in the thinnest analog synthesizer ever designed.

SB01: Analog Synthesizer of the Future

Iconic sound. Machined aluminum construction. Rechargeable power. All in the thinnest analog synthesizer ever designed.

$170,697
pledged of $101,000pledged of $101,000 goal
193
backers
58hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 21 2019 6:34 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Could we take the sound of an analog legend and craft it for the future? The answer–after years of development–was the creation of the SB01 (Space Bee) analog synthesizer.  

An instrument that puts classic sound in a modern package and adds a number of essential upgrades. 

The SB01 is the world's thinnest and first rechargeable analog synthesizer.

At the heart of the SB01 lies legendary analog soul.

While the SB01 is a new form of synthesizer, it may sound familiar to many–our inspiration was one of the sonic engines that laid the foundation of electronic music. We worked with Open Music Labs to create and carefully hone a 1:1 version of the signature circuits that bring it to life.  

A 3340 voltage controlled oscillator feeds into a 4-pole OTA filter that makes for an iconic and unmistakable sound. Make it snap and sing with responsive analog envelopes, modulation, and portamento, or bring in external CV for deeper VCO and VCF control.

To further highlight the sound and sequencer, our Kickstarter title video was also recorded with the SB01 in a single take.

 With the musician at the center of every decision we made, the design of the SB01 takes playability and portability to new levels. 

For us, true portability meant incorporating fully rechargeable battery power. A generous 16-hour battery life allows for extended usage between charges. In addition, the battery is user-replaceable to ensure an instrument that lasts many years into the future. 

Rechargeable via USB-C

 "The Space Bee is truly an instrument designed for today and the future. "  

- Nick Kwas (WANDERTALK) 

Introducing a powerful live performance sequencer. Times two.

We created a flexible new step sequencer for the SB01, centered around fluid live performance and intuitive for all skill levels. Simply load a sequence by entering notes in order, along with rests or slides, and hit play. Patterns with up to 256 notes can be saved in 64 different locations.

   While playing, queue up stored sequences with CHAIN mode or start them immediately with JUMP. In addition, we've included a unique MODULO mode for interleaving sequences. A sequence direction modifier and transpose latching function enable new possibilities, while the arpeggiator gives you several modes including random play. 

Dual-layer step sequencer

A dual-sequencer means two different independent sequences can run simultaneously on internal and external tracks. This means you can drive external CV or MIDI gear with the SB01 keyboard, arpeggiator, or sequencer while having the same freedom onboard. To aid with performance, a color-coded layer feature always lets you see which track is active.

 The SB01 comes with comprehensive connectivity to other analog and digital instruments, allowing it to act as a versatile controller in both a stage or studio setup.

Pitch and filter control along with vibrato can be added with the unique 360° bender joystick. 

Take it back to the future with an optional keytar grip that offers 3-axis accelerometer control.

A first look at the prototypes 

Earlier this year we brought several SB01 prototypes to the Superbooth tradeshow in Berlin, where we showed the synth for the first time and got our first feedback from musicians. Check out press coverage here:

Our instrument not only reimagines what a modern synthesizer can do, but how it can be made. Machined out of a single block of aluminum, the SB01 was an exercise in distilling a synth to its most essential form. 

Full-size tactile keys rise from a rugged, yet portable casing that is compact enough to fit into a carry-on suitcase, or our accessory tote bag. 

"Simply impressive... both aesthetically and mechanically."

—AXEL HARTMANN 

Ultra-thin, yet durable design.

Ultra-compact form was enabled by a newly-developed keyboard design based on a quiet, fast-action rubber dome switch. Each tactile and electronic element was custom developed for optimal performance, using the highest quality components.

Our fundamental goal was to build something that lasts. Built in the US, using the highest-quality components, the SB01 is a no-compromise performance instrument.  

From the individual component selection to the keyboard action and metal construction, every aspect of the SB01 was designed to be long lasting and repairable. With a background in music performance and vintage synthesizer restoration, our founder and designer Ben Stamas understood the need for reliability that spans the life of the instrument. True to these values, we are planning to release the circuit schematic and firmware of the SB01 and future products to allow for longevity well into the future.

Designed for the musician first, and engineered to last.  

Superlative Instruments is a new design studio that believes the best electronic musical instruments are yet to come.

The SB01 is the first synthesizer from Superlative, and also one that demonstrates our vision going forward- truly portable, next-generation performance instruments that are built to last. We are working on several new products, but excited to bring you the SB01 as our debut. We look forward to hearing from our backers and giving them a chance to provide feedback as we put on the final touches.

We’re proud to offer the SB01 on Kickstarter directly to our supporters as an independent company and we thank you for your support!

We are ready for production.

To indicate where we are in this process, we have:

  • Engineered the design to be manufactured at scale
  • Built and tested 6 generations of prototypes
  • Tested a wide range of use cases and scenarios
  • Written and optimized our firmware and MIDI I/O
  • Road-tested our prototypes across the world

More support lets us add more features to the SB01, so here's what we want to add if can reach these targets:

  • 200K - Microtonal tuning options- for preset and custom user scaling options.
  •  300K - USB Host mode to allow the SB01 to control other instruments without a phone or computer acting as a hub. 

Learn more about Superlative and the SB01 at www.playsuperlative.com 

Risks and challenges

We've been developing the SB01 over the last two years through six major prototypes, with a commitment to quality and reliability. With the design and prototyping stages completed, the summer was spent honing production and we are finally ready to begin pre-orders and manufacturing.

The SB01 is an instrument with a number of custom components, and we have outlined a typical production schedule that allows for any minor challenges that may occur. We are confident our synthesizer can be manufactured to the highest standards and begin shipping to our backers early next Summer.

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Environmental commitments

Visit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.

Long-lasting design

From the individual component selection to the overall metal construction, every aspect of the SB01 was designed to be long lasting and repairable. We plan to offer schematics and firmware to allow for service at any time in the future.

Reusability and recyclability

We plan to avoid all plastic packing materials in our fulfillment and packaging, aiming for paper and biodegradable solutions.

Sustainable materials

The aluminum chassis in the SB01 is made from partially recycled metal, we will use recycled plastics where possible.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    SB01 (Space Bee) Synthesizer

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    Be the first to back the SB01 synthesizer with a nice discount.

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    • 2-year Warranty
    • USB-C to A Charging Cable
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