Curious new synths pique the interest
It would be fair to say that Behringer is a name which attracts a certain reaction from musicians. A curl of the lip, perhaps. Particularly those of a more snobby persuasion.
Or at least it did. See, in the past couple of years, we’ve been introduced to a pretty incredible range of fully analogue synths from the ubiquitous German company. From almost nowhere, the company hinted at, then launched, a neat little range of products which have had synth fans rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
It shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise; the very first instrument Swiss engineer Uli Behringer built was a synthesizer so that passion was always there. I think people weren’t expecting the company to attack the synth market with the gusto it has done.
The range comprises all-analogue synths, modelled (or at least inspired by) some of the more classic units from days gone by. All delivered with a dash of Swiss innovation and, crucially, the famous Behringer price point. The best of both worlds? Let’s see what’s on offer from the Behringer synth range.
Behringer Model D
First up is a little diamond called the Behringer Model D. Modelled on (or blatantly copying, depending on how you see it) the legendary Minimoog Model D synths, this module will leave a grin on the face of anyone looking to recreate those amazing 70s/80s sounding tones.
Being a sound module, you will need a way to actually play it – we have a selection of suitable controllers here – but the good news is that Behringer has opted to make the Model D controllable either via USB or traditional MIDI. This is great as it means the majority of players will be able to get this unit, hook it up either to an existing MIDI controller keyboard or (using the USB) to a DAW like Ableton.
In terms of sounds, have a listen for yourself…
As much fun as soft synths can be, and as undoubtedly convenient as they are, there really is no substitute for actually twiddling knobs on a hardware unit and hearing the results play out before your ears.
Owing a real-world Minimoog is likely out of reach to the vast majority of us. Thanks to this superb recreation from Behringer, that full-fat Moog sound might be closer to attainable than you ever thought possible.
To prove it’s not all homage-based creations coming out of the Behringer stable, they introduced this exciting new semi-modular synth. The Behringer Neutron is a paraphonic synth which has a plethora of cool features. And some pretty crazy ones. In a good way, of course.
The Behringer Neutron is a fully analogue synth, with two 3340 oscillators which deliver a huge range of tonal flexibility and range. To the right of the unit sits an actual patch bay for getting really in-depth with the unit, while USB and MIDI connectivity mean you can add it to an existing setup with ease.
Behringer Deepmind range
Finally, the flagship (or ships) of the lineup. The Behringer Deepmind series is the model the company is hanging its heritage hat on. Meticulously designed to deliver a fully-fledged, analogue synth experience without the four-figure price tag normally associated with such devices, the Deepmind synths are well worth your attention.
There are three variants in the range; a standalone Deepmind 12D sound module;Deepmind 6D six-note polyphony version and then the full-fat Deepmind 12D version.
Closely modelled on the famous Roland Juno synths from the 1980s, the Deepmind series has all the tricks of the trade up its sleeve. Featuring 12 voices (6 on the 6D version), with each voice having two oscillators, and a host of filter, amplitude and LFOs, there’s plenty to get stuck into here.
A host of high-quality effects from TC Electronic and others mean there is an incredible amount of sound-sculpting in prospect, while the 12D models also boast the ability to connect over Wifi. By doing this you also unlock the extra benefit of being able to deep-dive into your settings and parameters using the accompanying iOS and Android app.
The goal with the Deepmind series – and indeed all the synths we’ve discussed here – was to bring true analogue tone to the masses. Behringer has succeeded in that, and then some. For a fraction of the price of some other brands’ offerings, you can get yourself a lot of synthesizer. While it’s too early to suggest the big boys of this world will be quaking in their boots, it is fair to say there is a new name in town. Well, one that’s actually already an old and well-established name.
Journalist, PR and multimedia specialist. Write professionally on subjects ranging from musical instruments to industrial technology.