CatSynth Video: Lilly, Behringer and Novation

Lilly poses proudly with a Novation controller and Behringer Crave and TD-3 synthesizers. And she gets cuddles. What more could one want?

CatSynth Pic: Studio 23

This cat has found an optimal napping spot in the center of this studio. Submitted by Paul Toohill via Facebook.

Studio 23. There is reason in my madness, order in my chaos. And a cat in my chair, damn it… 

CatSynth Pic: Studio Meowskers with Persephone

Beautiful Persophone returns. This time she has an Arturia keyboard controller to go along with the Behringer Model D (center rear) and sundry other items. From Rob Robinson via Facebook.

CatSynth Pic: Behringer Model D, Korg Volcas

This rather handsome long-hair cat is posing with a Behringer Model D synthesizer, a keyboard, and two Korg Volcas, the first one of which is a Volca Keys. Submitted by Ricardo Branco via our Facebook page.

CatSynth Pic: Abstraction

Apropos of yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday post, we have a geometrically proportioned CatSynth Pic today. With the balance of colors (red for the Behringer and Focusrite on the left vs the gray on the right) and the stacked keyboard, this could be right out of our architectural series.

Submitted by Pete Dolan via our Facebook page.

CatSynth Pic: Yoshi and Blix in the Studio

Yoshi (tabby) and Blix (black) are relaxing in the studio. I see a Behringer Deep Mind 12, and Korg R3, Electribe, and Volca Beats. Submitted by Manny Tejeda via our Facebook page.

CatSynth Pic: Eliot and DeepMind 12

Eliot the cat and Behringer DeepMind 12

Eliot the cat sits atop a Behringer DeepMind 12, presumably enjoying the warm analog vibes. Submitted by Stiofan Dubh‎ via our Facebook page.

Eliot helps with spacey sounds.

We at CatSynth are sure he is a great studio helper!

CatSynth Pic: Max in the Studio (Modular, Model D, and more)

Max, with his lovely marble markings, explores the studio. He is walking past an impressive collection of Eurorack modules, stepping on an Arturia BeatStep, and about to tweak some patches on the Behringer Model D. From coresect23 on Instagram.

CatSynth Pic: Orange Cat, Behringer Neutron, Arturia Keystep

A pretty orange tabby plays some notes on an Arturia Keystep and Behringer Neutron synthesizer. From Karl Garcia via Facebook.

In the middle of a patch this cat just sits down on the keyboard and gets the arpeggiator going lol.

Of all the synthesizers in Behringer’s growing catalog, the Neutron is one of the two that most interests me personally, the other being the new VC340 Vocoder. You can see my encounter with Behringer’s synths before NAMM in this video.

NAMM 2019: Behringer Synthesizers

Our 2019 NAMM experience began a little earlier this year when we stopped by Behringer’s offsite event in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was an opportunity to check out their current and upcoming synthesizer offerings. You can see some of them in this video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylvIpER

There is perhaps no synthesizer maker more controversial and more talked about these days than Behringer. Some dismiss them outright, others condemn their cloning of classic instruments, and others applaud their making affordable synthesizers that sound good and play well. Mention them in any synthesizer forum, and you are likely to get more responses than with any other topic.

Overall, I was happy with what I saw from them this year. I particularly liked the Vocoder VC340, a clone of the legendary Roland VP330 vocoder.

I already own a Roland Boutique VP-03, so I have access to this sound and signal path, with all its temperamental qualities. But the VC340 comes in a larger package with full-size keys, with electronics more similar to the original, including the voice and string synthesizers. It would make a great stage vocoder if I had need and space for one. It is also easier to get external signals into it, and we played around using Behringer’s new Rhythm Designer RD-808 as the modulator signal (you can hear it in the video).

Behringer has also come out with a clone of the Odyssey, simply called Odyssey.

It’s industrial design, font, and colors are remarkably similar to the original (something which probably makes Behringer’s critics howl). But it’s a good sounding unit, and quite rugged looking. The layout of the sliders is a bit different from what I know from the original, the Korg clone, and my Octave CAT, so I didn’t have the opportunity to dial in the “Chameleon” tone and give it the Herbie Hancock test, but I did get some interesting modulated sounds familiar from the original Odyssey.

It is important to note that Behringer has also produced original instruments such as the Neutron.

The Neutron is a Eurorack-compatible synthesizer with all the expected VCO, VCF, and VCA sections, as well as an extensive modulation matrix. It does not have a sequencer, but the Eurorack ecosystem is awash with sequencers so that shouldn’t be much of an issue. The Neutron is on the surface similar to the Moog Mother-32 and Arturia Microbrute (sans sequencer), but it does have its own sound. Is it different enough to want it if you already own those instruments? That is subjective. But it played well, and at $399 is quite affordable.

There is also the clone of the Minimoog, the Model D, affectionately known by many of us as “The Boog.”

It sounds like a Model D. And it is Eurorack compatible. It’s a great affordable option to get that sound. End of story.

And finally, there is the new MS-101, a clone of the Roland SH-101, complete with red and blue finishes.

I don’t think the controversies around Behringer will fade anytime soon, especially as they continue to ramp up their synthesizer catalog. For those who complain about their cloning, there are others who charge “elitism” at their critics, considering the high prices vintage instruments and even current Eurorack modules command. Plus, these instruments have MIDI, USB, and other features that are rather handy when making music. We at CatSynth come down somewhere on the outside of this discussion, and simply enjoyed playing the instruments; and we might look into that vocoder.