UDO Audio Super 6 Binaural Synthesizer Now Available

UDO let us know that their Super 6 Binaural Synthesizer is now officially available.

The Super 6 is described as ‘a new take on the traditional analog synthesizer. Here’s what they have to say about it:

“State-of-the-art FPGA digital hardware oscillators are coupled with analog filters and amplifiers, while its unique super-wavetable core can be shaped and manipulated with the binaural analog signal path and flexible modulation.

Perfectly paired with a fastidious focus on build quality and mechanical design duly benefitting from the ‘Midas touch’ of the one and only Axel Hartmann, responsible for shaping the look and feel of many modern musical instrument classics from the likes of Arturia, Moog, and, of course, Waldorf (where he started out as an in-house designer), the SUPER 6 both sounds and feels fantastic!”

One of the unique features of the Super 6 is its Binaural mode. In this mode, the synth groups its 12 voices into six ‘Super Voices’ pairs (hence the keyboard’s name). Both the left and right channels – and your ears, effectively – are assigned a complete synthesizer voice.

The parameters of the Left and Right channels of each voice can also be controlled indepenently, allowing for a much wider range of synthesis possibilities than with synths that essentially take a monophonic voice and add chorus or other effects on the end. According to UDO, this allows users “to create stunning stereo images. Indeed, the effect on the sound ranges from subtle to extreme stereo movement and an enhanced sense of spatial positioning relative to conventional monaural signal chains panned at their output.”

The Super 6 synth voice starts with DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) signal generation is employed by both oscillator cores. These are capable of producing classic analog waveforms like sine, triangle, sawtooth, and square, but DDS1 — the first oscillator — also features a selection of 16 waveforms, which are also user-replaceable.

An analog voice architecture is applied elsewhere, with the Super 6’s main VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter) being an analog 4-pole, 24 dB per octave, resonant low- pass affair using a classic — SSI2144 — polysynth filter design from Sound Semiconductor. It is preceded in the signal chain by an analog voltage-controlled HPF (High-Pass Filter) that can either be OFF, FIX (fixed), or also TRK (track) the low-pass filter cut-off FREQ (frequency) for band-pass operation. The patch also features an analog VCA.

The synth’s Envelopes can be routed to multiple destinations, including the DSS MODULATOR, the VCF, and the VCA. Each envelope features four ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release) stages, while ENV 1 also features a so-called H (Hold) stage, allowing users to delay when the attack stage starts after they have pressed a key, and LOOP mode.

The Super 6 also offers an arpeggiator, sequencer, with features like random, step, slide, accent, rest and customizable length. Users can store up to 64 sequences.

Finally, two 24-bit effects are available, a stereo DELAY that can be modulated and synced to the ARPEGGIATOR/SEQUENCER or to an external clock, and a classic-style dual-mode stereo CHORUS, routed in series with the CHORUS coming first and the DELAY being last in the audio signal path.

“My mission with the Super 6 has been to harmonize what I love about archetypal electronic instrument design with modern, novel synthesis technologies that excel at generating spatially dynamic results,” notes creator George Hearn. “The architecture leverages the vibrancy of a true-stereo analog signal path, driving it with extremely high sample rate, spectrally versatile digital audio, and presents you with straightforward, expressive controls of superior mechanical build quality. I would love to see this instrument with the wear and tear of many years of use. Experiment, play, learn, and, hopefully, love it like we do!”

Key Features:

  • 12-Voice Polyphonic Analog-Hybrid Synthesizer
  • 4 Octave Fatar Keyboard with Velocity and Aftertouch, Expression and Sustain
  • Binaural Analog Signal Path for Stereo Movement and Spatial Effects
  • 7-core Super-Wavetable Main Oscillator with Waveform Download
  • ]DDS Oscillator 2 with FM, Sync, Sub Oscillator and X-Fade Modes
  • Flexible Hybrid FPGA & Analog Voice Architecture
  • Robustly Built with Solid, Playable Controls
  • Multi-purpose Flexible LFOs, Envelopes & Modulation Matrix
  • Arpeggiator & Step Sequencer
  • External Audio Input with Audio Trigger
  • Dual Stereo 24-bit Digital Effects

Pricing and Availability

The Super 6 is available in black or blue with a street price of about $2,800 USD.

