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A synth by... Behringer?


MorayM

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My comment is "what took 'em so long?"

 

I remember a thread on the HC site about this topic a few years ago (I may have started it). At the time, analog synths were becoming popular but there were only small companies making them. The speculation was that Behringer could blow this market apart because 1) most of the analog circuits were about 40 years old and in the public domain, and 2) Behringer's impressive low cost manufacturing ability.

 

I am not trying to incite the haters, but, we were wondering if a Behringer Minimmog clone would come in at ~ $500. There's not much difference in part count or foot print between a minimoog and, say, a 24 channel mixing board.

 

Arturia has proven that a low cost analog synth can be marketed. I am really jonesing for a Microbrute.

Yamaha Motif XF6, Yamaha AN200, Alesis Micron, Sonar X3, Arturia Microbrute, Behringer Model D, Yamaha UX-3 Acoustic Piano, assorted homemade synth modules
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No flames from me.

It's great that there's another company which has devoted itself to making not just one but a whole new family of analog synths.

From what I read Behringer is serious about making a good analog poly at an affordable price, so I will be looking forward to what the company will come up with.

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My comment is "what took 'em so long?"

 

I remember a thread on the HC site about this topic a few years ago (I may have started it). At the time, analog synths were becoming popular but there were only small companies making them. The speculation was that Behringer could blow this market apart because 1) most of the analog circuits were about 40 years old and in the public domain, and 2) Behringer's impressive low cost manufacturing ability.

 

I am not trying to incite the haters, but, we were wondering if a Behringer Minimmog clone would come in at ~ $500. There's not much difference in part count or foot print between a minimoog and, say, a 24 channel mixing board.

 

Arturia has proven that a low cost analog synth can be marketed. I am really jonesing for a Microbrute.

 

I think I remember reading that thread! There's definitely a market for the cheap analog stuff, just look at the Waldorf Rocket and the Volcas, as well as the Arturia stuff. A $500 Minimoog clone? That would sit very nicely at home. I'd need a bit of convincing to use it live though.

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I have nothing against Behringer; I own a couple of their products and they work great for the price, although they're less great on the reliability side.

If they can make a low-cost, good-sounding analog poly, more power to them. I think many synth players would welcome such an instrument, especially on this side of the ocean, where the DSI synths cost quite a bit (because of shipping and taxes).

That said, my passion for analog synths doesn't make me deaf... I know it's very possible do design a "Real Analog" synth which sounds like crap.

So I'll wait with hope, but I'll let the final verdict to my ears. :)

 

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My comment is "what took 'em so long?"

Mine, too.

 

What most folks don't know about Uli Behringer is that he's a pretty damn good piano player. Seriously....mainly classical and jazz, but he can play a bunch of styles....and he's much better than one might expect. He and I took over this one piano in a bar that used to be in the Hilton at NAMM a few years in a row - it was a pleasure to play with the brother. Our actual birthdays (same year) are only a few days apart....

 

Also, they're nowhere near the same company they used to be - they still make inexpensive stuff, but they've also penetrated the middle of the market quite nicely with some of their other brand acquisitions over the past few years.

 

I wouldn't be surprised at all if they turned out some pretty decent synths.

 

dB

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Yes he is. That is all I heard was how good a pianist he was when I was asked to play their piano. It was Behringer's take on the Clavinova. It sucked but it like only $600 and I don't think I was being given special pricing. It actually didn't play that bad. I just didn't like it sonically.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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log synths doesn't make me deaf... I know it's very possible do design a "Real Analog" synth which sounds like crap.

So I'll wait with hope, but I'll let the final verdict to my ears. :)

 

Hopefully Behringer has xeroxed a good design then. :D

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log synths doesn't make me deaf... I know it's very possible do design a "Real Analog" synth which sounds like crap.

So I'll wait with hope, but I'll let the final verdict to my ears. :)

 

Hopefully Behringer has xeroxed a good design then. :D

 

Darn it, you beat me to it. :laugh:

 

I'm going to say it anyway....

