Behringer 12 voice synth
  • yes, it does look and sound extremely promising. some of the sounds in those videos remind me of my good old ju60 – but with 12 voices, two dcos and two lfos per voice, it looks to be much more versatile. so, potentially very exciting, especially at a behringer-like price point.

    unfortunately, they have alienated a lot of people by keeping teasing this thing for months and months and months without ever doing a proper announcement of its feature set, pricing and release date. so chances are that when it does eventually get released, a lot of people may just have ceased to care…

  • There’s a lot of irate people on youtube calling for them to just announce it properly. Some even saying its vapourware or unfinished.

  • i doubt that it’s vaporware – probably just very clumsy marketing.

  • True, but it might be a very long way from completion.

  • Behringer was never ever known for bringing their products in time. Best example is the new DAW controller, i asked a friend (who has been working for B. until june) for the official release date and they really managed to reschedule the official release for two fucking years ! Now i am again owner of a MCU.
    Even the ADA8200 was a year behind schedule…

  • Well, given their reputation as being a “cloner”, copying other brands, I guess they don’t have a well organised engineering team?

  • i doubt that very much :D

    (i.e. i’m pretty sure that behringer’s music group can rely on several rather well-organized engineering teams. still, a delay in this project does seem likely, given how early they started to tease this. apparently, this synth is being developed at midas. in the sequencer.de forums, uli behringer has decribed it as a ‘labor of love’ and stressed that he gave the team behind it carte blanche. maybe they got carried away, things got a little bit out of hand…)

  • There“clumsy marketing “ has obviously created a lot of buzz around the instrument, its gained a post here for example.

  • Meanwhile, I wonder what the MI polysynth development team (code name “Devika”) is up to?

  • Ah ah there’s no such thing…

  • Oh yes, in my dreams there is

  • Seems like Behringer is really trying to get rid of their bad reputation. The sounds in the teasers were characterful and pleasant, so no issue here, so far. I remember many people were upset about the limited number of voices on other recent polysynths – but 12 voices don’t leave much to be wanted. The UI seems to be pretty organized, too. Without much menu diving, it seems.

    So really, Behringer is doing a lot right here. Now I’m very interested in what this thing might cost. I mean, they’ve shown what they can do with the X32. This might just as well be the X32 of the synth segment.

  • It all depends on how limited the voice architecture is. The more capability the more costly it then gets to duplicate 12 of them.

    In the case of the Minilogue they worked around some limitations (low number of LFOs) with a delay FX and sequencing of parameters.

  • Pretty sure that envelopes, LFOs, and all the modulation is going to be digitally generated, just like on the Minilogue.

    The “limitation” with this architecture is mostly in the number of controls you want to put on the fron panel assuming you want to keep it one-knob-per-function.

  • i hope there is a osc to filter freq amount ..from this a million flowers bloom

  • Just something new and original would be nice :)

  • I wouldn’t expect something new here. Behringer wants to appeal to a wider market and they’d be stupid not offer a design that seems familiar.

  • True. But there’s plenty of analogue polys around now. With the minilogue Korg added something more interesting, sequencing of parameters.

  • Parameter sequencing is a killer feature, I think. Of course, Korg themselves implemented the idea in the MS2000 many years ago, before Elektron took it and ran with it.

    a|x

  • It makes for a nice evolving patch and if you have digital control it’s perfectly possible.

  • But then the minilogue has only 4 voices and I remember many people were ruling it out because of that. The minikeys is another topic… Also I’m not sure how much value the motion sequencing has to a musician playing in a band. Syncing gear with the rest of the band is troublesome.
    The Behringer jumps into that spot. Many voices, familiar structure (presumably), good sound quality (as far as we know), analog (whatever that means), lots of controls on the panel, relatively simple architecture, full size keyboard.