26 thoughts on “UDO Audio Super 6 Binaural Synthesizer Now Available

  1. In all the demos I’ve heard it just sounds hard, clinical, sterile and harsh, maybe it’s the digital oscillators or the DAC it has to use because of it’s digital audio elements?

    From experience with the original SSM2044 filters they seem to fit best with lofi sounding oscillators or lofi samples, like in the classic examples they where employed, but when you use them in newer more pristine audio applications they seem to let through to much “harshness” and when you try to filter that out they go VERY dark and get recessed/muffled in the mix too much (similar to the IR3R05 filters in that regard). Maybe “driving” the filter with using very low input gain (like on the Prophet 6) can help it sound more like it did in the the older synths?

    It just reminds me a lot of the Novation Peak and ASM Hydrasynth in sound character, it has that rigid sterile crystalline tone, maybe that’s the “FPGA” sound? For me I find that type of sound just too jarring with the mic’d live instruments I record so this one is not for me it seems, and I wonder if a lot of people will just look at the price tag and think since it already kinda sound “digital” they might as well just use a plugin instead.

    I just want that “classic analog” VCO/DCO sound but in new production reliable gear with better modulation etc, it doesn’t have to be reissue of something. I don’t know if it’s just me and I’m alone in this or synth designers really don’t want or can’t make it happen.

    1. You have plenty of modern VCO/DCO synth, both poly or mono. MatrixBrute, Prophet 6, OB6, new Korgs, Analog Four. Many many. Super 6 has real analog filter, Korg polysix based and you can say a lot of this synth, but not that it is sounding harsh. Check Jupiter X. you can say anything but not that they are sounding harsh. Also Super 6 has completely other sound than Hydrasynth. Hydrasynth is harsh, digital, which is also it pros.
      Maybe check more recent demos of UDO6. They are really good. It is synth which can sound more digital or more analog, which really sets him apart from others. It has really good detune options and cool wavetables.

      1. When it comes to modern VCO/DCO synths I’ve had the Prophet 08 and sold it because it did not sound good or particularly “analog” despite the fact, but most importantly it sat badly in the mix with other recorded instruments and human voices (!), I found my old Matrix 1000s sounded better, more “Analog” and “Prophet” with tweaking. I later got the Prophet 6 module but returned it after about 2 weeks of recording, it just sounded too artificial and harsh somehow and sits in the mix in a jarring way, sounded very CHEESY alike the 08, and again the I just went back to the Matrix 1000 to mimic that P5 Rev3 sound.

        Of the new production synths the closest ones to that “classic analog” sound and feel has been:
        – The Korg Prologue but it has a somewhat artificially smooth/warm sounding filter, extremely limited modulation capabilities and apparently issues with tuning/tracking stability.
        – OB6, unlike the P6 it’s instantly familiar once you start tweaking knobs and everything just does what you expect and getting you where you want to go quickly but it still have (to a lesser extent) that “modern” voicing.
        – Deckard’s Dream, although not necessarily a clone of the CS80, it reminds me a lot of the Arp Odyssey in sound, bright and punchy but in a “vintage” way (also think JP8). But being otherwise based on the CS80 architecture it has all but no modulation except basic LFO implementation and separate modulation rate of the PW on it’s oscillators. Black Corporations other synths, the Kijimi and Xerxes, fall into that “modern” voicing category in a surprisingly extreme way though.
        – Mono synths like the recent Moog Grandmother/Matriarch, Behringer Model D and a lot of Eurorack modules etc seem to have and preserve that great “classic analog” sound though, but I need polys with patch memory so sadly they are of little use to me.

