Native Instruments’ Super 8 (Retro Synthesis Gets A Refresher)

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  • Native Instruments announces Super 8 for Reaktor
  • The Super 8 “adds the retro warmth of vintage polysynths”
  • Over 200 stock sounds to inspire your future projects

Native Instruments’ Super 8: First Look

Super 8 is Native Instrument’s latest offering to their soft synth line, and promises to “add the retro warmth of vintage polysynths”.

Vintage sounds have been in-vogue for a couple of decades now (there’s a certain irony about this line), and the technology continues to inch closer and closer to emulating the classic synth sounds of yesteryear.

The focus is on high-quality presets, with over 200 stock sounds that give you access to “rich analogue strings, ethereal pads, deep basses, biting leads, electronic percussion and unusual effects”.

It’s a sort of ‘old meets new’ affair, which has become a staple in the soft synth scene with a plethora of companies offering up their own analogue simulations ‘brought into the new age’ (u-he Diva, Arturia Analog Lab).

The Super 8 is no different in ethos.

While it borrows inspiration heavily from classic analogue synths, it unashamedly blends in the best characteristics that the digital world has to offer.

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“Rich” is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the soft synth space, and while analog heads might turn their nose up at such claims, we think even the snobbiest of synth-lords might get a kick out of this one.

The interface has been designed with intuitiveness in mind, and is aimed to reward experimentation. These claims of usability and “intuitive design” hold true in that it is indeed streamlined, and accessible for even someone just getting started with synthesis.

The sliders provide access to up to four separate waveforms for the pair of oscillators, which can be adjusted in intensity, pitch and blended to taste. There is also an FM oscillation control which is a quick way to dial in some controlled chaos.

There are 3 different filter types, which can be assigned to key tracking and mapped bye velocity response. The modulation section is succinct, but with some nice features including being able to combine waveshapes with modulators to create complex shapes.

Super 8 is not a standalone, but instead operates as a Reaktor instrument that can be run in both Reaktor 6 and the free Reaktor 6 Player.

It’s available for both PC and Mac, and currently costs $69/£59/€69 on the Native Instruments website.