Mode Machines Synthlab SL-1

Mode Machines Synthlab SL-1 is a dual oscillator monophonic analog synthesizer with a classic one-knob-per-function programming panel that I think could be a lot of fun to sit down with. And hopefully I might get a chance to do that soon, as I’ve just located a shop nearby that has a couple of these in stock. Don’t be surprised to suddenly find a review of this synth here, in other words. This post, however, is just a first glance kind of thing for me.

The Synthlab SL-1 usesĀ  true 100% analog subtractive synthesis with voltage controlled oscillators, a Moogish transistor ladder filter, separate envelopes for the amplitude and filter (AD envelope for the filter only) and features both MIDI capabilities as well as a MIDI to CV converter. I also has a ring modulator, a noise generator, a suboscillator and 2LFOs. In addition to the monaural audio output it also comes with an audio input that lets you route a sound through the VCA and VCF.

The Synthlab SL-1 is a true discrete design, and handmade in Germany. I obviously love the one knob-per-function design and this thing seems to have an interesting sound, so I definitelylook forward to giving it a test run. In the meantime, as usual, I’ll be looking for good demos online and sharing them here if possible.

The Sound

There’s not a ton of demos out there for this synth yet, but here’s one that seems to show off some of the capabilities of this synth pretty well:

Learn more about this little bad guy at