        I’ve just come to the realization that the thirteen “vintage” 80s synths I have just sound better, warts and all. I’ve sort of concluded it’s that modern ploy’s have been purposely voiced to sound “modern” or voiced in a “digital vacuum” with digital effects processing and other electronic non-acoustically recorded instruments in mind, and unlike synths of old made to be used in a band setting, they just sound jarring, artificial and ironically even cheesier than 70s/80s synths in that application.

        1. could we please stop using “analog” as a sound? I’m fine with you saying you like the ob6 but not the P6 and giving any esoteric/practical reasons. In fact we all like that. It’s what we like to do – compare the sounds of things. But to say the P6 doesnt sound analog is crazy. It IS analog. That is what analog sounds like. Like that. Not every analog or digital synth sounds the same. But to say the P6 doesnt sound analog, just ruins credibility.

          1. I’m still trying to figure out people. Everything so amazing, sound stupidly good (and so easy to work with) but people still find many things to complain about.
            On other “field of Practice” if you complain about tools without showing the issue scientifically and logically. it reflects mostly on you and your knowledge/experience.
            People should be scared to mumble subjective assumptions.

            If you complain about product that used in countless records for more then 10 years by the best in the business (and it sits nicely in the mix) maybe the problem is not the tools?

    2. FPGA’s having a sound It’s like saying VST’s have a “sound”. FPGA’s can do about anything.
      DAC’s don’t have “sound” (with human ears anyway) since about the 90’s.
      But don’t take my word, Try it blindly (and if you a critical thinker) you will hear how your beliefs holds.

      If you check history, everything “new” told to be sounded harsh at first. So It can actually be a good sign.
      To me if it’s sounds great or not depend on the operator. its the “He who cannot dance puts the blame on the floor”

      There are so many. the DSI prophet 6 and the OB-6, Black corporation racked synths, VS-1 (abstrakt instrument), Modal 008, Moog one… There are also many from 2000-2020, Very reliable.

      And if you don’t have the cash, Because most wants the same “old purist” like you there is this German company…
      It’s an heaven now for the purists.

          1. Admin: Personal attack deleted.

            Also, you’re using commenting using multiple names (Neil, Saul Herr, Martin Groels) which will lead to your comments being flagged as spam.

      1. DAC/ADC processing absolutely certainly imparts changes to the sound with their own set of filters (“Sharp” etc), the extra amplification stages and the very fact it breaks the sound down into wave samples. Technologies that have different ways of processing sound like tube, transistor, class A-AB-D, DAC/ADC or purely digital like VST plugins all have their own “typical” sound character due to the way they work and/or are usually implemented. The same way, VCO vs DCO and discrete hardware envelops/LFOs vs software ones will create a certain sound. Trying to convince people of anything else is just plain dishonest.

        It’s become somewhat a very contentious thing to point these very basic and fundamental facts out over the recent years, usually ending with accusations of being a “purist”, “snob” and “cork sniffer” etc. Just because you can’t hear it or don’t WANT to or care, doesn’t mean those that actually do should do the same, rather accusations of “astroturfing”, shilling and conformation biasing for “settling” are perhaps a lot more apt the other way around. I saw this become very prevalent with the rise of plugins and “hybrid” synths with the argument being “Heh, it sound JUST the same and NO ONE can tell or say DIFFERENT”.

        Not that ones preference is any inferior than the others, but pretending it’s all the same with no differences is probably something we should stop doing by now as these claims seem to be conditioning into truth’s for a lot of people to the point of religious fervor it seems.

        1. Your generalization about “generalize” is ironic.
          I said there is no different between DAC’s sound you can ear. All other things you mumbled are not relevant. It seems you continue other argument and answering yourself.

          1. Hi Gadi, Jazim’s post, for me, eloquently brings about why the differences in sound and sound quality and what attributes to such differences. So all of his, so called “mumbled” content, is food for thought when evaluating musical synth instruments.