 

I wonder which analog they are going to copy?

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I'm intrigued. Along with dB, I wouldn't at all be surprised if Uli Behringer launched a few tasty synths. Impressed, too, by the statements made in the Amazona.de interview excerpt on Sonic State. It seems that a line of instruments will be produced - based on circuit designs from a variety of brands/instruments. And it appears that having a polysynth, right out of the gate, is a priority. Cool.

 

No Behringer flaming from me. I have the RX1602 line mixer in my rack. Rock solid for stage, and highly versatile. Also have an HA4700 headphone mixer in my workspace; works great. Even my 10 year old + Eurorack 8 channel mixer worked fine for basic, live stuff. Sold it to a friend, a few years back; last I heard it was working fine for him.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poly analog synths are too expensive to produce today. You either get tiny voice count, software envelopes and lfos, tiny feature set, or all the above.

 

Andromeda went the highly integrated custom chip route, and the synth was still over $3K.

 

Uli has not repealed the laws of economics. I'm skeptical.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Electronically the scale of the analog polyphonic probably is so small that it isn't worth it (maybe it should be) to get a "normal" team of analog circuit and board engineers to prepare a mass produced synthesizer: that would be a start up cost probably not paid back but revenues. Also, still it would require all kinds of tuning and quantizing (if it well have memory) sensitivities to be solved.

 

I think somehow the world of instrument makers and whoever is involved have not seen fit to create a free market where many millions would enjoy a nice synthesizer at home. I have the impression it is hard to create a polysynth out of nothing, so using a big companies resources to create on anyhow is bound to run into copyright issues.

 

T.

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Poly analog synths are too expensive to produce today. You either get tiny voice count, software envelopes and lfos, tiny feature set, or all the above.

 

Andromeda went the highly integrated custom chip route, and the synth was still over $3K.

 

Uli has not repealed the laws of economics. I'm skeptical.

 

I wonder if Behringer's research is instead leading toward production of VA instruments. That would make more sense - from a cost and pricing perspective.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I wonder if Behringer's research is instead leading toward production of VA instruments. That would make more sense - from a cost and pricing perspective.

 

That would be a big yawn. There are plenty of competent VAs out there, and many thousands more in software.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I wonder if Behringer's research is instead leading toward production of VA instruments. That would make more sense - from a cost and pricing perspective.

 

That would be a big yawn. There are plenty of competent VAs out there, and many thousands more in software.

 

"We have not been idle in recent years and have invested a lot of time in the analysis legendary synthesizers from Roland, Korg, Moog, Sequential Circuits, ARP and PPG etc.The Curtis and SSM then used semiconductors are today virtually no longer available and we have therefore used a lot of time, to replicate these with modern and high quality VCA and OTAs. And now us is that finally succeeded. These circuits will now form the basis for our synthesizer."

 

This is poorly worded (maybe a Google translate from German) but it sounds like he's saying they've recreated the Curtis/SSM chips which would be used along with VCAs and operational transconductance amplifiers.

 

Semiconductor-based analogs, polys.

 

Busch.

 

 

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software envelopes and lfos

Frankly, software LFOs are perfectly ok with me - unless you want them go into the audio range, at which point they aren't LFOs anymore.... :D

Envelopes are more critical for a "real analog" response, but in the latest years, they have reached a speed that only the absolute purists can object to.

Of course, how a designer implements the time curves on an envelope is very important, but that's true for analog anvelopes too.

And of course, let's not forget that we are talking about low-cost instruments here.

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Still too expensive! Semiconductor based SSM filters are all over the place in the modular world. But those are single instances.

 

The Chroma is one of the more compact voice architectures. It has 8 voice boards each of which contains two simple VCO->VCF->VCA voices. The VCF and VCA are Curtis chips, and the VCO is a very clever low parts count dual discrete oscillator.

 

But it is physically still a beast with thousands and thousands of components.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I think UBL is our only hope for such a chore.

