Inside Superbooth 2024

US Behind The Scenes with Sonicstate      27/05/24

Inside Superbooth 2024


Superbooth 2024 finished a week ago, with over 100 Sonicstate videos covering another superb show - we thought you might enjoy an inside look behind the scenes in Berlin! Prepare yourself for backstage access from the front line; with the stories, scenes, and synthesists we encountered this year. 

We arrived, as is customary, a day before the show started, to set up our media room and get acquainted with this year's layout. Day zero is about setting up and preparing to cover the show - making sure cameras are rolling, batteries are charged, and the network connection is as fast as it can be. 

The site is based on a vast child-focused complex called Fez, with members of the public occasionally infiltrating the show to go swimming with their families. The show itself is divided into multiple areas, both indoors and outdoors, the latter of which are neatly organised into tents of 4-6 brands collected. These tents not only help to place some of the show into the lush woodland surrounding the site, but also to dissipate the non-stop sound of 200+ bleep-bloooing machines. 

For Sonicsate; Edd, Nick, and I would be the main cameramen shooting videos - joined this time by Simon aka Technomadic who was a last minute replacement for Andy, who sadly could not make it due to illness. The editing team back in the UK was Chris, Andy, and Ben. Early on we met Herr Schnieder, the founder of Superbooth, who welcomed us aboard and informed us of the copulating toads  on site which would be putting a slight damper on the usual late night techno shenanigans - each evening would be curfewed at 8pm to give the frogs some peace. 

During the day Nick went to shoot videos with Pittsburgh Modular, Oberheim and UDO in the relative comfort of pre-show tranquility.


Having collected our wristbands from the ever-accommodating near-native-level English speaking staff and drunk our own body weight in Almdudler - it was time to head to our favourite restaurant to set out a plan of action for day one and get an early night. 

Day One

It was glorious weather for day one of Superbooth, and a quick look round showed that many of the booths were in the same location as last year - making our logistics and planning easier. With the equipment charged, microphones checked and exposure accordingly adjusted, we headed off in separate directions to begin shooting the show. 

What sets Superbooth apart is how friendly the whole thing feels - so much warmth and good feeling permeates the air, whether you're seeing old friends, making new ones or asking a stranger for help. There is a shared spirit, ethos, and energy which is rarely found elsewhere. The fact that there is a tonne of exclusive new music tech on show is a bonus!

Each day is made up of a series of booked sponsored videos with particular companies,  which pay for our trip and enable us to produce such extensive coverage. These sponsored videos take priority and give us a structure to work around, knowing, for example, that we have 1 hour free between 3-4pm to explore and seek out more goodies from our own wanderings and personal interests. 

On this first day I shot videos with Chase Bliss, Enbodme, and Dreadbox, while Nick covered PWM, Expressive-E, Yamaha, and Arturia, with Edd speaking with TipTip Audio and 4ms. The Chase Bliss video was funny because they asked to have 4 people on camera, which ordinarily is a bit of a no-no as we only have one mic for 'talent', but they had such enthusiasm I went with it. Here is the resulting video:

 

On average we're shooting about 10-15 videos per day, per person which means by the end of day one we'd shot about 30-45 between the three of us - not bad going! 

With day one done on site, it was time to head back to the hotel and get showered before the first night of events - Moog, Adam Audio/Focusrite, and Forever89 all hosted parties, and being the oddball that I am, I split with the group to head to the Forever89 party while everyone else headed to Moog & Focusrite. The Forever89 party was a relaxed and chatty affair with a DJ in the patio area of a nearby hotel, celebrating the release of their Visco Drum Machine and covertly showing something in a box... I can't say more than that at this stage! 

Day Two

The Friday started with more sunshine and a healthy breakfast at the hotel in the company of BoBeats. This was the day we planned to start giving out our Superbooth awards, giving us enough time to appraise what we've seen at the show so far, and buy us some time to shoot the award videos while presiding over the other winners. There was much debating! 