    I guess what I want to say is: While the minilogue is a decent piece of kit, it’s more of a “synth fiddler” instrument. Its features go towards palying in an all electronic setup where the shitty keys don’t matter (because synth guys sequence it anyways) and where midi sync is available. The Behringer on the other hand will be leaning towards live performance in a band. A completely different story imho.

    Ah whatever. Just my opinion.

  • Since this is the second budget analog poly I suspect more to be popping up soon. Arturia can’t be far off. I know I will probably buy one of them this year and maybe sell one of my last bits of vintage kit the Juno 60.

  • The controls are always going to be the part which get compromised. They know that you can always sequence it or trigger it with MIDI. But if the sound is rubbish you won’t want to.

  • Here a quote of the GS forum from Uli Behringer:

    “I like to clarify that these are 12 voices with each 2 DCO’s and 2 LFO’s. The oscillators are DCO’s, which means these are digitally controlled analog oscillators; so the synth has 24 full-blown analog oscillators.

    Once we reveal the board assembly images, you will discover the thousands of discrete components that went into this design and the extreme density of the multi-layer boards. This synth is a true engineering masterpiece from our Midas engineers, a company that is famous for making the world’s best mixing consoles.

    A little side story: We specifically launched the 4th video on a Sunday morning UK time as some of our engineers wanted their kids to participate in the rollout of this important video. Over the past years, many of these people have heavily sacrificed family time for this synthesizer. I am sure there are some proud kids and dads out there.

    Thank you all for making this such a wonderful journey. I can honestly say that for me this is the most enjoyable product since I started the company nearly 30 years ago.

    Oh, and one more thing – more to come :-)

    Uli “

  • VCOs sound better :D

    But it sounds to be a labour of love, only time will tell if its a good one.

  • I’m curious about filter – lm13700, ssm2164 or discrete… Probably, ssm2164.

  • They said discrete…

  • So if it’s discrete- is this the opposite to the DSI ‘synth on a chip’ approach? Can anyone shed any light on why Behringer might have gone down this route? Seems like the long way round to me, but I know very little.

  • 12 voices and keys that grownups can use. So far, so good. I don’t really care if it is analogue or digital, I only care about the sound. Anyone who still thinks analogue is somehow better than digital is a sucker for nostalgia-laden hype.

  • Discrete means you can do what filter design you like and it can be repaired at future date.

    Any Andromeda owner will tell you that they dread one of those custom chips failing.

  • Having said that, SMD-based devices aren’t easy to repair, even if they are made of discrete components.

    a|x

  • > is this the opposite to the DSI ‘synth on a chip’ approach?

    DSI has been moving away from that too – since the Prophet 12.

    Check this…

    > Can anyone shed any light on why Behringer might have gone down this route?

    In the 80s, the barrier to entry for custom ICs was not that high – everybody was doing it in one way or another. Part count had to be kept low because all parts were through-hole, and thus required costly labor for manual insertion. There was a big competitive advantage in developing and using custom ICs.

    Nowadays, outside of the tiny world of synth design, most of the functions that required custom ICs in the past are done digitally by general purpose digital processors. Few projects require custom ICs, and as a result, the teams designing ICs are only located at large semi manufacturers (TI, AD…) where they work on complex projects in which some boundaries are pushed (cost, efficiency, miniaturization, speed). For synth design, it’s no longer expensive in size and assembly cost to make things out of individual components.

    The only question that remains is whether to go completely discrete or to use “building-block ICs” like the 2164 or LM13700. The argument for them is that they are easy and predictable to work with – with many kinks already ironed by their designers. The argument against them is cost (less than $1.0 for ten transistor pairs vs $1.5 for a 2164), and less freedom in achieving a specific sonic quality.

  • >Having said that, SMD-based devices aren’t easy to repair

    I find it easier than through-hole when it comes to removing a part. Often you can heat up the pads and lift the part off.

    ICs are especially better to remove. You can use some enamelled wire and lift the legs. Or that chipquik stuff.