 

Currently I use Diva just for an extra pad, and only in the mid range, a Solaris for really fat poly work, and an SE-1X for my big monophonic sounds.

 

Use to have a single Polysynth that did all of this, the OBX.

 

I'd drop a few large for such a synth.

Magnus C350 + FMR RNP + Realistic Unisphere Mic
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I was very curious about this when I saw it at NAMM. Apparently it didn't set the world on fire.

 

[video:youtube]

 

If these guys did make an actual synth, I'd of course be curious to check it out.

Soul, R&B, Pop from Los Angeles

http://philipclark.com

 

King Super 20 Alto, Yamaha MX61, Roland VR-09, MicroKorg XL, Maschine Mikro, M-Audio ProKeys88sx, Roland MKS-50

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Still too expensive!

 

For a smaller company, yes.

 

But,- when UB wants to do it and says he will do it, it will happen.

They sell so many other pieces of gear successfully they can do other development and realization on the basis of combined (hybrid) costing.

I´ve read the whole article in german.

Once they´ll have all their custom designed components developed and circuitry designed, they´ll have a prototype of one of the target products in about one year. That´s what he expects.

In fact, they plan to release several different synths.

I think it´s a very interesting project.

 

A.C.

 

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software envelopes and lfos

Frankly, software LFOs are perfectly ok with me - unless you want them go into the audio range, at which point they aren't LFOs anymore.... :D

Envelopes are more critical for a "real analog" response, but in the latest years, they have reached a speed that only the absolute purists can object to.

Of course, how a designer implements the time curves on an envelope is very important, but that's true for analog anvelopes too.

And of course, let's not forget that we are talking about low-cost instruments here.

+1

 

There is nothing inherently inferior about software envelopes and LFOs (with the caveat already mentioned). It's all in the implementation; to date not enough synth designers have gotten that right.

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Still too expensive! Semiconductor based SSM filters are all over the place in the modular world. But those are single instances.

 

The Chroma is one of the more compact voice architectures. It has 8 voice boards each of which contains two simple VCO->VCF->VCA voices. The VCF and VCA are Curtis chips, and the VCO is a very clever low parts count dual discrete oscillator.

 

But it is physically still a beast with thousands and thousands of components.

 

The old SSM and Curtis chips were very good, but they were developed about ~30 years ago. In this day and age, wouldn't it be possible to put a VCO, VCF, VCA on a single chip?

Yamaha Motif XF6, Yamaha AN200, Alesis Micron, Sonar X3, Arturia Microbrute, Behringer Model D, Yamaha UX-3 Acoustic Piano, assorted homemade synth modules
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The old SSM and Curtis chips were very good, but they were developed about ~30 years ago. In this day and age, wouldn't it be possible to put a VCO, VCF, VCA on a single chip?

 

Possible? Yes.

Cost effective? Eh, dunno.

 

It costs millions to do the development work on a custom chip and set up a facility to manufacture them. Which means economies of scale dictate that you sell a crap-ton of chips to recover the cost of your manufacturing facility.

 

And after all that, you now have an instrument with a custom chip in it, which probably won't be repairable a few years down the line when all the spares that were manufactured disappear.

 

I would not be interested in a real analog poly synth unless it was built with generic enough components that it could be repairable in the foreseeable future. But now we are back to high parts count and cost.

 

Ever wondered why a 60 year old Hammond organ or a 35 year old Minimoog is repairable, when a much newer Andromeda is not?

 

All the new VAs out there are basically throw aways when they break.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Custom chips are tough, but you can build an analog now without designing any new chips.

 

The question will be build quality and customer support at a relatively low price point. Even a mono analog without memory has to be built to a certain standard or bad things will happen.

 

Arturia has already bumped their head on this with the Minibrute . . . nice synth but there have been various problems (keyboard was the big one) and some slow turnaround responding.

 

One way or another, analog costs money to do right. Moog and Studio Electronics charge more but hang around, there's a reason for that.

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