The Nonlinear Labs C15 Synthesizer At Superbooth 16

At Superbooth 16, Nonlinear Labs was previewing their upcoming C15 Synthesizer.

The Nonlinear Labs C15 Synthesizer is designed to be a performance-oriented keyboard, with a Fatar keyboard, lots of performance controls and an immediate interface. 


  • 61-key Fatar keybed with semi-weighted long-arm keys; two-way (note-on and note-off) velocity sensitivity; global aftertouch
  • Two high-resolution touch strips (ribbons). They can be assigned to pitchbend, macro controls, or single parameters and offer both relative and absolute modes.
  • Indicator bar of LED dots in each ribbon
  • Spring-loaded lever (not in current version) for pitchbending and similar applications
  • Small control panel with an OLED display (128 x 32). In connection with the ribbons it can be used for:
    • preset selection
    • octave shift up/down, note shift, tuning
    • assigning ribbons, lever, and pedals
    • preferences: velocity curves, ribbon modes, etc.
    • selecting and editing parameters
    • headphone jack and level knob
    • master volume knob
    • audio outputs
    • four inputs for analog controls, such as pedals
    • USB connector for updates and service (not in current version)
  • The modular design is open for variable user interface concepts. The current configuration:
    • Four Selection Panels, each with 24 buttons with corresponding state-indicating LEDs. The software-defined functions of the buttons are indicated by interchangeable magnetic foils.
    • Edit Panel with 18 buttons, an incremental encoder, and a 256 x 64 OLED display
  • Functions:
    • Parameter editing:
    • selecting parameters
    • displaying labels and values of parameters
    • changing value
  • Presets:
    • browsing, selecting and recalling presets
    • storing the current edit buffer as new preset
    • overwriting, deleting, moving and sorting of presets
  • Morphing:
    • between two presets
    • between the current state and a preset
    • Unlimited Undo for all sound editing interactions

The Nonlinear Labs C15 Synthesizer is expected to be available this fall, with a price range will be between 4000 and 5000 EUR.

via Synth Anatomy

18 thoughts on “The Nonlinear Labs C15 Synthesizer At Superbooth 16

  1. ….between 4000 and 5000 euros for a wooden FM synth with a small screen without MIDI, OSC or CV ???
    Where is the innovation or the extra features that are needed to justify that huge price? Does it even have an analog filter? Sorry, I like FM synths, but this is a joke.

  2. Some very talented and brilliant engineers are the behind this instrument and yet the omissions are almost laughable. CV is not as critical, most would not use this as a controller regardless!

    Yet to omit midi serves absolutely no purpose other than to preclude it automatically from many that might have otherwise considered it.

    The price point considerable for any synth or instrument yet one with as great of limitations designed in, makes it just odd and that is being kind.

  3. Sounds like any old 80’s Casio synth…. Not sure what kind of performing musician they are aiming at, but I’m afraid they died out a couple of decades ago.

  4. for 4000-5000 euros you can get a super powerful Eurorack set or Moog + DSI keyboard set (mono+poly with different tone flavours). i think nobody gonna choose this laggy, small screen synth over it.

  5. I’m usually optimistic about new and innovative hardware synths; especially if they use different synthesis methods in a unique way. I’m afraid this isn’t one of those times.

    This thing does not sound good to my ears. It reminds me at best of a 4 op FM synth running through some FX. Honestly, it reminds me more of the very basic FM on some of the editable Yamaha home keyboards of the 80’s and the demos of Casio synths like the HT series. I can’t even say positive things about the magnetic pitch bend because it sounded very shaky and unnatural to me. It’s designed for the performing musician, but I don’t know any musician that would perform live with these bad 2 op FM sounds. Perhaps they could layer them in behind other synthesizers, but that is not possible here because of the lack of midi, which is an insane omission on a poly synth. I would take a DX7 or a Casio CZ-1 over this because they sound better and are more useful live and have midi.

    It really does almost feel like a late April Fool’s joke as mentioned above. I love their commitment to hardware, a wood finish, ribbon controllers, and a quality Fatar action. Those are the only positive things I can think of to say about it. It really reminds me of 2 op Yamaha PSR keyboards from the 80’s but without the midi or the dedicated sliders for the FM engine.

    The people making this instrument I think are clueless. It’s extremely limited and thin sounding as a performance instrument. For 5000 Euros, you could get several amazing synthesizers brand new that are so vastly superior to this instrument in every way. I hate to come off this harsh, but this thing is a mess.

  6. Surely this is an April Fools… what is the point of a new synth that lacks so many essential features, and yet costs so much?

  7. I kind of feel sorry for these guys.
    I mean, what were they thinking?
    These guys will surely read all these comments, they will be so disillusioned.

  8. This is basically a hardware version of the Reaktor ensemble Kontour ( This is Stephan Schmitt’s (founder of NI) new company/project. I wish them luck, but I can’t imagine who they’re expecting would pay that much for a totally digital synth that does’t even sound that spectacular. Especially when the sound engine is available as part of the Reaktor library.

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