  • Also, “discrete” sounds nice in a musicians ear. Just like those guys selling discrete opamps for their super hi-fi audio preamps. (Don’t forget the gold wires. And your audiophile network cable.)

    Now Behringer must be carefull not to trigger the “omg it’s only DCO’s” people. I was kind of surprised to see that it sais “DCO” on the panel.

  • The Juno 106 says DCO and its still alive and kicking

  • The DCO thing is only a thing for the tiny gearsl**z minority. Everyone else just uses their ears.

  • Some had issues in the higher notes, but I imagine that is long solved.

  • thanks for the insight @pichenettes. I guess we wait and see how much the thing costs. I’d estimate somewhere in the Roland JD-Xa/Prophet 08 region maybe?

  • Behringer could do it below the 1000€ mark.

  • The trend for low cost seems to be to make small units. Less materials, smaller boxes for cheaper shipping and so on.

    Will they risk minikeys?

  • It’s clearly full keys in the video. So far they seem to get pretty much everything right (except maybe the boring “analog waveform” oscillator section).

  • What we’ve seen are full-size keys.

    My prediction is that it will be $1499 and that it will be a solid and well-built device with a nice keybed and good feeling controls.

    They’re not going to price it too low initially because they’ll use their first synth as a way to change the quality perception of the Behringer brand.

    Cheaper versions with less voices and smaller keys are likely to follow later

  • @pichenettes Did we see any details of the DCO section? I am still hoping for variable waveshapes or maybe crazy Alpha Juno style PWM on the saw…

  • More details here

    I think t2k might be right on the price, my guess is £1500, maybe a little more given the FX engines are powered by TC ELECTRONIC & KLARK TEKNIK!

  • Nice that they used a monochrome LCD instead of a full-color display with a horribly over-designed touch UI that everybody seems to use on their big workstation synths nowadays.

  • “TC Electronic and Klark Teknik are Behringer”

    I did not know that, I learn something new every day :)

  • FWIW, that’s a really shitty name. Ew. Also, the 90s wants their stupid CamelCased BrandName back.

  • DeepPockets might be an appropriate name for this synth, t2k :)

  • Haha – DeepMind! Is this the ultimate trolling by Behringer? It’s been kinda fun with them sending out all these teasers. In my opinion, better to do that, then do one GAS-inducing video and then nothing for months (sometimes years) until the unit comes out. I’m not in the market for a synth like this, but it’s definitely cool to see another company jump into the mix with something that seems well thought out and complete.

  • Demo 5 appears to emphasize FX section is doing a lot of the sound design work.

  • Deep thought, the answer is 42.

  • Happy that they went with a proper-sized display here, looking at my various synths, most use 16x2, or slightly more(Supernova – gorgeous VFD, but a bit on the small-ish side. Not much though). Now for some synths 16x2 is all that you need, but for many, you really want more. A lot more. So, props to behringer for that.

  • If there’s a decent mod matrix then a display certainly helps.

  • “DeepMind” – well, still better name than “King KORG”, “Sub 37” or “Little Phatty”.

  • No, no, “DeepMind” is a hybrid English-German word that refers to their design philosophy of providing the deepest functionality for the least cost.

  • More info: “We build our own keybeds and don’t buy from external sources to ensure consistency and quality. The semi-weighted keybed which is used in the DeepMind 12 is designed and approved by Uli himself.”

  • To be honest: the keys of Behringer keyboards match the quality of more costly manufacturers.
    Ok, the software and the pots suck, but the keys are awesome. I know a lot of people who cannibalized the keys of Behringer keyboards for repair of vintage stuff.

  • > “DeepMind” is a hybrid English-German word that refers to their design philosophy of providing the deepest functionality for the least cost.

    Can you explain that one? I don’t get it.

  • Doesn’t “mind” mean “least”? Or is it “mindeste”? It’s a very long time since I studied German in high school…

  • No, mind is no German word. :)

  • > No, mind is no German word. :)

    Oh well, we can dismiss that hypothesis, then.