            In the world of analogue instruments such as a violin or flute, where the owner can have a set of violins each cherished for their character. It is the ability to discern quality in character over an overall inferior sounding instrument which I am getting from the various postings here for synths. The postings in opposition to Jazim’s opening comment is also important and valuable in trying to determent good from not so good and separating that from character.

            Can “harsh” be agreed upon – I think so. Can “warm” sounding also be shared among several individuals – yes, generally when compared to harsher or warmer sounds. The problem is relativity. Can a third party select an music instrument for another who is a seasoned artist? Acquiring a music instrument online – is taking a risk. For most, Youtube is the clearing house. These post also servers as a clearing house for selecting a synth.

    1. lmao are you new here? practically every synthtopia thread is just grumpy commenters criticizing every single new synth for not meeting their tiniest ultra-specific pet desires.

  2. Not all demos sound great but I heard some amazing stuff as well.
    A great sounding synth, it just depends on who’s using it.
    Search for: Metro – Featuring UDO Super 6 + Walrus Audio Ages on YouTube.
    Best sound with the Super 6 I heard so far!

  3. Looks and sounds like a pretty great synth.
    I’m not in a place where I can drop 3k on a synth but I feel pretty good w/ my current set up which includes a grandmother and hydra.

    I’ve never played or heard an fpga synth in real life.
    What’s the deal w/ fpga ?
    What is it ?

    1. Field Programmable Gate Array – think of it like a computer chip which can be programmed to change the circuit inside of it. So instead of using a cpu (like an ARM processor) which is one circuit which is used universally and can only do one thing at a time but does it very quickly, you can make a whole bunch of custom logic specifically for individual tasks which are handled simultaneously. In this case instead of time sharing 1 really fast cpu to do the oscillators and effects one at a time you can set up a custom parallel circuit which has the digital oscillators and the effects all being done simultaneously in near real time. It’s just another way of doing digital that’s more useful in situations where you need to do a whole bunch of things simultaneously and as far as the user is concerned is just another digital computer chip. But it’s also cool tech which is great for multi-track audio.

      Another way to think of it is instead of one beefy processor you can have 1000 very small dedicated processors which get one job each and only do that one thing.

      1. DSP can also do multiple processing at a time like in most digital synthesizers.
        It’s more about the customization of the hardware code for a specific task.

    2. Field-Programmable Gate Array, In short, It’s a digital circuit with specific architecture of programmable logic blocks and memory paths to implement custom functions. In our case, Audio oscillators.
      The main benefit is high resolution (to avoid aliasing with very high pitch notes and harmonics) complex processing of wavetables and other uniquely design features.

      1. I think of it more like this: In the past, Emu or Yamaha or whoever produced custom ASIC chips which require very high volume to be cost effective. Like the famous Emu H chips or the Yamaha OPLs. With FPGAs it’s possible to do a similar thing on a smaller scale (obviously fast-forwarded 30 years too, technologywise).

  4. The selling point for this synth is that front panel. It’s lovely. Had a quick go of one at the last superbooth and I was very impressed even at that early stage. The sound is good. In the right hands of somebody with some decent synth chops it’ll sound great. Shame the demos haven’t shown this. I’m not buying into the “binaural” thing. What they’re labelling binaural is simply stereo modulation or fx. If I had the money I’d like one of these even if it was just for that front panel

    1. I haven’t really listened to the binaural stuff closely enough to call it either way. But I looked in the manual, and it is interesting:

      If I have it right, In binaural mode the first oscillator leverages its FPGA power to become 7 detuned oscillators (with control over detune amount). These oscillators are put on a 2-channel buss and panned across the stereo field. Then the left and right channels are filtered separately with 2 analog filters per voice.

      I need to listen to the demos more closely to say with any certainty how good that sounds, but it is at least interesting.

    2. It’s not that simple. It’s double the synth, 12 VCF;s and 12 VCA’s for 6 voices.
      “binaural” does sound like a gimmick but from my experience full stereo signal path can be very handy.

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