Edd shot videos with Knobula, Rides In The Storm, and Torso Electronics (who would eventually win the big award), while Nick had slots with Abletonu-He, and Modal Electronics. I spent the day wearing a very snazzy t-shirt speaking to the ultimate gentleman Stimming with his DOCTRON mastering module, I shot a video with Audeze who had overcome some logistical and personnel problems, the brand new Polyend+ as well as looking at Reason 13 on what could be the shows most reflective screen...

 

The sad news of Gert Jalass, analog synth specialist and founder of Moon Modular passing away marked an otherwise joyous and inspiring day. The Superbooth team set up an evening get-together in the main hall with some words spoken by his close friends and established fans, with moving tributes in both German and English. As someone who wasn't very familiar with his work, it struck me that the collective cohesion both at Superbooth and in our little industry is strong, and that any one of us could at any moment leave this mortal coil. A stark reminder to make the most of our time with the people around us, and tell them how much they mean.

Another evening party was hosted by Moog, which Nick, Starsky Carr and I took a well-earned taxi to. The party was full of familiar faces, including Antony Marinelli, RedMeansRecording, Mylar Melodies, Cuckoo and more - as well as Moog staff. On the table next to the decks Moog were showing a brand new device which Nick was having a go on (with headphones) - I was dumbfounded to look up and see what I thought was Nick Batt knocking out some upbeat house on the decks! I hadn't seen the synth was there!  

Day Three

The Final Day of Superbooth is always punctuated with a sizable increase in attendee numbers, out the shackles of work and ready to feast on new music gear! For Sonicstate, this is a wonderful experience, made moderately more challenging by the density of people surrounding booths, particularly in the smaller tents. In general this is fine, and if a booth is busy it's a good sign to go back another time - but often being the guy with a massive camera rig gets you to the right place to be able to quickly shoot what you need with a suitable demonstrator.

The final round up of videos for the day included Endopphin.es, Shakmat, Intuitive InstrumentsSong Athletics and MyVolts... 


Superbooth, as always, featured many familiar faces, as well as some bigger name artists and influential folk. Daniel Miller from Mute was encountered on our big Walkabout, and you can spot all kinds of artists on the floor including the likes of Richie Hawtin, TuneGirl, Lady Starlight, Stimming, Lisa Bella Donna and many more. Our interview with Anthony Rother came about after a chance meeting there a few years ago. Here's the walkabout:


We'd shot 3 days of videos, totaling over 100 and as day 3 came to a close, the focus was on kicking back and chatting with an endless stream of people who passed our table. Being with Nick Batt at a place like SuperBooth ensures that there are always people coming by to say hi, give thanks, and ask for selfies! Caroline and Gary from MyVolts as well as Jake from RYK joined us for a never ending supply of beers and jovial conversation into the night. 

With the froggy curfew in place this Saturday night would ebb and flow a little differently, with crowds dispersing all over the site in search of a seat and a nearby beverage! We stayed out late, bumping into many friendly faces, and having done an SAS-style mission to retrieve our gear from the media room - we meandered to a bar which hosted an off site party with what could possibly be the longest queue for drinks we've ever seen. 

And that's it! SuperBooth is over for another year! 2024 felt like a very special event; things really came together for the audience, the organisers, and the companies showing their new toys. As always, huge thanks to the Superbooth team for putting on such a great show, and to everyone who attended - and indeed watched online, and wrote nice comments. 

We also thank our sponsors who allow Sonicstate to keep doing our thing - and the off site team of Andy, Ben, and Chris BOO for their excellent work in the edit. 

Special thanks to Soundtoys, Soma, UVI, and Arturia for sponsoring the coverage too! Without all of the above we would not be able to do what we do, so thank you - and here's to 2025!

See the FULL playlist of Sonicstate coverage here.

 

About the author [midierror]: midierror makes nifty Max For Live devices, innovative music hardware, award winning sample packs and hosts a podcast speaking to people in the music world.



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