  • It seems that Behringer (Music Group is the Behringer parent company) has registered the name DeepMind successfully, in a different category to the Google companies.

  • Nothing wrong with making your own keybeds. The Kawai K5000 was praised for having a nice keybed. Coming from a company that produces pianos that is to be expected.

  • Mindestens = at least

  • Looks like it was called ‘Phat 12’ for a while!? Glad they changed that..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caMT4BYFCCk

    A good insight to its design here..

  • I’m liking that is has an X32-like page system. Press a button, get to the respective page. Clean UI, good use of the display. Man, this thing seems to be a killer. The features mentioned in the video get me excited.

  • Looks like a pretty comprehensive mod matrix, and editable via a tablet device (iPad etc) app via a built-in WiFi connection (in infrastructure mode, maybe?). But hey, every synth these days needs to be IoT-ready! Hmmm, and every synth module…

    Now, if they’d just make a version without a keyboard and with 12 rows of patch-point jacks (mainly outputs with a few general-purpose CV and gate inputs added to the matrix)...

  • Oscillators appear to offer ramp and pulse waveforms only. Prophet 12 is said to have sine, triangle, square and sawtooth. Perhaps the most talented will be able to coax every sound in the universe from two waveform choices. I’m not convinced that won’t be a bottleneck for some :)

  • 3 envelopes, but only one set of ADSR faders. Meh. I really dislike almost-but-quite-one-knob-per-function interfaces

  • VCO SWM depth????? in the picture above

  • alpha juno style ‘saw width modulation’?

  • Preordered.

  • Without a known price? Or do you have more information?

  • Arrrghh, it lives ! ;-)

  • @FCD72 IS STILL ALIVE! :)

  • Nope, no known Price, i just reserved one from my favorite Dealer. We expect it to be significant cheaper than a P8, so that fits perfect.

  • Word from one early evaluator is that this synth is monotimbral (like the Juno-106). It may be 12 voices of awesome but will have to be multi-tracked to achieve layers.

  • Given that the LFOs, envelopes, other mod sources and the mod matrix are presumably all digital, that seems like a curious limitation. Or, put another way, they will need the same number of DAC channels to interface between the digital and analogue sections of the synth, regardless of whether it is monotimbral or polytimbral.

    Maybe they plan to release a firmware upgrade that enables multi-timbrality, although I bet they have written the firmware with that in mind from the outset – but perhaps holding that feature back is a marketing ploy to create the perception of a bonus extras and getting something else for nothing? Given all the teasers etc, the marketing department isn’t taking a back seat on this one, despite its “skunkworks” or personal-project-of-Herr-Dr.-Ing.-Behringer status (or maybe the personal project angle/boyhood dream angle is a marketing construct as well…or maybe I’m just too cynical – but I like Behringer gear, BTW, especially my FCA1616, despite it’s lack of HF filtering in front of the ADC).

  • BennelongBicyclist> Now, if they’d just make a version without a keyboard and with 12 rows of patch-point jacks (mainly outputs with a few general-purpose CV and gate inputs added to the matrix)...

    Oh, they are planning that, sort of…

  • Uli Behringer sure is a clever marketing guy.

  • @TheSlowGrowth not sure about that.. it’s a terrible name..

    a|x

  • The name is horrible. The CamelCaseBrandName is vastly outdated and the typography is pretty bad, even for synth standards. Uli might be a tiny bit too involved with this one… ;)

    80’s Roland is still the gold standard for nice visual synth and drum machine design imho.

  • I had a JD-800 for a short time. That was really nicely designed, I think. Shame they weren’t very robustly-built (the reason I didn’t have mine for long-it was broken when I bought it, it turned out).

    a|x

  • The name puts me in mind of a dozen Tolkien dwarves: DeepMin’d 12. Or of a Welsh person issuing a warning: “It’s deep, mind.”

  • Yea, the name is crap.

    I think he is a clever marketing guy because of how he/they feed/s the buzz. For a company like Behringer, who desperately try to get rid of their bad rep, it’s a very clever thing to show up on gearslutz and chat with the synth freaks. “Hey, I’m a synth freak just like you”. There might be some truth in this, but of course they know that this is going to have a positive effect on the sales and reputation. The same goes for the statement that building synths is Uli’s youth dream. Sure it is, but they say it so often and so prominently, I just can’t help but think that this is a planned marketing strategy.

  • Anyway if this baby is rackable, i will definitely be in !!!
    Afaik this baby was a plan of Mr. Behringer for a very long time, and about some years ago (far before Music Group) he said in a conversation he did not know how to get enough resources for this, without making it a financial disaster like other companies had before. We all have plans which are more or less out of our reach.

  • Who cares what it looks like so long as it functions well. A CS80 looks ugly like some sort of home organ and the PPG wave looks like some lab equipment.

    If being a bit tacky looking keeps the price down then I’m all for it :)

  • I do care. I really don’t like playing with ugly instruments. :)

  • The design of this thing looks really dusty and uninspired I must say (totally agree with t2k on this one!). They certainly did try to appeal to vintage synth lovers here, but they didn’t take any risk in going a little bit further. I mean, apart from the synth logo (which is really a bit hard on the eyes) the rest is kind of ok, but I would expect something more from a synth made in 2016.
    I can understand some synth from the 80s looking like they do. That’s ok… but we’re not in the 80s anymore. This said, I totally agree that in the end, what counts is how it sounds and “performs”, but I can’t help but feeling that there is a bit of a missed opportunity here, design-wise.

  • It’s stating the obvious that they have styled it to look like a Juno-6/60/106, right down to the panel layout and labelling, and the fonts – even the “DeepMind 12” (or earlier “PHAT12”) monikers use the same (NASA-inspired?) rounded-square fonts as the “JUNO-106” logo did on the Roland:

  • It’s the same kind of typeface, but on the Juno it works well because of the shape of the letters in its name.

  • “...but we’re not in the 80s anymore”

    We are in 70s again: Oddysey, Minimoog, P6, OB6 :)

  • .. MS-20..

    a|x

  • It’s totally obvious that it’s inspired by the Junos and the Rolands in general. But it’s still nice to see them side-by-side! Still Roland used colour on the Junos, which made it look cool (and still looks cool). Making the DM 12 more monochrome was a good choice (and makes it look more Moog-ish somehow), but then they would have had to work a bit more on the graphics to not make it look too dull. I think changing the name and the horrendous type they used, it would have been totally ok looking though.

  • I actually prefer the simple monochrome in this case. The Juno is just too randomly colorful for my liking. Then again, I didn’t grow up seeing them everywhere…

    I love the ice-blue buttons as well, as a sort of nice little highlight, instead of just a random black or grey button.

  • IMHO the early-to-mid Roland design (TR/TB/Juno/Jupiter/JX-3P) is absolutely brilliant and gives each of the various machines its own distinct personality. I will admit that I like the use of color more than the average synth nerd. :)

    I agree with @rumpelfilter that the DM12 looks fine, except from the horrible wordmark. Also, why on earth did they center it?

  • Well we can only hope they money they saved on graphic design was used for hardware engineering :)

  • Early evaluator states further today that DMT’s BEST feature is the voice architecture: “12 note poly with 2 DCOs per voice, but as you can specify polyphony, you can have 6 note/4oscs, 4 note/6oscs, 3 note/8oscs, 2 note/12oscs, 1note/24oscs (!) This means it can make HUGE pads, and massive detuned basses and leads that are generally only achievable using software, or very expensive hardware. This is one of the BEST things about this synth, and gives it a unique flavour.” Time to get real and buy another Ambika lol.

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